When you stand in front of the Roman Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower, you marvel at it and imagine what must have gone on there hundreds of years ago and how they came to be. While many world famous monuments have a fairly straightforward origin story, some landmarks have a surprising history that you might never have guessed. Here is a look at three world famous landmarks that may hold more secrets than you expect.
Yellowstone National Park, United States
Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in America and is visited by thousands of people each year who come to enjoy its "hydrothermal wonders" and being out and about in nature. This park is a lovely place to spend a day (or more) with your family, but its origin story is not as family-friendly as some would like you to think. When Yellowstone was established in 1872, it was not a huge plot of wild, "unpeopled wilderness" that was preserved and turned into a place that people could enjoy. It was actually occupied by Native Americans, who were pushed off their land forcibly, and then basically erased from history as this national park and the ones that followed were advertised as being pure, unspoiled nature that had never been lived on before. Because of this, it is not just the park's founders who should be credited with maintaining the park's beauty, but the Native American tribes as well.
Eiffel Tower, France
Not everyone knows that France's most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, was built for the World's Fair in 1889. It was built to serve as the entryway to the fair itself, so people could pass underneath its arch to get to the enormous celebration of every country's recent achievements going on inside. Surprisingly, the citizens of Paris did not appreciate this future landmark at first, with many of them describing it as ugly and campaigning to have it town down. In the end, the Eiffel Tower's majesty won out, and it has been standing tall for well over 100 years. One other surprising fact about the tower is that it was actually built with a secret apartment at its apex, where Gustave Eiffel planned to live. Imagine being able to live in an apartment with such a great view of all of Paris!
Roman Colosseum, Italy
Along with the Eiffel Tower, the Roman Colosseum is one of the best-known landmarks in the world. Interestingly, though, exactly who built it was a mystery even to many Romans. The Flavian Amphitheater, as it was originally called, was built between 70 and 72 A.D. under the orders of Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian Dynasty. While people assumed that the Emperor had hired government employees to work on building the enormous amphitheater, in reality something quite different and darker had happened. The Emperor's son, Titus, brought in 60,000 Jewish slaves and forced them to work night and day on the project, often working them well beyond their limits. Because of this, Jewish people are still prohibited by their religion from walking under what is called the Arch of Titus, because it is a symbol of their oppression by the Emperor's cruel son.