The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is a list compiled from ancient Hellenic writers that did quite a bit of traveling and wrote guide books about their experiences. Many lists have been compiled but only a few remain fully intact. Many of the items that were on the lists also had many similarities to other lists and because of the time period and travel restrictions, the lists only listed items that was in close proximity to the country of Greece. The most common and accepted version of the list includes the following wonders:
The Great Pyramid of Giza: The Geat Pyramid of Giza is the most fully intact Ancient Wonder left and is truly an architectural accomplishment. The Pyramid is believed to be built for the Pharaoh Khufu around 2560 BC. The structure took fourteen to twenty years to complete using slaves to do most of the work. The Pyramid consists of an estimated 2.3 million blocks, each weighing 2 tons and four 3800 years was the tallest man-made structure ever built in the world.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: Considered to be located in Babylon, which is now Iraq, was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Built by King Nebuchadnezzar II for his homesick wife to remind her of the country of Persia from where she was from, the Gardens were as massive achievement of buildings, statues, and plant life in the middle of a desert that receives little rain. One of the most impressive aspects to the garden was how it was irrigated using the Euphrates River and chain pumps to funnel the water to the plants. The gardens cease to exist as a result of several earthquakes that took place during 2nd century BC.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia: Created by the Greek sculptor Phidias in 432 BC is the Statue of Zeus which was located at Olympia, Greece. The statue was built in honor of the Greek God Zeus and portrayed him sitting down holding a statue of the Goddess Nike in one hand and a scepter in the other while presiding over the Olympic Games. Its towering frame rose 32 feet tall and was built in a temple that housed it. The statue no longer exists and is considered to be taken to Constantinople where it was burned in the great fire of the Lauseion, in AD 475.
Temple of Artemis: Created back in 550 BC for a Greek Goddess of the same name was the Temple of Artemis. Except for the roof, the temple was completely built out of marble. All accounts of the temple come from Pliny the Elder, a philosopher and writer and wrote that the dimensions of the building were 377 feet long and 180 feet wide, making its size about three times as large as the Parthenon. The Temple of Artemis was destroyed July 21, 356 BC, through an act of arson.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was built between 353 and 350 BC. No expense was spared in building the tomb and it was built by Greek architects Satyros and Pyhtis and stood 135 ft high with each of the four sides decorated with sculptures designed by each one of four Greek sculptors — Timotheus Leochares, and Bryaxis, the Scopas of Paros.
The Colossus of Rhodes: Representing the Greek God Helios, the Colossus of Rhodes, is located on the Greek Island of Rhodes. Standing at 107 ft tall, the statue was the tallest statue of the ancient world. The statue stood for 56 years before it was hit by the 226 BC Rhodes earthquake. The Statue suffered significant damage snapping at the knees and tumbling over on to the land. Offers were made to have it rebuilt but the oracle of Delphi made the Rhodians fearful that they had offended Helios, and they declined to rebuild it.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria: Pharos is a small island off the coast of Alexandria and because it was difficult to navigate sailing vessels in this area, became home to the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. The tower was built between the time of 280 and 247 BC and stood between 390 and 450 feet tall. For many centuries, it was the tallest man-made structure ever to exist. In 1303 and 1323, there were two earthquakes that damaged the lighthouse to the extent that no one could even enter the building any longer. It was soon demolished and some of the remaining materials were turned into a medieval fort by then Sultan of Egypt, Quaitbay in 1480.
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