The Seven Wonders of the World, or better known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World present a list of remarkable constructions of classical antiquity. The name was given to them by various authors in poems and guidebooks. But they were part of our Ancient History. Nowadays, we have even bigger, more remarkable, and glorifying wonders of the modern world.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Built as a tomb for Khufu, an Egyptian pharaoh, the Pyramids of Giza are the oldest and sole remaining intact of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. When it was originally built, it was almost 147 meters tall. Due to erosion, it is now just 139 meters tall. Thought to be constructed of over two million stone blocks that range from 2 to 52 tons, it remains a mystery how they were transported. According to many historians, more than 100,000 people were involved in the construction of the Pyramids of Giza. Same as other pyramids in Egypt, it is situated on the west bank of the River Nile, because that is where the sun sets every morning.
Modern Counterpart – Louvre Museum
The Louvre museum in Paris is considered one of the modern wonders of the world. It is the biggest and most famous museum in the world, and the glass entrance the museum is in a shape of a modern pyramid. There are also other pyramid structures that can take this title, including the world’s tallest pyramid-shaped structure, the colossal Ryungyong Hotel in Pyongyang in North Korea. The hotel is known as “Hotel of Doom”, and is 330 meters tall.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Despite being located in Ephesus, Turkey, the Temple was a Greek temple, built in dedication to the Goddess Artemis. The Artemesium was built to honor the goddess of the moon and the hunt, by King Croesus of Lydia. The structure is built in classic Ionic style.
The temple was more than 400 feet long and 200 wide, and its construction would last 120 years. Sidon, a Greek poet, praised the temple as the “finest of the ancient wonders”. The great temple was rebuilt after being burned by a madman named Herostratus in 356 BC.
Modern Counterpart – Wat Rong Khun
Known to foreigners as the White Temple, this building is a contemporary and privately-owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple. Located outside the city of Chiang Rai in Thailand, the temple is known for the prevalence of white on the building and art pieces. It was designed and funded by a local artist who devoted his life to building the temple. Built and opened in 1997, it is just one of the alternatives to Artemis Temple. Others include Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, and the Lotus temple in New Delhi.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Of all the Seven Wonders of the World, this is the only one whose exact location has not been established. Some historians even believe that the Hanging Gardens are just a mythical place. Others believe they were built by King Nebuchadnezzer II around 600BC. The king built it to make his wife happy, as she was homesick for the plants and gardens of her homeland.
Modern Counterpart – Miracle Garden in Dubai
The world’s largest natural flower garden houses more than 45 million flowers. Given its location, the Garden is a logical part of the Wonders of the Modern World. It was opened on Valentine’s day in 2013. The garden covers more than 72,000m2 site, with blooms fashioned into the shapes of hearts, igloos, pyramids, and stars. Floral structures are changed every season, so that repeat visitors get a different experience. The biggest and best structure was a life-size replica of the Emirates Airbus A380, which entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2016 as “the largest floral installation”.
Lighthouse of Alexandria
At the time it was built, the Lighthouse was the tallest man-made structure in the world. It remained one for centuries. The lighthouse was built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 280BC and 247BC, and measured 137 meters in height. Due to frequent earthquakes, the lighthouse was damaged. It survived until 1480, when the last of its stones was used to build the Citadel of Qaitbay.
Modern Counterpart – Lighthouse in Lindau, Germany
When it comes to tall buildings, especially lighthouses, one cannot go wrong with the one in Lindau, Germany. It is the southernmost lighthouse in Germany, and it is 33 meters tall with a circumference of 24 meters at its base. The most notable feature is the clock on the façade. The medieval tower with a tall pyramid roof was completed in 1856. The modern tallest lighthouse is the 133 meters Jeddah Light, built in Saudi Arabian city in 1990.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Greeks loved their Gods and Goddesses, as we can see the list of Wonders of the Ancient World involves a lot of temples. This one features a Statue of Zeus, which used to sit at 42ft tall and was crafted out of precious stones, ebony, and gold. The temple was burned down in 475 AD, and the statue was destroyed. According to many legends and myths, looking in the eyes of the statue was like looking into the eyes of Zeus himself, and your life would be changed forever.
Modern Counterpart – The Golden Buddha in Bangkok
The most obvious alternative to Zeus is Buddha, another religious person. Golden Buddha is the world’s heaviest solid gold statue, weighing 5.5 tons. The three meters tall statue is located in the temple of Wat Traimit, Bangkok.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
This building was built between 335BC and 350BC. The tomb was designed for Mausolus, a Persian provincial governor. When it was built, it was 45 meters tall and covered in ornate reliefs by four different Greek sculptors. It was located near modern day Bodrum, Turkey. The mausoleum was destroyed by earthquakes between the 12th and 15th century. The biggest legacy is that the word “mausoleum” is now used to represent any above-ground tomb.
Modern Counterpart – Taj Mahal
The obvious choice is Taj Mahal, the most famous mausoleum in the world. The magnificent building was built in 1643 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It was built to house the body of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Colossus of Rhodes
The statue of the Greek God Helios was erected on the Greek island of Rhodes. The building was constructed between 292 and 280BC. The statue was built to represent the victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus. Sadly, the statue survived only 54 years, when it was destroyed by an earthquake. When it was built, it was 30 meters tall, and made of bronze and iron with a marble pedestal.
Modern Counterpart – Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer is a symbol of Christianity across the world, but it has also become a cultural icon of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. It is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, the statute was constructed between 1922 and 1931.