7 Wonders of the Ancient World

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7 Ancient Wonders of the World

1. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon – Located approximately 50km south of Baghdad, Iraq on the east bank of the Euphrates River. King Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC), grandson of the famous King Hammurabi, is credited to have commissioned the construction of the gardens. Although no tablets were found in Babylon referring to the Gardens, accountings from the ancient Greek historian, Strabo, state that the “The Garden is quadrangular, and each side is four plethra long. It consists of arched vaults which are located on checkered cube-like foundations.. The ascent of the uppermost terrace-roofs is made by a stairway..”

2. The Great Pyramid of Giza – The only one of the Seven Wonders still left standing to this day, it is also the oldest of the 7 Ancient Wonders. Located in the city Giza, a necropolis of ancient Memphis, which is now part of Cairo, Egypt. This impressive monument was commissioned by Pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty around 2560 BC, to serve as his final resting place. The great pyramid was 145.75 meters tall when constructed, but over the course of time has lost nearly 10 meters. The entrance is located on the North side of the pyramid, and once inside there is a series of passageways and galleries that lead to the Kings burial chamber. The structure is comprised of some 2 million blocks of stone, each weighing more than 2 tons, with the King’s burial chamber and sarcophagus made out of red granite.

3. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia – The god of gods to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. It was located in the ancient town of Olympia, about 150 km west of Athens, in Greece. The original temple housing the massive statue was constructed around 450 BC, designed by architect Libon. The statue itself was created by the Athenian sculptor Pheidias. Constructed out of ivory sections, the massive statue was 45 feet tall, holding victory in his right hand, and his sceptor in his left. Closed by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in 391 AD, citing beliefs that the Olympic games (to which this statue symbolized) were a Pagan ritual. The Statue of Zeus was transported by wealthy Greeks to a palace in Constantinople, only to later be destroyed by fire in 462 AD.

4. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – Built in honor ...

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...for 56 years until 226 BC, when a strong earthquake hit and broke the bronze and marble statue at the knee. The people of Rhodes received an offer to repair the statue, with all expenses paid, but after consulting an oracle, she forbade the re-erection of the statue. There it laid for almost a millennia, when in 654 AD the Arabs invaded Rhodes and sold the remains of Colossus to a Syrian Jew.

7. The Lighthouse of Alexandria – The only one of the Seven Wonders to have a practical use, outside of burial, is the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Standing 117 meters tall, the light from the tower could be seen more than 50 km away. Constructed in 290 BC by Ptolemy Soter, the Lighthouse was approximately 117 meters tall, built out of granite and limestone. There was a furnace in the top of the lighthouse, which was reflected out to sea by a bronze reflector. It stood until 1323 AD. Over the course of three significant earthquakes, the lighthouse eventually toppled to the ground, never being repaired or rebuilt. Finally in 1480, the Egyptian Mamelouk Sultan, Qaitbay, built a fort on the same spot where the lighthouse layed, using the stone and marble from the site.
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