Lifts are just one of the many things that we in the western world take for granted, but without them the world would be a very different place. Just imagine a world without high rise offices, blocks of flats, skyscrapers and shopping malls! It’s almost impossible.
As lifts have become more prevalent some of them have even developed into tourist attractions in their own right. So what are the top ten most incredible lifts in the world? Read on to find out.
Santa Justa, Portugal
The Santa Justa lift sits proudly at the heart of Portugal’s capital city. The lift, which is 45 metres high, links the highest and lowest points of this scenic city and was originally steam powered. Although it now runs on electricity not much else about the lift has changed over the last century and its ornate design still attracts thousands of tourists each year.
This incredible lift, nestled in the cliffs of the Zhangjiajie National Park is almost a thrill ride in itself. Passengers embark underground and are then transported upwards through the parks caves, opening out at around 50 metres to reveal a spectacular view of the lakes and mountain ranges and forests in the area.
Taipei 101, Taiwan
Taiwan is one country that always likes to be in the running for the ‘world’s tallest building’ accolade. Although the Taipei building doesn’t quite make it to the top of the tallest building list, it does contain the world’s fastest lift which reaches speeds of 60kph.
Switzerland is probably most famous for its great skiing and the Hammetschwand lift on the northern side of the Burgenstock mountain range has helped cememt the area as one of the best skiing destinations in the world. The lift seems to cling precariously to the mountainside, travelling 150 metres in less than a minute and affording passengers incredible views of Lake Lucerne.
Luxor, Las Vegas
The people of Las Vegas certainly don’t do things by half and the lift at the Luxor hotel is no exception. The lift travels at an angle of 39 degrees up the pyramid shaped walls of the hotel. The glass front gives passengers the opportunity to people watch the hundreds of guests below.
The Louvre, Paris
The platform lift which stands at the centre of the Louvre museum is one of the most spectacular disabled lifts in the world. The cylindrical lift is elegantly encased by a spiral staircase and allows visitors a bird’s eye view of the interior of this beautiful building.
Oregon City, Canada
Oregon is one of the world’s most unusual cities as it is split into three levels by basalt terraces. The city’s famous lift transport passengers swiftly between the three levels and is one of only three like it in the world. A lift has stood in the same position for nearly 100 years, but the hydro powered lift was replaced with an electric model in 1955.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris
Most people who have visited the Eiffel Tower will also have experienced the amazing lifts which transport tourists to the tower’s highest viewing platform. The highest point of the tower stands at 180m and can only be reached by lift.
Salvador Bahia, Brazil
The Lacerda Lift in Salvador Bahia, Brazil allows passengers to easily travel between the two levels of the city. The lift is used by an incredible 30, 000 people on a daily basis and at the end of the 38 second trip passengers can enjoy incredible views of Brazil’s coastline.
St Louis, Missouri
The St Louis Gateway Arch is one of the world’s most architecturally arresting buildings. On its completion it was particularly unpopular but has still become a big draw for tourists to St Louis. The futuristic pod shaped lifts within take passengers to the top of the arch where they can look out over the city.
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