THERE’S no doubt how powerful the human spirit can be. It’s beyond imaginable how men are willing to offer their time, talent and resources, to the extent of sacrificing their lives, to benefit their people, country and the rest of the humanity.
Sights and Flavors celebrate human excellence as we pay tribute to the creations of great men and women – known and unknown – that came before us. We owe it to these people to protect and preserve the legacy and treasures that we now enjoy.
In no particular order, we have assembled our 10 man-made icons or what we call “the legacies” symbolizing patriotism, hope and sacrifice. These showpieces represent undaunted spirit, ingenuity, resilience, selflessness, and determination of men to protect and uplift mankind.
Manekken Pis (Brussels, Belgium)
A masterpiece of Jerome Duquesnoy, the Manekken Pis is a sculpture of a naked little boy urinating on the fountain. The current statue is a copy of the original 1619 statue which is now kept at Maison du Roi (King’s House) on Grand Place as it had been repeatedly stolen.
The most famous legend says that the statue was made in honor of a little boy named Julianske. When Brussels was under siege by foreign attackers, the little boy urinated on the fuse of the explosives that would blow up the entire the city, thus saving Brussels from destruction.
Where is it? Rue de l’Etuve 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Statue of King Jose I and Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta (Lisbon, Portugal)
These two masterpieces are reminders of how Lisbon survived the great earthquake in 1755. The bronze statue of King José I on his horse, symbolically crushing snakes, was designed by Joaquim Machado de Castro. Behind the statue is the arch called the Arco da Rua Augusta which was designed by Veríssimo da Costa. It has the statues of the Glory, Ingenuity and Valor and those of Viriatus, Nuno Álvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and the Marquis of Pombal.
Where is it? Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal
Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)
Named after its designer, Engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, marking the centennial of the French Revolution. Three hundred workers assembled the tower’s 18,000 puddle iron in an open frame. There was a very high risk of accident and in spite of the precautions taken, still one man died.
Where is it? Champs de Mars, Paris, France
London Tower Bridge (London, England)
Not to be confused with London Bridge, the most photographed Tower Bridge in London is located over Thames River. The combined bascule and suspension bridge was designed by Sir Horace Jones in 1884. Not until 1886 when the construction of the Tower Bridge started. Sir Jones died in 1887 while the construction was underway. The iconic symbol of London was finished in 1894 thanks to George D. Stevenson who took over the project.
Where is it? Crossing over River Thames
Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, U.S.A.)
This bridge has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Designed by Joseph Strauss along with Irving Morrow, and Charles Ellis, this suspension bridge was initially considered impossible to build due to numerous factors such as thick fog, gusty winds, and strong water currents underneath. The diameter of just one cable measures 36 3/8 inches or 92.4 cm. One cable consists of 27,572 wires. Eleven men died from falls during the construction of the bridge, 10 of which were killed when the net failed to support them.
Where is it? Crossing the Golden Gate Strait and connecting the City of San Francisco and the County of Marin to the north.
Merlion (Singapore City, Singapore)
This famous icon is a creation of the late Singapore sculptor Lim Nang Seng. Merlion, a male mythical creature symbolizing Singapore, has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Its name is a combination of “mer” (sea) and “lion”. Measuring 8.6 meters high and weighing 70 tons, its body is made of cement, skin from porcelain plates and eyes from small red teacups. The statue was struck by lightning in 2009 leaving a hole in the Merlion’s head. The incident happened due to the lack of protection of the statue.
Where is it? Merlion Park, 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178
Acueducto (Segovia, Spain)
The aqueduct in Segovia is one of the most important architectural landmarks in Spain. Although there is no definite date of its construction, it was placed between the 1st century AD and the early years of the 2nd century. Made of unmortar, brick-like granite blocks, this ancient monument provided water to the entire city of Segovia, until recently. It was partially destroyed by the Moors in 1072 and was rebuilt by the Spanish people during the reign of Reyes Catolicos (Catholic Monarchs).
Where is it? Segovia, Spain
Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain)
Sagrada Familia is a masterpiece of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí dedicated his last years to the construction of the church until his death in 1926. He died with less than a quarter of the project completed. Replicating Gaudí’s design, a slow construction is still underway. At one point, it was interrupted by Spanish Civil War. It is expected to finish in 2026 – the centennial of Gaudí’s death. Although still partially completed, Sagrada Familia has been listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
Where is it? Calle Mallorca, 401 – 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Liberty (New York, U.S.A.)
Designed by Frédéric Bartholdi, Lady Liberty is a gift to the United States from the French people. It was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates and assembled on Liberty Island (formerly Bedloe’s Island). The robed statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue of Liberty has become an icon of freedom and of the United States.
Where is it? Liberty Island, New York
Hoover Dam (Nevada, U.S.A.)
The gigantic dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada was named after President Herbert Hoover. During the Great Depression between 1931 and 1936, the construction of Hoover Dam gave employment to thousands of workers. However, the concrete arch-gravity dam’s construction also cost 112 lives. These workers are forever being remembered for their contribution to the construction of Hoover Dam through an inscription which reads: “They died to make the desert bloom.”
Where is it? Boulder City, Nevada