The Seven Wonders of the World is a list of seven historical sites that are regarded as the most beautiful and outstanding man-made monuments around the world. These incredible buildings were chosen as the “New 7 Wonders of the World” in a global online voting organized by the New7Wonders Foundation located in Zurich, Switzerland. The campaign started in 2000 with the selection of 200 monuments and over a period of seven years people from different countries could vote for their favourite sites via Internet or by telephone. The winners were finally announced in Lisbon on July 7th, 2007. So how about learning some interesting facts and myths about these amazing works of architecture?
THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Video by The Most Beautiful Video Channel. Creative Commons License.
The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre located in the centre of the city of Rome in Italy. This outstanding work of architecture, which is regarded as a symbol of the power and glory of the Roman Empire, is the largest amphitheatre ever built in history. In the early years, the Colosseum was mainly used for entertainment. For example, there are many historical records that depict the contests of gladiators, re-enactments of famous battles and performances of dramas that took place in the central stage of the amphitheatre. When Emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity in 312 A.D, the building ceased to be used for entertainment and started to be used for religious purposes.
Picture by Kirkandmimi. Public Domain License.
The citadel of Machu Picchu is located on a mountain ridge in the High Andes of Peru. Many archaeologists and historians agree that Machu Picchu was built by the Inca Emperor Pachacutec in the late 15th century. In fact, the construction of the citadel began when the power and influence of the Inca civilization started to grow and spread throughout the region. According to some historical records, Machu Picchu was inhabited by at least three generations of Incas, but then it was mysteriously abandoned. For many centuries, “The Lost City of the Incas” remained unknown to the world until it was discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911.
Picture by LoggaWiggler. Public Domain License.
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built entirely out of white ivory marbles in the Indian city of Agra. This magnificent monument was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 to pay a tribute to his wife Mumtaz Mahal after her death. Shah Jahan wanted to build a beautiful and peaceful resting place for his beloved wife. The Taj Mahal was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 for representing the Muslim art in India and for being one of the most admired architectonical masterpieces in the world. In fact, the Taj Mahal is regarded as a symbol of eternal love.
Picture by Myeviajes. Public Domain License.
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built by many Chinese dynasties over hundreds of years to protect the Chinese Empire against the invasions of various nomadic tribes from the Eurasian Steppe such as the Mongol, Turic and Xiongnu people. The wall is approximately 20,000 kilometers long and it is the longest man-made structure in the world. One of the most popular ancient myths related to this fortress was that many people used to believe that the Great Wall was so immense that it could be seen from the moon.
Picture by Panayota. Public Domain License.
Christ the Redeemer is a statue located at the peak of the Corcovado mountain in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue, which is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, is 30 metres tall and the arms stretch 28 meters wide. The monument was designed by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. The sculpture is considered a symbol of Christianity around the world and is the largest Art Deco statue ever built. To celebrate the monument’s 75th anniversary in 2006, a small chapel was built at the base of the statute.
Petra is a historical and archaeological site in the Kingdom of Jordan in Western Asia. This ancient city, also known as “The Rose City” because of the colour of the stone used by the Nabataeans to build it, was the trading center and capital of the Nabataean empire. The Nabataeans were a group of Arab people who lived in northern Arabia between 400 B.C. and 106 A.D. For many centuries, “The Lost City” remained unknown to the Western world until it was discovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. This captivating city was also a source of inspiration for many writers. In one of his most famous poems, John William Burgon described Petra as “a rose-red city half as old as time“.
Picture by Skeeze. Public Domain License.
Chichen Itza is an archaeological site located in the Mexican state of Yucatán. In the past, this place was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Mayans over a period of a thousand years. Chichen Itza reached its golden era between 600 and 800 AD and during that period the city was the centre of the political, cultural and economic life of the Maya civilization. Also, this site was a religious centre because it was the seat of power of the priest-kings. Therefore, the most important rites and rituals of the Maya religion took place inside the temples and pyramids of the city.
Picture by MarkgCap. Public Domain License.
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