sommermathis's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »
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The reading room is a bookworms' paradise.
Washington, D.C.

Reading Room at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Home to a vast and influential collection of Shakespeareana.
38.8894, -77.0028
Atacama Giant
Huara, Chile

Atacama Giant

One of the largest ancient geoglyphs in the world is a tall desert god used for predicting the weather.
-19.9500, -69.6333
Idle Hour exterior.
Los Angeles, California

Idle Hour

The programmatic glory of LA's giant whiskey barrel building has become an upscale reminder of the city's kitschy roadside past.
34.1584, -118.3700
Dublin, Ireland

The Long Room Library at Trinity College

The gorgeous library at Trinity College is home to remarkable treasures of Irish identity.
53.3440, -6.2567
Brooklyn, New York

Pencil Factory

Once part of a vast Pencil empire and where the first colored pencils were produced.
40.7297, -73.9576
The Cairo still dwarfs its neighbors.
Washington, D.C.

The Cairo

This unacceptably tall building was the real reason for Washington, D.C.'s skyscraper ban.
38.9113, -77.0375
The original fake sign
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dude Chilling Park

A renegade art installation in a small Vancouver park is now officially sanctioned by the City Parks Department.
49.2640, -123.0959
Vancouver, British Columbia

Stanley Park

"Girl in a Wetsuit" is what happens when a sculptor has to find a way around a 100 year old copyright.
49.3026, -123.1259
Vancouver, British Columbia

Gastown Steam Clock

A working steam clock, one of only a few in the world, located in Vancouver's Victorian Gastown.
49.2849, -123.1113
Street view of Casa Batlló
Barcelona, Spain

Casa Batlló

One of Antoni Gaudi's most classic buildings is well-known for its "dragon-back" design.
41.3917, 2.1650
Houses inside Park Güell designed by Gaudí
Barcelona, Spain

Park Güell

Gaudí's famously flamboyant architectural style is on full display in this sprawling park and garden.
41.4136, 2.1528
The church's interior
Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Família

Construction of Barcelona's iconic (but controversial) church is expected to be completed in 2026—a century after the death of its architect.
41.4036, 2.1744
The plaque was presented by California Avocado Society in 1946.
Antigua, Guatemala

California Avocado Plaque

Believe it or not, the now-ubiquitous California avocado originated in Guatemala.
14.5570, -90.7337
The Golden Gate of Kiev, as it stands today.
Kyiv, Ukraine

Golden Gate of Kyiv

A reconstructed medieval gateway that was the magnificent entrance to the capital city dating back to 1037.
50.4488, 30.5133
Kyiv, Ukraine

Rodina-Mat : Mother Motherland

340-foot statue built to honour the Heroes of the Soviet Union.
50.4265, 30.5631
Overlooking New York Harbor.
Brooklyn, New York

Green-Wood Cemetery

A Victorian cemetery in the heart of Brooklyn remains a popular mecca of morbid curiosity.
40.6590, -73.9956
Ireland

The Dry Stone Walls of the Aran Islands

Mortarless walls that stretch for miles are a lovely solution for creating grazing land in the harsh terrain of the Aran Islands.
53.0663, -9.5297
The left-hand property (No. 22) is inhabited, but the right-hand one (No. 23) is only a façade.
London, England

Leinster Gardens False Facades

You'd never know the houses at 23-24 Leinster Gardens were fakes—until you see the train tracks on the other side.
51.5131, -0.1840
Tovrea Castle, surrounded by cacti.
Phoenix, Arizona

Tovrea Castle

A mysterious "wedding cake" castle in the middle of the urban desert.
33.4504, -111.9733
The current view
Washington, D.C.

Georgetown Waterfront

The little-known, 300-year history of the area includes former lives as a bustling tobacco port, parking lot, and industrial dump.
38.9029, -77.0657
Statue of Franz Kafka with headphones for size comparison.
Prague, Czechia

Statue of Franz Kafka

A surreal statue honoring Prague's favorite literary son.
50.0901, 14.4207
Detail of the central figure.
Prague, Czechia

Memorial to the Victims of Communism

Increasingly decayed figures stand as a powerful reminder of the human costs of Czech Communism.
50.0812, 14.4040
Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague.
Prague, Czechia

Old Jewish Cemetery

100,000 bodies are buried below the medieval headstones, many of which mark graves with multiple bodies stacked up to 12 deep.
50.0895, 14.4174
Prague, Czechia

Prague Astronomical Clock

Macabre astrological automaton clock dating to the late 1400s.
50.0870, 14.4208