Places To See Before You Die — No. 19 Sydney Opera House (Australia)
Sydney Opera House (Australia) Reuters
What do you get when you mix a handful of orange peels, a bushel of palm fronds and a Maya temple? If you’re Danish architect Jørn Utzon, you dream up an opera house that will, almost single-handedly, turn a faraway city into a global capital. The Sydney Opera House is a landmark on the city skyline, a lighthouse for ferries entering the harbor, a projection screen for Sydney’s myriad festivals and a barometer of global artistic talent. Utzon’s dream building is many things, but above all, it’s an architectural marvel that was built well ahead of its time, far ahead of the available technology, and one that changed the image of an entire country.
Places To See Before You Die — No. 18 Easter Island (Chile)
Easter Island (Chile) Reuters
It’s one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, boasts 887 monolithic stone “heads” and is a cautionary tale of the effects of overpopulation and depletion of resources. Easter Island could easily evoke the inner mythbuster in even the most empty-headed of visitors. Within its vast open-air museum of archaeological marvels, perhaps nothing is more famous than the mysterious moai, which were transported throughout the island from a single quarry site using an as-yet unknown method that has left historians scratching their heads for decades. Known alternatively as Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua, this triangular speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is as beguiling a place as you will find anywhere on earth.
Places To See Before You Die — No. 17 Berlin Wall (Germany)
Berlin Wall (Germany) Reuters
The Berlin Wall was the setting for one of the most defining moments of living memory when, on Nov. 9, 1989, it “fell” after nearly three decades dividing Germany into East and West. At least 136 people died trying to cross it between 1961 and 1989, and the barrier is remembered today more for what it was than what it is. Presently, just two sizable sections remain as memorials: the Bernauer Strasse section in the city’s north, which acts as an exhibition about city life in the time of the Berlin Wall, and the East Side Gallery, which is full off colorful murals, including the famous Fraternal Kiss, depicting Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev smooching Erich Honecker, his East German counterpart.