We already know the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
They date back to the second century BCE. And it is possible that at least one of the wonders might not have existed at all. So, in 2000 a Swiss Foundation launched a contest for people to vote for the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Tens of millions of people around the world voted for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that have now updated the list. The votes were cast on the Internet and by text messaging. In 2007, the results were announced. So, let me present to you the 7 New Wonders of the World:
7. The Great Wall Of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the world’s largest man-made buildings. It is 5,500 miles (8,850 km) long. Although some studies state that its length might be 13,170 miles (21,200 km). It will take you 4,210 hours or 175 days of non-stop walking to get to know it all. Its construction started in the 7th century BCE and was finished two millennia after. It was built to protect the Chinese Empire and prevent invasions and raids, though it failed. Some scholars believe that the wall served more as “political propaganda” than actual security. Nevertheless, it is a wonder no doubt.
6. Chichén Itzá
Chichén Itzá is located on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It was a Mayan City, dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries CE. Among the amazing monuments and temples that were built by the Mayan tribe Itzá, the pyramid El Castillo (Spanish for “The Castle”) stands out. It is 79 feet (24 meters) high. What’s most incredible about the pyramid is that it features a total of 365 steps, the total number of days in the solar year, making it a real proof of the Mayans ’ well-known astronomical wisdom. Besides, Chichén Itzá is home to the largest tlachtli, a field where the pre-Columbian Measoamericans played the ritual ball game.
Petra is an ancient city in Jordan. It is located in a remote valley, surrounded by sandstone mountains and cliffs. It is believed to be one of the places where Moses hit a rock and the water gushed out. It was once the capital of the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe, who made it a very important trade center at the time. The Nabataeans carved dwellings, temples, and tombs into the sandstone which change color with the shifting sun. Furthermore, they constructed a water system that irrigated the gardens and farms. Unfortunately, an earthquake in 363 CE caused great damage to the city, and in 551 another tremor hit the city, making it difficult to live there and people eventually abandoned it.
4. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is an Incan site located near Cuzco, Peru, It was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, who believed it was Vilcabamba, a secret Incan fortress used during the 16th-century rebellion against the Spanish invasion. He was wrong though, but Machu Picchu has been a discussion focus for scholars since its discovery. The real purpose of Machu Picchu is still unknown, but what is known is that it is the major pre-Columbian ruins found nearly intact. It features agricultural platforms, residential areas, and religious temples.
The Colosseum located in Rome, Italy, dates back to the 1st century AD. It was built under the order of Emperor Vespasian. The amphitheater is 620 by 513 feet (189 by 156 meters) wide. And it features a complex system of vaults. Its human capacity went to 50,000 spectators, who visit it to attend different kinds of events. The most noteworthy was the gladiator fights and the Christian martyrdom when people were thrown to lions. It is estimated that around 500,000 people died inside it. Furthermore, such countless animals were caught and afterward slaughtered there that specific species allegedly got extinct.
2. Christ The Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer is located atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is a huge statue of Jesus that dates back to 1922 and was completed in 1931. It was designed by Heitor da Silva Costa, Carlos Oswald, and Paul Landowski. The monument is 124 feet (38 meters) high. Its arms are outstretched and span 92 feet (28 meters) long. It is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world. It is made out of reinforced concrete and is covered in approximately six million tiles. In 2014, the statue was struck by lightning and the tip of Jesus’s right thumb was damaged. And it is not the first time it has been struck by lightning.
1. Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum complex with an immense garden and a reflecting pool located in Agra, India. It is considered the world’s most iconic monument and the finest example of Mughal architecture. It took 21 years and around 20,000 workers to build it. Its construction started in 1632 and finally completed in 1653 under the order of Emperor Shah Jahān to honor his dead wife Mumtāz Maḥal who died giving birth to their 14th child. It is made out of white marble and semiprecious stones that make the geometrical and floral patterns of the decoration. Furthermore, its majestic central dome is surrounded by four other smaller domes.