Towers are defined here as tall, cylindrical structures which are not office buildings or apartment buildings. Many of these structures (and they are becoming more and more frequent) are erected and added to a city’s skyline purely for the attraction of tourists. Others have several purposes, e.g., restaurants, communications, but are still primarily focused on visitors and on the views. Unfortunately, the popularity of the original towers has given rise to a situation where almost every tourist city must have one. Here is my list of the best of these, to be followed by a photo album. The primary reason that these towers are "the best," however, is due to where they are!
1. CN Tower, Toronto, Canada – This icon of Toronto was, until recently, the tallest standing structure in the world (it was surpassed by the Burj Dubai). Built in 1975, it rises over 1815 feet (553 meters).
2. Space Needle, Seattle, Washington, USA – This symbol of Seattle, while only 605 feet (185 meters) tall, has 25 lightning rods and was built to withstand a 9.5 magnitude earthquake.
3. Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China – This distinctive obelisk rises 1535 feet (468 meters), opposite Shanghai’s famous Bund, in the Pudong district of the city.
4. The Stratosphere, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – This hotel-casino tower stands 1149 feet (350 meters) above Las Vegas’ famous Strip. Besides the incredible view, it offers several thrill rides at its summit.
5. Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada – Only 520 feet (160 meters) tall, this revolving restaurant offers the most spectacular views of the Canadian and American Falls.
But the most important, distinctive, and most famous tower is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Built in 1889 for the World’s Fair, it was the tallest structure in the world until the Empire State Building in New York City was erected. It is the symbol of Paris and an icon, recognized all over the world. Visit this marvelous monument before you die!