Virtual Travels to Monuments Around the World

Kids in the Colosseum monuments around the world travel from home
Photo Courtesy: Laura Snoek

Let’s make travel accessible to everyone around the world, virtually, from home! Today, let’s embark on virtual travels to monuments around the world. This is a place where we will celebrate culture, language, history, and acceptance of people around the world. Today, families can travel to various monuments around the world from home! Find virtual fun, tours of famous destinations and museums, cooking lessons, and more in our Travel From Home section. Kids will get hands-on experiences and learn about a variety of cities, countries, and regions through these at-home travel guides. You can use these resources as an educational tool, as well.

Virtual Travels to Monuments Around the World

One of the best parts of traveling is enjoying monuments and sites! From their stunning aesthetics to the materials used to the adoration they receive from locals and travelers alike, our monuments are a physical reminder of a preserved history and culture. Monuments withstand generational change, a testament of modernity’s resilience and fortitude.

Through this special Travel From Home edition, we will explore three incredible monuments in celebration of the International Day For Monuments and Sites! Ready to teach kids more about monuments around the world? On our virtual travels to monuments around the world, let’s explore the Cathedral of St. Basil, the Colosseum, and the Statue of Liberty! 

The Cathedral of St. Basil

Moscow, Russia

A view of the Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow behind several lush branches with pink flowers.

First, let’s travel to Russia to view one of its most cherished monuments! The iconic Cathedral of St. Basil is located in Moscow’s Red Square. The “onion” shaped towers are well known throughout the world. First, give children a brief introduction to this historic structure to immerse them in Russia’s national narrative. Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate gaining control of The Kazan, the construction of the Cathedral of St. Basil occurred between 1555 and 1561 AD. Today, it is remarkably pristine, especially given its tortured history. Its architecture is a true masterpiece. The cathedral continues to be one of Russia’s most iconic symbols.

Architecture & Technology

Start your exploration of The Cathedral of St. Basil by learning more about its intricate architecture. First, enjoy a family-friendly architectural audio tour of the Cathedral of St. Basil. This tour explores its complex nooks and crevices. Each tower, boasting the iconic vibrantly colored “onion” shape, belongs to a specific Saint. Additionally, the colors also convey great symbolic importance. The cathedral intentionally resembles the flames of a bonfire rising into the sky. This striking symbolism makes the Cathedral of St. Basil a stunning feat, both architecturally and culturally!

Budding architects will love the challenge of visually deconstructing its facade, which is a combination of thousands of tiny moving parts. The Cathedral of St. Basil relied heavily on the study of other great architects and scientists of the Florentine Renaissance, who applied mathematics and geometry to art! 

Fast Facts About the Cathedral of St. Basil on Your Virtual Travels to Monuments

Mom and daughter stand in front of The Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow. This is one of the most important stops on our virtual travels to monuments around the world.
Photo Courtesy: Chloe Jacquelin Herman

After exploring the cathedral, give kids a few fun facts to excite them about their virtual monument tour! St. Basil’s Cathedral has a fascinating history. Legends persist that in 1561, Ivan the Terrible blinded the architects so that they couldn’t create another masterpiece.

The cathedral continues to stand tall after multiple attempts to destroy it. Its first plunder occurred in 1812 when Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Moscow. Next, the French Emperor then tried to have the church relocated to Paris. However, before the French could remove Saint Basil’s Cathedral they were forced to retreat from Moscow! Finally, under Stalin, the Cathedral risked disappearance again. He believes it disturbed his soldier’s march. During this period, the Cathedral’s ‘Iconostasis,” – the wall of icons – fell into deep despair. As a result, these tales read like a storybook come to life, an action-packed adventure for adults and kids alike.

Arts & Crafts on Your Virtual Travels to Monuments, the Cathedral of St. Basil

A simple drawing of the the Cathedral of St. Basil, featuring simple lines and colors. Creating crafts together is a great way to enjoy our virtual travels to monuments around the world.

Artsy families can create crafts inspired by the Cathedral of St. Basil! Toddlers and preschoolers will love exploring its intricate architectural design by using this coloring sheet of the Cathedral of St. Basil from Crayola. Similarly, older children can create a 3D Cathedral of St. Basil through Art with Trista’s tutorial using paper and markers.

Meanwhile, teens may prefer to use this plan of the Cathedral of St. Basil to identify its iconic shapes and geometric patterns. Make it a fun game and count how many you can find! Encourage teens to read more about the intersection of mathematics and architecture. Learning about Luca Pacioli’s work and the importance of the octagon shape is a great place to start! Finally, you can showcase your designs as a family once everyone has finished! 

