What are the Seven Wonders of the World?

Together with millions of visitors each year, these renowned monuments are outstanding instances of human invention, architectural skill, and cultural value.

New Seven Wonders of the World

1. The Great Wall of China (China):

An old defensive system, the Great Wall of China runs more than 13,000 miles in northern China. Constructed over several centuries, the goal was to stave off incursions and assaults. The wall exhibits remarkable engineering and strategic planning with its watchtowers, battlements that were, and natural barriers. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stands as an indicator of China’s rich historical past.

LocationNorthern China
Total LengthOver 21,000 kilometers (13,000 miles)
Construction PeriodVarious dynasties, starting from the 7th century BC
PurposeDefensive fortification against invasions
MaterialsStone, brick, tamped earth and wood
Notable SectionsMutianyu, Badaling, Jiankou, Simatai and Juyongguan
UNESCO StatusWorld Heritage Site since 1987
Tourist AttractionOne of the most visited and iconic landmarks

Emperor Qin Shi Huang:

Full NameQin Shi Huang (秦始皇)
BornFebruary 18, 259 BC
DiedSeptember 10, 210 BC
ReignFrom 246 BC (as King of Qin) and 221 BC (as Emperor)
DynastyQin Dynasty (221–206 BC)
SignificanceUnified China initiated the construction of the Great Wall
Terracotta ArmyHe commissioned the Terracotta Army for his mausoleum
LegacyKnown for legal reforms, standardization, and the Great Wall
The great wall of China

2. Petra (Jordan):

The ancient city of Petra, which is in southern Jordan, is well-known for its beautiful architecture set into rose-red cliffs. Constructed in 300 BCE by the Nabataeans, it functioned as an important hub for trade. The most famous building is Al-Khazneh, a large temple etched into the side of a rock. Petra, a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO, is evidence of the engineering prowess and cultural importance of the ancient city.

LocationSouthern Jordan
Built ByNabataeans (around 300 BCE)
Construction PeriodFlourished in the 1st century BCE to 2nd century CE
DesignationUNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985
Notable StructuresAl-Khazneh (The Treasury), Monastery, Qasr Al-Bint
PurposeTrade hub, center of Nabataean caravan routes
Architectural StyleRock-cut architecture, blending Hellenistic and Arabian influences
RediscoveryRediscovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812
Tourist AttractionOne of the New Seven Wonders of the World


OriginAncient Arab civilization in the Arabian Desert
CapitalRaqmu (now known as Petra)
TradeKnown for their role in the lucrative incense trade routes
Water ManagementEngineering expertise in water conservation and storage
ReligionInitially polytheistic, later influenced by Hellenistic and Arabian religions
DeclineThe decline began in the 2nd century CE, possibly due to changes in trade routes and earthquakes

3. Christ the Redeemer (Brazil):

Christ the Redeemer is a famous Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Standing atop the Corcovado mountain with an amazing view of Guanabara Bay and the city below, it was finished in 1931. The statue, which draws millions of tourists each year, is a representation of Brazilian culture, Christianity, and peace. One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

LocationRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Completion YearCompleted in 1931
HeightApproximately 30 meters (98 feet) pedestal, with the statue itself standing at 30 meters (98 feet)
MaterialReinforced concrete and soapstone
Design and StyleArt Deco style, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa
PurposeSymbol of Christianity and a cultural icon of Brazil
UNESCO StatusDesignated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007
AccessibilityAccessible via a train and a series of escalators and elevators
ViewpointOffers panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro, including the Sugarloaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay
Cultural SignificanceA prominent symbol of Brazilian identity and a popular tourist attraction
MaintenanceOngoing maintenance and restoration efforts to preserve the statue
Lighting EffectsIlluminated at night, often in different colors for special occasions
Christ the Redeemer

4. Machu Picchu (Peru):

Situated amidst Peru’s Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is a historic Inca stronghold that dates back to the fifteenth century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its beautiful stone structures and breath-taking panoramic views, is a monument to the engineering prowess of the Incas. Though its exact function is unknown, it is thought to have functioned as a royal estate or a place of retreat for religious people. Machu Picchu is a well-liked travel destination that attracts tourists with its breathtaking natural surroundings and historical significance.

