Horses in foreground, sculpture in background

Photos: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Enormous equines

The Kelpies, created by sculptor Andy Scott, gracefully stretching out of the 864-acre Helix land transformation project in Falkirk, Scotland. At over 98 feet tall, The Kelpies are among the tallest public sculptures in the United Kingdom and cost more than $8 million to complete.

The enormous works of art are inspired by the mystical water horses of the same name that were said to roam the waters of Scotland and Ireland, but "interpretations are up to each individual viewer," says Scott on The Kelpies' website.

"My intent however is built around a contemporary sculptural monument more than an ancient legend," Scott said. "Water-borne, towering gateways into the canal system, the Helix park, and the nation, translating the legacy of the area into proud equine guardians."

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Horse sculptures behind real horses

Local historians say Falkirk was home to what was believed to be the world's largest working horse, a Clydesdale named Carnera.

The placement of the horses on the waterfront hearkens back to the industrial history of the area. "Heavy horses would once have been the powerhouse of the area, working in the foundries, the fields, farms and of course the canal itself," Scott said.

Scott said these majestic sculptures will bring a "sense of pride and ownership" to the Falkirk and Grangemouth area, part of which is being transformed into an urban greenspace.

"They will stand testament to the achievements of the past, a paean to artisanship and engineering and a declaration of intent for the future of Scotland," he said.

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Ethereal horses tower over Scottish park
At more than 98 feet tall, Andy Scott's Kelpies are among the tallest public sculptures in the U.K. and the tallest equine sculptures in the world.