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Monuments of the World Expo


One of the World Expo's main features is their temporary setting in structures expressively built for such purpose, so then destroyed at the end of the exhibtions. During the centuries we saw the construction of the strangest and most particular buildings, result of the talent of important artists, architects and engineers who collaborated together to such projects, so that some of these installations have been perceived more than temporary meeting places and they became real monuments that never left the city of their set up.

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Crystal Palace London 1851

The Crystal Palace is an huge wrought iron structure that covers a surface of about 84,000 mq. The building was conceived and created by a famous greenhouses builder – Joseph Paxton – on the occasion of the World Expo London in 1851, it was set inside Hide Park, then dismantled and replaced elsewhere at the end of the exhibition. Unfortunately, in 1936 the Crystal Palace was completely destroyed due to a raging fire and short time later. Winston Churchill, commented the event saying that fire had marked the end of an age. It's possible to find the Crystal Palace in all history of art books and it is always an inspiration source for modern architecture creations.

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Tour Eiffel – Paris 1889

Built on the occasion of the World Expo Paris which was dedicated to French revolution's 100th anniversary, the Tour Eiffel became the French capital city's symbol. Three years, 300 workers, 18,000 pieces of forged iron, 500,000 nails and 324 mt height are all the numbers related to the worlds most famous tower, that was conceived by the engineering Alexandre Gustave Eiffel's genius, the same person that planned the inside of the Statue of Liberty of New York. The Tour Eiffel represented the Universal Exposition's entrance and it was planned for standing only 20 years, but the tower was just turned into the emblem of the city's growth and technological development, and after the first perplexity it became soon the most visited monument in France.

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Civic Aquarium – Milan 1906

The Civic Aquarium in Milan is the construction that the World Expo 1906 Milan left us as inheritance, dedicated to the transports theme and for celebrating the Traforo del Sempione's opening. The Civic Aquarium is the third ancient aquarium in Europe and is hosted by a building – symbol of the Liberty Style in Milan – planned by the architect Sebastiano Locati. The Civic Aquarium of Milan has a very troubled history, since it saw closings, bombardments, reopenings and so on, up to the last great restructuring started in 2003, ended in 2006 on the occasion of its setting's 100th anniversary.

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E.U.R. – Rome 1942

Everybody knows that in the Italian capital there is a very prestigious district called E.U.R.. But not everybody knows that E.U.R. abbreviation is the acronym for Universal Exposition Rome. The area that represents the district today, was in fact realized as the place where the World Exposition in Rome would have taken place in 1942, but was then cancelled for several reasons, among which the World War II.

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Atomium – Bruxelles 1958

The Atomium is the famous monument completely made of steel and built on the occasion of the World Expo 1958 in Bruxelles. Planned by the architect André Waterkeyn, this monument – settled in the middle of Heysel Park – is 103 mt high and presents a very special structure made of 9 steel spheres representing an iron crystal 165 billion times bigger than normal. Inside each sphere (only those open to the public) various exhibitions are usually settled. Such structure – result of an interesting mix between architecture and sculpture - should have been maintained just during the six months of the Expo, but it turned into the symbol of the country's scientific and technological progresses and obtained such a success that it was dismantled never more.

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Space Needle – Seattle 1962

The Space Needle is a tower 184 mt high with a basis of 42 mt, that was planned by the architect John Graham on the occasion of the World Expo 1962 in Seattle. This wonderful architectural creation that touches the sky of Seattle, has a particular panoramic base for giving a wonderful view of the whole city, and a restaurant – called Skycity Restaurant – at one of the highest floors (152 mt). The tower is one of the most interesting monuments realized for the expositions and still today represents a unique tourist attraction for thousand of visitors every day.

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Aquarium – Genoa 1992

The Aquarium of Genoa is the biggest aquarium of Italy and Europe and it is the second only to that of Valencia. The Aquarium was built on the occasion of the Specialized Exposition in 1992 entitled "Christopher Columbus. The ship and the sea". The structure, situated in Ponte Spinola, extends on 5 floors with a total surface of 9,700 m, practicable with a track of 2 hours and half, during which it is possible to admire all marine and aquatic existing species.

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Monastery of Santa Maria De Las Cuevas – Seville

Besides Genoa, 1992 saw as protagonist of an Expo another wonderful European city, Seville. On the occasion of this exhibition an ancient Andalusian monument, the Cartuja De Las Cuevas, was put into the hands of a rich team of architects to be restored and suited as the expositive seat of the World Expo. 35,000 m of magnificent architectural beauty, divided in thematic areas, it acted as a scenery to the event in Seville. After 1992 the monastery of Santa Maria De Las Cueves became one of the most visited structure of the world.

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Oceanic Pavilion – Lisbon 1998

The Oceanic Pavilion in Lisbon, built for the Specialized Exposition in 1998, is the greatest oceanographic aquarium in Europe. Planned by the American architect Peter Chermayeff, the Oceanic Pavilion is a complex and suggestive structure that, in its inner space, gives hospitality to the most disparate oceanic marine species. The expositive area extends on 6,000 m and it can contemporarily contain about 30,000 visitors.

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