What are the seven wonders of the ancient world?
Are they still standing, and can you visit them?
Let’s find out!
The ancient world was a unique time in human history. It was a time of great exploration, flourishing cultures, and marvelous architecture. The people of this period were highly skilled in their crafts. And they used their skills to create beautiful, inspiring structures.
A few sites have become known as the seven wonders of the Ancient World.
Who Made the First List of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The term “seven wonders” was coined by Antipater of Sidon, a Greek scholar. And ancient writer, who lived in the first century B.C.
During this time in ancient Greece, he assembled a list of seven structures that he considered being the most impressive in the region.
The original Ancient Greek list and most of its additions are lost. But historians believe that the original seven wonders comprised this ancient sites.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Temple of Artemis in Ephesus
One of these structures is the temple of Artemis in Ephesus. In the ancient world, this temple was one of the seven wonders of the world. It is known for being one of the largest temples ever built and for being a temple to the goddess of the hunt.
Where Was the Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis was located in the middle eastern country of Turkey. It was in Ephesus along the coast.
Can you Visit the Temple of Artemis Today?
Sadly, no. The temple was destroyed by fire in 356 BC, but it was rebuilt and continued to be used until an earthquake destroyed again it in 262 AD.
But Ephesus has some of the most iconic ruins in the world. And these constructions are still worth visiting.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. King Nebuchadnezzar II built them around 600 BCE, in what is now Iraq.
They built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon on top of a large artificial hill, called a “tell”. And they featured an elaborate system of canals, terraces, and waterfalls.
The gardens were said to have been built to please Queen Semiramis, wife of King Nebuchadnezzar II.
Do the Hanging Gardens of Babylon Still Exist?
We believe the Hanging Gardens to have covered an area of approximately 100 acres. This is much larger than most other gardens built throughout history. Several tall columns surrounded the garden’s perimeter, which may have served as supports for vines or other plants that grew on top of them.
The exact location where the Hanging Gardens once stood is unknown today.
Can you Visit the Hanging Gardens Today?
No, an earthquake destroyed this wonder. If they existed. There are a lot of accounts of the Hanging Gardens in Ancient Roman and Greek books.
Like from Diodorus Siculus and the writer Antipater. But there is no first-hand account of someone visiting the gardens.
And because of their sheer size, and the amount of water they would need, it has led some scholars to think it was a widespread fictional tale.
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek titan Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name.
They constructed the Colossus between 292 BC and 280 BC to commemorate the completion of the newly fortified city walls. It is said that it took 12 years for the bronze for this statue to be cast.
Imagine this thing reflect sunlight in the sun. The total weight of the statue was about 105 tons, or about 90 metric tonnes (100 short tons).
The height of this statue was about 30 meters (98 ft) from toe to fingertip; making it one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Where Was the Colossus of Rhodes?
The Colossus stood on a pedestal near what is now called Mandraki Harbour in the Mediterranean on the Greek Island of Rhodes.
Can you Visit the Colossus of Rhodes?
Sadly, no, this is another of the seven wonders of the ancient world that have not survived. The harbor area where it once stood has been submerged since medieval times. And has become an archaeological site known as the Colossus’s Footprint. The destruction of this moment is a loss for all civilizations.
Can you Visit the Colossus of Rhodes Today?
The statue was built in 280 BC, but an earthquake in 226 BC. destroyed this wonder Sadly, earthquakes have destroyed many of these wonders.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria – The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Many historians consider the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. And one of the most important historical monuments ever built in human history.
The lighthouse was 400 feet tall, about 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty today. It was also said to be able to emit light from over 35 km away.
Making it visible from both ports and ships as far as 100 miles (160 km) out at sea. Giving sailors a safe passage into port during bad weather or night time navigation.
They also equipped the lighthouse with mirror signals that could flash messages across great distances. By reflecting sunlight from polished metal mirrors attached to its side walls.
Besides serving as a landmark for incoming ships. It also served as an early warning system for approaching enemy fleets because it could be seen at great distances away. Even on cloudy days or at night when there was no moonlight shining on it
Where Was The Lighthouse of Alexandria?
Ptolemy I Soter built the lighthouse (323-285 BC), a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great. who became Pharaoh (King) of Egypt after Alexander’s death. They built the lighthouse on the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt in 290 BC.
