China's 'Fake' Monuments—and the Places They've Copied

fake eiffel tower Tianducheng, China
China’s ‘Fake’ Monuments—and the Places They’ve Copied Getty

At first glance, the street might not seem so strange: Surrounded by familiar Tudor architecture, with cobblestone under foot, it all seems familiar.

But if you take a second look, you'll notice Chinese newlyweds posing for photos and the corner shop selling steamed buns, not fish and chips. Then there are the Chinese translations underlining the English signs.

This surreal tableau is Thames Town in Songjiang, China. Its architecture is designed to imitate a classic British market town. It's just one of many copycat towns in China, where an economic boom at the turn of the century led to knock-offs of everything from London Bridge and the Eiffel Tower to the U.S. Congress building and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Below, check out some of this amazing "duplictecture" and the original buildings that inspired it.

1 GettyImages-853298466
Getty Images
1a GettyImages-507012500
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
2 GettyImages-921917116
Getty Images
2a GettyImages-106970713
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
3 GettyImages-96378600
Getty Images
3a GettyImages-934400538
Wang He/Getty Images
8 GettyImages-910699246
Getty Images
8a GettyImages-645812534
STR/AFP/Getty Images