We have all heard about the 7 wonders of the world, but what are the places that are part of this prestigious and emblematic list? The seven wonders of the Ancient World are a set of architectural and sculpture works that the Greeks of Greece, especially those of the Hellenistic period, considered worthy to be seen and visited.
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
As you all know, the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World is a list that includes the architectural and sculptural works that marked a before and after in history. They were selected by the Dutch painter Maarten van Heemskerck in the 14th century. Only one of them is currently standing. While the existence of others is still a mystery for researchers and experts in the field.
In ancient Greece, several lists of works that had to be known were made. Places, to which to travel sometime. But the list that we know today was just completed in the sixteenth century when a Dutch painter made a picture of each wonder based on the lists of the Hellenic people.
The wonders captured in these paintings did not have any classification criteria; they were simply the most striking for the artist. Hence the famous list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was made.
Between that there was no objective selection, and that the world was still very large and unknown, has caused that this list is full of polemics among historians. Some claim the lack of the Chinese wall or Stonehenge, for example.
The lists made by the ancient Greeks were based on what they knew, in what was the empire of Alexander the Great.
But well, beyond the polemics or lack of information, this is the list accepted today: Seven Wonder of the Ancient World were:
Great Pyramid of Gizá | Egypt
Approximate date: 2580–2560 BC
It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that remains standing, and in turn, the oldest.
There are still many mysteries around the pyramids, and new discoveries come to light year after year. But in principle, it is known that it was the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu, located a few kilometers from the city of Cairo.
With its 146 meters of height and more than 2 million blocks of between 2 and 60 tons each and 200 years of construction, it becomes a monumental work and with a place totally deserved in this list.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon | Iraq
Approximate date: 800 – 600 BC
Its construction was ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar II as a token of love for his wife in ancient Babylon, now Iraq.
These gardens consisted of a series of terraces, from the banks of the Euphrates River to the royal palace.
The gardens were totally destroyed by the Persians in the year 126 BC. Although with the fall of the empire, they were already abandoned and in ruins when Alexander the Great came to the city for the first time.
The only proof of its existence is the old stories, so today after many investigations, its existence has been questioned. It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World of which one doubts that it really existed.
Temple of Artemis | Turkey
Approximate date: 550 BC
It was in the city of Ephesus, now Turkey.
The temple was built in honor of the goddess Artemis by King Croesus. A monumental marble structure with 127 columns of 60 meters high each, which housed images of different gods and warriors, in addition to Artemis.
The temple was destroyed by fire in 356 BC, rebuilt by Alexander the Great, and then destroyed by the Goths.
Years ago it was considered a third reconstruction of the temple, but it seems that the project is on hold and for now we will continue with the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as they are.
Statue of Zeus | Greece
Approximate date: 466 BC
The imposing 12-meter-tall statue honoring the god of the gods was in the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, Greece.
There is no trace of the statue of the main god of Olympus. Nor is it known what was its end, if it was burned in the same Olympia, or was moved to another city where it then had its end due to fires.
Most likely, it was destroyed by the Roman Empire when they began to remove all images of pagan cults.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus | Turkey
Approximate date: 353 BC
It is the tomb of King Mausolo, which was built in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, although today, it is the city of Bodrum in Turkey.
It is from this funerary work that the term “mausoleum” is born. This mausoleum had 4 floors and 45 meters high.
Although its name lasted through millennia and the structure endured several invasions. It ended up yielding to nature in 1404 due to an earthquake.
Decades later, the Knights of the Order of San Juan, gave the final blow using the ruins of the mausoleum to build their defense against the Turks.
The Colossus of Rhodes | Greece
Approximate date: 290 BC
The Colossus of Rhodes welcomed all travelers at the entrance to the port of the Island of Rhodes. This statue in honor of the god Helios, measured 32 meters high and had a marble base of 15 meters. Its measures are similar to what today is the Statue of Liberty.
But in spite of such an enormous work, nature was in charge of turning it into the wonder of the world that lasted less in time. As only 40 years after its construction is completed, an earthquake knocked him down.
The Colossus remained on the ground for centuries impacting visitors. Until finally it is believed that it was dismantled by bronze. It is said that they could be, from Muslims, Jewish merchants, to the Knights of San Juan.
Be that as it may, we will never know the end … but, since 2015 there is a project to build a new colossus, much bigger. For now, the status of the project has not been updated, but, who knows in the future.
Alexandria Lighthouse | Egypt
Approximate date: 280 BC
Along with the pyramids, the Alexandria Lighthouse must be one of the ancient wonders that everyone can say by heart.
It was built on the Isle of Pharos, in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
With its 135 meters high illuminated the shores of the Mediterranean for 1,500 years. Until an earthquake ended with this work that for centuries was one of the highest on the planet.
As with the Colossus of Rhodes, but in a more advanced state. Egypt approved a project for the reconstruction of the lighthouse for tourism purposes. The project is approved and is still on-going.