ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Seven Ancient Wonders

Updated on January 3, 2016

Throughout history, many “Seven wonders of the World” lists have come and gone. These lists tend to change with the times and none of them have been definitive. The original list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worldwas compiled by Greek historians. Therefore only the most magnificent structures known to them were included. Out of all the Ancient Wonders, only the pyramids at Giza, outside modern Cairo survive.

The largest, built by Cheops, a king of the fourth dynasty, had an original estimated height of 482 ft. It is now approximately 450 feet with a base approximately 755 ft long. It contains 2,300,000 blocks; each about 2.5 tons and is thought to have been completed around 2680 B.C. But what were considered the rest of the “wonders?”

The Statue of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia was made of gold and ivory by the Greek sculptor Phidias in the 5th century B.C. It was said to be 40 ft high, and disappeared without a trace except for reproductions on coins. Ancient Greeks worshiped Zeus as king of the gods and held regular festivals at Olympia which included athletic competitions.

The statue is said to have had Zeus seated on a throne inlaid with ebony and precious stones. According to written descriptions viewing platforms were built along the walls so that people could climb up and see the gods' face.

The Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus was begun about 350 B.C., in honor of a non-Hellenic goddess who later became identified with the Greek goddess of the same name. The temple, with columns 60 ft high, was destroyed by invading Goths in 262 A.D. The structure was so large it took 120 years to complete. It was one of the largest temples built in the ancient times with a foundation measuring 377 by 40 feet. It stood in the Greek city of Aphasias in what is now Turkey.

Except for its tile covered wooden roof the temple was entirely marble. Relatively speaking the temple had a short life span. In 550 B.C. King Cruesus of Lydia conquered Ephesus and the temple was destroyed. However, another one was built to replace it. Then a man named Croesus Ephesian burned it to ashes. The temple held many works of art such as four bronze statues of Amazon women. The length of this temple was 425 feet by 225 feet and had 127 columns, 60 feet high. Today the site is a marshy field with a single column to signify one of the seven wonders of the ancient world once stood there.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was erected by Queen Artemisia in memory of her husband, King Mausolus of Caria in Asia Minor, who died in 353 B.C. At the height of his powers, Mausolus and his queen, Artemisia, controlled most of southwest Asia Minor. When Mausolus died Artemisia built a tomb larger and unlike any seen theretofore. Stone lions guarded the stairway to the tomb.

The structure was 140 feet high and the bottom third was solid marble. The middle third contained Greek columns with the top comprising a pyramid. On top of the pyramid was a large stone sculpture showing Mausolus and Artemisia standing side by side in a chariot. Artemisia died two years later while the tomb was still under construction. However, the builders stayed on to complete it. A series of earthquakes during the Middle Ages destroyed much of the Mausoleum. Locals took what could be salvaged to use in their own buildings. Some remains are in a British Museum. This shrine is the source of the modern word mausoleum.

The Colossus at Rhodes was a bronze statue of the Greek god Helios (Apollo) erected on the Greek island of Rhodes around 290 BC. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes' victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus 1 Monophthalmus, who unsuccessfully attacked Rhodes in 305 BC. Before it was destroyed, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 107 feet high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. It took 12 years to complete. When Alexander died in 323 B.C. it was difficult to decide who would succeed him.

Fighting broke out among his generals, with four of them eventually dividing up the Mediterranean empire. During the fighting, Rhodes sided with Ptolemy and eventually took control of Egypt.

This angered Monophthalmus, so he had his son Demetrius, also a general, invade Rhodes with an army of 40,000. However, the city was well defended and the attack failed. Demetrious’ army abandoned the siege, leaving most of their equipment. To celebrate, the Rhodians’ sold the equipment and used the money to build a colossal statue of their patron god. Colossus stood proudly for 56 years before being destroyed by an earthquake.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was supposedly built by King Nebuchadnezzar around 600 B.C. to please his queen, Amuhia. Some historians believe they were also associated with mythical Assyrian queen Semiramis or Sammuramat. She was also the legendary wife of Nimrod. Semiramis is almost forgotten in today’s history.

Archeologists conclude that the gardens were laid out atop a vaulted building, with provisions for raising water. The terraces reportedly rise from 75 to 300 ft.

The Pharos Lighthouse at the port of Alexandria was built by Sostratus of Cnidus during the 3rd century B.C. and located on the island of Pharos at Alexandria, Egypt. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century. Nothing of the structure remains today, but the city's Qaitbay fortress stands on what is thought to be its’ foundations. It was without a doubt the most powerful artificial light in the ancient world standing guard outside the port of Alexandria which had more than a million inhabitants. The lighthouse was constructed of white marble and towered 440 feet. The interior enclosed an impressive network of corridors, ramps, and stairways.

By day, mirrors reflected sunlight. By night, a flame was lit, producing a powerful beam of light, intensified by a mirror of polished bronze or brass. One ancient writer said it could be seen 30 miles out at sea. It stood nearly 1,700 years before being destroyed by a series of earthquakes during the 14th century.

Recent diving expeditions by archaeology teams have brought up pieces of statuary they believe to be remains of the lighthouse. Did divers actually find remains of the lighthouse? Some blocks of stone they discovered seem to have come from a large building. But, much of the material seems to be from an earlier period. Scientists believe they may have been recycled from even older buildings.

The story of the Pharos started with the city by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. Alexander established at least 17 cities named Alexandria, but most of them disappeared. However, Alexandria in Egypt survives even today.

As stated earlier, this list is subject to change and may not include everything some might consider one of the seven ancient wonders.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • rickzepeda profile image


      6 years ago

      Really nice pictures.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thank you for the recognition ruff.

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      It is obvious you do alot of research for your hubs. Very good information here.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting, thank you...

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I have also done one on the newest list of seven wonders.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      My love of historic and foreign lands has grown as the years have gone by.

      So this one was a rare treat.

      I vote up all the way,

      Take care


    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thank you Silent for your input.

    • SilentReed profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      Located in the Philippines is the "Eighth wonder of the world" The Banaue Rice Terraces. :) Carved into the mountains 2,000 years ago by the ancestors of the Igorot people. It is still being planted with rice and vegetable to this day.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Cats, I write so much now I don't have much time to read. I used to love a good book too. Dirt farmer, there are several new 7 wonder lists out also. Might do one on that.

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Awesome! Truly awesome! I love history and I really appreciate this great article, JY. You never ever cease to amaze with your indepth study of the subject matter you choose. Love the detail and the photographs, too. It is incredible; the creative ability of people so so long ago. And the fact that the pyrimids are becoming smaller due to erosion and time. I believe I have a good suggestion for you: Have you read The Amber Room by Steve Barry. I strongly suggest it; I bet you'll love his writing. All his novels are chock full of history and facts as he weaves a story line through, around and about these. Always, JY..UP AWESOME and there should be an INCREDIBLE!!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Another fun read. If you could pick seven wonders today, what would they be?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've been to two of them: Ephesus and Rhodes.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)