The Colosseum

Rome, Italy

Mom and daughter at The Colosseum, Rome one of the most popular monument around the world. This is our next stop on our virtual travels to monuments around the world.
Photo Courtesy: Dani Ward

From Moscow, we will travel to Rome! Rome is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments! Certainly, Rome’s most famous monument is the massive oval amphitheater in the city center. Next on our virtual travels to monuments around the world is the Colosseum! The Colosseum remains an iconic symbol of the Roman Republic. Children interested in gladiator movies or action-packed thrillers will instantly recognize this Italian emblem!

First, kids will love exploring the Colosseum with this tour from the Free School! The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built. It served as a great stage for battling gladiators, staged sea battles, and the physical representations of ancient myths and legends! In its original construction, the entrance displayed an enormous, 30-foot tall bronze colossus of Emperor Nero. (Some historians believe that the name for the Colosseum comes from this huge statue!) Next, to receive a more in-depth look at its history, older kids and parents can do a full trek of the Colosseum with Prowalk Tours. Put on your headphones and you’ll feel like you are there!

Visiting the Colosseum is not enough to truly understand how the Romans became one of the greatest empires in human history. To better understand their impressive impact, use this map through the ages. It highlights their mastery in city planning. Pay close attention to the impressive infrastructure. Finally, the Colosseum, coupled with Rome’s intricate roads, aqueducts, and bridges, clearly illustrates the city’s delicate design. Enjoy this walking tour with 4K Urban Life to get a sense of Rome’s modern vibrancy, paired with its ancient wonders.

Architecture & Technology

Next, learn about the Colosseum’s construction! Kids will enjoy learning the structure’s interesting story. Construction began in 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian. Construction finished eight years later in 80 AD under Vespasian’s son, Titus. Built by thousands of slaves and made of brick, concrete, and stone, to say the Colosseum is huge is a vast understatement. In fact, it’s size is what makes the Colosseum one of the most impressive stops on our virtual travels to monuments around the world.

As an operating amphitheater, it could seat 50,000 people! Covering around 6 acres of land, it’s almost as tall as a 20 story building. The impressive structure includes vast underground passages and box seats for the Emperor. The Emperor’s Box was the best seat in the house! (Of course, a lot of times it was the emperor who was paying for the games. This show of money and force was one way to keep the emperor popular among the people.) Other seating was determined by Roman law. 

The Colosseum’s underground passages make for a great spooky mystery. Resting below the floor of the Colosseum is the hypogeum, a labyrinth of underground passages. It allowed animals, actors, and gladiators to suddenly appear in the middle of the arena. Trap doors and scenic special effects created an entertaining ambiance for Rome’s ruling class. All types of animals, like rhinos, panthers, tigers, bears, and bulls, were also used for fighting in the Colosseum. Finally, this 3D recreation by Radical Impact demonstrates the structure of the Colosseum and its theatrics in a fun way for kids!

Fast Facts about the Colosseum on Your Virtual Travels to Monuments

After your historical exploration, give your kids some fast facts about the Colosseum! Little ones will marvel at the history of those banned from attending the Colosseum: gladiators, actors, and gravediggers. Next, kids will be shocked to discover there were actually 32 different trap doors underneath the floor of the stadium! Finally, older kids may be more interested in its gruesome history. Did you know the west exit was dubbed the “the Gate of Death?” This was where dead gladiators were carried out of the arena. 

Arts & Crafts on Your Virtual Travels to Monuments, The Colosseum

The Colosseum build with paper tape. Crafts are a wonderful way to enjoy our virtual travels to monuments around the world.
Photo Courtesy: Art with Children

Arts and crafts are a perfect way to end your day at The Colosseum! Young kids will delight in coloring the Colosseum using their own colors and creativity. Or, create your own labyrinth and Colosseum with legos or play-doh! Meanwhile, older kids can create a gladiator helmet and sword using simple household items like tape and cardboard. Craftier children can also immerse themselves in the history of the Coliseum by creating a model and holding their own gladiator matches. After your family is done, do as the Romans do! Go outside and practice your sparring skills! 

The Statue of Liberty

New York, New York

A view of the Statue of Liberty while the sun sets in the distance. The Statue of Liberty is the next stop on our virtual travels to monuments around the world.

Next, let’s head to New York City for the final stop on our virtual travels to monuments around the world! Many know the Big Apple as the home of The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the United States by the French Republic. Behind this generous gift lies an immense history and strategic intentions. Start with this virtual tour. You can experience the Statue of Liberty’s stunning panoramas in real-time. The French gifted the United States Lady Liberty to state their admiration for the American Constitution, highlighting their will to follow the same steps. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty, took inspiration from ancient Egypt’s colossal statues.

