30 Photos: 15 Famous Landmarks Zoomed Out to Show their Surroundings.

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Those pictures are nuts/awesome.


“Kind of devastated about stonehenge, I had this vision of total isolation and spookiness.”

“It’s actually better now, they moved the parking lot away.”


But first, Relephant Bonus:

Context is everything. Unless, in popular view, it’s utterly ignored.
“Finding out the Great Pyramids weren’t in the middle of the desert and that there is a KFC across the street was a huge disappointment.”
  • Pyramids, Cairo
  • Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England
  • Taj Mahal, Agra, India
  • Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
  • Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  • Niagara Falls
  • Acropolis, Athens
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Forbidden City, Beijing
  • Hollywood sign, duh
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Mona Lisa, Louvre Museum, Paris
  • Central Park, New York
  • Arc de Triomphe, Paris
  • Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Famous landscapes and the zoomed out picture.

Love interesting photography? Here’s more: 


Photos Wow 

10 Photos that you’ve never seen that you’ll never forget




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anonymous Sep 29, 2015 1:12pm

The stone henge photo is very out of date. The visitor centre, and car park are now a mile away with shuttles to it and the road has been moved quite a distance away

anonymous Sep 26, 2015 1:10pm

The Coliseum in Rome would be another one to add, its basically used as a round about for the highway…so strange

anonymous Jul 31, 2015 10:11am

The Taj Mahal picture is out of context. It is taken from the back side during a very low tide. The foreground is a tidal flat where the ground is only visible only on low tides. Don’t know how low the tide needs to be here, but it could have been taken with a calm ocean bay of water in the foreground. It was purposely taken at the low tide to make it look ugly.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 3:34pm

This is an argument against bad photography more than anything

anonymous Jan 31, 2015 8:08pm

I'm so glad I don't have the gift of photography haha! I might not be able to impress people on how beautiful a picture it.. but at least I expose reality 😀

anonymous Jan 30, 2015 4:58pm

The Stonehenge pic is out of date – in the last couple of years they closed and grassed over the minor foreground road (the A344) and removed the car park that is visible, building the new ticket office & exhibition centre a mile away. The bigger road in the background is still there, the A303, but there is talk about putting in a tunnel (though there has been for decades). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-30… has some of the story and a pic of the grassed-over road.

anonymous Nov 2, 2014 10:43pm

I'm surprised how good they made Niagara Falls look on the zoom out… of course they used the Canadian side. Show the USA side and how trashy downtown NF really is…

anonymous Nov 1, 2014 9:13pm

In case of Taj Mahal, why it's not zoom out or arial photography?

anonymous Oct 22, 2014 5:32pm

I have been to Greece several times. Santorini and Athens look exactly like that — go figure.. I love both very much. If you go to Greece stop through Kavala Greece, up in the North on the coast. A part of my heart stayed in Kavala.

anonymous Oct 19, 2014 10:28am

I visited The Pyramids of Giza back in the late summer of 1990 (Just as Saddam invaded Kuwait!). In awe of these structures as well as the Sphynx which was adjacent……………Went all the way inside of the larger pyramid to view the chamber where the king was laid to rest. Amazing structure and engineering wonder at that time. A trip I'll never forget.

By the way, if you want to see a distinction between rich and very poor…………..go to Cairo. Needless to say I kiss the ground of the good ole USA.

anonymous Oct 13, 2014 9:11am

Some of these are not so bad. The picture with the Mona Lisa pretty much replicates my own disappointing experience, although I think it's better displayed than when I was there 15 years ago. The Pieta was similar: smaller than expected, too far away to appreciate detail, and surrounded by bullet-proof glass. Viewing the Sistine Chapel, surreal in the middle of a huge, tightly-packed crowd was awe-inspiring, as was Michaelangelo's David.

anonymous Oct 13, 2014 6:45am

You should add Petra into this list.

anonymous Oct 12, 2014 7:54am

One that's missing is the Alamo. Crazily out of context in downtown San Antonio. Looks like a Taco Bell….
In this list, Stonehenge, Mt Rushmore, Central Park and l'Arc de Triomphe are where they should be and managed well.

anonymous Oct 12, 2014 5:17am

Wow, beautiful and sad

anonymous Oct 11, 2014 1:48pm

Central Park looks even more amazing from above!

anonymous Oct 10, 2014 12:17pm

These sites are all the more amazing for being pat of dynamic surroundings. The fact they still stand and are preserved among the needs of vibrant societies is a beautiful testament to humanity. The desire to trek into the unknown desert and experience something primal is not only rife with privilege for the few but also racial hierarchy .

anonymous Oct 10, 2014 12:07pm

I've been to a few of these landmarks and am grateful for their preservation and the beauty they inspire and I also appreciate a feeling of being connected with history in juxtaposition to modern society.

anonymous Oct 10, 2014 9:52am

At least Rushmore and Santorini look good from afar.

anonymous Oct 10, 2014 8:52am

It is a shame that these wondrous places have become so saturated with civilization, but should we really be surprised? There are over 7 billion people on this planet, and there are fewer isolated historical sites that are not part of a living and breathing society. But we should not appreciate them any less, as they are both magical and breath-taking in their beauty. I'd love to visit each one of them and feel the energy of each person who stood before me and take in the profound magnificence of each landmark. Feel blessed that we can get so close, so easily, and admire their beauty!

    anonymous Oct 11, 2014 2:33pm

    Are you kidding? These things are the result of civilization!

anonymous Oct 10, 2014 8:46am

Central Park is still amazing!

anonymous Oct 10, 2014 6:24am

What do you know- real life isn't like a theme park.

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona feels like it is exactly where it needs to be – right in the middle of a city. The building is dying in parts while still being born in others – just like a city.

    anonymous Oct 11, 2014 12:08pm

    I would say that most of these are actually very much like a theme park.

anonymous Oct 9, 2014 5:26pm

I was in Gaza at the Pyramids in 1998. I had to take a camel out to a sand dune where you could only
hear the wind howl to escape the noise of the vendors selling trinkets and the tour buses that were allowed to
come up on the plateau and the tourists bustling around. I sat there and heard the wind howl, saw their majesty against the enormous blue sky and wept 🙂 They felt familiar and as if someone had decimated my home.

    anonymous Oct 11, 2014 6:40am

    you were in gaza and saw pyramids?………………… interesting.
    (the pyramids are in egypt yeah?)

      anonymous Oct 12, 2014 12:46pm

      Its actually giza not gaza. Pyramid of giza in egypt.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.