Last update: February 19th, 2020 at 8:00 am
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were famous for man’s triumph over nature. Amazing artistic, engineering and architectural feats, they’ve been the subjects of poetry and songs. They even inspired the UNESCO World Heritage List – more than 900 sites throughout the world that are of “outstanding university value.”
None of the original Seven Wonders have survived except for the Great Pyramid of Giza. And in the more than 2,000 years since the original seven were chosen, countless other wonders have been built, in places the original list makers had never imagined.
Enter the New Seven Wonders of the World.
The New Seven Wonders Foundation launched in 2001 with the goal of getting the whole world involved in choosing seven still-existing wonders to celebrate. They began with a list of 200 existing monuments, then narrowed them down through rounds of voting.
With more than 100 million votes overall, these are the New Seven Wonders of the World:
Temple of Kukulcan, Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza was a major city of the Maya civilization in Mexico from about 600 to 1200 C.E. The step pyramid temple was devoted to the Yucatec Maya Feathered Serpent deity, Kukulcan. Each autumn and spring equinox, shadows off the top of the pyramid create the illusion of a serpent crawling up the steps.
The magnificent temple is pictured as our “image of the day” today.
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cristo Redentor is a 98-foot-tall, Art Deco-style statue of Jesus Christ with arms outstretched, created by an international team of artists. Because it’s located on the top of the 2,300-foot Corcovado Mountain, it towers over the city and has become a global symbol of Christianity.
The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Construction of the Colosseum began under the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 72 C.E. It could hold 50,000 to 80,000 spectators during gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles, hunts, executions, and other spectacles. It stopped being used for entertainment in the medieval period, but was reopened as a concert venue in 2015.
The Great Wall of China
Beginning in the 7th century BCE, Chinese regions tired of raids from the north began building pieces of what would become the Great Wall. The 3,889-mile wall includes guard towers and barracks, and parts of the wall were even used as a transportation corridor.
Machu Picchu, Peru
An Inca citadel built in the 1400s, Machu Picchu is located nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. Much of Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Spanish colonized Peru; it was unknown to both Spanish settlers and the outside world until 1911.
Petra is famous for its stunning buildings carved into sheer rock faces, complete with classic columns. The city was founded by the Nabateans and who benefited because it was close to several trading routes. It was hidden from the western world until 1812.
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire commissioned the ivory-colored mausoleum after his treasured wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died in childbirth. The tomb is part of a massive 42-acre complex that includes a mosque.
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