1. Hanging Temple, China
The Hanging Temple, or Hanging Monastery, is a temple off a cliff (about 75 meters or 246 feet above the ground) near Mount Heng in Hunyuan County, China’s Shanxi Province. The construction was built during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557), and has a history of more than 1,400 years.
It is the only existing temple for Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism in China. The construction counts over 40 halls and more than 80 Buddhist sculptures made of bronze, iron, stone and mud.
The scientifically designed and skillfully built Xuankong Temple is described as "odd, hovering and wonderful." Completely constructed on the mountain cliff, it seems that the wood-structure temple is supported by the beams inserted into chiseled holes in the cliff, but in fact some of the beams don't bear its load at all.
2. Lichtenstein Castle, Germany
Lichtenstein Castle is situated on a cliff located near Honau in the Swabian Alb, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, at an altitude of 817 meters. Historically there was an old castle present on the site since around 1200. It fell to ruins after being destroyed during the Reichskriegs war of 1311 and by the city-state of Reutlingen in 1381. The current Neo-Gothic-style castle was built by Duke Wilhelm of Urach in 1840-42. Today, the castle is still owned by the Dukes of Urach, but its doors are open to visitors. The castle contains a large collection of historic weapons and armor.
3. Takasugi-an, Japan
Takasugi-an literally translates as "a teahouse [built] too high." Located in Nagano, Japan, the teahouse was built atop two chestnut trees, cut from a nearby mountain and transported to the site. Architect Terunobu Fujimori designed and built this single-room structure for his own use. It is accessible only by free-standing ladders propped up against one of the trees and features an interior covered with plaster and bamboo mats.
4. Astra Tower, Germany
Built in the mid-13th century, the Astra Tower is a church in Hamburg, Germany. Its 27.43-meter(90-feet)-high spire made from oak, was added to the structure in 1450. Since then, the spire began to tilt because of the oak material and their wet foundations. Great efforts were made until the spire was finally fastened in 1996. Today the church is still in use and open to the public as a tourist site.
5. Sutyagin House, Russia
Sutyagin House was a wooden house built by Russian businessman Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin over a time-span of 15 years (starting in 1992). Even though the building had only two stories, the roof spanned 11-15 stories more, making it the world's, or at least Russia's, highest wooden house. In 2008, the tower was condemned a fire hazard and part of it was pulled down by the local government. The remaining four-storey structure ironically burned to the ground on May 6, 2012.
6. Puerta de Europa, Spain
Located in Madrid, Spain, the Puerta de Europa (or Gate of Europe) is a structure composed of two identical, tilted towers. The structure was built between 1989 and 1996 as a joint project between American and Spanish architectural firms. Each building has 26 floors, a vertical of 114 meters (374 feet), with a 15 degree incline towards the other. The west tower has a rooftop helicopter pad outlined in blue, whereas the east tower has a red one.
7. Meteora Monasteries, Greece
Meteora literally means “hovering in the air" in Greek. The Meteora Monasteries are a cluster of medieval monasteries, and one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. Located atop towering natural rock pillars, 24 monasteries were constructed during the 15th century despite incredible difficulties. Now there are six of them still in use. Until little under a hundred years ago, people could only reach the steep cliffs in a hanging basket or by climbing flimsy rope ladders. Today, they can be easily accessed through roads, steps and bridges.
8. WoZoCo Apartments, Holland
Built between 1994 and 1997 in a garden city west of Holland’s capital Amsterdam, the WoZoCo Apartments have been home to private residents for over 55 years. The original plan limited the number of apartments to 87 units per block, with each tenant being promised good natural lighting. However, the client's request later changed to 100 units per block. To avoid occupying more land, 13 additional units were hung from the facade north of the main structure.
9. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
The world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa ranks second on this list. It is a bell tower of the Cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known for its unintended tilt to one side. The construction of the tower began in 1173. However, only five or six years later, the tower began to tilt to the southeast, caused by an inadequate ground foundation – basically one that proved too soft on one side. Upon its completion in 1372, the tower was only bowing down some 4.5 feet downwards. As time passed by, the angle of the 16,000-ton tower has become more precarious.
10. Capital Gate, UAE
The Capital Gate is a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. It was designed with a striking lean which features an 18-degree incline to the west, nearly five times that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. It is 160 meters (520 feet) high, with 35 stories, making it one of the tallest buildings in the city. In June 2010, the Guinness Book of World Records certified the Capital Gate as the "world’s furthest leaning man-made tower."