Show Us Your Favorite Place With a Face

Some buildings seem to smile, others seem to frown, but it’s usually just paredolia, the mind trick that lets us see faces in inanimate objects, like building facades. Seeing faces in lifeless objects is a common phenomenon that most of us experience pretty regularly, but these moments of connection with unfeeling facades can make the world seem a bit more alive. Literally. We want to see the best “places with faces” that you’ve ever encountered.

Maybe there’s a building near you that you’ve always thought had a giant grin, or maybe it’s a doorway that looks like the maw of some great, stone giant. Maybe it’s just a fortuitous arrangement of bricks and mortar, or some ironwork that you swear was molded into a human visage. Or maybe it’s even a face that was intentionally built into the architecture as a whimsical feature like a door-knocker or a keyhole. Wherever you find them, we want to see those places’ faces.

Share your favorite place-with-a-face in the comments below, and show us any incredible, original pictures you might have of them. Tell us where the place is located, and a bit about how you found out about it, and we might include your response in a round-up on the Atlas Obscura main site. I can’t wait to finally look some places in the (possibly imagined) eyes…


(Image: Elliott Brown/CC BY 2.0)

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I saw this little guy in the Pena Park going to the Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal. Just a tiny tower (?) in a middle of a pond.

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My fave from a Northwestern University parking lot next to Lake Michigan. The bird’s nest hair really takes this to the next level.

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Whenever I see a suspension bridge in the distance at night, like the Verrazzano pictured here, it looks to me like the two eyes of a monstrously giant cat peeking over the horizon. Spooky.

Even spookier, when I was a kid and we were riding over the Verrazzano it looked like a giant was reaching out (!) to grab us and we were driving into his humongous mouth. Good times.

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Desert Spirit Woman
Somewhere in the Bisti Badlands of New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, I sat down for a rest under a rock ridge and looked up to see her gazing into the sky. I tried to find her again the next year and I could not.

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Indian face carved in stone, you can find it at Puerto Hermina in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico.

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Fed up log in Estonia

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Abe Lincoln Rock near Marfa, Texas:

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Kartause Maria Thron (former Carthusian monastery) in Gaming, Austria. Franciscan University of Steubenville’s campus abroad. I lived here for four months and saw this every day. Very beautiful especially in spring!

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Somewhere in Rome.

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There are several buildings like this in Sighisoara, Romania, birth place of Vlad Tsepes (Count Dracula). A little eerie, don’t you think?

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Parliament Buildings, Ottawa Ontario Canada
Check out the Tower in the picture for the intentional face created by the master stone mason.

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This rock looks like a retriever dog to me. It’s in a Canyon in my tree farm in the Black Hills in South Dakota. It’s red limestone.

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The Harvard Lampoon Castle in Cambridge Mass is headquarters for Harvard’s famous humor magazine. It is hardly an accident that it has a silly face. When I first showed up as a freshman in 1966 it struck me as one of the distinctive features of the college landscape. Located a little over a block from the Harvard Yard, where all the freshman dorms were located, it was a frequent sight on trips to Tommy’s Lunch!. For more details there is a photo and a comprehensive article on Wikipedia. File:Lampoon.jpg - Wikipedia
Lampoon|250x354

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My daughter swears the Time Warner building outside our window in New York has eyes.

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Not exactly a place, but when I saw this “contacto” in my hotel room in Manzanillo, Mexico, I kind of felt sorry for it.

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Bolzano, Italy. Cross-eyed buildingimage

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When houses get scared (Vetralla, Tuscany, Italy).

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Discovered on a trail walk along the Garden Route in South Africa a few years back

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This is the reflection of part of a church in the windows of a modern building in downtown Syracuse, New York, USA.
Caption could be: “Go ahead! I dare you to ask me for information”.

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