Russian photographers Vadim Mahora and Vitali Raskalovym have gained a lot of media attention after they published their illegal photographs of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
For years, the two photographers have risked frightening heights and legal implications to scale some of the world’s highest and most well-known buildings, which they then highlight on their website, On the Roofs.
The images are breathtaking and capture views of these famous destinations we might not otherwise see, but their work does come with controversy. This is why they urge that others don’t follow in their path.
From climbing to the top of China’s highest skyscraper to capturing images of Barcelona’s Sagrada Família from above, here are some of their most stunning and risky shots.The Russian photographers have recently gained attention for capturing these illegal photographs of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
Learn more about the Giza pyramids.
To get the shot, the two hid from guards for four hours after closing time before climbing the pyramid, which they say can come with a punishment of one to three years in jail when caught.
But the two have been climbing roofs for years in destinations like Cologne, Germany, where they were able to capture a bird’s-eye view of the Cologne Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Learn more about the Cologne Cathedral.
Escaping the crowds and arriving in the evening, the two snuck to the cathedral’s scaffolding and climbed to the top with nothing but steel poles to support their ascent.
The pair also climbed 650 meters (2,130 feet) to the top of one of China’s tallest skyscrapers, the Shanghai Tower. Three elevators send passengers up to the sightseeing platform, but the photographers decided to climb the construction cranes that were there at the time instead.
Learn more about the Shanghai Tower.
The stunt took them a total of 20 hours since they entered the tower at night, scaled the crane during daybreak, and waited for the light to rise to capture dream-like views of the neighboring Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center wrapped in clouds.
They even climbed billboards to get overarching shots of Shanghai's seaport and its array of skyscrapers.
They’ve been to the Sagrada Família, Antoni Gaudí’s famous cathedral in Barcelona, Spain. Climbing to the top, they were able to get a stunning view of both the structure and the city.
Learn more about Sagrada Família.
The photographers climbed the nearby crane and used scaffolding to get to about 50 meters (164 feet) above the building itself. They were able to capture stunning views of the structure at angles never before seen.
By climbing nearby rooftops, they got a view of the Eiffel Tower that few tourists in Paris are able to access.
Learn more about the Eiffel Tower.
Going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower is a common tourist activity, but the daredevils took it one step further by facing dizzying heights to dangle off of the legs of the tower and snap a shot of the city.
You can also climb the 400 steps that lead to the top of the towers of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, but the photographers decided to climb the facade directly to access up-close shots of the cathedral’s statues.
Learn more about the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
When they climbed the facade of the St. Vitus Cathedral, the largest temple in Prague, Czech Republic, where religious services and coronations of Czech kings and queens took place, they were caught by a shocked local policeman who eventually let them go.
Learn more about the St. Vitus Cathedral.
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Osaka, Japan, is the world’s longest suspension bridge and one of the tallest with pylons that stretch 978 feet high. The bridge is accessible to tourists, but the two waited until nighttime and went up to the top by themselves, walking on the stay cables to get this shot.
Learn more about The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.
La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre is considered one of the most iconic monuments in Paris, with an observation deck more than 400 meters (1,312 ft.) high that offers panoramic views of the capital. But, instead of the official observation point, the two photographers strolled around the roof of the church to showcase its details.
From climbing a roof across the water, they captured Stockholm’s City Hall, one of Sweden’s most famous buildings. It houses the Municipal Council, works of art, and the Nobel Prize banquet every year, seen here illuminated in the night.
Learn more about Stockholm's City Hall.
To get this image of the Palace of Culture and Science, the largest building in Poland and home to cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, theaters and concert halls in Warsaw, the two entered a nearby building that was under construction and hid from the guards in a construction cradle on the roof.
Learn more about the Palace of Culture and Science.
After their YouTube video on their Shanghai Tower climb got so many hits, they climbed the Ping An Financial Center in Shenzen, China, which is set to be the second-tallest tower in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. They decided to do the stunt on Chinese New Years, when they climbed construction passages 660 meters (2,165 feet) into the sky.
They’ve also gone into industrial centers and underground tunnels like Stockholm’s subway system. They take dangerous risks to get these images, which is why the pair never recommends others attempt their work.
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