My monument is bigger than your monument

What is it about the instinctual desire to compete size-wise? Men want to be bigger, women want to be smaller, we shrink dogs, inflate egos, enlarge breasts, boast about square footage… as an international culture, we are obsessed with viewing the world with size-colored glasses. And it’s undeniable that there’s a healthy connection between size and sex – we like thinking about, looking at and touching both real and representative sexual organs.

On a grand scale, there is little more eye-catching to the multitudes than skyscrapers and national monuments, which are in their identity designed to be memorable and give immortality to a select few. So for your ogling pleasure, here are the nominations for the top ten largest architectured phalluses world-wide. They’ve been picked obviously for shape and size, but also for relative texture and, um, creativity when set to celebrate.

Monuments can be phallic. Architecture can be sexy. Genatalia can be celebrated in stone. Enjoy.

10. Napoleon Monument, Place Vendome, Paris, France

This tower has all the delicious drama of male angst. Standing about 145 feet high, it was completed in 1810 by a French team and based off of the Trajan’s Column in Rome. Between 1810 and 1874, figures of Napoleon a Ceasar, Henri IV, a fleur-de-lys installed by Louis XVIII and the original statue were placed at the head. It was torn down by a group of Communards led by the artist Gustave Courbet, who died in exile in Sweden, before being restored. Napoleon, who is buried nearby in the Place Vendome, holds the spot of honor to this day.

9. The Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

See, even skinny guys can make big explosions. This tower was created for the 1962 worlds fair, stretching 605 feet high and 138 feet wide at its widest point. Don’t be mistaken by its waning middle –it was created to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude. The elevators whisk visitors to the top at a whopping 10 miles per hour, a 42 second trip from start to finish. Thin, fast and strong, it was made a historic landmark in 1999.

8. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Built for the 1889 World Fair, the tallest structure in Paris is also the most visited monument in the world, immortalizing the name of its designer and engineer, Gustave Eiffel. 300 workers put together 18,038 pieces of structural puddle iron, with only two floors actually having platforms. A desire for danger and adventure, non? Cool fact: right before the German occupation of Paris in 1940, the French cut the cables for the elevators so that Hitler would have to climb all 1,700 steps to the summit to erect his Swastika flag, which his German soldiers did only to have it fly away a few hours later. The parts for the lifts were not available during the earlier part of the war, though they were fixed by the Liberation of Paris in 1944.

7. Washington Monument, Washington DC

He’s on our 1 dollar bill, cars navigate his avenues nationally, and the world’s largest all-stone tower immortalizes his place as the General of the Revolutionary War and our first President. The Washington Monument was completed almost forty years after the firstst one was laid in 1848. Ever present in pop culture, the monument has been featured in The Simpsons, video games Modern Warfare 2 and Fallout 3, sci-fi films Mars Attacks! and 2012, and films romanticizing the protests of Vietnam, most famously the reunion of Jenny and Forrest in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

6. Love Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey

God has a sense of humor. Or Mother Nature. They can battle out who’s to be thanked for this delightful valley of sexual delight, for these stones were not a creation of man, but naturally eroded away by time– rain and especially wind sculpted these beautiful phalluses. There are hundreds of these rocks, some even caved into to make homes. The area also boasts underground villages, literally tunnels bored into the soft rock, that housed our ancestors back to 3,000 BC and were a haven for the early Christians, fleeing from Roman persecution.

5. 30 St. Mary Axe, London, England

(aka the Gherkin, the Egg, the Towering Innuendo, the Crystal Phallus)
This London tower in the financial district was erected (ha) in 2003 on the site of the former Baltic Exchange Building, which was damaged by the Provisional IRAs bombing of 1992. It was designed by Skanska,the largest design and construction firm in Sweden. The impressive glass structure, extremely phallic in texture due to the copious amounts of tinted glass and iron framework, is also extremely energy efficient. Six “shafts” throughout the building insulate heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, and the glazing effect of this contained air also helps create passive solar heat in the winter.

4. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

We all know that guy, who is fiery and dramatic and sexy, but wanes a bit over time. That’s the Tower of Pisa, lovingly given the “Leaning” addition as one side of the top floor is a full 12 feet lower than it would be were the tower level, and on the north side 2 steps are missing from the 296 steps on the south side, to even it out. Construction began in 1173, when the Republic of Pisa was feeling a surge of economic prosperity. Flawed from the beginning, the tower would have toppled completely if it were constructed on time – but a century of feuding with other Italian nations left the tower with only 3 floors and the soil with enough time to settle for the additional weight. The tower is constantly under construction to literally stall and even reverse some of the lean.

3. Dionysus Temple, Naxos, Greece

Dionysus was the Greek god of wine and merriment, thought to live in lush forests and be drunk 24/7. And as any contemporary of Dionysus who’s spent any given Friday night at a bar and woken up with limbs entangled in a heady fog knows, wine and merriment are often inspirations for genitalia uncovered. This temple was built around the 6th century BC to honor the Greek god, and was a Christian church when that form of worship was no more.

2. One World Trade Center (formerly The Freedom Tower), New York, NY

The loss of the Twin Towers in 2001 changed the course of American history. When this structure is finally completed (the tower is rising slowly) it will be the tallest building in the United States. The beam of light that crowns the tower will be visible a thousand feet above its apex, proving that no one is more resilient or reaches for the clouds like the good ol’ U.S.A.

1. Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai), Dubai, United Arab Emirates

If the Burj Khalifa were a car, it’d be a Rolls Royce. If it were a soccer player, it’d be Ronaldo – young, strong and full of self-importance. It’s hot. So hot that it was awarded the 2010 Best Tall Building, Middle East and Africa by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and the Best Project of the Year by the Middle East Architect Awards. Designed by a Chicago team of architects and engineers, it was renamed the Burj Khalifa in honor of the UAE President, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in recognition of his support for the project during the tough financial times of its creation.