The historian Herodotus (484 – ca. 425 BCE), and the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (ca. 305 – 240 BCE) at the Museum of Alexandria, made early lists of seven wonders. Their writings have not survived, except as references.
The classic seven wonders were:
- Great Pyramid of Giza
- Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- Statue of Zeus at Olympia
- Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
- Colossus of Rhodes
- Lighthouse of Alexandria
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, some writers wrote their own lists with names such as Wonders of the Middle Ages, Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, Seven Wonders of the Medieval Mind, and Architectural Wonders of the Middle Ages. However it is unlikely that these lists originated in the Middle Ages because the word medievalwas not invented until the Enlightenment-era, and the concept of a Middle Age did not become popular until the 16th century. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable refers to them as “later list[s]” suggesting the lists were created after the Middle Ages. Many of the structures on these lists were built much earlier than the Medieval Ages, but were well known. Typically representative are:
- Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
- Great Wall of China
- Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
- Hagia Sophia
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
New 7 Wonders Foundation
In 2001 an initiative was started by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose the New7Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. Twenty-one finalists were announced January 1, 2006. Egyptians were not happy that the only surviving original wonder, the Great Pyramid of Giza, would have to compete with the likes of the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House, and other landmarks, calling the project absurd. In response, Giza was named an honorary Candidate. The results were announced on July 7, 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal:
- Taj Mahal
- Chichen Itza
- Christ the Redeemer
- Great Wall of China
- Machu Picchu
Engineering Wonders – Somewhat more practical than pretty
- Channel Tunnel, 1994
- CN Tower tallest freestanding structure in the world 1976–2007.
- Empire State Building, 1930 May 1, 1931, Tallest structure in the world 1931–1967.
- Golden Gate Bridge,1937
- Itaipu Dam, 1984
- Delta Works/ Zuiderzee Works 1920
- Panama Canal 1914
Now you don’t have to wonder any more.
Very informative – and lots of things I would love to see (but probably never will outside of this blog post). Have a blessed day!
Even the wonders of the modern world require some travel. I haven’t seen most of them either.