Probably the single most famous landmark in the world, Eiffel Tower is not only synonymous with France and Paris, but practically serves as an icon for modern-day tourism. Constructed in the 19th century as part of the world's fair of 1989, the famed tower was the world's tallest man-made structure at the time of its completion, exceeding 300 meters in height. Since its inauguration, the tower inspired dozens, if not hundreds, of copycats throughout the world, erecting replicas as part of theme parks, casinos and shopping centers. While most replicas loosely resemble their source of inspiration, others are almost identical, including the next 8 of which.
The world’s gambling capital is home to numerous examples of exaggerated and kitschy architecture, yet none is as conspicuous as the half-sized replica of Eiffel Tower. Constructed in 1999 as part of Paris Las Vegas complex, the tower sits among several copies of famous Parisian landmarks, including a Louvre inspired façade, La Fontaine des Mers, Musée d’Orsay and ⅔-scale replica of Arc de Triomphe.
Interestingly, the Las-Vegas version of Eiffel Tower was planned to have the exact same height as the original structure in Paris, however, due to the location’s proximity to McCarran International Airport and the local safety regulations, its height was cut in half to 164.6 m/ 540 ft.
The duplicated monument punctures its way downwards through the ceilings and floors of the casino, hilariously dividing the dining area. Besides a lavish restaurant on its lower deck, the tower also has a 140-meter-high observatory, offering spectacular panoramic views of the Strip and the dazzling casinos around.
photography by: Bernard Spragg. NZ
While the term “Paris of the east” often refers to cities such as Saint Petersburg or Budapest, indicating their architectural richness, it takes a whole new and literal meaning when it comes to the Hangzhou’s suburb of Tianducheng. Built between 2007-2013, this facsimile of Paris has its own Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and most importantly a one third scale replica of Eiffel Tower.
At first glance it’s hard to tell the difference between the city of lights and this Chinese gated community, as anywhere you look there are Parisian-style façades, ornamented with insane accuracy. Nevertheless, after a couple of steps when you notice a dumpling-selling hawker, the remaining farmland plots and the nondescript residential high rises looming in the background, that you finally realize your true whereabout.
Following its completion, Tianducheng was deemed as a ghost town, implying about the high vacancy rates throughout the city, eerily reflected in its empty streets. Nowadays, the city has significantly higher population figures, albeit it is still as far as one can imagine from the bustling streets of the real Paris, mostly attracting newly married couples who are looking for photo-op and urbex enthusiasts.
photography by: MNXANL
Intuitively, not many people would think that a desolate rural community near the Russian-Kazakh border is somehow linked to one of the most glamorous cities on earth. Nevertheless, this remote village in Chelyabinsk Oblast shares the same name with the French capital, a tribute to the 19th century Battle of Paris, where Russian, Austrian and Prussian troops defeated Napoleon’s army on the outskirts of Paris.
This weird affinity between these two places got even more peculiar in 2005, when an Eiffel Tower shaped communication pylon was erected in the middle of the village. Constructed by the South Ural mobile-phone company, the 50 meters tall replica is only one-sixth the height of the original tower in Paris, yet it bears an uncanny resemblance to the famed landmark in one of the least expected places one could imagine.
photography by: ДимонЪХ
The two largest cities in Pakistan, Lahore and Karachi, have a combined population larger than Australia, yet packed on a 1,385 times smaller area. The sheer density is often translated to hectic, noisy, polluted and ill-serviced parts throughout most of the city, sometimes lacking even the most basic infrastructure. And yet, despite its high level of poverty, Pakistan has a growing middle-class that can afford better living standards outside the cramped environs.
In recent years, many suburban neighborhoods have mushroomed alongside both cities, two of which, constructed by the local real estate company of Bahria Town, were marketed in a very unorthodox manner. The two gated communities had an 80-meter-tall replica of Eiffel Tower hilariously slotted in one of their parks, whereby attempting to attract potential residents. Each Eiffel Tower has an observatory deck linked by a glass elevator, while Lahore’s replica also has a fancy restaurant at its top.
photography by: Umair Khan
For many years, France and Mexico were adversaries, engaged in several military conflicts. Following the presidency of Porfirio Díaz in the late 19th century, the two countries changed course and became allies. The rising friendship between the two nations prompted several waves of French immigrants who settled in the Comarca Lagunera region.
In 2007, the French community in Gómez Palacio, one of the region’s largest cities, donated a replica of Eiffel Tower as a gesture for their shared history and fate with the people of Lagunera. Measuring 68 meters in height, the duplicated tower was erected in the city’s Plaza del Amor and deemed as one of Eiffel Tower’s most accurately made replicas. The steel monument is lit with colorful bulbs each night, attracting scores of curious visitors and Instagrammers.
photography by: Trikky
The second largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv is a major economic and cultural center and home to myriads of monuments and architectural gems. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent independence of Ukraine resulted in an economic boom, manifested partly by the construction of numerous modern commercial complexes, including in and around Kharkiv.
One shopping mall in particular, named the French Boulevard, raised a lot of eyebrows when in 2012, a 35-meter replica of Eiffel Tower was erected at its parking lot. The one tenth scale landmark has a small lookout on its lower deck, climbable by a free-standing spiral staircase. Interestingly, the Parisian-style pylon was implanted alongside a heart-shaped void that was pierced out of the surrounding parking space, both of which were conceived as part of a local Valentine Day festival.
photography by: Сергей Марцынюк
Nestled roughly 120 kilometers east of Bucharest, the small city of Slobozia in Ialomița County is largely a mundane place that wouldn’t draw much attention if it wasn’t for its 1990’s unusual attraction, located at the outskirts of town. Hermes Holiday Park was a recreational complex built by Ilie Alexandru, a local billionaire, in the middle of a farmland, standing out as one of post-communist Romania’s most bizarre sites.
In an attempt to attract visitors from all over the country, Alexandru constructed a 54-meter-tall facsimile of Eiffel Tower in the middle of an open field, lacking any kind of urban context as one would expect. Additionally, the park also had a zoo, a theatre and most surprisingly, an estate modeled after the Southfork Ranch that served as the setting for the “Dallas” American tv series. As a matter of fact, the replica was inaugurated by Larry Hagman, one of Dallas cast members who played the role of J.R. Ewing.
The park’s heyday didn’t last for long as its owner, Alexandru, was embroiled in several corruption cases and served a lengthy jailtime. In the meantime, his exceptional park was confiscated, ultimately falling into a state of disrepair.
Whereas nowadays its former owner has long passed away, the slowly rusting replica of Eiffel Tower is inaccessible, surrounded on all sides by a formidable barbed wire fence.
photography by: Andrei Stroe
About 10 kilometers from Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, lies Netivot, a predominantly conservative town and home to a prosperous community of ultra-orthodox Sephardic Jews. Up until just recently, Netivot was solely associated with the tomb of Baba Sali, a Morocco-born rabbi who lived in the city, and was renowned for his purported supernatural capabilities of healing people as well as making his followers’ most desired wishes come true.
During the last decade, a native-born developer named Oded Shriki constructed a series of real estate projects throughout the city with the aim of contrasting its dull and overly religious image among Israelis. His efforts culminated in 2020, when “Paris Center” was opened. Situated in the middle of a shabby industrial zone, this upscale shopping complex features a somewhat grotesque Parisian style architecture, centered around a 32-meter-tall replica of Eiffel Tower that is colorfully illuminated every night. Curiously, the same wealthy developer also placed a replica of the Statue of Liberty in one of his recently built residential projects.
photography by: Omri Westmark