We all know the famous statues of Rushmore or Rio de Janeiro, but not all grand statues are so well known. In an attempt to do them justice, here are some of the grandest statues in the world:
- 1 Genghis Khan, Mongolia – 40 meters
- 2 Spring Temple Buddha, China – 128 meters
- 3 The Motherland Calls, Russia – 87 meters
- 4 African Renaissance Monument, Senegal – 49 meters
- 5 Laykyun Sekkya, Burma – 116 meters
- 6 Leshan Giant Buddha, China – 71 meters
- 7 Mao Zedong Changsha, China – 32 meters
- 8 Ataturk Mask Buca, Turkey – 40 meters
- 9 Tian Tan Buddah, Hong Kong – 34 meters
- 10 Dai Kannon Sendai, Japan – 100 meters
- 11 Peter the Great, Russia – 96 meters
- 12 Guanyin of the South Sea of Sanya, China – 108 meters
Genghis Khan, Mongolia – 40 meters
What better way to start this list than with the world’s greatest and bloodiest conqueror? This tall statue of Genghis Khan on horseback, on the bank of the Tuul River was built where according to the legend, the great ruler found a golden whip. The statue is symbolically pointed east towards his birthplace and visitors can go inside the horse, out through its chest.
Spring Temple Buddha, China – 128 meters
Located in the Zhaocun township of Lushan County, Henan, Spring Temple Buddha is actually the largest statue in the world. The project as a whole was estimated to cost around $55 million, $18 million of which being spent on the statue. Consisting of over 1,000 copper plates, the Spring Temple Buddha derives its name from the nearby Tianrui hot spring, which spews water at 60°C and is renowned in the area for its curative properties. The bell alone weighs over 100 tons.
The Motherland Calls, Russia – 87 meters
You can’t have a list of “Big…” anything without having something from Russia. This statue commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd). When the memorial was dedicated in 1967 it was the tallest sculpture in the world. The statue is actually based on a model, Valentina Izotova, who posed for the statue.
African Renaissance Monument, Senegal – 49 meters
The African Renaissance Monument is a bronze statue overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Ouakam suburb. The monument depicts a strong family emerging from the mountain, with the man protecting his family and holding the child up, invoking the future. Unfortunately, the statue was an economic and social disaster, with thousands of people protesting against “all the failures of [President] Wade’s regime, the least of which is this horrible statue”.
Laykyun Sekkya, Burma – 116 meters
Here we have another huge statue of Buddha, the second largest statue in the world (way larger than the Statue of Liberty). This statue of Gautama Buddha stands on a 13.5-metre (44 ft) throne located in the village of Khatakan Taung, near Monywa, Myanmar. Speaking of giant Buddhas…
Leshan Giant Buddha, China – 71 meters
Mao Zedong Changsha, China – 32 meters
Why you would want to make the statue depicting the youth of one of the bloodiest rulers the world has known is beyond me… the reforms he instated, especially the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution set back China by several years, and led to the violent killing of countless innocents. He is considered responsible for starving and killing over 40 million people, but hey… he got this awesome statue.
Ataturk Mask Buca, Turkey – 40 meters
Looking at the run down houses next to this statue, one can only question what motivated authorities to construct this statue in this place. The statue depicts Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s first president and generally considered to be the father of the Turkish state.
Tian Tan Buddah, Hong Kong – 34 meters
It may not be as large and imposing as other statues here, but this one in Hong Kong is definitely something special. Calming and soothing, in a very quiet area of a very busy island, the Tian Tan Buddah is a sight to behold.
Dai Kannon Sendai, Japan – 100 meters
Located in a rather unique setting, the statue thrones over the city of Sendai, in Japan. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the statue, much like with the Statue of Liberty.
Peter the Great, Russia – 96 meters
The Russians just had to build a statue for their greatest tsar, Peter the Great. It was erected in 1997 and is the eighth tallest statue in the world, weighing over 1000 tons. Peter himself might not be as huge as some of the Buddhas here, but the statue itself is colossal. Peter traveled undercover to the Netherlands, to learn how to build boats and to understand western civilizations, so the statue also features one of the boats he loved so much.
Guanyin of the South Sea of Sanya, China – 108 meters
What better way to end this list than with a statue of Guanyin of the South, a deity of mercy and compassion? The statue has three aspects; one side faces inland and the other two face the South China Sea, to represent blessing and protection by Guanyin of China for the entire world. Tens of thousands of pilgrims visit it every day.