Monuments and most extraordinary sites ever built, the seven wonders of the world (ancient and modern world) tell us all their secrets.
The seven wonders of the world are among the masterpieces of ancient art. Grand and intriguing, these architectural achievements are so extraordinary that they are called wonders of the world.
All of them are distinguished by extraordinary proportions and bear witness to the power of their sponsors and the genius of their builders. Architectural prowess, weightlessness challenges, decorative richness … These legendary works enjoyed great celebrity throughout the ancient world and contributed to the influence of the cities that were built there. In 2007, they were supplemented by the seven new wonders of the modern world. Discover through this article, the history of the ancient seven wonders of the world, supplemented by the new seven wonders of the world.
1. What are the ancient seven wonders of the world?
1.1 The great pyramid of Giza; Egypt
The first of the seven wonders of the world also the only one of its wonders still standing nowadays, the pyramid of Cheops, is an imposing monument built by the Egyptians at the time of antiquity. On a square base, it rose to almost 150m in height for a side of 230m. Nowadays, it is a little smaller due to its erosion. It is from an almost sure source the tomb of the pharaoh Khufu who lived in the 4th dynasty, almost 4500 years ago. This pyramid is the largest of all the pyramids ever built, whatever the civilization and the era. Therefore, it represents a curiosity which leads to questions about its architecture, its construction methods, and the reasons for its construction. It is the main tomb of the necropolis of which it is a part, on the Giza plateau, closer to the capital of Egypt, Cairo.
1.2 The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are a collection of gardens located in the ancient city of Babylon in Iraq. Their beauties made them included in the ancient lists of the seven wonders of the world, and they appear today on the canonical list. But despite their descriptions by various authoritative people, this wonder of the world is the most questionable. Some even wonder if they really existed, because if we have archaeological traces of most of the other wonders of the world, or at least tangible elements attesting to their realities, for the gardens of Babylon, it is much more difficult to have proof.
1.3 The statue of Zeus at Olympia
This statue would have been built in Greece in the 5th century BC and would be the work of the sculptor Phidias. Made of gold and ivory, it represented the god seated on his throne, and it is said to have enjoyed great renown in the Greek world. It would have disappeared in a fire in the 5th century after being moved to Constantinople.
1.4 The temple of Artemis
The temple of Artemis also called Artemision. A sacred building from the Hellenic era built on the remains of older temples. It is located in Selçuk, Turkey, near the Aegean Sea, in a territory once dominated by the Greek Empire. This building was placed on the list of the seven wonders of the world because of its size and its decorations, a reason identical to the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, another of the seven wonders of the world.
1.5 The Mausolee of Halicarnassus
Located in the town of Bodrum (formerly known as Halicarnassus), which overlooks the Aegean Sea in south-west Turkey.
The Halicarnassus Mausoleum, a funerary monument that was completed in -350 BC and demolished definitively during the 15th century after that the stones were reused to build the castle of St Pierre. Halicarnassus was an important city in the kingdom of Caria, a kingdom which became independent under Governor Mausole.
This monument has been classified as one of the seven wonders of the world not because of its size or majesty, but because of the beauty of its appearance and the way in which it was decorated with sculptures or ornaments. The mausoleum was the main architectural monument of Halicarnassus, in a dominant position on a small hill overlooking the harbor.
1.6 The Colossus of Rhodes
This bronze statue representing the god Helios, God of the Sun. The statue was built on the Greek island of Rhodes in the third century BC and was illustrated by its gigantic size, which, according to some writings, exceeded thirty meters. Unfortunately, the wonder of Rhodes would have been the victim of an earthquake that would have caused it to fall apart. If texts suggest that the broken statue would have remained on site for several centuries, there remains no trace today.
1.7 The lighthouse of Alexandria
The lighthouse of Alexandria is one of the ancient seven wonders of the world. It is a large lighthouse, made of stone, with characteristic architecture and which the remains are currently in the port of Alexandria. The importance of this building placed it on the list of the seven wonders of the world, even when it did not appear there initially.
The presence of the lighthouse of Alexandria among the seven wonders of the world is, therefore, a way to mark the power of the Egyptian kingdom during Antiquity, Alexandria being the commercial, social and intellectual center of this kingdom at that time. Built during the 3rd century BC, it was demolished definitively during the 14th century, a time when the region suffered significant earthquakes.
2. The new seven wonders of the world
The new seven wonders of the world came as a result of an initiative launched in 2000 and through which a group of 200 statues and monuments were voted online on the Internet. The final list was issued on July 7 of 2007 as follows:
2.1 The Great Wall of China
This wonder was designed to protect the country from foreign invasions from the North, the Great Wall of China is an ancient vestige which construction spanned more than 2,000 years.
This impressive set of ramparts and stone fortifications, 6,700 km long, is the largest human structure ever built in terms of mass, length, and surface.
2.2 Petra, “The Pink City” – Jordan
It is called “The Pink City” due to the pink color of its rocks, which distinguishes this historic city, which is located in Ma’an Governorate, in the south of the Kingdom of Jordan. And a major way of trade between ancient civilizations, and the city was discovered for the first time by a Swiss traveler and historian “Joanne Lewis Barckhart,” and this was during an expedition in 1812.
2.3 The Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro from Mount Corcovado, the statue of Christ the Redeemer is a true emblem of Brazil. With its 38 meters high and its weight of 1145 tones, one can only feel very small next to this colossal religious sculpture.
2.4 Machu Picchu in Peru
Machu Picchu was designated among the new wonders of the world in 2007. This imposing site would have been a major political, religious, and administrative center of the Inca civilization and residence of the emperor Pachacútec. Abandoned during the collapse of the Inca empire, Machu Picchu disappeared under the jungle for a few centuries before archaeologists found its trace at the start of the 20th century. Becoming the first tourist attraction of Peru, Machu Picchu annually attracts nearly 800,000 visitors.
2.5 The archaeological site of Chichén Itzá in Mexico
Called “The City of Wizards,” this site is an ancient Mayan city in Mexico, abandoned several times, but rich in the cultural imprint of the different peoples who inhabited it. This city was probably the main religious center of Yucatán and remains today one of the most important and most visited archaeological sites in the world. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Mayan centers on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Throughout its history, the city has been embellished by the contribution of its different peoples. Several buildings of this civilization still remain, including the Temple of the Warriors, El Castillo, and the circular observatory known as El Caracol, even if most of the site has fallen into ruin over the centuries by various invasions.
2.6 The Colosseum
The Colosseum, a Roman amphitheater dating from antiquity, built under the reigns of the emperors Vespasian and Titus, then modified by Domitian. It is sometimes called the Flavian amphitheater. The Colosseum is the largest construction of Roman antiquity; it is currently located in downtown Rome, making it the most visited monument in Rome.
2.7 The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in India, in the city of Agra. An emblematic monument of this country, it is in finely chiseled white marble. It was built between 1631 and 1653 under the orders of Shah Jahan to shelter the grave of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth during the birth of their 14th child. The Taj Mahal is a marvel of Mughal architecture, at the crossroads of Islamic, Iranian, Persian and Indian styles.
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Originally published on Live Positively.