More than 100 million people around the world have voted for the New Seven Wonders of the World and the results are in. The campaign began in 1999 by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber and many hope that the new poll will help to protect the newly named wonders from preventable destruction over time. Except for the pyramids of Egypt, the original ancient list of seven wonders have vanished. The New Seven Wonders of the World compile an incredible list of architectural prodigies located in some of the top travel destinations around the world.
Stretched out into the limestone shelf of the Yucatan peninsula and lying deep in the jungle forest of Guatemala and Mexico lie the mystifying pyramids and temples of Chichen Itza. The ancient Maya are a classic example of Mesoamerican civilizations that originated around 2600 B.C. in the Yucatan and rose to prominence circa A.D. 250 in current-day Guatemala Mexico, northern Belize and western Honduras.
The Maya were noted for their elaborate and extremely adorned ceremonial architecture including temple-pyramids, observatories and palaces all built expertly and soundly without any metal tools, fascinating archaeologists to this day. This ancient and curious civilization advanced into highly structured kingdoms ruled by nobles and kings amidst the Classic period in A.D. 200-900. Left are the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza which have been pondered by millions of people to date.
Atop of Corcovado Mountain and sitting at 710 meters high, Christ Redeemer monument is one of the world’s most visited and astounding effigies. The statue represent Jesus standing with welcoming, outstretched arms and is the most famous symbol in Rio de Janeiro.
The original design of Christ Redeemer was created by a Brazilian engineer named Heitor da Silva Costa who was also in charge of the construction. Built from 1926 to 1931 with funds raised solely from donations, Christ the Redeemer remains the best vantage point in Rio de Janeiro from which to see panoramic views of Ipanema, Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana.
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
Winding 4,163 miles up and down across deserts, grasslands, plateaus and mountains like a mythological dragon, The Great Wall of China has stood the test of time for more than 2000 years. Though some sections of the wall are now in ruins or even completely disappeared, it is still one of the most alluring attractions in the world.
The architectural magnificence and historical significance of the wall built by Han, Qin and Ming dynasties is unsurpassed and the architectural style of the Great Wall is a marvel in the history of construction the world. Most of the Great Wall we see today is mainly from the Ming Dynasty and stands as a witness to Chinese culture, history and development.
The ruins of Machu Picchu remain one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. One of the primary functions of Machu Picchu was as an astrological observatory because of the Inca’s deep rooted religion based on astronomy. The detailed stonework is incredible to see but once viewed it plays a part in explaining why this hidden ancient city still stands today.
The legendary “Lost City” can be reached by a four to five day, arduous, yet completely fascinating hike along the Inca Trail where many other ruins can be seen along the mountainous route in the Andes. Sitting at 7,000 feet above sea level in a tropical forest and overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba river, this homage to the gods of the Sun and the Moon is an unforgettable sight that completely transcends modern design.
Petra in Jordan
Petra in Jordan
A nomadic tribe built the Petra in Jordan and laid the foundation of a commerical empire that extended into Syria. This nomadic kingdom site is semi-arid which allowed the Nabataeans to carve intricate tombs and temples into rock.
The sinuous strata of the rock formed waves and whorls of color which were exploited in carvings when the fascinating empire was built. Lying in a mountain basin and flanked by a valley running from the Dead Sea Petra is a historical and cultural rarity and a revered gem of the ancient world.
Housing spectacles of blood sports such as gladiator combats and hunts of wild animals the Roman Colosseum stands fantastically in present-day Rome. It is arguably the finest example of ancient Roman architecture and one of the most famous ruins in the world drawing thousands of visitors every year.
Shaped like a modern football stadium, the construction of the Roman Colosseum began during the reign of Emperor Vespasian who ruled from A.D. 69 to 79. Completed in A.D. 80, this was one of the greatest engineering feats of all time encompassing concrete, marble and limestone properties and is known as one of the bloodiest exhibitions of public entertainment known to mankind.
Located in the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, India the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful architectural examples of all time. The monument was built entirely out of white marble by the Mughals who were the Muslim rulers of India, over a 22 year period. The Taj Mahal is a Mausoleum that is home to the grave of Queen Mumtaz Mahal and which some say glows in the light of the moon.
Completed in 1648 C.E. the Taj Mahal stands on a square, raised platform with its four corners abridge forming an unequal octagon. The design is comprised of an interlocking arabesque concept where each element stands on its own and is perfectly integrated with the main arrangement. It eagerly dominates the Uttar Pradesh skyline in all its beauty.
The New Seven Wonders of the World have some people up in arms while others ponder why they have not be included before. There is no doubt that these new wonders evoke many questions, feelings and curiosities about the ways of ancient civilizations and the knowledge they held that aided them in building monuments and empires that have outrivaled time. The fact remains that each of the Seven New Wonders evokes a feeling of awe and deep curiosity as well as questions that may never be answered.