More than two millennia ago, bold Hellenic travelers created the initial seven wonders of the ancient world list and were astonished by humanity's most-amazing man created structures. Sadly, aside from the Great Pyramid of Giza, all the originals have been destroyed over time.
Therefore, in 2001 Swiss-born Canadian filmmaker Bernard Weber established the New Wonders Foundation to identify a new set of seven amazing works for our current age. Vast amounts of deliberating, and discussions, and they eventually narrowed it down to these astounding accomplishments that made the final cut.
The Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever constructed, is an iconic symbol of Roman history and a revered World Wonder. Taking eight years to build from sand and stone between AD 72-80, it boasts a capacity of 80,000 spectators in a circular ring around the central stage.
It has witnessed remarkable events over its lifetime, from gladiatorial games, Classical plays, and animal hunts to executions and mock sea battles. Over the centuries, it has been damaged by earthquakes and stone robbers but still stands strong today as a popular attraction for tourists.
The Great Wall of China is a barrier spanning thousands of miles along the northern border of China. Its multiple sections date back to the 7th century BCE when smaller walls were created for defensive purposes against nomadic tribes.
Qin Shi Huang, China's first Emperor in 220 BCE, united them into one fortification and extended it further to safeguard the nation from external threats. It is famously known as one of the seven wonders, and its entire length, including branches, is awe-inspiring 13,171 miles.
The iconic Taj Mahal, Persian for Crown of Palaces, stands majestically on the banks of the River Yamuna in Agra. A symbol of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's undying love for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal, it was built between 1631 and 1653 at a whopping cost of 32 million rupees (or about US$827 million now).
The beautiful marble mausoleum is surrounded by 42 acres of gardens, a mosque, a guesthouse, and a pool. It was selected as one of the seven Wonders of the World in 2007 and has been honored with UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Countless travelers visit to soak up its grandeur and learn more about India's rich Mughal history.
The legendary totemic statue of Christ the Redeemer, visible from Rio de Janeiro, stands atop Mount Corcovado. Standing at 30 meters tall, this world-renowned symbol of Brazil was designed by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski in the 1920s and completed with the expertise of Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and French engineer Albert Caquot in 1931.
Constructed using 6 million soapstone tiles to cover its reinforced concrete structure, it is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world. Built soon after WWI, when morale had been greatly diminished, it was seen as a powerful representation of Christianity and hope. Hence, Christ the Redeemer has attained worldwide fame for making its way into the coveted list of seven wonders.
Machu Picchu is a lost treasure of the 15th century, nestled high in the Andes Mountains above Peru's Sacred Valley. The citadel stands as one of the few pre-Columbian ruins still intact, boasting evidence of plazas, temples, agricultural terraces, and homes. Researchers suggest that Machu Picchu was built by the Inca emperor Pachacuti in 1450, with its polished drystone walls constructed with great care.
Unfortunately, the Incans left it behind just a century later, and it remained hidden for centuries until being brought to public attention by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911. Its incredible state of preservation has since granted it recognition as one of mankind's seven wonders.
The Mayan city of Chichen Itza can be found deep in the Yucatán state of Mexico. Built by the pre-Columbian tribe Itzá between the 9th and 12th centuries, it features an array of monuments and temples, including El Castillo, also known as the Temple of Kukulcan.
This towering step pyramid was erected to honor the god Kukulkan, its 365 steps represent each day of the year. Come spring and summer equinoxes triangular shadows create a dramatic spectacle on the pyramid's northern stairway akin to a feathered serpent slowly descending towards a stone snake head at ground level. Unsurprisingly, Chichen Itza is one of today's seven wonders!
The 'rose city' of Petra, located in southern Jordan, is renowned for its golden hue and dates as far back as 312 BC. This ancient city was established by the Arab Nabataeans, a sophisticated civilization that created stunning architecture and intricate waterways out of the rock faces in the remote valley. Boasting prosperity from their successful trade business, Petra flourished before being destroyed by an earthquake.
For centuries, it remained unknown to the Western world until Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt 'rediscovered' it in 1812. John William Burgon admiringly wrote about this 'rose-red city half as old as time'.
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Web Story- 7 Wonders of the World 2023