Seven Wonders of the World
When we speak about the wonders of the world, we generally imply the ancient list of the most remarkable creations of classical antiquity. Today new lists are made to emphasize the importance of the objects that have survived up to the present days.
The classic seven wonders were:
Great Pyramid of Giza
The only of the seven Wonders that can be seen today. Its height is about 150 m, which corresponds to the height of a 50-floor skyscraper. The pyramid was used as a shrine for a pharaoh. It consists of more than 2,000,000 blocks that are perfectly adjusted to each other. A question arises: how could the ancient architects and workers do such complicated calculations to reach the final result? There is no answer to it even today. Scientists believe, that it took the Egyptians around 30 years to finish the construction. Nearly 100,000 people were busy here. Egypt used to be a rich state at that time. People though it to be prestigious to work for the Pharaoh. They were supplied with food, clothing and accommodation.
If people wanted to build the same pyramid today, they wouldn’t be able to copy it, as modern technologies aren’t designed for such scales.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
This wonder was discovered by a German archeologist, who searched for the ancient city of Babylon. It took him 18 years to find the Babylon Tower, the fortress walls, which once surrounded the city and the hanging gardens, to be precise, the remains. Finally he found a building, incuding 12 rooms with massive arches inside to support great weights. In the ancient written sources of the time he found some information about the inner structure of the gardens. The description coincided with what he had found. Some scientists cast doubt on this discovery. That’s why it may remain one of the greatest mysteries forever. The hanging gardens resembled a steep mountain, uniting all the seven
parts in one. Slaves were used to pump the water up from a deep well to the vegetation when the temperature was too high. It was a real oasis in the middle of the dry city of Babylon.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Around 470 B.C. Greek people were encouraged to start fund-raising to build a temple of Zeus, that could surpass all the other temples of Greece in its beauty. In 456 B.C. the construction was finished and consecrated. Its basement is still untouched. The temple had 34 pillars, which supported a massive roof, made of marble slabs. The main object inside was the statue of Zeus. It was a completely new image of the deity – he was ‘fatherly’ and not ‘punishing’ any more. This fact made the statue attractive. It was considered to be a patron of the Olympic games and even an umpire in some way. People made sacrifices to Zeus and prayed for the victory here.
Today we see sparse remains only: the basement of the temple with a few statues. The temple is known to have been damaged severely during one of the earthquakes in the 2nd century A.D.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The temple was dedicated to the goddess of war Artemis and was considered one of the most luxurious and splendid monuments of architecture. It was located in Ephesus (now this is a part of Turkish territory). Strangely enough, we know this building in connection with the name of Herostratus, who set it on fire to become (in) famous. After the act of arson it was rebuilt some years later, but finally it was ransacked by the local people after the Christianity was adopted as the official religion during the reign of Roman Emperor Pheodosius 1st.
It was revealed in 1903 only by John Wood, an English archaeologist.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum was known for its marvellous sculptural reliefs, and was designed as a tomb or Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia II of Caria, who was both his wife and his sister. The construction broke up several times due to the deaths of the deaths of the rulers, but it was finally finished and stood for 1500 years. Only in the 12th century A.D. it was destroyed by an earthquake and then the place was built by the Turkish invaders. English archaeologists explored the site in 1857 and discovered some important things, which are exhibited at the British Museum today.
Colossus of Rhodes
It was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios, 60 m high. It took the sculptor 12 years to complete it. The Statue existed for 66 years and then it was destroyed by a great earthquake. It lay on the ground for a long time. Finally a merchant bought it and he used 900 camels to take the remains away from the place to sell them. Today the statue symbolizes something unstable, massive, but easy to destroy.
Lighthouse of Alexandria
It was an impressive building even for the present time. With its height of 140 meters it showed the way to the ships arriving at the harbour. It possessed a unique system of mirrors for its time, which produced a powerful light beam thanks to its reflective ability. It was damaged by an earthquake in 796 A.D. Despite all the effort to rebuild it, people didn’t manage to do it. Later the harbour wasn’t used any more, because the water grew shallow and the lighthouse was forgotten.
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