The seven wonders of the world are simply the outstanding architectural and sculptural achievements of ancient times. It comprises of the spectacular natural wonders and manmade structures of the world. The first seven wonders of the ancient world comprised the remarkable buildings of classical antiquity—the period of cultural history between the 6th century AD that centered on the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. They include; The Great Pyramid of Giza (the only one that still exists), Hanging Garden of Babylon, Colossus of Rhodes, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus at Olympia and Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
The Swiss foundation, however, started a campaign in the year 2000 to determine the new seven wonders of the world. The reason for the campaign was due to the fact that the initial list was compiled in the 2nd century. People all over the world agreed to this and over a 100 million vote was cast on the internet. Results were announced in 2007 that birthed the new seven wonders of the world.
Christ the Redeemer
(1931) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer is a massive statue of Jesus Christ that is situated at the top of Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You can trace its origin back to the first world war (World War 1); the time when some Brazilians who feared a tide of godlessness proposed a statue. The statue was later designed by Heitor da Silva Costa—Brazilian civil engineer, designer and constructor; Carlos Oswald—Italian engraver; and Paul Ladowski—French monument sculptor. The trio began construction in 1926 and finished off in 1931 (5 years after). Christ the Redeemer Monument stands 98 feet (30 meters tall)—not including the base that is about 26 feet (8 meters high). Its outstretched arms span 92 feet (28 meters). Christ the Redeemer is the world’s largest art deco. It is made of strengthened concrete and covered in over six million tiles.
The Roman Colosseum
(70-82 AD) – Rome, Italy
The Roman Colosseum was built in the first century on the order of Emperor Vespasian. The Colosseum measures 620 by 513 feet (189 by 156 meters) and features a multiple systems of vaults, capable of holding about 50,000 spectators. It housed notable events like; gladiator fights and men fighting animals. There is also a belief that Christians were martyred there by specifically throwing them to lions (this fact haven’t been proven yet). It is estimated that about 500,00 people died in the Colosseum and that a lot of animals were captured and killed in there
The Great Wall of China
(220 BC and 1368-1644 AD)
This is one of the world’s largest building. It is believed to be about 8,850 km long, but a Chinese study claims that it is 21,200 km long. Work on the Great Chinese Wall began in the 7th century BC and continued for two millennia. The structure comprises of two parallel walls for lengthy stretches. The Great Wall of China was built to provide security by preventing invasions and raids, it however, failed to provide any. According to scholars, it served as a political propaganda.
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(1460-1470) – Peru
The Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel that is set high in the Andes Mountains above the Urubamba River valley. It was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham who believed that it was called Vilcabamba—a secret Incan hideout used during the 16th-century rebellion against the Spanish rule. There have been plenty of speculations about the actual purpose of the Machu Picchu by scholars. Hiram Bingham believed it was home to women who lived in convents under a chastity vow ‘Virgins of the Sun’. Other scholars said it is more likely to be a pilgrimage site, some other scholars believed it was a royal retreat. It was used for 80 years before it was abandoned.
(9 BC- 40 AD) Jordan
Famous for its archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert, the ancient city of Petra is located in a remote valley among sandstone mountains and cliffs. There are beliefs that it is the place were Moses struck a rock and water gushed out. It was the capital of the Nabataeans—an Arabian tribe. It flourished as the capital of the Nabataeans as it became a trade center for spices. The Nabataeans were famous carvers. They chiseled dwellings, temples, and tombs into the sandstone (that change colors with the shifting of the sun). Its most famous structure was 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury. The city, however, declined as trade routes shifted. An earthquake in 363 CE and 551 CE dealt the final blow that caused the abandonment of the city. It was later rediscovered in 1912.
(Before 800 AD) Yucanan, Penisula, Mexico
Flourished in the 9th and 10th century, El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, a massive step pyramid dominates the ancient city. The city thrived from 600 AD to 1200s. The setting sun casts shadows on the pyramid that gives the appearance of a serpent slithering down the north stairway, during spring and autumnal equinoxes. Nightly sound-and-light shows always illuminate the buildings’ classy geometry.
The Taj Mahal
(1630 AD) Agra, India
Regarded as the world’s most iconic monuments, the Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife Mumtaz Mahal ‘Chosen One of the Palace’ who died in 1631 whilst birthing their 14th child. The monument is made of white marble that has semi-precious stones in geometric and floral patterns. The Taj Mahal’s majestic central dome is circled by four smaller domes.
Story by MarvisClara Kamalu