What are the Seven Wonders of the World?
I often find myself thinking of travel for pleasure as a modern-day phenomenon. But, really, people have been traveling for fun ever since there was something cool to see somewhere else–that is, since the beginning of known history, at least.
The ancient Greeks were big on travel–by that time sailors and merchants in the Mediterranean had told enough tales of far away wonders that your average citizen had probably learned enough about foriegn lands to get a little surge of wanderlust when hearing about the Pyramids at Giza or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Just as contemporary travel writers love making top 10 lists (I’m guilty too!) of places to go, the Greeks drew up a shorter list: the Seven Wonders of the World, because seven was an auspicious number.
According to the ancients, these were the must-see sights:
Ancient 7 Wonders of the World
• The Great Pyramid of Giza
• Hanging Gardens of Babylon
• The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
• The Temple of Artemis at Epheseus
• The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
• The Colossus of Rhodes
• The Lighthouse of Alexandria
These monuments were reached–not easily, but reached–around the rim of the Mediterranean, and had some link to the Greek civilization. Present day wonder-seekers can still see the Pyramid at Giza, but, alas the other Wonders have been destroyed by the progress of time.
So, over the last few centuries, more contemporary travelers have tried to make new lists with new Wonders of the World, so that they had more places to visit.
For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers came up with this list:
ASCE 7 Wonders
• The Channel Tunnel, between England and France
• The CN Tower in Ontario, Canada
• The Empire State Building in New York City
• The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
• The Itaipu Dam between Brazil and Paraguay
• The Delta Works in the Netherlands
• The Panama Canal
Even more recently, in 2007, the New7Wonders Foundation held a worldwide vote (online of course) to choose places that were held as ‘wonders’ by modern travelers. With so many worthy places to choose from, they got voters to classify sites into different groups. They are:
• The Great Wall of China
• Machu Picchu, Peru
• Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
• The Colosseum, Rome
• The Taj Mahal, India
• The Amazon, South America
• Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
• Iguazu Falls, South America
• Jeju Island, South Korea
• Komodo, Indonesia
• Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, the Philippines
• Table Mountain, South Africa
Which of the Wonders would you like to see?