Like Rio de Janeiro, Lubango also has a statue of Christ overlooking the city. Lubango's version was built in 1957 out of marble and is the exact same height (with pedestal) as the one in Rio de Janeiro (without the pedestal), namely 30 m high. Next to the statue stands another landmark clone, a huge Lubango sign strongly insprired by the one in Hollywood. However, what are truly unique up here are the Himba tribe ladies, who normally sits in the shade ready to posh for some kwanzas. Agree on the price before snapping away.
The "We Are Our Mountains" statue is Artsakh's biggest icon - ok, maybe only icon. You will see this national symbol on postcards and fridge magnets in Armenia way before you even come to Artsakh. It stands on a hill a short drive (or long walk) outside Stepanakert and was built in 1967.
Donated by the Chinese and built by Thai, this 54 m tall buddha is some impressive sight. It's made in bronze, gilded in gold, and hold no less than 125,000 smaller Buddha statues. Though it's the tallest buddha statue in Bhutan, it is a dwarf compared to the world's tallest Buddha statue in China, which reach 128 m into the sky. The view from the base over Thimphu valley is almost equal impressive.
Giant stone statues are the stars on Easter Island (also called Rapa Nui). The Moai, as they are called, were carved out of the side of volcano craters and moved somehow to the shore, where they were lined up to stare over the tiny island. It is a mystery today how they were transported, in some cases to the other side of the island over rugged terrain. The history of Easter Island is full of ancient legends, controversies and guesses – though Thor Heyerdahl's wild speculations about how the island got populated by South Americans is today put to shame by genetic evidence which tells that they came from Polynesia. Due to local warfare, most statues have been knocked over, where some still remain today. Besides the stone faces, the civilisation also left behind petroglyphs (rock drawings), ceremonial villages (more rocks) and a curly alphabet that nobody today can read. Even if old rocks and mad history is not your cup of tea, the Easter Island is still worth a visit just for the sheer fact that it is the most isolated place on earth, being 1900 km from the nearest populated landmass, the Pitcairn.
The ancient capital of China holds a treasure of more than 51,000 stone Buddha reliefs and figures. Carved into the mountain wall, they range from thumb-size to 17 meters colossuses. The variations are dazzling: sitting, standing, dancing, colourful, worn and smiling Buddhas. Originally all covered, the sandstone has washed away in places leaving the huge Buddha in the blazing sun. These are the oldest stone carvings in China. Monks have carved the many figures as part of meditation in the secluded caves. Here you may come to terms with the concept of the "thousand Buddhas", symbolizing the Buddha's omnipresence through time and space. The surrounding area is covered in coal-dust, true mining-China.
When you come to Leshan and see the Giant Buddha, you do not doubt the fact that it is the tallest Buddha in the world. At 71 m tall he sits, carved out of the rock face where the Dadu river meets the Min river. The construction started 713 AD and it took more than 90 years to finish him. So if you come to Chengdu, swing by for a visit, for it is one of those sights that fully live up to their reputation. Just do not come on a holiday, where half of Chengdu seems to be out here.
It seems that every nation needs a famous statue - the Faroe Islands have Kopakonan. It's a statue of a naked woman, who steps out of her seal skin. According to legend, seals are humans who took their own life by drowning in the sea. Once a year they come ashore, shed their seal skins and become humans, and dance the night away. The Kopakonan statue is placed in Miklardalur on Kalsoy Island right at the waterfront with Kunoy's majestic mountains as background. In combination with the hike to Kallur lighthouse (from Trøllanes), they make the short ferry ride to Kalsoy (20 min from Klaksvik) well-worth .
The Communist Statue Park, or just "Statue Park" (Szoborpark), is a collection of Communist statues and monuments from the Communist period. When the Iron curtain felt in 1989, some enterprising soul saved the disgraced statues and is today displaying them for the joy of tourists. Here you can come face to face with Lenin, Marx, Engels, Dimitrov, Russian Captain Ostapenko, Bela Kun and other "celebrities" from the past, along with a fair amount of hammer-and-sickle.
Located in a limestone hill and consisting of several caves with a series of Hindu temples within, this is one of the most visited sites of Malaysia. What is more striking than nature perhaps, is man made - the world's tallest statue of Lord Muruga stands just outside the entrance at an impressive 42.7 metres. To reach the actual temple complex, visitors have to climb 272 steps amongst local worshippers who do it barefoot. The best time to visit is during the Thaipusam festival, when as many as 800,000 devotees arrive, most carrying kavadis. These elaborately decorated frameworks are supported by metal hooks or pins that pierce the skin, cheeks, and tongue to support their weight and are meant as offerings of sacrifice. The caves themselves are decorated with natural limestone formations and ornately painted sculptures of Hindu Gods. Beware though, of the numerous macaques that will follow your every footstep all the way up those steep steps if you carry any semblance of food.
The lake at Grand Bassin (Ganga Talao) is considered sacred for Hindus. There are several Hindu temples around the lake and on both sides of the road stand two giant statues of Shiva (33 m) and his wife Parvati (not completed). Every year at the end of February (or beginning of March, depending on the lunar calendar) the site turns into the largest Hindu celebration outside India. More than 400 000 believers go on a pilgrimage (Mahashivratree) to the lake as a sacrifice to the gods. However, at all other times the site is rather quiet with an empty wide boulevard and parking lots that seem out of proportions.