It’s not a cheery subject, but travellers encounter all types of memorials – many of them quite moving.

Ranging from grand structures to stark, simple and sometimes disturbing statements, memorials cover many subjects.

Some are subtle. Others are deliberately in-your-face.

All give cause for reflection.

Here are 12 of the most remarkable monuments that we’ve seen.

National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York City, USA


This is a tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as people killed in the World Trade Centre bombing in February 1993.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, Germany.

Located near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, this memorial can leave you feeling disoriented and uneasy. But, you won’t forget it.


The Cenotaph, London UK.

Situated in the Whitehall area of central London, this was originally a temporary structure that became permanent after an outpouring of national sentiment in 1920.


Neue Wache, Berlin, Germany.

This striking memorial for the victims of war and tyranny is incredibly powerful in its simplicity – a room empty except for a mother holding a child under an open roof, exposed to the elements.


World War II Valor in the Pacific, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.

This memorial includes the sunken remains of the USS Arizona, lost in the Pearl Harbour attack.


American cemetery, Normandy, France.

Like much of this area of France, the sea of white crosses certainly gives cause to reflect.


The Australian War Memorial

Located at Canberra, Australia’s national capital, this is an acclaimed and intricate memorial.


Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial and Museum, Oranienburg, Germany.

This was one of the biggest concentration camps operated between 1936 and 1945. A visit to the site is a moving experience indeed.


Topography of Terror, Berlin, Germany

Few words seem to be spoken as people move around this huge display, in the former headquarters of the SS. Not for the faint hearted.


Soldiers and Sailor’s Monument, New York City, USA

An imposing structure in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, this one commemorates Union Army members who served in the American Civil War.


Monument Against War and Fascism, Vienna, Austria.

Simple yet memorable, this stands on the spot where several hundred people were buried alive in a World War II bombing raid.


The Anne Frank Centre, Berlin, Germany.

Located in Berlin’s Mitte district, this memorial also serves a dual purpose as an educational centre. Fittingly, it is somewhat hidden in an unremarkable building – signifying Anne’s life in hiding from the Nazis.


This is far from a complete list of prominent memorials worldwide.

For example, we have not seen the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial at Budapest; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington; Arlington cemetery in Virginia; or the Motherland Calls memorial at Volograd, Russia.

However those we have visited each left their mark in different ways. We recommend a visit to them all.

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