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Is It Real or Replica? Unveils 12 Carbon Copies of World-Famous Landmarks

TORONTO, ON -- (Marketwired) -- 04/29/14 -- The travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, decided to delve into another aspect of the alternative travel world. Recently, the team released a Go Here, Not There list highlighting alternative sites to some of the world's top attractions. This week, the team continues down this unconventional path with their list of Real or replica? 12 carbon copies of world-famous landmarks. As the saying goes -- "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" -- so if you can't make it to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, or to Italy to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, discover where to find worthy replicas of these landmarks and other world-famous attractions spread across the world.

Below are five of Cheapflights.ca's copycat landmark sites from across the globe that are found right here in Canada and the U.S.:

  • Eiffel Tower replica, Paris, Texas, United States - Mais oui, there is another Tour d'Eiffel deep in le coeur de Texas. In fact, more than 30 copies of the iconic French landmark have been erected around the world -- from Filiatra, Greece to Durango, Mexico it seems everyone wants a little piece of Paris. But we're tipping our chapeau to this decidedly Texan Eiffel Tower, which is topped with none other than a red cowboy hat. Built in 1993, the replica stands at approximately 20 metres tall, making it about one-sixteenth the size of the original. The structure wasn't initially dressed to impress, but after duking it out over height with another replica in Paris, Tenn., a red hat sealed the deal, crowning this Texas landmark the taller of the two towers.

  • Leaning Tower of Niles, Niles, Illinois, United States - What supposedly started, in part, as a way to cover up some eyesores quickly became a roadside attraction about 24 kilometres northwest of Chicago. Businessman Robert Ilg reportedly constructed the Leaning Tower of Niles -- a half-size replica of Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa -- in 1934 to disguise water tanks that fed a few pools in the area, and to pay tribute to Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei. A fountain, reflecting pool and a few other items were then added to the site in the 1990s when Niles was named Pisa's sister city. Standing at approximately 29 metres tall (compared to The Leaning Tower of Pisa's 56 metres), the tower is anchored by concrete and leans at a little more than 2 metres, about half the tilt of the original. Though some recent discussions have centred around the replica's need for repairs, the tower still serves as another ideal backdrop for those looking to show off some bogus brute strength by "propping up" the tower in a photo.

  • The Colosseum replica, Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - There may not be too many epic battles taking place in this near-copy of the Colosseum (perhaps just a war of words?), but the building's architecture certainly seems to draw on all the drama of the Roman original. While not directly linked to the Colosseum, it's hard to disconnect Moshe Safdie's design from the Italian amphitheatre. Vancouver's seven-story Colosseum-like library took more than two years to complete; it opened in 1995, houses 1.2 million books and features free Wi-Fi. The building is actually a rectangle within an ellipse and has a seating capacity of 1,200 -- a far cry from the 50,000 to 80,000 spectators the Colosseum reportedly held.

  • The Little Mermaid replica, Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Copenhagen's iconic Little Mermaid statue -- inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale -- has been mimicked around the world (with the copies collectively known as the 'Mermaids of the Earth'). This Calgary-based copy is about half the size of the Copenhagen original. The statue depicts the central figure in Andersen's tale -- a mermaid who fell in love with a prince on land, procured legs from a sea witch in exchange for her voice, then had her heart broken when she couldn't tell the prince her feelings and he pursued another woman. Both the original version of the statue and this copy were done by Danish artist Edvard Christian Johannes Eriksen, but the replica was bought by the Danish Canadian Club of Calgary and given to the city of Calgary in the 1970s. You'll find the clone of this statue at the Calgary Convention Centre.

  • London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, United States - London Bridge...outside London?! Yep, it appears London Bridge made its way across the pond. The original in England was replaced in the 1830s, but even that version of London Bridge began to go the way of the nursery rhyme that bares its name: It turned out London Bridge was, indeed, falling down, which prompted a search for someone who would purchase the iconic London landmark. The winning bid came from the founder of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Robert P. McCulloch. And so, for a mere USD $2,460,000, the old London Bridge was dismantled, transported to Arizona, reconstructed in Lake Havasu City and rededicated in 1971.

More international knock-offs to make our list that you can find in the U.S. include: The Parthenon replica, Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee; Foamhenge, Natural Bridge, Virginia; and of course for a one-stop-replica-sighting-shop check out Las Vegas, Nevada. And anyone travelling to the following overseas destinations can get more bang for their buck when they visit faux versions of famous landmarks from other countries, such as: The Statue of Liberty replica, Visnes, Norway; Mount Rushmore replica, Chongqing, China; The Taj Mahal replica, near Dhaka, Bangladesh; Cristo Rei, Lisbon, Portugal; and one-stop-shop replicas in Window of the World, Shenzhen, China and Parque Europa, Spain. To read the full details on these knock-offs and Cheapflights.ca's complete list of Real or replica? 12 carbon copies of world-famous landmarks, visit www.cheapflights.ca/news/real-replica-12-carbon-copies-world-famous-landmarks.

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 17.5 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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