Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Throughout the ancient world incredible structures, statues and monuments were built in honour of royalty, in dedication to gods and legends, to protect city boundaries and in some cases as an extravagance to show the wealth of a country itself. Below are the greatest examples - the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
1. Great Pyramid of Giza, Cairo, Egypt
The most famous of the Seven Wonders, this incredible structure was built as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu in 2560 BC. The pyramid is the largest in Egypt at 481 ft tall and took 40,000 workers a total of 20 years to build. Over 5 million people visit this popular and iconic site each year. It is the only one of the orginal wonders to remain intact.
2. Colossus of Rhodes, Rhodes, Greece
A towering statue of the Greek sun god Helios once stood in the harbour of Rhodes. Built in 292 BC to celebrate their victory over an invading ruler, its imposing structure also warded off potential enemies until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC. Today stone columns can be seen at the harbour entrance to mark where the statue originally stood.
3. Lighthouse of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt
Constructed in 280 BC, the 450 ft lighthouse allowed ships to locate its dazzling lights for many miles out to sea and safely guide themselves into the harbour. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1303 AD and never rebuilt.
4. Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Olympia, Greece
A statue of Zeus, the most powerful Greek god, was built inside the Temple of Olympia around 435 BC. Made of ivory and gold, the statue itself was also 43 ft in height and to fit inside the temple the roof of the building had to first be removed!
5. Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Babylon, Iraq
A lush green paradise of plants and trees decorated the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. No significant proof of its existence has yet been found but several documents dating back to this period suggest it was built by a king as a present for his new wife, who missed her green homeland and thus had this vast oasis created.
6. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Turkey
Built for Mausolus, a leader of the Persian Empire around 353 BC, this once impressive building stood 148 ft in height with the tomb resting in the centre of the grounds for all to see. Whilst only small foundations of the building survive today after numerous earthquakes, this would have been an architecturally impressive building with no expense spared in the making.
7. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey
Dedicated to the god of hunting, Artemis, this temple was first built in the bronze age and then re-built a number of times following both natural disasters and the need for space to welcome worshipers. Whilst the temple no longer stands evidence of this building can still be seen at the site today and is one of the main attractions in this area.