One of the things that’s been on my bucket list since the very beginning is to visit all the wonders of the world. Not only the seven wonders of the modern world (as most of the ones from the ancient world are sadly no more), but also the seven wonders of the natural word, which people tend to forget about more. However, they are all beautiful locations and/or phenomenons, both natural and man-made, so I decided I’d make a series of sorts out of them. This first post will briefly describe the wonders of the ancient world and future posts will include those from the modern world and from the natural world, as well as any other suitable classification I might find. So, without further ado, here we go!
7 Wonders of the Ancient World
- The Great Pyramids of Egypt: Located in Giza, they include the Pyramid of Khufu (also known as the “Great Pyramid” and the “Pyramid of Cheops”); the somewhat smaller Pyramid of Khafre (or Kephren); the relatively modest-sized Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinus), along with a number of smaller satellite edifices known as “Queen’s pyramids”; and the Great Sphinx. They are the only wonder of the ancient world that still stands today.
- Hanging Gardens of Babylon: It is interesting to note that their exact location has not been identified. They are said to have been built near modern-day Hillah, Babil province. According to one legend, these gardens might have been built by Nebuchadnezzar II for his beloved wife who missed the greenery of her homeland in about 600 B.C. They would have been a remarkable feat of engineering: an ascending series of tiered gardens containing all manner of trees, shrubs, and vines.
- Temple of Artemis at Ephesus: This Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis was located in Ephesus (near the modern town of Selçuk in present-day Turkey). It was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401 AD, and only foundations and sculptural fragments of the latest of the temples at the site remain. The two images that accompany this paragraph represent what the temple is thought to have looked like and the site of the temple today.
- Statue of Zeus at Olympia: This giant seated figure, about 13 m (43 ft) tall, was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias around 435 BC at the sanctuary of Olympia, Greece, and erected in the Temple of Zeus there. A sculpture of ivory plates and gold panels over a wooden framework, it represented the god Zeus sitting on an elaborate cedar wood throne ornamented with ebony, ivory, gold and precious stones. Sadly, it was lost and destroyed during the 5th century AD with no copy ever being found, and details of its form are known only from ancient Greek descriptions and representations on coins.
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: This wonder was actually a tomb, built between 353 and 350 BC at present Bodrum, Turkey for a satrap in the Persian Empire, and his wife. It was approximately 45 m (148 ft) tall, and the four sides were decorated with sculptural reliefs, each created by one of four Greek sculptors—Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros and Timotheus. It was destroyed by successive earthquakes from the 12th to the 15th century.
- Colossus of Rhodes: Statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name, by Chares of Lindos in 280 BC. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, whose son unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC. Before its destruction in the earthquake of 226 BC, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 metres (98 feet) high, making it the tallest statue of the ancient world at the time. What’s also interesting about it is that, as of 2015, there are actually tentative plans to build a new Colossus at the location of the original.
- Lighthouse of Alexandria: built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 280 and 247 BC , this lighthouse was between 393 and 450 ft (120 and 137 m) tall, making it one of the tallest man-made structures in the world for many centuries. Badly damaged by three earthquakes between AD 956 and 1323, it then became an abandoned ruin. In 1480, the last of its remnant stones were used to build the Citadel of Qaitbay on the site. In 1994, French archaeologists discovered some remains of the lighthouse on the floor of Alexandria’s Eastern Harbour. The Ministry of State of Antiquities in Egypt has planned, as of late 2015, to turn submerged ruins of ancient Alexandria, including those of the Pharos, into an underwater museum.
What do you guys think? Which one is your favourite? WHich one would you like to go back in time and visit?
Leave you answers in the comments below!