Man seems to be fascinated with heights. We build tall buildings, always seeming to compete to have the tallest. We love air travel and we are mesmerized by space travel. Part of the reason must be the dramatic view and perspective these activities or locations provide. The “bird’s-eye view” is certainly different from our normal perspective where we are often looking up at things like trees and mountains.
Thus there has been a profusion of “tall” things around the world, to enable us to get this perspective from above. Some of these structures are architectural marvels in and of themselves, besides the view they afford us. Here are some of my favorite tall-things-which-are-not-buildings.
In Seattle, Washington, there is the Space Needle, a very distinctive structure.
From its base, it looks like this
In St Louis, the Gateway Arch dominates the skyline
Here is the view from below
The best view of Niagara Falls comes from the Skylon Tower, an observation spot and restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
No one will return here for the food, but the view is certainly spectacular.
Also in Canada is the world’s tallest of these free-standing structures, the CN Tower, in Toronto.
It also dominates the city’s skyline
In Europe, the Arc d’Triomphe, in Paris, is one of the tall-non-buildings which offers dramatic views of the city.
Look at the Champs Elysses from the Arc and it appears this way
And, of course, the Arc’s neighbor, the Eiffel Tower, is one of the world’s most recognizable structures.
In Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Tower adds drama to the skyline of the Pudong, the newest section of the city.
Structures like the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, in Xi’an, China, were probably designed to be seen from a great distance since they were religious and the focal point of the community..