Wonders and Sights to Behold

I was interested in the Seven Wonders of the World so I did a little research and decided to share.  All of this information and the photos are from Wikipedia, I have merely compiled it into a more concise article. 

Early historians made mention of the Seven Wonders (literally translates as must sees).  These 7 wonders (according to Wikipedia) are:

1. The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza   is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa, and is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for Fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) and constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.

2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon

This hand-coloured engraving by the 16th-century Dutch artist Martin Heemskerck depicts the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  According to the tradition, the gardens did not hang, but grew on the roofs and terraces of the royal palace in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar II, the Chaldean king, is supposed to have had the gardens built in about 600 BC as a consolation to his Median wife, who missed the natural surroundings of her homeland.  The gardens were destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC.

3. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the classical Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was made by the famed classical sculptor Phidias circa 432 BC in Olympia, Greece.  The seated statue, some 12 metres (39 feet) tall, occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple built to house it. “It seems that if Zeus were to stand up,” the geographer Strabo noted early in the 1st century BC, “he would unroof the temple.” Historians are unsure the cause of the destruction of the statue.

4. The Temple of Artemis

The Temple of Artemis, as imagined in this hand-coloured engraving by Martin Heemskerck (1498 – 1574).

The Temple of Artemis, also known less precisely as Temple of Diana, was a temple dedicated to Artemis completed in its most famous phase, around 550 BC at Ephesus (in present-day Turkey). The Temple of Artemis was located near the ancient city of Ephesus, about 50 km south from the modern port city of İzmir, in Turkey. In the seventh century, a flood destroyed the temple, depositing over half a meter of sand and scattering flotsam over the former floor of hard-packed clay.

5. The Tomb of Maussollos

A reconstruction of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, depicted in this hand-coloured engraving by Martin Heemskerck (16th century).

The Tomb of Maussollos, Mausoleum of Maussollos  was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia II of Caria, his wife and sister.

The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyrus and Pythius.  It stood approximately 45 metres (135 feet) in height, and each of the four sides was adorned with sculptural reliefs created by each one of four Greek sculptors — Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros and Timotheus.  A series of earthquakes shattered the columns and sent the bronze chariot crashing to the ground. By 1404 only the very base of the Mausoleum was still recognizable.

6. The Colossus of Rhodes

This drawing of Colossus of Rhodes, which illustrated The Grolier Society’s 1911 Book of Knowledge, is probably fanciful, as the statue likely did not stand astride the harbour mouth.

The Colossus of Rhodes was a colossus of the Greek god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC.  Before its destruction, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (107 ft) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.  The statue stood for only 54 years until Rhodes was hit by an earthquake in 226 BC. The statue snapped at the knees and fell over on to the land.

7. The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The lighthouse of Alexandria was a tower built in the 3rd century BC (between 285 and 247 BC) on the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt to serve as that port’s landmark, and later, its lighthouse.  With a height variously estimated at between 115 ~ 150 meters (377 ~ 492 ft) it was among the tallest man-made structures on Earth for many centuries. The tower was severely damaged by two earthquakes in 1303 and 1323.

I did not know that only one of the ancient wonders was still standing so I found this information very interesting.  There are a lot of lists of Wonders of the World and you may be thinking of some thing that seems to be left off of this list; it may be on one of the other lists and I will post of those in the future.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down history lane.  I know I did.

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