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Ancient Wonders of the World
It was built in 2560 BC for the Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu or Cheops, as he is known to the Greeks. It is part of a complex of three pyramids at Giza. The first pyramid was built for the pharaoh Zoser. It was constructed with seven portions and was called the Step Pyramid.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon Built by King Nebuchadnezzar II to console his wife, Amytis, who missed the greenery of her mountain homeland. The traditional description of the gardens states that they were built within the walls of the Royal Palace. Historians also believe they were a series of landscaped terraces, constructed c. 8th -6th century BC. The plants did not actually "hang" but were built on these terraces, higher than ground level. They were irrigated by pumps that pumped water out of the river Euphrates (Mesopotamia).
Statue of Zeus at Olympia –
Built by Phidias, who also built the statue of Athena at the Parthenon. The statue was almost 12 meters (40 feet) high and was made out of gold, ivory, ebony, cedar wood, and precious stones. Zeus was seated on a large throne with a statue of Nike in his outstretched right hand. In his left hand he held a scepter with a figure of an eagle on top. The throne was decorated with mythical scenes and creatures which included gods, demigods, and heroes, doing important deeds.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus The original temple was built by Croesus, king of Lydia, in about 550 BC. It was famous for its great size, over 350 feet by 180 feet, and its numerous works of art. The temple contained a magnificent statue of Artemis that was made of gold, ebony, silver, and black stone. The dress was decorated with depictions of animals and bees. John Turtle Wood found the remains of the temple in the depths of a swamp.
Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnasus The name mausoleum comes from the name of an ancient Persian Governor named Mausollos. His wife, Artemisia hired the architect Pythius to design the building. She also hired the four famous sculptors, Scopas, Bryaxis, Leochares, and Timotheus. Each sculptor was responsible for one side of the building. The Mausoleum was destroyed between AD 1000 and AD 1400, probably by an earthquake.
Colossus of Rhodes –
Built on an island near present day Turkey. It was a statue of the sun god, Helios, patron god of Rhodes. The statue was built to give thanks to him after the island survived the siege of Rhodes. The siege was set in place by the Macedonians after the Rhodians refused to help them attack Ptolemy I in Egypt. Eventually the Macedonians gave up and left their supplies and equipment. The Rhodians then sold the supplies and built the Colossus with the money they earned. The Rhodians hired Chares of Lindos to create the statue. It was made out of bronze and reinforced with iron and stones.
Pharos (Lighthouse) of Alexandria The word pharos or lighthouse comes from the name of a small island off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. On this island there was a magnificent lighthouse. The Pharos was the longest lasting of the six non-extant wonders. It aided sailors for over 1000 years before two earthquakes in AD 1303 and AD 1323 destroyed it.
Medieval Wonders of the World
Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (Catacombs of Alexandria) - This Egyptian necropolis consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. A circular staircase leads down into tombs that were tunnelled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors (2nd century AD). The facility was in use from the 2nd century to the 4th century.
a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones. Archaeologists believe the standing stones were raised around 2200 BC and the surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.
Coliseum of Rome – Originally the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus' family name ("Flavius, from the gens Flavia). The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. It remained in use for nearly 500 years with the last recorded games being held there as late as the 6th century.
Great Wall of China The Great Wall is the world's longest human-made structure, it is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass. This was originally built to protect the northern borders of the Chinese empire from various nomadic groups. Since the 5th century BC several walls have been built until the 16th century, one of the most famous is the portion of the wall built between 220-206BC by the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang.
Pagoda of Nanking
- is a historical archaeological site located on the south bank of the Yangtze in Nanjing, China. It was constructed in the 15th century during the Ming dynasty as a pagoda, but was mostly destroyed in the 19th century during the course of the Taiping rebellion.
is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, currently a museum, in Istanbul, Turkey. From 360BC until 1453 it served as a cathedral of Constantinople, it became a mosque from 1453 until 1934 and became a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia is famous in particular for its massive dome.
Leaning Tower of Pisa –
is the campanile, behind the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. Although intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning to the southeast soon after the onset of construction in 1173 due to a poorly laid foundation and loose substrate that has allowed the foundation to shift direction, it currently leans to the southwest. The tower has 7 floors and 294 steps and is made of white marble. It was closed to the public on January 1990, and reopened on December 2001
New Wonders of the World
• Coliseum of Rome • Great Wall of China
Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India, that was built under Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The construction started in 1632 and completed around 1653.
described as a “rose-red city, half as old as time”, petra is a vast, unique city, carved into the rock by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled at Petra more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. Petra is usually identified as Sela in the bible, Petra is the spot where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came forth, and where Moses' brother, Aaron, is buried, at Mount Hor, known today as Mount Aaron.
