When we visit majestic and awe-inspiring landmarks around the world, it is hard to imagine that they weren't always there. However, the landscape of the past did look quite different. You might be amused and surprised to learn what used to occupy the sites of some of the most famous landmarks. Test your knowledge of what used to be there.
An inspiring symbol of hope and freedom, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous structures in the world. What was there before Lady Liberty kept a watchful eye over New York Harbor?
A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty was built on Liberty Island to commemorate the 1876 centenary of U.S. Independence. The site formerly served as a quarantine station.
Standing 630 feet (192 meters) high over the Mississippi River, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the symbol of our country's westward expansion. What was there before this architectural feat took shape?
A building, constructed in 1818 by fur trader Manuel Lisa, was a warehouse and later a saloon where blues musicians like W.C. Handy frequently performed. The "Old Rock House" saloon was dismantled to make way for the Gateway Arch.
The Empire State Building offers unmatched views of New York and neighboring states from its 86th and 102nd floor observatories. What was there before the first visitor took the ride to the top?
The Empire State Building sits on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and West 34th Streets. The land and building cost $40,948,900 and occupies the site of the famous old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Spanning the Thames River, in 1896 the London Bridge was the busiest place in London, with almost 9,000 people crossing it every hour. What was there before the London Bridge became the place to go?
If you're talking about the London Bridge over the Thames, it replaced an old timber bridge. However, the London Bridge was sold to entrepreneur Robert McCulloch in 1968 and reassembled in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it's now the second biggest tourist attraction in the state.
St. Peter's Square is now the core of Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. What was there before the Pope took up residence?
Many Christians were put to death in this stadium including St. Peter the apostle. In 1506 Pope Julius II laid the foundation stone of the square's St. Peter's Great Christian Basilica over the grave of St. Peter.
Famous gangsters such as Al Capone, Robert Stroud and Machine Gun Kelly occupied cells in the prison on Alcatraz Island. What was there before they planned their escape from the escape-proof prison?
When Alcatraz Island was discovered in 1775 by Spaniard Juan Manuel Ayala, it was a pelican rookery. Ayala named the island after the many birds that nested there, although it's often referred to as "The Rock."
The President's House mansion in Philadelphia served as the home of first two presidents of the United States before the White House was completed. What was there before they called it home?
In September 1777, the British Army took possession of Philadelphia. British commander-in-chief General Sir William Howe made the President's House his residence and headquarters for the British forces. At the same time, General George Washington and his troops were suffering in the cold just 30 miles (48 kilometers) away at Valley Forge.
The Louvre in Paris, France, holds a collection of more than 100,000 works, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. What was there before this famous art gallery?
The Louvre was a royal palace before it became a museum in the 18th century and opened as the first national public gallery after the French Revolution.
An Elizabethan public theatre often associated with William Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre reopened in 1995. What was there before theatregoers began enjoying classic plays in the venue?
You might say the Globe Theatre was there before the Globe Theatre was there. When it was built in 1599, it was noted for its polygonal walls and roof over its stage. It was destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, closed down in 1642 and demolished in 1644, before it was rebuilt and reopened in 1995.
Visited by princesses from around the world, Cinderella's castle sits in the middle of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. What was there before she first waved from the balcony?
Cinderella could've been protected by huge moat around her castle. When Walt Disney purchased the 47 square miles (121 square kilometers) that was to become the Walt Disney World Resort, it was desolate swampland, scrub forests and groves. The land was transformed, moving massive amounts of earth, while keeping the environment and ecology of the area intact.
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