The Eiffel Tower has topped the list as the most-visited place in France on Google Street View, but rather more surprising is the site in second place: the Serpent d’Océan sculpture in Loire-Atlantique.
The ranking was unveiled on May 24 to celebrate Google Street View’s 15-year anniversary.
France was the 9th most-visited place globally and Paris the 9th-most visited city.
And while Paris’ famous monument unsurprisingly took the country’s top spot as the most-visited monument in France – and the third-most visited globally – the Serpent d’Océan sculpture came in second place.
The sculpture is a 130-metre-long artistic structure by Chinese sculptor Huang Yong Ping. It is made of aluminium and 135 ‘vertebrae’, which are fixed onto the sand on the Saint-Brevin-les-Pins beach in Loire-Atlantique.
Photos of the area and sculpture uploaded by a user effectively offer viewers a virtual tour of the sculpture, which appears particularly impressive from above.
Google told AFP that it was not sure why this particular site had seen such success among users.
The full ranking in France is:
Arc de Triomphe
Parc des Princes
Château de Versailles
Worldwide, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – the highest skyscraper in the world – is the most-viewed monument, while the Eiffel Tower came in second, and the Taj Mahal in India came in third.