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People walking at the base of and walking through huge stone ruins on a sunny day.

10 Famous Monuments That Put the “Old” in “Old School”

Here’s what they had to say about being vintage and iconic.

Emma Lifvergren
February 22, 2024

Recently in pop culture news, a certain Bachelor (cough Joey cough) visited Malta, an 8,000-year-old island, and commented insightfully on its immaculate “old school vibe.” First, I thought, “that’s...an interesting way to put it.” Then I decided to interview some other world-famous sights to get their thoughts on their ✨old school✨ status.

PS please imagine there’s an “ish” at the end of some of the below dates. I’m not an ancient historian, just someone who can Google stuff. Also please imagine that these structures are sentient.


“Thrilled to be first on this list and life in general.” — Eiffel Tower, completed in 1882 A.D.

The Eiffel Tower between a row of trees against a cloudy blue sky while people walk and picnic at the base.


“I’m always reinventing myself. Like Madonna.” — Sensoji Temple, first built in 941 A.D. then burned down. Several times.

An ornate red Japanese pagoda in front of another ornate gold Japanese pagoda on a rainy day.


"Big Ben and Westminster are always side eyeing me bc I’m new but I can’t help it that I’m popular.” — The London Eye, completed 1999 A.D.

A huge Ferris wheel in the middle of a city at sunset.
Mexico City

"I’m huge, I’m 500 years old, and I'm built on top of an Aztec temple. Anything else?”
— Metropolitan Cathedral, completed in 1813 A.D.

An ornate and grand cathedral with two towers surrounded by trees, greenery, cars, and people.

"The trolley and Belem Tower get a lot of hype but I’m Jesus, so.” — Cristo Rei statue, completed 1959 A.D.

A giant statue of Jesus with his arms spread wide overlooking a city on a river.

"Admire me in all my Gothic splendor. Then go get a giant pretzel.” — Frauenkirche, completed in 1488 A.D.

An ornate stone Gothic church with two clock towers topped by green domes against a blue sky.

"My therapist helped me realize it’s okay to be a work in progress.” — La Sagrada Familia, started in 1882. Still not complete.

An ornate church with several towers, some under construction, against a clouds and a blue sky.

"I’m super impressive and extra historical!” — the Colosseum, completed in 80 A.D.

People walking at the base of and walking through huge stone ruins on a sunny day.

"That’s cute.” — the Parthenon, completed in 432 B.C.E.

Grand and symmetrical stone ruins, columns, and steps against a blue sky.

"lol hold my beer.” — the Pyramids, completed in 2490 B.C.E.

A line of people and camels walking in front of a group of huge stone pyramids in the desert on a sunny day.

Retro is the new ancient! If you want to take your own deep dive into the ~vintage~ world of an iconic place (but do it on a budget, because you’re a money saving legend) check out our City Experience trips.

About the Author

Emma Lifvergren is a writer at EF Ultimate Break by day and a food enthusiast, bookworm, and cat mom to Ruby the rest of the time. Emma has been to 16 countries, including a semester in Paris while attending UMass Amherst, where she graduated with a degree in journalism. She enjoys pop culture, crafting semi-nonsensical blogs, and personifying inanimate objects.

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