Ah, the seven wonders of the world. Just the name inspires a sense of wonder and whimsy. But what actually were they? From the largest pyramid ever built and the only wonder still standing, to a magnificent garden with a mysterious past. This is a list the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the only wonder on the list whose existence is still disputed. There is no proof the hanging gardens existed, and even if they did exist we don’t even know exactly where it was. The hangings gardens were a series of climbing terraces. They were filled with different plants, and the structure measured to about seventy five feet, giving it the appearance of a plant covered mountain. The Gardens may have been made by Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife, since she missed the mountains, and greenery of her homeland.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
The Statue of Zeus was a giant Ivory statue of Zeus sitting in a throne. It made by a sculptor called Phidias. The statue was built in the temple of Zeus, and was the only ivory statue to have ever been built this tall. Phidias used a secret technique to be able to build the giant statue out of ivory. He also used ebony, gold, and precious stones. The statue was 43ft tall, and if Zeus were to stand up he would burst through the ceiling of the temple.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The temple of Artemis was a Greek temple built in honour of the Goddess Artemis. The first temple may have been built by the Amazons, but we don’t know for sure. Unfortunately the temple was destroyed by a flood in the 7th century BC. The Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes rebuilt the temple in 550 BC. It took 10 years to build only to be destroyed 6 years later by an arsonist. The temple was rebuilt a third and final time, the third construction then became the fourth wonder of the world.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
From 353 – 350 BC a tomb was built in Halicarnassus for Mausolus a governor in the Persian Empire. It became known as the Mausoleum. The Mausoleum was designed by the architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. The Mausoleum was 148ft tall, and every wall was decorated with reliefs by four different Greek sculptors – Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros, and Timotheus.
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes was a gigantic bronze statue built to depict Helios, the god of the Sun. It was built in celebration of defeating the enemy army who came from Cyprus to besiege them. The statue was built in the city of Rhodes, on the Island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos in 280BC. The Colossus was destroyed 54 years later in 226 BC, by an earthquake. They never rebuilt it as an oracle predicted building it would bring bad luck.
The Lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt
The lighthouse measure 450 ft tall, and was one of the tallest man made structures of ancient world. It was also one of the longest lasting wonders before being turned to ruin. The only wonders to live longer were the Mausoleum, and the Great Pyramid of Giza. The light house was damaged by three earthquakes between the years of 956 – 1323 AD. Afterwards it became an abandoned ruin, much of the lighthouse fell to the ocean, not to be discovered until 1994. The remnants that didn’t fall into the sea were used to help build the Citadel of Qaitbay.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
The great Pyramids of Giza, built by Pharaoh Khufu was the tallest man mad structure for 4,000 years and first on the list of The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The list was written by Philo of Byzantium, aka Philo Mechanicus. The pyramid is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the only one still standing.