LocationAndes Mountains, Peru
Built ByIncas, led by Emperor Pachacuti
Construction PeriodBuilt in the 15th century, around 1450–1460
DesignationUNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983
PurposeBelieved to be a royal estate or religious retreat
ArchitectureInca stone masonry, featuring impressive terraces and structures
RediscoveryRediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911
SignificanceRepresents the pinnacle of Inca civilization, a masterpiece of architecture
AccessReached by train and bus, followed by a hike or bus ride up to the site
Tourist AttractionOne of the most visited archaeological sites in the world
Cultural ImportanceIntegral to Inca history, a symbol of Peruvian heritage
ConservationOngoing efforts to preserve and protect the site

Emperor Pachacuti (Inca Ruler):

Full NamePachacuti Inca Yupanqui
Reign Period1438–1471
AchievementsFounder of the Inca Empire’s expansion phase,
Led military campaigns, expanding the empire,
Constructed significant structures, including Machu Picchu
LegacyPachacuti is considered one of the greatest Inca rulers, transforming the Inca Empire into a powerful and sophisticated state
Military CampaignsSuccessfully led campaigns to expand the Inca territory significantly
Architectural ContributionsKnown for constructing major architectural projects, including the royal estate at Machu Picchu
DeathHe passed away around 1471 and was succeeded by his son, Tupac Inca Yupanqui
Machu Picchu

5. Chichen Itza (Mexico):

Relatively speaking, Chichen Itza was a prominent Maya city and is a well-known archaeological site on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Chichen Itza, which thrived from the 7th to the 10th centuries, is well-known for its outstanding astronomical observatory, El Castillo, and its famous step pyramid. It draws tourists because of its rich history, beautiful architecture, and cultural value. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The structures constructed on the site exhibit a blend of Toltec and Maya influences.

LocationYucatán Peninsula, Mexico
CivilizationPrimarily built by the Maya, influenced by Toltec
Period of ConstructionFlourished from the 7th to the 10th century
DesignationUNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988
Key StructuresEl Castillo (The Pyramid of Kukulcan), Temple of the Warriors, Observatory (El Caracol), Great Ball Court
Astronomical SignificanceEl Castillo’s alignment with equinoxes showcases advanced knowledge
Cultural ImportanceMajor religious and trading center; hub of Maya-Toltec civilization
RediscoveryExplored by archaeologists in the late 19th century, including Edward H. Thompson and Sylvanus G. Morley
Tourist AttractionOne of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico
Current StatusOngoing preservation efforts and site management
Modern UnderstandingA testament to Maya architectural and scientific achievements
Chichen Itza

6. Roman Colosseum (Italy):

Located in the center of Rome, Italy, the Roman Colosseum is a historic amphitheater that was originally used for public achievements, animal hunts, and gladiator bouts. This enormous building, which can hold over 50,000 spectators, is an architectural wonder that was finished in the year 80 AD. It is one of the most visited and well-known landmarks in the world because of its distinctive design and historical significance. The Colosseum is a representation of the entertainment and engineering brilliance of ancient Rome.

LocationRome, Italy
Construction PeriodCompleted in 80 AD during the Flavian dynasty
PurposeAmphitheater for gladiator contests and public spectacles
Architectural StyleRoman engineering, with a capacity for over 50,000 spectators
MaterialsConcrete and sand, with travertine stone facade
Design FeaturesElliptical shape, multiple tiers, underground passages, and a retractable awning system (velarium)
Historical SignificanceSymbol of ancient Roman entertainment and engineering prowess
Later UseUsed for various purposes over the centuries, including as a quarry
Preservation StatusOngoing restoration and conservation efforts
Tourist AttractionOne of the most visited and iconic landmarks in the world

7. Taj Mahal (India):

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the Taj Mahal in 1632 as a memorial to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is considered a masterpiece of Mughal architecture. This famous white marble mausoleum in Agra, India, with its exquisite carvings and classic design, is an illustration of unending love.

NameTaj Mahal
LocationAgra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Built ByMughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Built InConstruction started in 1632 and was completed in 1653
Architectural StyleMughal architecture
SignificanceSymbol of eternal love; UNESCO World Heritage
Material UsedWhite marble, inlaid with semi-precious stones
DimensionsHeight: 73 meters (240 feet)
Length: 73 meters (240 feet)
Width: 58 meters (190 feet)
Main StructureMain mausoleum with a dome and four minarets
Central garden with water channels and pools
Interior FeaturesIntricate marble carvings and inlays,
Quranic inscriptions and calligraphy
PurposeBuilt as a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s wife
Construction MaterialWhite marble quarried from Makrana, Rajasthan
Construction TechniquesTraditional Mughal construction techniques
Historical SignificanceBuilt as a symbol of love and grief
Tourist AttractionOne of the most visited monuments in India

Personal details (Shah Jahan):

Full NameShahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram (Shah Jahan)
BornJanuary 5, 1592
DiedJanuary 31, 1666
SpouseMumtaz Mahal (for whom Taj Mahal was built)
AchievementsKnown for architectural and cultural patronage; builder of several monuments
Taj mahal

