The Daneville Illusion Tower (#106)

The Daneville Illusion Tower is a 76 meter tall tower located in the Daneville locality of Iam, Dezo, Big City. It was constructed in 1822 by the indigenous tribe, the Hurnus. The tower was built using an intricate system of levers and pulleys designed by the chief of the Hurnu tribe during the tribal era, Yolnu Ellm. Ellm and his team used very strong and sturdy vines to make pulleys and teams of workers erected the tower over the course of five years. It was completely built within one and a half years but due to the weak base and material, it collapsed very soon and had to be rebuilt using better material. Still the tower was very fragile and was reinforced with steel and iron in the 20th century by the German colonizers.

The tower was named the “Illusion Tower” because of the architectural genius behind it. The stones placed on the outside of the tower were in such a design that from the same level and at a distance, it seemed like the stones created the design of a fish on the tower, and seen from a small hill a few hundred meters away, the angle caused the same stones to create the pattern of a lion. The stones were placed at such an angle and position that they created two distinct designs at two distinct angles.

Though the tower itself was constructed in 1822, its inside wasn’t built until 1838. Yolnu Ellm originally hadn’t planned the construction of an interior but decided to build one in 1830 and construction commenced in 1833. The interior was a bit tricky to build since the structure of the tower didn’t support an interior’s construction. Several stone support structures had to be built at the base and the tower was partially hollowed out entirely by hand tools. Ellm designed huge pillars inside the tower to support the structure since it had been partially hollowed out. Inside, a window was installed at the top for sunlight and the inside had the names of all the workers who constructed the structure carved on the walls. There were shelves filled with artifacts and jewelry, and at the center was a huge stone acting as a table where the tribal chief, Yolnu Ellm, would eat his meals. Ellm had intended the tower to be a mark of the intellect of him and his tribe and a sign that the tribe was not that far behind the rest of the world. Famously, all the artifacts and jewelry was hidden in underground vaults by the Hurnu tribe when the Germans annexed Big City so that they won’t be stolen and were returned to the tower on Independence Day 1945.

Nowadays, the tower has become a major tourist attraction and has led to the development of a small town around it with an economy dependent upon the tourists who come to visit the tower. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in November 2017.

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