8 Famous Replicas Hidden Where You'd Least Expect Them

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by Lilit Marcus, Condé Nast Traveler

Some attractions are so iconic that they become more than just landmarks. Take the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower, for example--just go online and you can find millions of homages, from LEGO versions to images embroidered on throw pillows. Now, some of these homages are so famous that they've become attractions in their own right. Here's where to see 11 of the not-quite-real things.

1. The Parthenon, Athens, Greece

Built circa 438 BC, this temple was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom.


Replica: The Parthenon, Nashville, TN

Music City's replica of the Greek temple was built to scale--it's the exact same size, right down to the 42 foot-tall statue of Athena. Nashville's Parthenon was erected in 1897 as part of the city's Centennial celebration and now serves as an art museum, displaying mostly 19th and 20th century works (no Greek pottery in sight).

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2. The Statue of Liberty, New York, NY

Completed in 1886, "Lady Liberty" represents America's rich, multicultural heritage.

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Replica: The Statue of Liberty replica, Ile des Cygnes, France

France gave Lady Liberty as a gift to the United States, and America returned the favor in 1889, presenting them with a 22-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty on the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The statue lives on Ile aux Cygnes (Isle of Swans), a small man-made island in the Seine near the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. She faces west, in the direction of her older sister in New York.

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3. Michelangelo's David, Florence, Italy

This nude sculpture is one of the most famous--and most controversial--works of art in the world.


Replica: David replica, Florence, Italy

Michelangelo's sculpture of the naked Biblical hero David is one of the most famous pieces of art in the world. But when it first debuted in 1504, it wasn't in a museum--it was perched in the Palazzo della Signoria, the city's political center, and pointed to face Rome. When David was moved into the Galleria dell'Accademia, a replica was left in his original spot in the palazzo. Replica David doesn't cost any money to see, and he's a big hit with selfie-takers.


4. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

This Druid temple was built sometime between 3000 and 2000 BC.

Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

Replica: Maryhill Stonehenge, Maryhill, WA

When Washington businessman Samuel Hill learned that the original Stonehenge may have been a site of human sacrifice, he saw parallels between that and the events of World War I. He used some of his fortune to commission a replica of Stonehenge in Maryhill, near the Columbia River and the Oregon border. The replica was completed in 1929 and is now owned and maintained by the Maryhill Museum of Art. According to one local legend, Hill's unusual art undertaking inspired the phrase "What in the Sam Hill," but this has never been verified.

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5. Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

Inaugurated in 1836, the Arc is one of the most photographed attractions in the country.


Replica: Arc de Triomf, Barcelona, Spain

Unlike many of the replicas on this list, the Arc de Triomf, Barcelona's answer to the more famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris, is not a copy. The French Arc is made in a Neoclassical style and commemorates French soldiers, while the Spanish one is made of brick, acknowledges the role of agriculture and industry, and was erected for the World's Fair here in 1888.


6. Typical Dutch village, Holland

Although the idea of a "typical Dutch village" is more of a metaphor than a real place, this is what a house from the period may have looked like.


Replica: Huis Ten Bosch model village, Japan

Can't decide whether to go to Europe or Asia for your summer vacation? Japan attempted to resolve that dilemma when they built Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park designed to look like a typical Dutch village from the 17th century. There's an artificial canal, a replica windmill (pictured), and several shops where you can buy Dutch tulips and chocolates.

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7. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

The Tower of Pisa was constructed 1732 and started leaning over not long after.

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Replica: Leaning Tower of Niles, Niles, Illinois

The actual leaning tower of Pisa originally stood up straight but only became famous when it started to slip to one side thanks to a weak foundation. However, the Leaning Tower of Niles, a half-size replica, was always intended to tilt. The smaller tower was built in the Chicago suburb in 1934, and in 1992, Pisa and Niles made their relationship official by becoming sister cities.

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8. The Pantheon, Rome, Italy

One of the best-known and best-preserved Roman buildings, the Pantheon was completed by Hadrian in AD 126.

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Replica: Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, PA

The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia began as the Girard Bank, the first bank in the United States, which was modeled after the Roman Pantheon. The bank changed hands several times and the building was eventually sold to the Ritz-Carlton, who held on to the original Broad Street building but added on to the property.