Wonder Lists Part I: 25 Man Made Wonders of the World
7 Wonders of the Ancient World
- The Colossus of Rhodes
- The Great Pyramid of Giza
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
7 Wonders of the Modern World
- Chichen Itza, Mexico
- Christ Redeemer, Brazil
- The Great Wall, China
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Petra, Jordan - Ancient City
- The Roman Colosseum, Italy
- The Taj Mahal, India
The History of Lists
Humans are list makers; its inherent in us to catalog, rate and document things. Who of us doesn't have a list somewhere in our house; a grocery list, a to do list, a bucket list, a new years resolutions list...Personally I'm a travel lister; whenever I see a picture of an amazing place or read a book that mentions a shrine or city I've never heard of I add it to my "to see" list.
I especially love ruins, particularly ancient ruins. I've never experienced a greater sense of history than standing atop an eroded temple or looking out over an ancient city reduced to mounds. It is the global equivalent of standing in a great forest and realizing in a moment just how small and insignificant you are in the stream of time.
The Greek word used in the original list of ancient wonders translates more like "must-sees" than "wonders." So I suppose that first list could be seen an early guidebook for world travellers, an introduction to history.
The list of the seven wonders of the ancient world was modified many times over the centuries, in fact it was not until the sixth century C.E. that the list we use today was completed. It is a testament to the transience of civilizations that this list keeps changing, just a few years ago the people of the world voted on a new list. A much more democratic method than the intellectual compilation of earlier ballots, this new list faces just as much criticism as the old one did in it's time. So, I've made my own wonder list, a less selective list of 25 man made wonders of the world, if I missed your favorite just let me know.
Man Made Wonders of the World
- The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt: Being the only one of the seven ancient wonders remaining I can hardly leave it off. It is still one of the largest human constructions on the planet.
- Gobekli Tepe Ruins, Turkey: The oldest known temple in the world, built 11,600 years ago (7000 years before the Great Pyramid).
- Borobudur Temple, Java: Constructed in the eight and ninth centuries, the temple is the world’s largest Buddhist monument. It's builders created a 95-foot-high (29-meter-high) step pyramid with river stones, fitting them tightly together without mortar. The pyramid is topped with more than 500 Buddha statues and nearly 3,000 bas-relief sculptures.
- Machu Picchu:The Incan city include palaces, plazas, temples and houses, situated on a ridge in the Andes mountains surrounded on all but one side by the Urubamba River which winds 2000 feet below the peak. A marvel of engineering, the entire city is built without mortar.
- Cappadocia, Turkey: A natural and man made wonder, the underground city carved into the rock is a testament to human ingenuity and vision.
- Stonehenge: Construction began on the immense ring of stones in 2600 BC. The site is perfectly aligned on the axis of the summer solstice sunrise and the winter solstice sunset and its largest stones weigh 25 tons and are up to 30 feet long.
- Moai, Easter Island:The stone figures are on average 13 feet tall and weigh about 14 tons. Created Rapanui people between 1250 and 1500, the how and why are still unknown.
- Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, China: The site was not discovered until 1974 and is still not fully explored. Qin (d. 210 B.C.) was the first unifier of China and is buried, surrounded by his famous terracotta warriors in the center of a burial complex designed to mirror the city plan of Xianyan. Each of the thousands of terracotta warriors, horses and chariots are unique.
- Hagia Sophia, Turkey: Once a church, then a mosque and now a museum the building is a monument to both the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires and is ethereally beautiful.
- Great Wall of China: Built over a period of over 2000 years (8th century BC - 17th century AD) the wall is approximately 8,851.8 kilometers long running across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus.
- Tikal, Guatemala: Inhabited from the sixth century B.C. to the tenth century A.D the ancient Mayan city is one of the largest pre-olumbian Mayan archaeological sites in the world.
- Petra, Jordan: A vast city carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataean people over 2000 years ago, Petra is definitely a wonder. The entrance to the city is through the Siq, a long narrow gorge flanked on either side by 80-meter high cliffs.
- Angkor Temple Complex, Cambodia: The majority of the temple complex located just outside Siem Reap. Built between the 9th and 15th centuries it covers over 150 square miles and includes over a thousand temples, most famous of which are Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
- Acropolis, Greece: The ancient city sits high above modern Athens and include the Parthenon, the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, the temple of Athena Nike and many beautiful statues and reliefs.
- Taj Mahal, India: The gigantic mausoleum was built between 1631 and 1648 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to honor the memory of his favorite wife. Made of white marble and perfectly symmetrical the building was built by master workers gathered from all over the Shah's empire.
Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, Llasa Tibet: Built atop Llasa Valley's Red Mountain the Potala Palace has been the winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century. Built around the same time was the Jokhang Temple Monastery. Both are central to Tibetan Buddhism and hold within their walls over 700 murals, 10,000 painted scrolls, precious objects and a large collection of sutras and historical documents.
- Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar: Built by the Mon people between the 6th and 10th centuries CE, the 325 foot gilded pagoda and stupa contains relics from the four Buddha's buried within it. It is plated with 21841 gold bars, and set with over 5,000 diamonds, more than 2,000 rubies and is topped by a 75 carat diamond.
- Vatican City: The smallest country in the world, founded in 1929 the city contains the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Basilica, an amazing library, ancient archives and an art collection the Louvre envies.
- Burj Khalifa, Dubai: The tallest building in the world and as stunning as it is large it is also a beautiful piece of engineering at 2,722 ft tall with 163 floors.
- Meteora Monasteries, Greece: A group of monasteries built on the summits of vertical rock formations in Thessalía. The first of the 24 monasteries was constructed in the 14th century, only 6 now remain.
- Minaret of Jam, Afghanistan: Built in 1194 by the Ghurid Sultan Ghiyas-od-din the 65m high minaret is covered in elaborate geometric designs and turquoise tile and is believed to mark the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh.
- Library of Congress: The largest library in the world with 22,765,967 catalogued books, over 118 million items in total and more than 500 miles of shelving. It may not be a marvel of engineering but is a wonder full of information.
- Cahokia, Illinois USA : Built around 1050 the site is a sad reminder of how progress has a tendency to desecrate the past; the ancient Native American city is the largest archeological site in America (Monks Mound is larger at its base than Egypt's largest pyramid) and one of the least known. Much of the site was destroyed by the land development of the 20th century so it is not too much to look at, but the fact that it exists derails all American conceptions of a nomadic pre-Columbian Native American people.
- Gardens by the Bay, Singapore: 18 vertical gardens in the shape of trees, up to 164 feet tall that catch rainwater, filter pollution and are topped with solar panels that light up the trees at night; beautiful and earth friendly.
- Alhambra Palace, Spain: Built in the 9th century, its Arabic name means "red castle." Every inch of the structure is covered with some type of decoration, mostly carved patterns and inscriptions.
For a list of 25 of natures wonders see the hub: http://brownella.hubpages.com/hub/Wonder-Lists-Part-II-Natural-Wonders-of-the-World