Christ the Redeemer –
is a statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is located at the peak of the Corcovado mountain, The idea for creating a large statue atop Corcovado had been around since mid 1850s, when Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss requested financing from Princess Isabel to build a large religious monument. Princess Isabel did not think much of the idea, which was completely dismissed in 1889. The second proposal for a landmark statue on the mountain was made in 1921 by the Catholic Circle of Rio. The designs considered for the "Statue of the Christ" included a representation of the Christian cross, a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands, and a pedestal symbolizing the world. The statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms was chosen. Construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931. The monument was opened on October 12, 1931.
Machu Picchu –
is the site of an ancient Inca city, high in the Andes of Peru. Located at 2,430 metres (8,000 ft), this UNESCO World Heritage site perched above the Urubamba river, is often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", is one of the most familiar symbols of the Incan Empire, and is one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world. These ruins were only rediscovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham. It is also the end point of the most popular hike in South America, the Inca Trail.
Chichen Itza –
translates as "At the mouth of the well of the Itza" is the largest of the archaeological cities of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It was granted World Heritage Site status in 1988 by UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aurora Borealis – The auroras, also known as the Northern or Southern Lights, are naturally occurring lights that create intriguing and spectacular displays in the sky. The aurora lights frequently appear as diffused glow lighting up the horizon. The most amazing sight is when the lights appear as waves across the sky; it is almost as if the lights are dancing.
is a massive gorge located in the state of Arizona in the United States, and was created by the Colorado River. Although not the steepest nor the longest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon is recognized as a natural wonder because of the overall scale and size combined with the beautifully colored landscape. Evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to the point we see it as today.
Grand Canyon –
Paricutin – paricutin volcano in 1994
is a cinder cone volcano in Michoacán, Mexico. It was established as a natural wonder because mankind witnessed its birth. Dominic Pulido, a farmer working in a cornfield witnessed the beginnings of Paricutin in 1943. The volcano has been dormant since the last eruption in 1952. The volcano was also fast growing reaching three-fourths of its size within the first year.
Victoria Falls is a waterfall located in southern Africa on the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambezi River serves as the fall's water source. With the collective height and width of the falls, it is attributed as the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The name Victoria Falls was given by the Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone in honor of Queen Victoria.
The great barrier reef is the world’s largest individual formation created by living organisms. As the largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef includes over 900 islands, over 2,900 separate reefs, and supports one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, north-east Australia. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism.
Mount Everest –
is the highest mountain on Earth above sea level at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). The mountain, which is part of the Himalaya range in Asia, is located on the border between Nepal, and Tibet, China. In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh. Chomolangma had been in common use by Tibetans for centuries, he decided that Peak XV should be named after George Everest, his predecessor as Surveyor General of India.
The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
- is located in Brazil and was created by erosion from the Atlantic Ocean and is also known as
Guanabara Bay. The Harbour is surrounded by gorgeous granite monolith mountains that include the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain at 1,296 feet (395 m), Corcovado Peak at 2,310 feet (704 m), and the hills of Tijuca at 3,350 feet (1021 m). Visitors will also experience numerous islands including Governor's island, Fundao and Snakes Island.
New Wonders of Nature
Amazon Rainforest and River
This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, and with minor amounts in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and France (French Guiana). The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
The name Hạ Long is derived from the Sino-Vietnamese , meaning "descending dragon". According to local legend, when Vietnam had just started to develop into a country, they had to fight against invaders. To assist Vietnamese in defending their country, the gods sent a family of dragons as protectors. This family of dragons began spitting out jewels and jade. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, linking together to form a great wall against the invaders. Using magic, numerous rock mountains abruptly appeared on the sea, ahead of invaders' ships. After winning the battle, the dragons were interested in Earth, and then decided to live in this bay. The place where the mother dragon descended was named Hạ Long, the place where the dragon's children attended upon their mother was called Bái Tử Long island.
are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian State of Paraná and the Argentine Province of Misiones. The name "Iguazu" comes from the Guarani words, meaning "water", and ûasú, meaning "big". Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. The first European to find the falls was the Spanish Conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541.
Tourism commands a large fraction of Jeju's economy. Jeju's temperate climate, natural scenery, and beaches make it a popular tourist destination for South Koreans as well as visitors from other parts of East Asia. The most popular tourist spots on the islandare Cheonjeyeon and Cheon jiyeon waterfalls, Mount Halla, Hyeobje cave, and Hyeongje island. Depending on the season, Jeju hosts many festivals for tourists including a penguin swimming contest in winter, cherry blossom festival in spring, the midsummer night beach festival in summer, and Jeju horse festival in autumn, among others.
Komodo is one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia the inhabitants of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed themselves with the Bugis from Sulawesi. Particularly notable here is the native Komodo dragon. In addition, the island is a popular destination for diving.
Puerto Princesa Underground River
Near Sabang town, St. Paul Underground River
Table Mountain is a flattopped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
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