World's Craziest Monuments

 Unusual Monuments


Monuments around the world honor important individuals or movements in politics, religion and history. The message and intent of most of these tributes is clear, but some are more obscure than others. Here are a dozen of the most unusual monuments around the world. In the northwest corner of Nebraska, a unique replica of England’s Stonehenge rises out of the high plains. Carhenge was constructed in 1987 with vintage automobiles painted gray to replicate stone. The site was built by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father, who once lived on a farm located where Carhenge stands today.

Le Palais Ideal, France

Ferdinand Cheval was a French postman in the village of Hauterives in southeast France, who gathered stones on his mail route each day to build Le Palais Ideal, “The Ideal Palace.” The work took 33 years, from the late 1800s until the 1920s, mixes a variety of architectural styles, and drew inspiration from the Bible as well as other religious sources. Cheval is buried in a cemetery nearby, in a mausoleum he also constructed from stone.

Crazy Horse Memorial

Begun in 1948, the still unfinished Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota will someday be the world’s largest sculpture, at a planned 563 feet high and 641 feet wide. The model pictured above, with the actual carving in the background, will immortalize the Oglala Lakota warrior, bare-chested and on horseback.


In the Swiss city of Bern, a disturbing fountain depicts an ogre devouring a naked child, while holding an armful of other terrified-looking children. Built in 1546, the Kindlifresserbrunnen, or child-eater statue, is said to depict the story of Kronos from Greek mythology, who eats his children to keep them from taking his throne. There are other legends about the statue’s origins, but regardless of its meaning it remains successful at reminding local children to behave.

Fremont Troll, Seattle

Lurking under a bridge in a quirky neighborhood of Seattle, the Fremont Troll stares down visitors with its one hubcap eye. The 18-foot-high troll, sculpted by artists in 1990 who received the commission after winning a national competition, clutches a Volkswagen Beetle in one hand.

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Stone Mountain is a large granite dome that reaches nearly 1,700 feet high with a circumference of approximately 5 miles. Located in Georgia, in a town sharing the same name, the side of the mountain displays a bas relief that depicts three key figures of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.