Giant Head of Beethoven
Fort Myers, Florida
Mighty Ludwig guards the entrance to the New University Pyramid Village, a community of futuristic tent-like condos built by a bunch of Austrians as a vacation resort. Apparently nothing says "vacation" in Teutonic like a giant, scowling head of Beethoven.
The resort is tucked into an inconspicuous plot of land between a housing development and busy US 41. The pyramids, which are designed to be hurricane- and burglar-proof, were invented by engineer Walter Freller. The village opened for business in 2002, and a tiny Sphinx was placed in front of the giant head in 2003. It is all very strange.
Former pyramid resident Janice Lassonde provides these insights: "The pyramids were built by Austrian people as a Florida resort property. The Beethoven head was a joke amongst the Austrian originators of the Pyramids. They said that now that they had 'Austrian' pyramids, they now needed an 'Austrian' Sphinx to go with them -- thus the Beethoven 'Sphinx' was erected.
"The pyramids are lovely two bedroom units. There is a sandy beach and a beautiful pond/pool to swim in inside the circle of the pyramids. They are mostly marketed to Europeans for vacations. They are, as I understand, now being sold as 'time share' apartments."