After learning more about Lady Liberty, families can try a role-playing game! Imagine you are back in 1876, traveling from Paris to New York. Let’s pretend you are sitting with Bartholdi. Together, you notice a small island named Fort Wood or “Bedloe’s Island.” Next, find this spot on Google earth and place the Statue of Liberty facing southeast towards the Atlantic Ocean. Then, find “Ile aux Cygnes” in Paris, this time facing the west. Notice how these two structures are facing each other? This intentional effort unifies the two countries through a symbol of freedom and liberty. This is truly profound, especially considering over 12 million immigrants passed by the Statue of Liberty between its erection and 1950! 

Architecture & Technology

Statue of Liberty bottom view, with a unique look at it's architecture.
Photo Courtesy: Heidi Brown

Learn more about Lady Liberty’s construction after your tour and role play! Be sure to stress how time-consuming her completion became, as Bartholdi’s construction of the Statue of Liberty was no easy feat. It required 200 people and 9 years to build. Parisians of  Rue de Chazel witnessed day-to-day how the giant statue emerged from the rooftops. Its unique construction became entertainment for the whole community! As a result of its massive design, architect Viollet – Le Duc and engineer Gustave Eiffel needed to come up with a technique to sustain the structure’s transportation. The technique needed to allow the statue to be disassembled into many parts, shipped to America, and then reconstructed. Subsequently, the same technique was used for the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

Lady Liberty finally arrived in New York City on June 17, 1885. It took four months to rebuild the statue. After this long wait, the Statue of Liberty celebrated its inaugurated on October 28, 1886. As you know, the Statue of Liberty stands proud today! More importantly, it continues to be a symbol of liberty across the world! 

The Gift of Symbolism

Next, share with your kids the array of symbols illustrated by the Statue of Liberty! Its torch shines bright as a symbol of freedom. Its flames are even covered with 24k Gold Leaf! On her crown, the rays represent the seven seas and continents. Additionally, the 25 windows in the crown symbolize Earth’s gemstones. Next, notice her “toga.” This is a powerful reference to the Roman goddess “Libertas”, which is another symbol for freedom. Then look in her left hand, the tablet she holds represents a book of laws based on the American Constitution. In addition, wearing sandals is a nod toward the idea of freedom, and her broken chain is a reference to the recent abolition of slavery. Finally, her granite pedestal has thirteen layers, representing the original 13 colonies!

Fast Facts about the Statue of Liberty on Your Virtual Travels to Monuments

The Statue of Liberty boasts many fascinating facts! For example, harsh surrounding winds have the ability to sway the statue up to 3 inches, while the torch can sway up to 5 inches! Only 240 people are admitted inside the statue each day. The Statue of Liberty is widely considered the world’s largest gift. It also serves as inspiration for Pop Art across the globe, including artist Andy Warhol.

Kids will admire learning about America’s role in the statue’s placement. Prior to installation, the United States raised $300,000 for the statue’s pedestal. A huge accomplishment during that time! Additionally, from 1886 – 1902, the Statue of Liberty functioned like a lighthouse, guiding fishermen through perilous journeys. In addition, it is worth remembering that the original torch sustained damaged during World War II. But don’t worry, visitors can see the original torch on display in the basement. Finally, try to see if you can spot any resemblance between Lady Liberty and a real-life woman. Her face is styled after Charlotte Bartholdi, the artist’s mother! 

Arts & Crafts on Your Virtual Travels to Monuments, Statue of Liberty

A girl poses with Statue of Liberty craft hat on her head and torch in her hand, while wearing the American flag as a cape.

After your historic adventure, kids will love creating one of these Statue of Liberty inspired crafts! Little ones can choose one of these coloring pages and design it to their liking. Those with more advanced skills can design their own Statue of Liberty using household objects! Or, create a crown and torch using paper plates and glitter glue! Maybe your kids can style their Statue of Liberty after one of their parents, just like Bartholdi did! Meanwhile, older children may find it a worthwhile challenge to make their own infographic about the Statue of Liberty! 

Happy Virtual Travels to Monuments Around the World!

Three kids hang on the guard rail while looking at the Colosseum in the background.
Photo Courtesy: Hannah Maunder

No matter where you are planning to travel in the world, monuments and architecture are a huge part of a city and country’s history and culture. Next time you travel, pay attention to what has been preserved. Notice how each intricate detail captures a moment in time. Thankfully, many of the world’s monuments are still celebrated centuries after construction. We hope the virtual travels to monuments around the world helps you and your kids get a taste of travel through Moscow, Rome, and New York City!

Curated by Cecilia Saavedra. Want to see more from Cecilia?  Find her on Instagram @bloomfamilyexperiences or find her check out her website – Bloom Experiences!

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