thumbnail The scene of a literary crime
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The scene of a literary crime © Chris Milne/Alamy
Remarkable enough in itself, this 800-foot mountain waterfall is also the site of one of fiction"s most enduring showdowns between good and evil. Just outside Meiringen, Switzerland, the Reichenbach Falls are the backdrop for "The Final Problem"—the 1893 Sherlock Holmes story where, on a precipice near the falls (which in the 19th century gushed with far more power than our recent image shows), the genius detective enters a death duel with the criminal Professor Moriarty. In the end, both men plummet to their presumed doom.