The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were all built in the Middle East. Only one of these wonders is still visible today. What are the Seven Wonders and Where are they found?
The Seven Wonders are:
- The Great Pyramids of Khufu at Giza, Egypt
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, on the anks of the Euphrates River
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
- The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, Greece
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Near the Aegean Sea
- The Colossus of Rhodes
- The Great Lighthouse at Alexandria on the Island of Pharos in Egypt
The Great Pyramids of Khufu at Giza, Egypt
This is the only remaining wonder of the ancient world. It is approximately 4500 years old, built around 2200B.C. It took approximately 20 years to build, with crews of 100,000 men rotating every 3 months on the building project. It is made of 2.3 million stone blocks, each averaging 2.5 tons. The blocks were floated down the Nile river, close to the building site. Amazingly, the pyramid is perfectly oriented to the points of the compass, with perfect slopes on all four sides. The pyramids may still be visited today, but make sure to get there early in the morning if you wish to be the few allowed inside. Make sure to bring water, sunscreen, and sunglasses, and make sure to stop by the Sphynx, too.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, on the banks of the Euphrates River
According to many stories, the gardens were built by the Chaldean king, Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 B.C. He built it for his wife, Amytis. The gardens were destroyed by earthquakes in the 2nd century, B.C. The gardens have been written about and drawn in ancient drawings, showing irrigation, stone slabs to prevent water erosion, as well as sizes unheard of for the time...it was known to be 400 feet wide, 400 feet long, and more than 80 feet high.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
The Statue of Zeus was erected on the large plane where the ancient Olypmic games were held. The games originated to honor Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. A temple was eventually built around the statue, and was completed in 456 B.C.
The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, Greece
This temple is believed to be the first building in the world to be constructed completely of marble. There were at least 127 columns. Pliny writes about this temple, describing its size: 425 feet long and 225 feet wide.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Near the Aegean Sea
A magnificent tomb for Mausolus was built either by Mausolus or his wife, Artemisia. Mausolus was the leader of the Caria civilization. The Carians were at times friends and at other times enemies with the Greek city-states nearby. It is recorded that Aremisia, devastated by Mausoleus' death, invited Greek artists to design statues and reliefs for the tomb. The tomb was finished around 350 B.C. It is from this stunning tomb that the English word, mausoleum is derived and associated with majestic tombs to this day.
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus was a statue built to honor the god Helios, the patron god of the Rhodians. Rhodes was a people group in the Mediterranean Sea. They relied on Helios to give them blessings in battle. It was 120 feet tall on a 50 foot pedestal. It was built 282 B.C., but destroyed less than 60 years later in an earthquake.
The Great Lighthouse at Alexandria on the Island of Pharos in Egypt
This was considered the second tallest building in the world, after the Great Pyramid at Giza. Ptolemy Soter, who ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great's death inn 323 B.C., developed the city of Alexandria into one of the greatest ports in the world. He commissioned the building of the lighthouse, which subsequently became a popular ancient tourist attraction.