Built by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti, Vulcan (the Roman god of fire) is the world’s largest cast iron statue. It is made of local iron, which is appropriate since Birmingham got its nickname, the Magic City, from the incredible iron industry boom of the early 20th century. Wanting to draw attention to the city and entice workers to its iron furnaces, leaders commissioned Vulcan for the 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis. He now overlooks Birmingham high atop Red Mountain. A visit to the park and accompanying museum is not only a great educational experience and a good place for a picnic, but it also provides the best view you will find of Birmingham. Vulcan also hosts Thunder on the Mountain, the biggest and most spectacular fireworks show in the state every 4th of July. Locals start lining the streets of every adjacent suburb hours beforehand to get the best view of the iconic landmark light up for our nation's birthday.