Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant in Siberia.

© Pavel Sipachev/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam

Eastern Siberia

Completed in 1985, this stunning feat of engineering blocks a beautiful forested canyon cut through the Sayan mountains by the mighty Yenisey. At 242m, the dam is the world's 17th tallest, and the hydropower station is the world's ninth in production capacity. The six bronze figures that comprise the striking monument to Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam builders stand at a prime observation point about 500m from the dam. A gigantic water discharge facility is built into the rock on the other side of the river.

The dam is fresh from a thorough reconstruction that followed the 2009 catastrophe caused by a turbine breakdown, which killed 75 people trapped in the flooded machine hall.