The chase to build ever taller skyscrapers has ignited a battle among lift manufacturers to develop high speed elevators. The recent technological advancements in this field has enabled companies to build devices using new motors and high-tech air pressure systems, that allow quick transfer of people higher and faster than ever before to virtually unlimited heights. But it’s not just speed that makes an elevator interesting. Here are some lifts that make news for their speed, functions, and other features.
The Falkirk Wheel – Scotland is home to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. It transports boats between the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is 35 meters tall, which is the equivalent of 8 double decker buses piled on top of each other. Boats begin their trip outside the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre, sail into the bottom caisson of The Wheel, and then start the graceful ascent to join the Union Canal 35m above. The climb takes about 15 minutes, allowing visitors plenty of time to enjoy the stunning views of the spectacular scenery. After the boat then sails gently along the Union Canal, it returns for a smooth descent that gently lifts the passengers down over the Visitor Centre, and back into the basin.
The Bailong, China – Located towards the side of a huge cliff in Wulingyuan section of Zhangjiaje, China, this glass model lift is located on the side of a massive cliff. It can carry 50 passengers to a height of 1,070 feet up the mountain. Opened in 2002, this lift is said to be as the tallest and heaviest outdoor device in the world.
The Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa Lift), Portugal – This beautifully crafted elevator is one of Lisbon’s popular tourist attraction. It carries passengers from the Baixa district up to the ruins of the Igreja do Carmo church. The elevator features two stylish polished wood carriages while its outer ironwork structure forms glorious neo-gothic arches. The top viewing platform offers great views over central Lisbon. Functionally, the Elevador de Santa Justa helps tourists avoid the tough climb up Carmo Hill, but Lisbon’s residents love the fact that the designer transformed the grand functional machine into a beautiful and interesting piece of art.
AquaDom, Germany – This is a transparent lift located in the middle of a huge aquarium at Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin-Mitte, Germany. The aquarium is about 80 feet tall and holds more than 250,000 gallons of seawater.
Washington Monument Elevator in Washington, DC – The Washington Monument is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the US. The present lift built in the year 1998, takes people to the top within 70 seconds. The top side of the monument offers stunning view of Washington DC, right from White House to the Pentagon across the river.
Elevator in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France – One of the most famous museums in the world, Louvre Museum features a novel futuristic elevator. This open-topped, hydraulically powered device takes tourists in and out of the museum. It offers a smooth and quiet ride and includes an automatic slide-out walkway that visitors use after the lift ride.
Rising Tide Elevator – Located on the Ocean Liner Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s largest cruise ships, the Rising Tide is a one of its kind elevator. This is one of world’s only bar/elevator combination. It moves between the Royal Promenade on deck 5 and the Central Park on deck 8. Guests can enter on either deck. It can hold up to 35 passengers at a time.