(BEGODI) – The Seven Wonders of the World list has long attracted people’s attention. The list first came from Greek people, which were a collection of remarkable constructions listed by various Greek authors, including Antipater of Sidon and Philo of Byzantium, in order to honor the world’s most spectacular natural wonders and man made structures.
But why the list limited at the number of seven? Because in the Greeks’ perception, seven is a magical number, including the total known planets of the solar system excluding the Earth: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Recently, UNESCO has introduced the list of the new Seven Wonders of the World, based on people’s votes. BEGODI will take you around the world to compare the beauty of the ancient and modern seven ones.
7 Ancient wonders
The Great Pyramid of Giza
The last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the great pyramids of Giza are perhaps the most intact, famous and discussed structures in history. Its location is about ten miles southwest of Cairo, isolated from the busy of the city and human traffic. Covered by numerous horror stories about the evil curses of the ancient Egyptians, the Great Pyramid is still one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world, thanks to its mysterious history and surrounding story.
The Great Pyramids are also known as the Pyramids of Kufu, who the second king (or pharaoh) of the 4th dynasty in ancient Egypt. It is believed that Egypt Pharaohs built pyramids as their great tomb to be a great place for resting, preparing for their after-life journey. Each pyramid was part of a royal mortuary complex that also included a temple at its base and a long stone causeway leading east from the plateau to a valley temple on the edge of the floodplain.
Being recognized as the symbol of Egypt, also an architectural marvel, the Great Pyramid was built from over 2 million blocks of stone, each weighing more than two tons. Each side, although not exactly the same length is about 756-feet long, aligned to face one of the cardinal points of the compass — north, east, south, and west. Its entrance lies in the middle of the north side. More interesting, each corner is nearly an exact 90 degree angle. Standing at 481 feet high, the Great Pyramid was not only the largest pyramid ever built, it remained one of the tallest structures in the world until the late 19th century.
These blocks were carved so perfectly that the entire monument was constructed without mortar or cement. You cannot even slip a piece of paper between them. Someone even states that the construction of the Great Pyramids is done by the God, or aliens, but not the Egypt slaves, since it has been implemented very delicately in such an equivalently short amount of time, only in about 20 years.
The Temple of Artemis
This wonder architecture was a temple dedicated to Artemis – the ancient Greek Goddess representing Hunt, Forests and Moon, by King Croesus of Lydia. It was designed and constructed in 6th century BC in Ephesus (a present-day Turkey’s Town). Though it no longer existed, the temple was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401 AD by a man named Herostratus, who set fire to the temple in order that his name to be remembered.
The Temple’s construction lasted 120 years and its architectural order was 129 meters high, 69 meters wide, with the decoration of 127 Ionic columns that stood 60 feet high. The temple was shaped like a large marble building, measuring 377 feet by 180 feet, and featuring columns drums with high-relief sculptural scenes.
The interior of the temple featured sculptures of Amazon warriors by Polyclitus and Pheidias, some of the most well respected Greek sculptors. There were also several paintings adorning the walls, and gilded columns of gold and silver. The cult statue housed within the temple was not huge, like the statue of Zeus at Olympia was, but rather more “life-sized”, and stood upon a marble pedestal.
Babylon Hanging Garden
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is the only one whose location has not been definitively established. It is believed that this legendary garden was built on the banks of the Euphrates river circa 600 B.C, where is near present-day Hillah,Babil province, in Iraq.
According to legend, the gardens were built by King Nebuchadnezzar, who had reigned the kingdom for 43 years starting in 605 BC, to relieve his wife’s homesick, Queen Amyitis, who married him in an arrangement for mutual alliance between the two nations and further political ambitions. Amyitis was homesick for her green, rugged and mountainous home, and she found the flat, sun-baked terrain of Mesopotamia depressing. Thus of an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens was constructed to replicate her lush greenery homeland and cheer her up.
The Garden owns interesting architecture of 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high outer walls and its width could to allow two four-horse chariots to pass each other. Since stone was difficult to get on the Mesopotamian plain, most of the architecture in Babel utilized brick.
The reason why they called it “hanging garden” is that the plants and trees imported from Medes were much more likely to have overhung the terraces and grown up from them instead. Since these terraces reached up on the sides of mountains, walking alongside them may have given the illusion that they were hanging above people’s heads.
Getting the plants remained fresh and well watered also took great effort since the weather in Babylon was mostly in drought. A team of employees were there at all times to transport water from the river Euphrates on to the top terrace of the gardens, so that the water then trickled down to the lower levels.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The statue of Zeus at Olympia, once built as a shrine to honor the Greek god Zeus, the most important God in the Greek mythology between approximately 466 BC and 456 BC. It was designed based on Doric style by the Greek architect Phidias in 12 years. The statue located in Olympia, where lied numerous, altars, theaters, treasures, temples, monuments and beautiful statues.
