Statue of Vulcan – Birmingham, Alabama - Atlas Obscura

Reminiscent of the Colossus of Rhodes (but at only half its supposed height), this 56-foot statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, towers over Birmingham, Alabama.

It is the world’s largest cast metal statue and the largest statue ever made in the U.S. (The Statue of Liberty is larger but was cast in France.) The statue was originally made to represent the city of Birmingham in the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The city hired Italian sculptor Giuseppe Moretti for the project. The statue won the Grand Prize in the fair’s mineral department.

There was some controversy over his Roman nudity, however, so the statue was shipped around Alabama before finally being installed on Red Mountain, Alabama, where he stands today, his giant metal backside gleaming in the sun.

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