The Earth has been populated by humans for many centuries now and the succeeding generations can learn and remember the previous peoples only from the monuments they leave behind. Many rulers have built grand structures in an effort to immortalize themselves or their empires and some stand till today. Some of these structures are functional while some are ornamental or spiritual, but all of them are symbols of the history of the country and an article of pride for the people. Here is our list of the 10 wonders of the world.
Spectacular Wonders of the World
1. Great Wall of China
This large wall built during the 7th century BC and later expanded by succeeding emperors to increase its length as well as height. The wall was built to protect the borders of the Chinese empire against attacks from nomadic tribes of the North and West. It is one of the largest structures built by humans and is also one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
2. Petra, Jordan
Petra is an ancient city located in the valleys of Jordan and was established in 312 BC. It is also known as the Rose City since most of the structures in this abandoned city have been carved out of pink stone. Petra is the most popular tourist destination in Jordan and is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This city is known for the beautiful rock cut architecture and the ingenious ways used in to carry water.
3. Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
This wonder of the world is one of the largest statues of Jesus Christ and is located on top of a hill in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It overlooks the beautiful seaside and took nine years to construct. It is the largest art deco statue in the world made out of soapstone and reinforced concrete. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil and is located close to the Copacabana beach.
4. Taj Mahal, India
Known as a symbol of love throughout the world, the Taj Mahal is located in the Indian city of Agra and is a tomb built by Mughal ruler Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. This fascinating mausoleum in the world is intricately carved with Islamic emblems and passages and is a typical example of Mughal architecture in India. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens built in the Char Baug style and is visited by more than 3 million people each year. The main structure octagonal and is capped by a large dome and was a marvel of engineering of time. It is surrounded by four pillars that lean slightly inwards and was the tallest structure in Agra for a very long time. One of the best tourist places in India is located on the Banks of the river Yamuna.
5. Machu Pichu, Peru
Like Petra, Machu Pichu us an ancient city belonging to the Inca period and is located on top of the Urubamba hill in Peru. It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and since then has gained popularity as a tourist destination. This city was built around the 1450s and was abandoned only 100 years later due to the Spanish invasion of South America. It is also known as the ‘Lost City of the Incas”. It is also one of the beautiful world heritage sites in the world.
6. Hagia Sofia, Turkey
This structure located in the Turkish city of Istanbul has a very vibrant history. It was constructed in the 6th century as a Christian basilica but under the Ottoman Empire, converted to a Mosque and was the major mosque in Istanbul until the construction of the nearby Blue Mosque. In 1935, it was taken over by the state and converted into a national museum. Currently, it is the second most visited museum in the country receiving more than 3.3 million visitors each year.
7. Chichen Itza, Mexico
This ceremonial pyramid built north of the Yucatan Peninsula belongs to the Mayan era. It has a history of over 1500 years and is dated back to 400 AD. Though the exact purpose of this structure is unknown, it is believed that it was governed by priests and was used to perform religious ceremonies and sacrifices including human sacrifice to please the gods. The name Chichen Itza means ‘At the mouth of the well of Itza”.
8. Colosseum, Rome
This famous monument in Rome dates back to the peak of the Roman Empire and has a rather bloody history. It was built as a stadium to stage show fights between animals and people as people watched and cheered for their favorite. More often than not, the fights ended with either one of the challenges dying in the arena. There were many mechanisms to make the fight attractive for the spectators including trap doors to release animals from as well as inlets to flood the arena and stage sea battles. It was known as the Flavian Amphitheatre at the time when it was built.
9. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
This famous tower is known worldwide for its tilt and is one of the wonders of the world. The construction was not planned with the tilt in mind though the bell tower started tilting during the construction itself. This was because the ground on one side was too soft and the foundation was not laid deep enough. From 1990 to the early 2000s, there was extensive restoration work to stabilize the building and partially correct the tilt by reducing its angle. Today, the Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Italy.
10. Roman Baths, United Kingdom
The complex housing the Roman Baths is located in Somerset in Bath, UK and is one of the major public attractions in the country. The baths were constructed during the Roman Empire using limestone and the water percolated naturally to this complex from the nearby hills. These baths were destroyed in the 6th century and were reconstructed only in the 1800s. Today, the complex is open for visitors and a museum has also been built there but people are not allowed to enter the water.
From the thousands of grand structures in the world, these have been chosen for their architectural beauty, engineering skills employed, the scale of the structure and their state today. Most of these structures are very well preserved and have been turned into major tourist attractions by their respective governments. How many of these wonders of the world have you visited?