Since 1851 there have been many Universal Expositions all round the world. These huge events, in which Switzerland has almost always participated, represent important meeting points for humanity to reflect on global challenges and consider innovative solutions.
The Expos were originally designed to show off the technological and industrial progress made by upcoming nations, but nowadays their objectives are more educational and exchange-oriented.
Modern Expos are based around a theme, as a way of unifying the different elements and experiences. But over the last century and a half many fairs have left legacies, symbols that often pay witness to the competitive spirit among industrialised nations.
Among the most famous are the Crystal Palace of London, built in 1851, but destroyed by fire in 1936, the Eiffel Tower in Paris (1889), the Atomium in Brussels (1958), the Space Needle in Seattle (1962) and the Torre Vasco de Gama in Lisbon (1998).