Associated Press | Big Ben has a little bend.
Experts say the neogothic clock tower - one of the world's most recognizable landmarks - is gently leaning to one side. Documents recently published by Britain's Parliament show that the top of its gilded spire is nearly 18 inches (nearly half a meter) out of line.
The 315-foot (96-meter) tower is leaning in the northwest direction at an angle of 0.26 degrees, according to a report from 2009 that was recently obtained by the Sunday Telegraph through a Freedom of Information request.
But there's no cause for alarm, experts said. It would take thousands of years before the London landmark's tilt matches that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
We live in a daredevil age of architecture. Out of the fog of dreams rise colossal structures that twist, outsize, and undulate to the extreme. Among these freewheeling feats stands the tilting high-rise hotel—and its crowning glory opens this fall.
The silvery spire of Hyatt Capital Gate (doubles from $650) slices the sky above Abu Dhabi’s sultry cityscape at a sharp 18 degree angle—four times greater than Pisa’s slouching bell tower. “There was an opportunity to do something very powerful,” says Chris Jones, principal architect with RMJM, "to create a new gateway to the city."
What's your favorite landmark? Tell us now in T+L's new Best New Landmarks Survey! Click here and vote on the skyscrapers, parks, museums, stadiums, and parks you love, then brag about the places you've visited—both new landmarks and classic sites. Plus, you can enter for a chance to win a $25,000 dream trip!
Photo courtesy of John Liu
As of this month, you’ll need to add one more item to your list of things to do in Kansas City with the inauguration of the $326 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, in Kansas City, Missouri. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the 285,000-square-foot complex has two performance spaces—an 1,800-seat theater and a 1,600-seat concert hall—that’s home to three of the region’s leading arts organizations: Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Look for a new production of Puccini’s Turandot (Oct. 1–9) and the world premiere of Tom Sawyer, a ballet about Missouri’s most famous, barefoot son (Oct. 14–23).
Photo by Tim Hursley
Financial Times | Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, has announced that an associate company will partner with the country’s Bin Laden Group to build a tower near Jeddah that would replace Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest building. …
The 1km-tall building will include a Four Seasons hotel and apartments, luxury condominiums and offices. The tower is the first phase of the 5.3m square metre Kingdom City development to be built north of the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to a statement on the Saudi bourse, Tadawul.
eTurbo News | Peru's extravagant celebrations of the centenary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu descended into farce this week, after a bureaucratic wrangle that saw hundreds of tourists from around the world barred from entering the Inca ruins.
Last week, the local branch of Peru's National Institute of Culture (INC) abruptly ruled that no more than 2,500 people could visit Machu Picchu per day, a move aimed at preventing damage to the site.
On Tuesday, hundreds of frustrated tourists began picketing the official ticket office in downtown Cusco, the former Inca capital that is three hours from the archaeological site....
Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews
Is your Bucket List in need of a little inspiration?
Joining the ranks of recognized world wonders like Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, and Ayers Rock are the Longobards in Italy (above), seven buildings built by the Scandi-Germanic Lombard tribe who, during their powerful 6th- to 8th-century reign, established a distinct culture and architectural style that began Europe’s evolution from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.
USA Today / Wall Street Journal | The iconic, former TWA airline terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport could be reopened as a luxury boutique hotel, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The airport's operator is looking for developers who could tackle the famous modernist structure, designed by Eero Saarinen. The curved, winged terminal opened in 1962 at the old Idlewild Airport and closed in 2001 after American Airlines bought TWA.
Boutique hotels usually offer guests something unique, and in this case, it would be the striking structure.
"There are few buildings designed for airports that have resonated with the public as much as this one," Frank Sanchis, an advisor at the Municipal Art Society of New York, told the paper.
Though I’d be lying if I claimed to be an avid history buff, I am absolutely enamored with exploring old structures, browsing through authentic, antique/ancient artifacts, and feeling as though I'm traveling to another time, even if for just a few moments. And now, thanks to the efforts of the local authorities in the town of Moulins—about 190 miles south of Paris—I now feel compelled to travel to central France for just such an opportunity.
After about 100 years of sitting locked up, untouched by the outside world, a townhouse built in the late 1800s is open to the public, after a $4.7 million dollar restoration.
For the first time in modern history, the below-ground tunnels of Rome's Colosseum, where the gladiators tied up their sandals and prayed to their gods before entering the arena, have been opened to the public. The hallways and holding areas, and even the workings of the wooden elevator platforms that would hoist the wild animals, slaves, soldiers, and prisoners up to the floor of the arena for mortal combat, are on view following a $700,000 restoration.
Also restored and reopened for the first time since the 1970s is the third tier of the Colosseum from which Rome’s middle class watched the monumental pageants and battles. The Guardian reports, “This level boasts heart-stopping views of Rome, from Palatine Hill to the distant Vittorio Emanuele monument. And, at about 115ft in the air, you're still more than 70ft below where the highest seats would have been.”
The guided tours, open to 25 visitors at a time, must be booked in advance. Call Pierreci, the cooperative that handles ticket sales and tours at the Colosseum, at +39 06 3996 7700, to book the €20 tickets.
Ann Shields in an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of the Rome Cavalieri Hilton's Gladiator Training Program, which has nothing to do with the Colosseum tour but was too good not to use.