The accomplished statue stood at over 13 meter high, 6 meter wide and had a perimeter of 13 meter, replicating Zeus sitting on his an elaborate cedar wood throne. It was crowned with a sculpted wreath of olive sprays.
Zeus was carved with gold sandals, and a golden robe carved with animals and lilies. Its right hand held a small chryselephantine statue of crowned Nike, goddess of victory, whereas in its left hand was a scepter inlaid with many metals, supporting an eagle.
The throne was decorated in gold, precious stones, ebony, and ivory. In Zeus chair, images of God animals such as the half lion/half man sphinx were also displayed. Two golden lions supported the stool under his feet. Olive oil was applied to the statue regularly to keep his ivory skin from cracking.
The disappearance of the statue remains unknown still present time. There is one hypothesis states that in 426 AD, Theodosius the first ordered all temples to be destroyed, so it may have perished then. On the other hands, some other records suggest that a Greek named Lausus took it to Constantinople where it was eventually destroyed in a huge fire that swept the city in 475 AD.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
The mausoleum of Halicarnassus was built between 353 BC and 350 BC at Halicarnassus (which is known at present as Bodrum, Turkey) to tribute to King Mausolus of the Perian Empire by his wife and also sister, Artemisia II, who is famous for her extraordinary grief at the death of her husband. It is the second longest surviving ancient wonder among the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Artemisia sent messengers to Greece to find the most talented artists of the time. The construction of the mausoleum includes many talented people. To be specific, the overall shape the tomb was designed by architects Satyros and Pytheos, while famous sculptors Bryaxis, Leochares, Timotheus and Scopas of Paros,who was responsible for rebuilding the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, another of the wonders, are also invited to contribute to the project. The building design style was the combination of three cultures: Egypt, Greek and Lycia.
When completed, the tomb reach a colossal structure measured over 130 feet high. Atop the tomb sat 36 marble columns that encased a solid block that distributed the weight of the roof. The roof was decorated by a stepped pyramid upon which four horses pulling Maussollos and Artemisia in a chariot sat. The sight of the tomb would have been impressive and imposing.
The mausoleum stayed untouched through several special period of time, including the invasion of Alexander the Great in 334 B.C and the attacks by pirates in 62 and 58 B.C. It still stood above the city ruins for some 17 centuries until being completely collapsed by a series of earthquakes in the 13th century which shattered the columns and sent the stone chariot crashing to the ground. By 1404 A.D. only the very base of the Mausoleum was still recognizable.
Colossus of Rhodes
It was the wonder which lasted in the shortest amount of time among the seven wonders, which stood for only about 50 year fully intact before being destroyed by an earthquake in 226 B.C. The Colossus of Rhodes was set up between 303 and 291 BC, so it took twelve years of hard work to totally finish it.
The great statue was located the Rhodes – a Greek island. In the late 4th century BC, Rhodes, allied with Ptolemy I of Egypt, prevented a mass invasion staged by their common enemy, Antigonus I Monophthalmus. To celebrate their victory, the Rhodians sold the equipment left behind of the enemies and decided to use the money to build a colossal statue of their patron god, Helios.
This massive structure stood almost 150 feet high and some 75 feet square at the base and weight 160 tons. Many catapults and leather and skinned with wood is equipped to protect the troops inside from archers. This tower was mounted on iron wheels and it could be rolled up to the walls under the power of 200 soldiers turning a large capstan.
The Colossus is constructed under the supervision of Chares of Lindos, a famous Rhodian sculptor, and also a great warrior who fought in defense of the city. However, as to be said in legend, Chares was so ashamed that he committed suicide after his assistant pointing out a big mistake in his calculation when building the statue. The rumor, somehow, has not been validated yet.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria
It was the only one among the Seven Wonders that had a function of lightening, constructed early in the third century B.C, leaded by Ptolemy Soter, the ruler of the Egyptian region after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The Lighthouse is located in Egypt on the island of Pharaohs, in front of the city of Alexandria, taking twenty years to finish.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria stood for over 1,500 years, apparently surviving a tsunami that hit eastern Mediterranean in 365 AD with minor damage. Then in 1303 A.D., a major earthquake shook the region that put the lighthouse permanently out of business, ranking it the third longest surviving ancient wonder among all seven wonders.
The light from the tower could be seen from almost 100 miles out to sea. The tower itself counted three floors: the first one was 55.9-meter high squared, the second was 27.45-meter high octagonal and the third was cylindrical shape with 7.30-meter high. The total height of the building including the foundation base was about 117 m (384 ft), equivalent to a 40-story modern building. Nowadays, the light house remains its unique design as none of the modern lighthouse replicates it, making it to be on the list of the Seven Wonders of the ancient time.
Here is the list of the seven wonders in the ancient world. Keep in touch with BEGODI to discover the list of new seven wonders in our very next article. Be ready to be a world traveler because BEGODI is the best travel companion you can find, whenever and wherever you go.
Source : news.begodi.com