The list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was originally compiled around the second century BC,
although Herodotus wrote about the idea aslong ago as the 5th century BC.
The final list of the Seven Wonders wascompiled during the Middle Ages.
The list comprised the seven mostimpressive monuments of the Ancient World,
some of which barely survived tothe Middle Ages.
The Great Pyramids of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) was built by the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty around the year 2560 BC.
The structure consists of approximately
2 million blocks of stone, each weighing more than two tons.
When it wasbuilt, the Great pyramid was 481 ft high.
It ranked as the tallest structure on Earth for more than
43 centuries. It is the oldest and only surviving ‘wonder’.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Terraced gardens adjoining Nebuchadnezzar’s palace said
to rise from 75-300 feet. Supposedly built by the king
about 600 BC to please his wife, a princess from the mountains,
but they are also asssociated with the Assyrian Queen Semiramis.
Most descriptions of the Gardens come from Greek historians,
but Babylonian records stay silent on the matter.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Carved by Phidias, the 40-foot statue marked the site of the original Olympicgames in the 400s BC.
It was constructed of ivory and gold, and showed Zeus on his throne.
It wasregarded as the greatest work in Greek sculpture.
Today nothing remains atthe site of the old temple except
the foundation of the buildings, and fallen columns.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Constructed of parian marble and more than 400 feet long
with over 100columns 60 ft high, it was begun about 550 BC
and took some 120 years tobuild.
It was decorated with bronze statues sculpted by the most skilled artistsof their time:
Phidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas, and Phradmon.
In 356 BC a mannamed Herostratus burned the temple to ground in an attempt to immortalizehis name.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Erected by Queen Artemisia in memory of her husband
King Mausolus ofCaria (in Asia Minor), who died 353 BC.
It stood 140 feet high.
The beauty ofthe Mausoleum is not only in the structure itself,
but in the decorations andstatues that adorned
the outside at different levels on the podium and the roof.
All that remains are a few pieces in the British Museum
and the word’mausoleum’ in the English language.
Colossus of Rhodes
Gigantic bronze statue of the sun god Helios (or Apollo);
it stood about 117feet high, dominating the harbour entrance at Rhodes.
The sculptor Charessupposedly laboured for 12 years before he completed it in 282 BC.
It wasdestroyed by an earthquake about 226 BC.
It has long been believed that theColossus stood in front of
the harbor straddling its entrance.
That isimprobable and recent studies suggest that
it was erected on the easternembankment of the harbor.
Pharos of Alexandria
Marble lighthouse and watchtower built about
270 BC on the island of Pharosin Alexandria’s harbour.
Possibly standing 400 feet high, it had, at the topstage,
a mirror which reflected sunlight during the day
while fire was used during the night.
Its reflection could be seen more than 35 miles off-shore.
Ofthe six vanished Wonders, the Light house of Alexandria was
the last todisappear.
It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1375.