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were a list of remarkable and culturally significant structures in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. These wonders, known for their architectural and artistic achievements, were:

1. Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt):

The oldest and biggest of the three pyramids on the Giza Plateau in Egypt is the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was constructed for Pharaoh Khufu in 2560 BCE. The pyramid, standing at a height of roughly 146.6 meters (481 feet), is a lasting monument to the mastery of ancient Egyptian engineering. Made up of some 2.3 million slabs of granite and limestone, it was used as a massive tomb and is still regarded as one of the seven wonders of the Old World. Its architectural wonder and historical relevance attract tourists to it.

LocationGiza Plateau, near Cairo, Egypt
PharaohBuilt for Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops)
Construction PeriodAround 2560 BCE
HeightApproximately 146.6 meters (481 feet)
MaterialMainly limestone and granite
Blocks UsedApproximately 2.3 million
PurposeOriginally built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu
Architectural StyleTraditional Egyptian pyramid design
SignificanceOne of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Construction TechniquesPrecise alignment and construction techniques, including the use of inclined planes
Internal ChambersThere are three main chambers: King’s Chamber, Queen’s Chamber, and Subterranean Chamber

Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops):

Full NameKhufu (also known as Cheops)
Reign PeriodAround 2589–2566 BCE
DynastyFourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt
SignificancePharaoh, during the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the most famous and powerful rulers of ancient Egypt
MonumentsBesides the Great Pyramid, Khufu is associated with other construction projects in Giza, including the Pyramid of Khafre and the Great Sphinx

2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Iraq):

One of the 7 Wonders of the Old World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were a fabled terraced garden located in Babylon, Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). Built by Nebuchadnezzar II in the year 600 BCE, the gardens were well-known for their luxuriant vegetation and innovative irrigation system that seemed to defy gravity. The Hanging Gardens are praised for their magnificent design and their historical importance in ancient Mesopotamian civilization, even though researchers disagree as to whether or not they actually exist.

LocationBabylon, Mesopotamia (modern-day Hillah, Iraq)
Attributed toNebuchadnezzar II (reigned 605–562 BCE)
Construction PeriodAround 600 BCE
NatureTerraced gardens with plants and trees
Irrigation SystemDescribed as a complex system lifting water to the upper terraces, possibly using a chain pump or Archimedean screw
Architectural SignificanceOne of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Existence DebateHistorians debate the existence and location of the Hanging Gardens, as some ancient accounts are contradictory
Cultural ImpactSymbolic of advanced engineering and grandeur in ancient Mesopotamian culture
UNESCO StatusNot designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, possibly due to the uncertainty of their existence

Nebuchadnezzar II (King of Babylon):

Full NameNebuchadnezzar II
Reign Period605–562 BCE
DynastyNeo-Babylonian Empire
Construction ProjectsAssociated with extensive construction projects in Babylon, including the Ishtar Gate and the possible construction of the Hanging Gardens
Military CampaignsKnown for military campaigns, including the capture of Jerusalem and the Babylonian Captivity
Architectural LegacyRemembered for his ambitious building projects, contributing to the grandeur of Babylon
ContributionsExpanded and fortified the city of Babylon, making it one of the most splendid cities of the ancient world

3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia (Greece):

The enormous sculpture made of gold and ivory, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, was the work of the Greek sculptor Phidias. The statue, which was built in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia in 435 BCE, showed the Greek deity ruler seated on a throne. It was hailed for its artistic prowess and stood more than 40 feet tall, making it one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Sadly, the statue has been lost to the passage of time and is no longer in existence.

LocationTemple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece
SculptorPhidias (also known as Pheidias)
Construction PeriodAround 435 BCE
MaterialsGold and ivory
HeightOver 40 feet (estimated)
StyleClassical Greek sculpture
RepresentationZeus, king of the Greek gods, seated on a throne
Artistic MasteryCelebrated as a masterpiece of ancient Greek art
Cultural SignificanceOne of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
FateThe statue no longer exists; its exact fate is unknown
Temple of ZeusConstructed to house the statue, part of the sanctuary at Olympia
LegacyPhidias is remembered as one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece

4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Turkey):

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, constructed around 550 BCE in the ancient city of Ephesus, Turkey, was a magnificent Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Renowned for its grandeur and architectural splendor, the temple featured over 100 columns and intricate decorative elements. Regrettably, it faced destruction multiple times, with the final blow coming in 401 CE. Despite its ultimate demise, the Temple of Artemis remains a symbol of ancient craftsmanship and religious devotion.

