Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New 'Seven World Wonders'

On Saturday, the votes of approximately 100 million persons from every country in the world were tallied to elect seven new World Wonders. The Great Pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world, kept their status in addition to the new seven.

First up, the Great Pyramids of Giza, still hanging in there on the list. The three pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs 4,500 years ago. Nearby is the Great Sphinx statue. So... shouldn't the list be called 8 World Wonders now?

Photo: Corbis

And the seven new world wonders are....
1) The Great Wall of China

Photo: Corbis
The 4,160-mile barricade running from east to west is the world's longest man-made structure. The construction of the wall took place over hundreds of years, beginning in the seventh century B.C. I hear they're even more spectacular in person.

2) Petra, Jordan

Photo: Getty Images
This ancient city in southwestern Jordan, built on a terrace around Wadi Musa, or Valley of Moses, was the capital of the Arab kingdom of the Nabateans. The city is famous for water tunnels and stone structures carved in the rock.

3) Statue of Christ Redeemer, Brazil

Photo: Glowimages/Getty Images
The outstretched arms of the 125-foot statue of the Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio de Janeiro from atop 2,343-foot Mount Corcovado. I always thought it would be nice to look up and see Jesus literally watching over you.

4) Macchu Picchu, Peru

Built by the Incan Empire in the 15th century, Machu Picchu's walls, palaces, temples and dwellings are perched in the clouds at 8,000 feet above sea level in the Andes. I remember reading about this ancient site in history class and thinking, how on earth did the Incas lug building materials all the way up there? Unbelievable.

5) Pyramid of Chichen Itza, Mexico

Photo: Radius Images/JupiterImages
Another history favourite. This pyramid was part of a sacred site in an important Mayan center on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Built according to the solar calendar, shadows at the fall and spring equinoxes are said to look like a snake crawling down the steps, similar to the carved serpent at the top. Cool.

6) Colosseum, Italy

Photo: Creatas Images/Jupiterimages
The 50,000-seat amphitheater in Rome was inaugurated in A.D. 80 and served as the backdrop for thousands of gladiators who dueled to the death. I've seen the Colosseum in so many movies I feel like I've been there...

7) Taj Mahal, India

Photo: Corbis
The white marble-domed mausoleum in Agra combines Indian, Persian and Islamic styles and was built by a 17th century Mogul emperor for his favorite wife, who died in childbirth. How sad for him, how nice for the world.

Historical background courtesy of MSN


Karel Mc Intosh said...

Hi Bajegirl. I posted a link to this post on Global Voices,


Bajegirl said...

Thanks, Karel, much appreciated.