Ten of the world’s most important memorials

Memorials come in many different forms, from small plaques to traditional headstones and kerb sets to huge structures. There are a number of memorial museums and remembrance halls across the globe to commemorate the lives of people lost in various events that have occurred in the world. These memorials serve as a reminder of what happened, boost cultural awareness and also provide educational opportunities. Here are the ten of the world’s most well known and significant memorials.

– Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Japan

The museum was constructed in 1955 as a monument to the 200,000 Japanese people that lost their lives during the two atomic explosions that occurred in WW2. It preserves personal belongings of the civilians, including a famous watch that stopped the instant the first bomb exploded.

– Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Chile

The Museum of Memory and Human Rights is symbolic of the new-found freedom of Chile and commemorates the people who suffered under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. It is one of the most powerful memorials in the world because it stands as a centre for culture, politics and philosophy.

– Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland

This memorial complex sits on the site of the concentration camp and contains a number of the original buildings. The museum opened in 1947 to commemorate the lives lost here during WW2. It also stands as a memorial and contains a collection of objects that belonged to prisoners held here.

– Tuol Sleng, Cambodia

The former prison is infamous for what occurred here during the genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime. The museum is incredibly direct, showing graphic images of what happened to the prisoners held here.

– The Armenian Genocide Museum, Armenia

Medz Yeghern (The Great Crime) cost one million lives. The museum commemorates these people and serves as a reminder of what happened. It is another heart wrenching memorial that takes visitors on a walk through history including eyewitness reports and interviews.

– Yad Vashem, Israel

Built in 1953 and covering 45 acres, the museum complex is a monument to the suffering of Jewish people during WW2. It is one of the most incredible memorials in the world, particularly the Hall of Remembrance where the ashes of Holocaust victims are stored. The facility has a museum but also looks to the future with research facilities and education space.

– Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum, China

This museum commemorates the 200,000 – 300,000 people that suffered and lost their lives during the Japanese invasion in 1937. The site has an outdoor exhibition space containing several sculptures and an interior with a huge coffin-shaped memorial containing the bones of victims.

– Apartheid Museum, South Africa

The museum is a lasting memorial to the socio-political tragedy of apartheid. It has a comprehensive permanent collection of artefacts, objects and photographs and also has themed temporary exhibitions too.

– September 11 Memorial, USA

This memorial site opened in 2014 to commemorate the attack on New York’s World Trade Center in 2001. The site features a museum below ground, twin deep pools where the towers once stood, and lush greenery.

– La Maison des Esclaves, Senegal

The House of Slaves is a lasting reminder of the Atlantic slave trade. The building is a maze of cells and hallways, showing the conditions that people were kept in before being sold into slavery.

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