You are all aware of the modern seven wonders of the world. But have you ever wondered what the 7 wonders of the ancient world were?
The 7 wonders of the ancient world were the most impressive antique creations. The number 7 during those times symbolized perfection and also because it was the total of the five planets, the sun, and the moon. The list of these seven wonders was compiled by Greek writer Antipater who belonged to Sidon, in a poem he penned down in 140 BCE.
Out of all those seven wonders, only one (Great Pyramid of Giza) is still present today. The existence of the others remains ambiguous.
7 Wonders of the Ancient World That Will Amaze You
1. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, is the only intact one out of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. It is located in Cairo on the Giza plateau. It is known to be built in a period of 20 years under King Khufu’s reign.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was considered to be the tallest structure by human hands(a record it held for about 3000 years) until the Eiffel tower was constructed in Paris.
Dimensions of the Pyramid
The fact of how the pyramid was built takes people by surprise until the present day. It rises 479 feet above the ground and has a base of 754 feet. Moreover, it contains 2 million blocks of stones, some of them being so huge and heavy that it seems impossible to place them so correctly in the first place. Some stones came from limestone quarried near the site while others came from 500 miles away, all the way from Aswan.
There have been several theories related to the purpose of the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. However, the most acceptable one among them is that it was constructed as a tomb for King Khufu.
An interesting fact about the Great Pyramid of Giza is that it is aligned with the constellation of Orion.
2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Out of all the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is most disputed. These gardens enhanced the beauty of the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire and were built under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar II.
Some people believe that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were located in Nineveh, which was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. In contrast, the others either stick with ancient writers or await archaeological proof.
The gardens were believed to be 75 ft. High.
The scholars believe that the gardens were cultivated purely for pleasure and opposed the fact that they were grown for the production of food, which was put forward in the Fertile Crescent.
If the Hanging Gardens of Babylon still existed at present, it would require 8200 gallons of water to water the plants in it.
The enchanting beauty of the gardens as compared to other wonders and the mystery of its location and the way it disappeared makes it highly captivating.
3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The statue of Zeus at Olympia was a huge statue made of ivory and gold. The god’s skin was made of ivory while the robe and beard were covered in gold. This monumental statue was established under the supervision of Phidias, a Greek master sculptor.
The statue of Zeus was placed in the temple of Zeus in Olympia, which in itself was a big temple.
The statue of Zeus was unbelievably 40 ft. high and represented god seated on a throne.
It inspired many imitations and was worshipped by pilgrims all over the Mediterranean. This statue was also a definition of the standard representation of Zeus on gemstones, coins, pottery, and sculptures.
Before this statue was lost in later Roman times, it was a must-visit by anyone who attended the ancient Olympic games.
The statue of Zeus held a goddess of the victories-like figure in this right hand and a scepter with an eagle in his left one.
4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was tremendous in size that it was almost double the other temples in Greek. This made it a part of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. King Croesus of Lydia built the temple.
The temple built in the 6th century was located on the Western coast of Asia Minor, which is now known as Turkey.
The temple of Artemis is 377 ft. long and measures 180 ft. in width (which is larger than the sides of a football field!)
The temple was dedicated to Artemis, who was one of the three maiden goddesses of Olympus.
The temple was rebuilt twice. Once after a flood and the other time after three hundred years after an act of arson. Finally, it was destroyed when Goths invaded the area, and after that, the temple was never rebuilt. At the present day, only its fragments and the foundation remain at the site.
The Temple of Artemis was considered to be the most impressive structure out of all the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a giant tomb built for Mausolus, who was the ruler of Caria. The structure was made of marble, and beautiful sculptures adorned it. Its beauty made it enter the list of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
When Mausolus died, his body was interred at Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, giving it this name.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was located in Caria in the city’s center (now known as Bodrum, which is a town on the west coast of Turkey).
The base or the high podium of the tomb measured 125 X 104 ft, according to the position of the cornerstones. There is also a combination of 36 iconic columns and a pyramid consisting of 24 steps.
The overall dimension of the building was known to be 104 X 85 ft, which was surrounded by a high wall measuring 6.5 ft.
The mausoleum at Halicarnassus no longer stands as it was damaged due to severe earthquakes and many elements that cannibalized in the 15th century. However, the ruins are still visible at present.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the rare constructions that contain the statues of humans and animals instead of those of Greek gods.
6. Colossus of Rhodes
Colossus of Rhodes was a giant statue made by a local sculptor Chares. It is the statue of the sun god Helios, wholly made of bronze, which stood by the harbor of the city(one of the ports of industrial importance in the ancient Mediterranean).
This gigantic statue stood with great elegance, no wonder why it was considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
The statue of Helios stood 33 meters high.
Colossus of Rhodes, which took 12 years to build, was present in Rhodes and stood by the harbor at the city’s center.
The Statue of Liberty is a statue of freedom, just like the Colossus of Rhodes, and is termed as ‘The New Colossus.’
Colossus of Rhodes did not last long as it was severely affected by an earthquake in 228 BC. Its fragments had cluttered the whole dock for almost a millennium before they were melted down in the 7th century CE.
7. Lighthouse of Alexandria
The Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as Pharos of Alexandria, was one of the most famous antique lighthouses. Its uniqueness helped it make to the list of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
It was built by Sostratus of Cnidus and completed during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy II Soter.
According to the then-present sources, this lighthouse was completed in three stages, which all sloped slightly inward. The lowest one was square, the succeeding one was octagonal, and the one at the top was cylindrical. A spiral ramp ran upwards to the top, where the fire burnt at night.
This is the structure that gave the name ‘Pharos’ to any light tower designed to guide the mariners.
The lighthouse stood at the Pharos island in the harbor of Alexandria.
It was known to be more than 350 ft. High and the only human-made structure taller than the Lighthouse of Alexandria was considered to be the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
It stood for around 1600 years before earthquakes excessively damaged it in the early 1400s. Some remains can of the Lighthouse of Alexandria be seen in Fort Qaitbay, which was built on the same site where the lighthouse stood.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria used to detect and signal ships 100 miles away.
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The 7 wonders of the ancient world were undoubtedly the standards for the remarkable beauty of all other structures that were built afterward.
These were the sites that were called themata (meaning things to see), and the sightseers used to write about 2000 years ago when they saw them on their journeys.
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The fact that is most interesting is that such unique ideas, creativity, years and years of hard work, and the way the structures were built back in those times. These 7 wonders of the ancient world continue to inspire artists around the globe.
Which of the seven wonders took your breath away? Let us know in the comment section below!