SOURCE: Cheapflights Canada

Cheapflights Canada

April 09, 2014 11:20 ET

Cheapflights.ca Delivers a Travel List Carved in Stone

Reveals the World's Top 10 Stone-Carved Sites

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2014) - This week, the travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, travel back in time to uncover an ancient artistic trend that continues to be admired to this day. Cheapflights.ca's Top 10 Stone-Carved Sites uncovers fascinating sculptures and monuments artistically carved and embedded into rock to create beautiful masterpieces which, obviously, have stood the test of time. Whether created for historical, religious or simply aesthetic reasons, these sites are beyond awe inspiring and definitely worth a visit.

As our list shows, stone carving is a global tradition. Read on for the details on five of the stone-carved sites to make the cut:

  • Mount Rushmore, near Keystone, South Dakota, United States - One of the most visited stone-carved sites in the United States, this relatively modern sculpture took more than 14 years to create and tens of thousands of pounds of dynamite. Sculpted by Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum, the figures of former U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln cover the granite façade of Mount Rushmore. Each figure is about 18 metres tall and the entire memorial stretches more than 1,200 acres across the Black Hills.

  • Moai, Easter Island, Polynesia - These monolithic statues, carved by the Rapa Nai, still have historians and scientists baffled as to how exactly they were transported all over the island. The nearly 900 statues weigh, on average, 12,700 kilograms and stand about 4 metres tall. They are thought to have been erected between 1400 and 1600 A.D., and while there is no written record of their exact significance, it is believed they represent various chiefs of the Rapa Nai.

  • The Great Sphinx of Giza, Giza, Egypt - The oldest and largest monolith statue in the world, the Great Sphinx has become synonymous with the ancient Egyptian architecture of Giza. Towering at 20 metres tall and 73 metres long, the half-lion, half-human figure dates back to somewhere between 2558 and 2532 B.C. Many Egyptologists believe it was fashioned after Pharaoh Khafra, the reigning pharaoh of the time. Centuries later, in 1378, the statue's nose was destroyed and the culprit was hanged for vandalism.

  • Statue Heads, Mount Nemrut, Turkey - The statue heads at Mount Nemrut might not seem like anything out of the ordinary to the regular stone-statue enthusiast. However, slightly up the mountain from where these heads stand, the bodies belonging to them are still seated stoically. A casualty of iconoclasm, the heads of the statues appear to have been deliberately damaged and were never restored to their original bodies. Now, with the site having been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, it seems the heads will remain where they are.

  • Leshan Giant Buddha, Leshan, Sichuan, China - Carved during the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), the Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest Buddha statue in the world, towering at 71 metres tall. It is believed that a Chinese Monk, Haitong, spearheaded the project hoping the Buddha would calm the water for boats travelling down river. Due to the significant construction on the cliff and the large amount of stone dumped into the river while carving the Buddha, the currents were believed to have actually changed and the river became safer for boats.

Rounding out this rock-solid list are five more sites from around the world: Dazu Rock Carvings - Chongqing, Dazu, China; Ancient City of Petra - Ma'an, Jordan; Lycian Tombs - near Dalyan, Anatolia, Turkey; Persepolis - Fars Province, Iran and Angkor Wat - Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. To read the hard details on these and Cheapflights.ca's complete list of Top 10 Stone-Carved Sites, visit www.cheapflights.ca/travel/top-10-stone-carved-sites.

About Cheapflights.ca, part of the Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 15 million visitors a month -- plus 7 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.ca) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.

Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.

The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across more than 25 core international markets but users all over the world.

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