The so-called ‘Wonders of the World’ are something that have to be seen to be believed. Their sheer impressive scale, combined with the fact that most are old enough to be beyond history books makes them mythical in their grandeur. Of course, seeing all the worlds’ wonders in person would require winning casino gold, given the current cost of travel. But even if you only get to see one or two, the experience is sure to stay with you for a lifetime.
These 7 modern wonders of the world are based on a 100 million person vote that took place in 2007. Take a look and see which ones you want to add to your bucket list!
Great Wall Of China
The Great Wall of China is something that is impossible to fully appreciate unless you are viewing it in person. The enormous structure was constructed between the 5th century BC and 16th Century, serving to act as protection from invading Mongol armies. The entire structure runs for a total of 4,000 miles, although some sections of the wall are not in as good condition as others. Either way, this is the longest manmade structure on the planet, and continues to reduce visitors to speechlessness on a daily basis. It can’t be seen from space as one famous myth has claimed for decades, but that doesn’t make the wall any less impressive.
Christ The Redeemer
This world famous statue of Christ is another that defies true scale unless seen up close. Costing $250,000 to make, and standing 130 feet tall atop Corcovado Mountain, there is hardly a location in Rio that the statue cannot be seen from. It was erected in 1931 from soapstone and cement and designed by Heitor da Silva Costa, but what many don’t know is that almost the entire cost was raised via donations from the public. It awed locals upon being completed, and continues to draw crowds of tourists annually.
The mystery that surrounds the Incan Machu Picchu city is a big part of its attraction. How the city was built between the precarious mountain peaks can only be guessed at, not in the least given how expertly the structures were supported and reinforced to avoid sliding down cliffs. What is known is that Machu Picchu came about somewhere in the mid-1400s, and likely served as a sacred temple to nearby Cusco. More astonishing still is that it remained hidden, known only to locals, until a groundbreaking rediscovery in 1911.
Another Wonder of the World and an ancient structure shrouded in mystery, Chichen Itza in Mexico was a trading post that thrived between 800 and 1200. It was thought that locals gathered here to trade items of luxury of the time, including cloth, honey and salt. The Wonder was created by the Mayan civilisation, and the structures are breathtaking in their incredibly intricate and expert design. The centrepiece, El Caracol, thought to be an astronomical observatory, is matched only the pyramids in how difficult it must have been to construct.
The Roman Colosseum
The Roman Colosseum is one of the most recognised World Wonders, appearing in multiple movies, books, comics and other forms of entertainment. Built between A.D 70 and A.D 80, the towering circular structure is perhaps so well known due to the bloody contests that occurred within. From hunts and executions to massive re-enactments, the sands of the Colosseum floor were all but soaked in blood. Today the famous Italian landmark is in worse shape than many assume, given centuries of punishment from earthquakes and thieves. But the parts that are open to the public are flooded with tourists clamouring to soak up the sight of this ancient amphitheatre.
Built between 1632 and 1648, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum for the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan. It is a potpourri of multiple architectural styles, including Indian, Turkish, Islamic and Persian. What many don’t know until visiting is that the building itself is only part of the overall beauty. Glorious flowerbeds and reflection pools makeup the surrounding gardens, which are almost as glorious as the white marble towers themselves.
Last but not least we have Petra, located in Jordan. Often said to be one of the most overlooked sites of ancient ingenuity, most were unaware that the climax scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed in a real place. Petra was only declared a world heritage site in 1985, and likely thrived between 8BC to 40AD. The amount of time and dedication that went into carving such elaborate designs into sheer rock is a marvel to behold. But most incredible is that the entire city was possible only due to expert diverting and storing of water, which was done via an elaborate series of underground tunnels. There are multiple impressive individual locations in Petra, with the Monastery being the most well known, thanks to the fictional archaeologist. But nearby is an amphitheatre that seats 4,000, which is rarely ever mentioned, and is well worth a visit too.