The 10 Extremely Popular Tourist Attractions That Were Criticized At The Beginning

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A new tourist attraction in London – the Marble Arch Mound – has already become the laughing stock. Who will pay to climb a small bushy hill, ask opponents. But this is by no means the first attraction across the world to be looked down upon – and some of those that were initially exhausted have turned into huge success stories.

EIFFEL TOWER

Where? Paris, France

Originally built for a World’s Fair and slated for only 20 years, the Eiffel Tower has over time become an internationally beloved symbol. But when he first appeared, many Parisians saw him as an eyesore, clashing unforgivably with the rest of the city. The Parisian arty decor particularly hated it, the novelist Guy de Maupassant having lunch almost every day in a restaurant at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. He didn’t do it because he loved it, but because it was the only place he didn’t have to look at it. See touriffel.paris

THE CENTRE POMPIDOU

Where? Paris, France

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou Photo: Alamy

If the locals thought that the Eiffel Tower was not suitable for this, then the Center Pompidou certainly was not. Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano came up with a revolutionary design for this cultural center, giving it a multicolored exoskeleton, with the pipes and frame exposed to the outside. At the time, a French newspaper called him a “monster”, and it was a lot of love or hate. Nowadays, it is considered a masterpiece. See centrepompidou.fr

THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT

Where? Washington DC, United States

Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial Photo: Alamy

It took nearly a century for the Washington Monument to be finally completed, after long quarrels between federalists and republicans, North and South. Some wanted an equestrian statue, a stone donated by the Pope was destroyed by an anti-Catholic group, and building donations ran out in the 1850s. Mark Twain called it the “fireplace of remembrance” some have said that she looked like a giant asparagus, and others moaned that the giant obelisk was too bare. However, the carpenters lost and the Washington Monument is still the centerpiece of the National Mall today. See nps.gov/wamo

THE EYE OF LONDON

Where? London, England

London Eye

London Eye Pphoto: iStock

The London Eye, perhaps the world’s most famous Ferris wheel, was supposed to be temporary. It had an initial lease of five years, but has since become a permanent fixture on the banks of the Thames. Much of the initial backlash was due to it not being ready on time – a technical flaw meant it only opened in March 2000, rather than around the turn of the millennium. But that was not the only objection. Lord St John of Fawsley, Chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission, insisted that the London Eye was a ‘white elephant’. See londoneye.com

THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

Where? New York, United States

Empire State Building

Empire State Building Photo: Alamy

Now a true global icon, the Empire State Building was considered a huge waste of money when it opened. Partly that’s because this opening took place in the teeth of the Great Depression, and most of the offices have remained empty. In the early years, tourism brought in more money than rents. People are still happy to spend a lot of money to get a view from above 90 years later. See esbnyc.com

THE SAGRADA FAMILIA

Where? Barcelona, ​​Spain

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia Photo: iStock

The Sagrada Familia is such a striking piece of architecture that it draws millions of visitors even if it is not finished. Antoni Gaudí’s unique basilica has not always been a universal success, however. Spanish artists Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali hated it, while George Orwell hoped it would be destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, calling it one of the most hideous buildings in the world. See sagradafamilia.org

MOUNT RUSHMORE

Where? South Dakota, United States

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore Photo: iStock

Carving the faces of four presidents on the face of a mountain in the Black Hills was a startling act of contempt for local sentiment. The Lakota Sioux Native American people regard the hills as sacred and a key part of their creation stories. The Lakota Sioux’s objections, however, were dismissed out of hand, as were those of suffragists, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who felt that there should also be a sculpted female face at Mount Rushmore. See nps.gov/moru

THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

Where? San Francisco, United States

the golden gate bridge

the golden gate bridge Photo: iStock

Today, the Golden Gate Bridge is considered a graceful setting for San Francisco Bay. But while the lobbying process for its construction was underway, many San Franciscans opposed it, fearing it would spoil their views. They had the backing of the military, who feared this would keep Navy ships in and out, and the local ferry operator, who frankly didn’t want competition. See goldengate.org

THE BURJ KHALIFA

Where? Dubai

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa Photo: iStock

When the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010, it was generally considered a room without grace. The observer called it “a dark symbol of the Dubai bling era”. Elsewhere, it was “the most vain building in the world” and a “completely unnecessary symbol of prestige”. Critical opinion hasn’t fully turned around, but try to tell it to people staying at the Armani Hotel or going up to the observation decks. See burjkhalifa.ae

SYDNEY OPERA

Where? Sydney

Sydney opera

Sydney opera Photo: iStock

The Sydney Opera House is instantly recognizable across the world, but it was not universally popular when it first opened. Big budget overruns, long construction delays and constant feuds with architect Jorn Utzon have made many Sydney residents – including several prominent state politicians – to question whether it is worth it. Almost 50 years later, there is a pretty conclusive answer to this. See sydneyoperahouse.com

Disclosure: David Whitley has been a guest of NSW, California and New York tourist boards.

See also: This is not Bangkok: The 10 cities that are called by the wrong name

See also: Murderous destinations: the 10 execution sites have become tourist haunts


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