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Because the images we have in our minds of famous tourist sites are often unchanging, it’s hard to imagine that the world was ever without them. The fact remains, however, that people who visit these destinations today have vastly different experiences than their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will.
These eight places are among the world’s most popular, so in honor of their storied pasts, let’s take some time to appreciate how different they looked a century ago!
1. Times Square — Before:
Times Square got its name when the New York Times moved its office to the area in 1904.
2. Mount Rushmore — Before:
Previously known as “The Six Grandfathers” by the Lakota Sioux, construction began on the monument as we know it in 1927.
The mountains were renamed in 1885 after famous lawyer Charles E. Rushmore.
3. Boston — Before:
Taken on October 13, 1860, by James Wallace Black, this is the oldest known photo of Boston.
Having survived a great fire in 1872, Boston is now an international education hub. The city boasts our country’s first subway, public school, and public park.
4. Lincoln Memorial — Before:
Seen here in 1917, it looks totally different from the attraction we know and love today!
5. The Great Sphinx — Before:
The Sphinx in this image from 1871 is a far cry from the majestic figure visitors see in 2016.
6. The Statue of Christ the Redeemer — Before:
The statue was completed in 1922 after six years of construction and financed by the Catholic community in Brazil.
Standing at 98 feet tall, it is still the largest religious statue in the world.
7. The Eiffel Tower — Before:
Meant only as a temporary structure for the 1889 World’s Fair, it was actually first offered to Barcelona, but the Spanish didn’t want to take the project on.
Here’s some interesting trivia: French resistance fighters destroyed the structure’s elevators when Paris fell in World War II in order to force Hitler to climb all 700 stairs if he wanted to hoist his flag.
8. San Francisco — Before:
At the corner of Grant Ave and Post Street, photographers captured just a sliver of the tremendous devastation that shook San Francisco after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed the entire city.
(via All Day)
What are you waiting for? Get out there and see the world! With any luck, you’ll be able to tell your kids what sites like these looked like back in your day.