It was a famous site of classical antiquity. And one of the 7 wonders I wish I could have seen.
Can You Visit The Lighthouse of Alexandria Today?
An earthquake destroyed the Lighthouse of Alexandria in the 9th century.
So there is no way to visit the Lighthouse of Alexandria today. A wonder I would have loved to see.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a tomb built in honor of King Mausolus of Caria, who ruled over the Persian Empire from 377 BC to 353 BC. The tomb was built by his brother-in-law, Artemisia II of Caria, after his death in 353 BC.
Where was the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
It is located on a hill in present-day Bodrum, Turkey, and is one of the most famous structures from the Hellenistic period.
Can you Visit the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus?
The structure is an example of Hellenistic architecture. And stood for over 1,000 years before being destroyed in the ancient city, by an earthquake in 606 AD.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. The statue was a giant seated figure of Zeus, the Greek God. It must have been one of the most incredible sights in the world. The Greek sculptor Phidias, around 435 BC created it.
This fifth-century BC statue was made from gold and ivory and stood nearly 40 feet high. The head alone weighed 18 tons. This work was so grand that it has been called “the Eighth Wonder of the World.”
Does the Statue of Zeus Exist Today?
Sadly no. They destroyed the statue in 426 BC during an invasion by the Persians under Xerxes I (486-465 BC).
But you can still see the ruins of the building that held it, in Olympia Greece.
The Pyramids of Giza – The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) built them in honor of his father, Khnum-Khufu and his mother Henutsen.
They constructed the pyramids from 2.3 million limestone blocks. That’s right, it is over two million stone blocks. Each weighing about 2 tons.
They lifted some of these blocks to heights of 4 meters using ramps that were over a kilometer long and 60 meters wide. The workers who built the pyramids lived in temporary settlements beside them, as did their families.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest. And largest one among all three pyramids at Giza Necropolis, Egypt, which also includes the Great Sphinx nearby. It is also the only surviving monument from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
There are many theories regarding how this great pyramid was built. But there are no conclusive answers yet because no one knows exactly how it was built!
They have restored the great pyramid several times since its construction due to damage caused by earthquakes. As well as, erosion and vandalism by grave robbers who stole precious stones and other valuable materials from it.
This isn’t the only magnificent site to see in Egypt. The ancient Egyptians built sites like Abu Simbal, King Tuts Tomb, and the Temple of Luxor. Egypt also has a rich history of Egyptian Pharaoh, like Ptolemy ii philadelphus.
Where are the Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza, are just outside Cairo, in Egypt.
Can You Still See The Pyramids of Giza
Yep, this is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that still exists. And of my favorite sites in Egypt. And it is undoubtedly one of the greatest architectural achievements of the ancient engineering world.
Amazingly, these have lasted since ancient Egypt.
What is the 8th Wonder of the World?
The 8th Wonder of the World is a rock fortress in Sri Lanka. It was built by King Kashyapa in the 5th century BC and it is one of the greatest man-made wonders of the world. Sigiriya is a flat-topped rock about 120 meters high, surrounded by an extensive area of ruins.
The Sigiriya rock is near Matale Town in Sri Lanka. We know the Sigiriya rock fortress for its ancient frescoes and its beautiful gardens.
The name “Sigiriya” means “Lion’s rock”, although there are no lions in sight. The word “Siri” means “lion”. Surrounded by an extensive area of ruins, Sigiriya is a flat-topped rock about 120 meters high (394 ft), surrounded by an extensive area of ruins. We also known it as Lumbini Gardens.
Looking at these sites, it is easy to see the Greek Influence on the Ancient World. An influence that archaeologists continue to discover.
Sadly, most of these wonders of ancient times were destroyed. But there are several ruins and ancient wonders that survive to this day that are worthy of seeing.
But on a better note, you can check out the new 7 Wonders of the World Modern Day. There are also the the Seven Wonders of The World Natural landscapes, beautiful places around the world like Halong Bay, Vietnam.
As well as places like the Great Wall, The Rosetta Stone, the British Museum, and the Lincoln Cathedral. There are a ton of sites throughout history.
From times in history like the middle ages, that go from the middle east, Constantinople, and throughout Europe. Which of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World would you have visited first?
1 thought on “The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World | Quick Facts and History”
Thanks for the interesting summary! I enjoyed reading it.