What are the 7 wonders of the world? The original list of 7 world wonders was compiled by ancient Greek historians and so only includes monuments of the ancient classical era. That list includes:
The Colossus of Rhodes – Greece
The Great Pyramid of Giza – Egypt
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon – Iraq
The Lighthouse of Alexandria – Egypt
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus – Turkey
The Statue of Zeus a Olympia – Greece
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Unfortunately, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of these wonders that still exists today. Perhaps it is for this reason that other lists of different wonders have been created. There is a list of the 7 natural wonders of the world and a list of 7 man-made modern wonders. In 2007, after a 7-year-long project involving votes and surveys from people across the globe, the New 7 Wonders Foundation launched a New 7 Wonders of the World list.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China consists of several different walls, some of which date back to the 7th century BC. Little of the original wall remains today – that which does still stand is largely of the Ming dynasty (14th – 17th century AD). The wall stretches from Dandong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, roughly following the shape of the border between China and southern Mongolia.
Cristo Redentor – Brazil
Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is an Art Deco likeness of Jesus Christ was created by a team of artists, sculptors, and engineers from across the world. The statue is 30 meters tall, which doesn’t include the 8-meter-tall plinth on which it stands, and the open arms stretch 28 meters across.
Machu Picchu – Peru
The Incas built the citadel of Machu Picchu around 1450 for the emperor Pachacuti but it was abandoned a century later during the Spanish Conquest. Whilst the site was well known to local Inca people, its existence remained unknown to the Spanish until 1911 when American historian Hiram Bingham threw a spotlight on it.
Chichen Itza – Mexico
Sitting atop a 24-meter-high Meso-American step pyramid is the Temple of Kukulkan, the most notable structure at the Chichen Itza site. Built by the Maya sometime between the 9th and 12th century, each side of the pyramid consists of 91 steps.
The Colosseum in Rome – Italy
Situated in the centre of Rome, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built. It was constructed between 72 and 80 AD and was designed to seat between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators. It was used for a variety of public events, from gladiator contests and public animal hunts to executions and Classical dramas. Despite being partially ruined, it remains one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Taj Mahal – India
The Taj Mahal stands on the bank of the Yamuna River in the city of Agra. It is a mausoleum, commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 to hold the tomb of his favourite wife. Whilst the mausoleum was completed in 1643, the whole Taj Mahal complex wasn’t finished until 10 years later. It cost an estimated 32 million rupees, the equivalent of around £5.8 million today. But it’s well worth the money as the site attracts between 7 and 8 million visitors each year!
Petra – Jordan
Also known as the Rose City due to the colour of stone from which it is carved, Petra is famous for its architecture, which was carved directly into the rock. Whilst the site dates back to 312 BC, it was unknown to the western world until 1812 when Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt brought global attention to it.