The Ancient Wonders of the World
The pyramids? The Great Wall? The Grand Canyon? We've all heard of the seven wonders of the world, but it's easy to get stuck counting after just one or two guesses. The original list of the seven wonders of the world is one made by the ancient Greeks. Think of it as the earliest edition travel guide the world has known.
This list covers the seven man-made wonders of ancient times, all built before 200 BC. This means the seven natural wonders, the seven modern wonders, and anything including an eighth wonder won't make the pick. So what were the original seven wonders of the world?
The Pyramid of Giza
The Colossus of Rhodes was a Greek statue made of iron and brass. It towered over 100 feet tall, made in tribute to the sun god Helios for a victory over the Cyprian army. Unfortunately it only lasted for about fifty years before an earthquake toppled it, but the ruins were so impressive that they were left in place for a number of centuries afterward. Nowadays, any huge structure built by mankind is called 'colossal,' in tribute to this first giant of the ancient world.
The Alexandria Lighthouse
Because the lighthouse was located on the small island outside of Alexandria called Pharos, the Greeks of the day took to calling it 'the pharos.' Pharos then became the Greek word for any lighthouse, a root which passed on into other Romance languages that share this word.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The hanging gardens of Babylon were famous for an elaborate water system that irrigated plants as high as 75 feet above the ground. These gardens supposedly had an elaborate terrace system that raised them to the same level as the city wall, with large trees growing on the roof. There is little historical or archaeological evidence about this wonder, but it must have been an amazing sight in the dry plains of Iraq to create lush gardens towering in the sky. If they did exist, they were destroyed after a number of centuries by an earthquake.
The Statue of Zeus
Zeus looked like he would tear the roof off the temple if he stood up. The marvelous statue sat motionless for close to 1000 years before it inexplicably was destroyed.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Another wonder of the world was the great temple of Artemis (Diana) near Ephesus. Now just an empty site with a bit of rubble, it was a central destination for veneration in the ancient world. It went through three building phases as it sustained arson and destruction throughout the centuries, but in its grandest form had over 120 columns and stood 60 feet high. The seven wonders traveler Antipater claimed that of all the seven ancient wonders, this one was by far the most wondrous of all.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus