The 12 Man Made Wonders of the World
Everyone has heard of the 7 wonders of the world, which includes breath taking views of nature's beauty in marvelous places like the Grand Canyon. Just as nature has done, mankind has also been leaving astonishing works behind, going all the way back to 2550 BC. What's even more amazing about some of these man made wonders is that they were built to stand up to some of the toughest test of times. These man made wonders aren't just in one region of the world, but are spread out all over this planet. So no one particular group can take credit or responsibility for these incredible feats. These 12 man made wonders are the result of all of mankind. Here are some of mankind's brightest and most brilliant achievements, in no particular order, spanning close to 5,000 years.
In the Central American country of Panama the 48 mile long Panama canal was completed in 1914. The work which was difficult, and sometimes not easy ended with many deaths. The Panama canal is one of the most impressive engineering feats of all time. Instead of traveling completely around South America, a ship takes about eight to ten hours to pass through the entire Panama canal while being lifted to a height of 85 feet through three sets of locks.
In Bavaria Germany, in the year 1868 King Ludwig commissioned this palace on a rugged hill above the village of Schwangau. The palace was designed with theatrics in mind, and pays tribute to composer Richard Wagner. There are 15 finished rooms which include a two-story throne room, artificial grotto, and novelties such as central heating.
The Pyramids of Giza
In Egypt around 2550 BC the three great pyramids at Giza were built over a 20 year period during the fourth dynasty. The largest is the Pyramid of Khufu, which is built of 2.3 million limestone blocks that weigh an average of 2.5 to 15 tons a piece. After it was first constructed it stood about 480 feet tall into the sky.
In South Dakota the great sculptor Gutzon Borgium along with 400 workers, worked for 14 years carving four U.S. presidents into the granite of Mount Rushmore. The four presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The sculptures were finished in 1941, and stand 60 feet tall.
In Agra, India construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1630 and took 23 years to complete. The Taj Mahal was a memorial from Emperor Shah Jahan to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Inlaid flowers, and calligraphy with precious gems decorate nearly every single surface of the mausoleum. The central dome of the Taj Mahal rises to an impressive height of 213 feet.
In Jordan, the ancient city of the Nabataeans was first established through a narrow sandstone passageway around the 6th century BC. The treasury is the most photographed building in all of Petra. Surrounded by rose colored mountain walls, it exemplifies the grandeur of the rock carved architecture. I can't exactly explain why, but Petra is my favorite out of all 12 of these man made wonders.
Great Wall of China
This wonder of the world certainly doesn't need much of an introduction. The great wall of China stretches 5,500 miles, and is composed of a series of stone and earthen fortifications. Most of the wall was built during the Ming Dynasty from the year 1368 through 1644. There were several walls that were later added and built along the southern edge of Mongolia.
Petronas Twin Towers
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia the Petronas Twin Towers stand 1,482.6 feet tall, and have a total of 88 floors. The towers were the world's tallest building from 1998 to 2004. They are built of high strength reinforced concrete with a steel and glass facade. The twin towers reflect motifs found in Islamic art. There's a two story sky bridge that connects the two towers together on the 41st and 42nd floors.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
In Japan the Akashi Kaikyo bridge connects the city of Kobe on Honshu Island to the city of Iwaya on Awaji Island. The bridge spans a total of 12,831 feet, and towers over the very busy Akashi Strait. It was completed in 1998, and the bridge has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the entire world at 6,532 feet.
The Hoover Dam is located between the two states of Arizona, and Nevada on the great Colorado River. It was completed in 1936, and blended groundbreaking engineering along with Art Deco Design. The Hoover Dam was the highest dam ever built. It was also the most costliest water project, and largest power plant ever built. The Hoover Dam is an impressive 726 feet high, and 1,244 feet long.
Construction on the Roman Colosseum in Rome, Italy began around 70 to 72 AD. It could hold between 45,000 and 55,000 spectators, and it was designed with easy crowd control in mind. The arena itself was 272 feet by 157 feet, and had a wooden floor with sand on top. Underneath the wooden floor there's a two level network of tunnels and cages.
This last man made wonder needs no introduction either. The Eiffel Tower was built in Paris, France in 1889 for the world's fair. The Eiffel Tower stood 986 feet tall, and at the time it was the tallest structure in the world. It took 300 steel workers, two years to build the tower. They used in the construction of the Eiffel Tower 40 tons of paint, 2.5 million rivets, and 8,000 tons of iron.