No comments | Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Seven Wonders of the ancient world:

Early Greek writers drew up lists of the most important buildings in the world they knew. Of these only the Great Pyramid has survived, but we know about the others from writer's accounts and the work of archaeologists.

Wonders of the worldThe Great Pyramid of Giza-
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, is the oldest, and the only one of the seven Wonders to survive. It made as a tomb for King Khufu, who ruled Egypt from about 2551 to 2528BC, and it is the largest stone structure ever built. Its sides are 230m long and it covers an area the size of 200 tennis courts.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon-
The legendary gardens of King Nebechadenezzar II may not have existed. Some people believe they were created in about 600BC in Babylon, 88km south of present-day Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. "Hanging" suggests that they were a series of terraces made of bricks, some glazed and brightly coloured.

The statue of Zeus at Olympia-
This was an enormous statue of the Greek god, carved by the sculptor Phidias. It was inside the Temple of Zeus, built about 466-456 BC. The statue was 13m high and one of the largest indoor sculptures ever made. Today little remains of the temple and nothing of the statue.

The Temple of Artemis-
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey, was built to honour the Greek goddess of hunting and nature. The temple was completed in 550 BC. It was the largest of all ancient Greek buildings and measured 114 by 55m. Archaeologists have found the foundations and some columns of this ancient wonder.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus-
This was the tomb of Persian ruler Mausolus, who ruled part of the Persian empire from 337 to 353 BC. Halicarnassus in Turkey was his capital. After his death his widow built this magnificent tomb, which measured 105 by 242m and was 43m high. It was damaged by an earthquake and demolished in 1522. The word mausoleum has come to mean any great tomb.

The Colossus of Rhodes-
The big statue of sun god Helios stood in Rhodes harbour, Greece. In 305-304 BC warrior king Demetrius Poliorcetes attacked the city of Rhodes. When he abandoned his siege, the people built the giant statue as an offering to the god Helios. It took 12 years to build and stood 33m high, but in 226 BC It was destroyed by an earthquake.

The Pharos of Alexandria- 
This was a lighthouse off the coast of the city of Alexandria. Work started on it about 299 BC. It was completed about 20 years later, It was 124m tall- the tallest toppled into the sea. Marine archaeologists have found a few remains.

Seven Wonders of the Medieval world:

People have never been able to agree on the Seven Wonders of the MEdieval world, and this is just one of several lists that have been made. It includes buildings that were built before the medieval era- Stonehenge is even older than any of the ancient wonders- but excludes such buildings as Angkor Wat, Camodia, The Taj Mahal, India and Chicken Itxa, Mexico, which were unknown to Europeans of the time.

The famous circle of the huge stones was built in stages from about 3000 BC. The origin of the stones, how they were transported and the purpose of the site remains a mystery. It was possibly some sort of ancient observatory.

The Great Wall of China-
This was a defensive wall designed to protect China from its warlike neighbours to the north. It was built in stages after 220 BC, using a huge labour force of as many as 300,000 workers. The main part is 3,460km long and wide enough for an army to march along it ten abreast.

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy-
This amphitheatre was opened in AD 80 with a huge spectacle lasting 100 days. It is oval in shape and measures 48m high. 188m long and 156m wide. It could hold up to 50,000 spectators and could even be flooded for re-enactments of sea battles.

The Catacombs of Alexandria, Egypt-
These unique roman tombs beneath the city of Alexandria, Egypt, were discovered in 1900 when a donkey fell into the site. The beautiful preserved and richly carved catacombs had been tunnelled into solid rock during the 2nd century AD.

Hagia Sophia, Instanbul, Turkey-
Hagia Sophia, Instanbul, Turkey was originally built in Ad 360 by the Emperor Constantius. It was later rebuilt as one of the world's finest churches, with many mosaics and ornate details. In 1453 the church was converted into an Islamic mosque.

The leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy-
The building of the bell tower of Pisa cathedral began in 1173. Soon afterwards the foundations began to sink into the ground on one side. The design was adjusted, but by the time the tower had reached its full height of 55m it was learning sharply. The tilt has increased over the centuries and it is amazing that the 14,000 tonne structure is still standing.

The Porcelain Pagoda of Nanking, China-
The Porcellain Pagoda was built in about 1414 by Emperor yung-lo. It was an eight-sized structure covered in glazed tiles and soared to 79m. It was destroyed during a rebellion in 1853.


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