LocationEphesus, near present-day Selçuk, Turkey
Dedicated toArtemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt and wild animals
Construction PeriodThe original temple was built around 550 BCE and rebuilt multiple times
Architectural StyleClassical Greek, with Ionic order columns
Size and FeaturesInitially featured over 100 columns, each about 60 feet tall, adorned with ornate carvings, and a large statue of Artemis within
DestroyersSacked by Herostratus in 356 BCE; rebuilt by Alexander the Great; later destroyed by the Goths in 268 CE
Final DestructionUltimately destroyed by a mob led by St. John Chrysostom in 401 CE
Cultural SignificanceOne of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; symbol of ancient Greek and Roman architecture
LegacyDespite its destruction, it continues to be a subject of fascination and study in archaeology and art history
Site StatusArchaeological remains are visible at the site; some artifacts are displayed in the British Museum and the Ephesus Museum

5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Turkey):

The mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a colossal tomb that his wife Artemisia II built for her husband Mausolus, the satrap of Caria, in the city of Halicarnassus (present-day Bodrum, Turkey). When it was finished, in 353 BCE, the mausoleum was a work of art in ancient architecture, with elaborate friezes and sculptures. It was renowned for its beauty and was considered one of the seven great wonders of the Old World until a series of earthquakes ultimately destroyed it. Because of its historical significance, the term “mausoleum” comes from this majestic edifice.

LocationHalicarnassus (modern-day Bodrum), Turkey
Built forMausolus, the satrap of Caria
Constructed byArtemisia II, wife and sister of Mausolus
Construction PeriodCompleted around 353 BCE
ArchitectsSatyros and Pythius, with contributions from other renowned sculptors and architects
Architectural StyleA blend of Greek, Egyptian, and Lycian influences
HeightApproximately 45 meters (148 feet)
DecorationElaborate sculptures, friezes, and statues adorned the exterior; detailed reliefs depicted scenes from mythology
FateIt suffered damage from earthquakes in the Middle Ages and was eventually dismantled
LegacyCoined the term “mausoleum” for monumental tombs; fragments displayed in the British Museum
Cultural SignificanceOne of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World exemplifies Hellenistic architecture
Site StatusRuins of the Mausoleum site are still visible in Bodrum; some artifacts displayed in local museums

6. Colossus of Rhodes (Greece):

The Colossus of Rhodes was a massive bronze statue of the Greek sun god Helios that was located at the port entrance. The statue, which stood around 33 meters (108 feet) tall and signified protection and victory, was erected circa 280 BCE. One of the seven wonders of history, the Colossus, was sculpted by Chares of Lindos. Regretfully, the statue was only in place for a few decades before an earthquake in 226 BCE caused it to fall. The Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of its brief existence, still stands as a legendary representation of Greek engineering and art.

LocationHarbor of Rhodes, Greece
Erected forHelios, the Greek god of the sun
Construction PeriodCompleted around 280 BCE
SculptorChares of Lindos
MaterialConstructed of bronze
HeightApproximately 33 meters (108 feet)
SymbolismSymbol of victory and protection; tribute to the sun god Helios
StatusIt stood for a few decades before being toppled by an earthquake in 226 BCE
Cultural SignificanceOne of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; symbol of ancient Greek art and engineering
FateThe fallen statue remained in place for centuries, becoming a tourist attraction; eventually, it was melted down and sold as scrap by Arab conquerors

7. Lighthouse of Alexandria (Egypt):

Built on the little island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt’s port, the Lighthouse of Alexandria is a wonder of prehistoric engineering. Built in the year 280 BCE, this ancient wonder of the world measured between 100 and 130 meters (330 and 430 feet) in height. With its striking beacon of light, the lighthouse, created by Greek architect Sostratus of Cnidus, assisted seafarers in navigation. Sadly, a string of earthquakes between 956 and 1323 CE demolished it, bringing an end to this famous old building.

LocationIsland of Pharos, Alexandria, Egypt
Construction PeriodCompleted around 280 BCE
ArchitectSostratus of Cnidus
HeightApproximately 100–130 meters (330–430 feet)
MaterialMainly made of limestone and marble
FunctionNavigational aid with a large open flame at the top, serving as a beacon for sailors
Three TiersThe lighthouse was said to have three tiers: a square base, a cylindrical middle section, and a smaller, circular tower at the top housing the flame
DestructionDamaged by earthquakes in 956 and 1323 CE, leading to its ultimate collapse
Cultural SignificanceOne of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; symbol of ancient engineering and architectural achievement
InfluenceThe term “pharos” (lighthouse) is derived from the structure’s name

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