There are many inspirations for travel destinations, and today’s article touches on a key list of sights – the Seven Wonders of the World. Do you know all of them?
The Wonders of the World
Everyone has heard about the Seven Wonders of the World at some point in their lives. However, not many people are aware of what these wonders are. There is a certain amount of mystery associated with many of these structures or ancient sites that are so stunning that they entice people from around the world.
The concept of the ‘wonders of the world’ dates back to the 5th century BC to Greece. The first list of wonders typically included only those sites that were known to the ancient Greeks at that time. Today, however, only one of these original wonders is still around. Since then, many new wonders have been constructed and have found their way into this exceptional list.
Before exploring the modern-day Seven Wonders, it is interesting to first take a look at the original Seven Ancient Wonders of the World:
- The Great Pyramid of Giza
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria
- The Colossus of Rhodes
Over the ensuing years, humans have constructed more magnificent structures that we now have a new set of wonders, referred to as the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Let’s take a look at these impressive monuments and sites.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is the oldest structure on the modern wonders list. Certain sections of the wall have been found to have been constructed as early as the 7th century BC. However, the major part was built during the Ming Dynasty, between 1368 and 1644 AD.
The wall was built to defend China’s northern border and is over 13,000 miles long. Today, China’s most popular tourist attraction is intriguing to visit as it integrates history, engineering, culture, and scenery. It was made a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Chichen Itza in Mexico
Shrouded in mystery, Chichen Itza is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico. This ancient city of the Mayan civilization was built in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula sometime between the 8th and 10th centuries.
The primary monument is the El Castillo pyramid, which features 365 steps; this structure demonstrates the Mayan’s strong knowledge of astronomy. At one point, Chichen Itza was a major city with 35,000 inhabitants, but over time the Maya people moved to small towns, and the large cities were abandoned, left to the jungle. The ruins of the Chichen Itza city were discovered in the early 19th century by the American explorer John Lloyd Stephens. The site is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Christ the Redeemer in Brazil
One of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks of South America is the Christ the Redeemer statue. Built on top of Mount Corcovado, this statue of Christ with his arms wide open towers over the town of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The statue’s location on the summit was chosen to be visible from anywhere in the city.
Construction of the statue began in 1922, and it took nine years to complete. The statue is 98 feet tall, on top of a base that is 26 feet tall, and Christ’s outstretched arms span 92 feet. While tourists used to climb up more than 200 steps to visit the statue, escalators and elevators have been added in the last twenty years.
Machu Picchu in Peru
Machu Picchu is an ancient city located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes. Built by the Inca Empire starting in the mid-1500s, the city was abandoned a century later as the Spanish conquest of Peru waged on.
Machu Picchu is sometimes also referred to as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, though it is an incorrect association. Machu Picchu is believed to have been the royal estate of the Incan Emperor Pachacuti.
Today, it is one of the most famous destinations in South America, and there is still a great deal of mysticism surrounding this beautiful Incan city. With its isolation in the Andes Mountains, it is fascinating to see the complex design that features temples, plazas, residential areas, and agricultural terraces. Associated with Machu Picchu is the Inca Trail, the formal entrance at the southeastern end of the site. It typically takes three to five days to hike the trail. Alternatively, most visitors reach the site by taking a train from Cuzco as a day trip.
Taj Mahal in India
This famous monument of love is located in the city of Agra in India. The Taj Mahal is a famous mausoleum constructed between 1632 and 1643 after being commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
This magnificent mausoleum is built entirely out of white marble. It is said that over 22,000 laborers and 1,000 elephants were used to construct this ode to love.
Petra City in Jordan
Another ancient city that finds itself on the Seven Wonders of the Modern World list is Petra. This ancient city is located in the south of Jordan and dates back to 400 BC. It is believed, though, that settlers inhabited the town much before that time.
The city is carved into sandstone cliffs, with varying shades of red, orange, and yellow; it’s been called the ‘Red Rose City.’ The Nabataeans, an Arab tribe, built the city and flourished as it was a center on trade routes.
In 1812, the ruins of Petra were re-discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. It was at this time that the world was made aware of this city’s existence.
The Colosseum in Italy
The Colosseum is a massive ancient structure that has seen many gladiators battle for their lives. Constructed in the first century, it is believed that the Colosseum could house nearly 50,000 people at any time.
The Colosseum witnessed many events; besides gladiator battles, men fighting animals was also a standard feature. Interestingly, this engineering marvel sometimes had water pumped into it for simulated naval engagements.
Though the structure has suffered severe damage over the years due to many earthquakes, it still stands majestically intact even two thousand years after its construction.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
No list of the Wonders of the World would be complete without the inclusion of one of the original wonders of the world – the Great Pyramid of Giza. Built around 2500 BC, the Great Pyramid at Giza is today the only ancient wonder that still stands from the original list of seven wonders.
This grand monument has been built from nearly two million stone blocks, and it took around 20 years and 20,000 men to complete the construction. It was built as a final resting place for the 4th century Pharaoh Khufu.
The remarkable accuracy of the pyramid’s construction is still a mystery even today, and numerous excavations have taken place here over the years to uncover the secrets inside this pyramid. Archaeologists have found three chambers and a series of tunnels and alleyways that run deep within the pyramid structure.
Even after thousands of years, the Great Pyramid of Giza remains an enigma, and its secrets are yet to be discovered.
These marvelous Seven Wonders of the Modern World continue to excite and thrill people everywhere in the world. Various lists contain numerous Wonders of the World, but there is no doubt that these monuments will find their way on every list due to being the world’s most spectacular human-made structures.