In 2007, July 7 marks 7 Wonders Day. In that day more than 100 million people voted to declare the New Seven Wonders of the World. The following list of seven winners is presented without ranking, and aims to represent global heritage.
The New 7 Wonders of the World have made it out of 21 Finalists within that last voting phase
THE 21 FINALISTS ARE
- KREMLIN AND RED SQUARE
- GREAT WALL OF CHINA
- People’s Republic of China
- STATUE OF LIBERTY
- United States of America
- TAJ MAHAL
- MOAI STATUES
- SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
- HAGIA SOPHIA
- United Kingdom
- CHICHÉN ITZÁ
- ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS
- GIZA PYRAMIDS
- EIFFEL TOWER
- MACHU PICCHU
- ANGKOR WAT
- CHRIST THE REDEEMER
KREMLIN AND RED SQUARE
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Red Square is a prominent and popular city square in Moscow, Russia. It divides the Kremlin, the old royal castle and now the official home of the President of Russia, from a well-known commercial area famous as Kitai-gorod. Red Square is ever so often regarded as the central square of Moscow as the city’s main streets, which link to Russia’s key highways, emerge from this square.
Red Square is centre to some of the country’s most irreplaceable and significant landmarks. It was built on the eastern side of the Kremlin, Moscow’s historic fortress and the centre of the Russian government. Its origins date to the late 15th century when the Muscovite prince Ivan III (Ivan the Great) extended the Kremlin to reveal Moscow’s growing power and prestige. An important public market and gathering place for centuries, Red Square houses the elaborate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral, the State Historical Museum, and the gigantic GUM Department Store. It is also known as a modernist resting place for the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. During the 20th century, the square became famous as the place of extensive armed defence parades and other demonstrations intended to display Soviet power.
Contrary to common mistaken belief, Red Square’s name is entirely unconnected to the crimson color of its several structures as well as to the Communist Party’s link with the color red. In its initial avatar, Red Square was well-known as Trinity Square, as a tribute to Trinity Cathedral, which stood on its south during the rule of Ivan III. However, from the 17th century onward, Russians started calling the square by its present name, “Krasnaya Ploschad.” The name Red Square derived neither from the pigment of the surrounding bricks, which, actually, were whitewashed at some times nor from the connection between the colour red and communism. Rather, the name came about because the Russian word ‘krasnaya’, which means “red” is related to the word ‘krasivaya‘ meaning “beautiful” in Old Russian, was applied to a small area between St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Spassky Tower of the Kremlin, and also the 13-meter-long herald’s platform widely known as Lobnoye Mesto.
Contrary to the repeated misunderstanding, it really never was a place of execution. From time to time scaffolds were positioned by it, but generally public executions were carried out at Vasilevsky Spusk which was situated behind St. Basil’s Cathedral. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich formally included the name to the whole square, which had previously been called Pozhar, or “burnt-out place”, with regards to the fact that many buildings had to be scorched down to make room for the square. Some former Russian towns, such as Suzdal, Yelets, and Pereslavl-Zalessky, have their main square called “Krasnaya ploshchad”
GREAT WALL OF CHINA
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Great Wall of China, Chinese (Pinyin) Wanli Changcheng or (Wade-Giles romanization) Wan-li Ch’ang-ch’eng (“10,000-Li Long Wall”), extensive Bulwark erected in ancient China, one of the largest building-construction projects ever undertaken. The Great Wall actually consists of numerous walls—many of them parallel to each other—built over some two millennia across northern China and southern Mongolia. The most extensive and best-preserved version of the wall dates from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and runs for some 5,500 miles (8,850 km) east to west from Mount Hu near Dandong, southeastern Liaoning province, to Jiayu Pass west of Jiuquan, northwestern Gansu province. This wall often traces the crestlines of hills and mountains as it snakes across the Chinese countryside, and about one-fourth of its length consists solely of natural barriers such as rivers and mountain ridges. Nearly all of the rest (about 70 percent of the total length) is actual constructed wall, with the small remaining stretches constituting ditches or moats. Although lengthy sections of the wall are now in ruins or have disappeared completely, it is still one of the more remarkable structures on Earth. The Great Wall was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
STATUE OF LIBERTY
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The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between France and the United States, intended to commemorate the lasting friendship between the peoples of the two nations. The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue itself out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the famed Eiffel Tower, designed the statue’s steel framework. The Statue of Liberty was then given to the
United States and erected atop an American-designed pedestal on a small island in Upper New York Bay, now known as Liberty Island, and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886. Over the years, the statue stood tall as millions of immigrants arrived in America via nearby Ellis Island; in 1986, it underwent an extensive renovation in honor of the centennial of its dedication. Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.
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Taj Mahal, also spelled Tadj Mahall, mausoleum complex in Agra, western Uttar Pradesh state, northern India. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān (reigned 1628–58) to immortalize his wife Mumtaz Mahal (“Chosen One of the Palace”), who died in childbirth in 1631, having been the emperor’s inseparable companion since their marriage in 1612. India’s most famous and widely recognized building, it is situated in the eastern part of the city on the southern (right) bank of the Yamuna Agra fort (Red Fort), also on the right bank of the Yamuna, is about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the Taj Mahal.
In its harmonious proportions and its fluid incorporation of decorative elements, the Taj Mahal is distinguished as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a blend of Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles. Other attractions include twin mosque buildings (placed symmetrically on either side of the mausoleum), lovely gardens, and a museum. One of the most beautiful structural compositions in the world, the Taj Mahal is also one of the world’s most iconic monuments, visited by millions of tourists each year. The complex was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1983.
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The Moai Statues date back nearly a thousand years and are the work of the early inhabitants of Easter Island. They are tall sculptures made out of volcanic rock, with disproportionately large heads. The average height of a Moai is about 13 ft (4m) and can weigh around 13.8 tones (12.5 tonnes) each, but some are up to 40 ft (12m) tall.
The faces on these Moai have distinct features, such as broad noses and strong chins jutting out from the rest of the body. The Moai have eye sockets carved, with archaeologists believing coral eyes were used.
It’s thought that the Moai were symbols of religious and political power and leadership. Carvings and sculptures in the Polynesian world often have strong spiritual meanings, and followers often believe a carving had magical or spiritual powers of the person or deity depicted.
Many archaeologists believe the Moai represented the ancestors of the people. This is emphasised by the fact the Moai are almost always facing inland or towards a community, rather than out to sea, suggesting they were looking after the people.
There are seven Moai which go against this and face out to sea, perhaps to guide visitors to the island.
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Colosseum, also called Flavian Amphitheatre, giant amphitheatre built in Rome under the Flavian emperors. Construction of the Colosseum was begun sometime between 70 and 72 CE during the reign of Vespasian. It is located just east of the Palatine Hill, on the grounds of what was Nero’s Golden House. The artificial lake that was the centrepiece of that palace complex was drained, and the Colosseum was sited there, a decision that was as much symbolic as it was practical. Vespasian, whose path to the throne had relatively humble beginnings, chose to replace the tyrannical emperor’s private lake with a public amphitheatre that could host tens of thousands of Romans.
The structure was officially dedicated in 80 CE by Titus in a ceremony that included 100 days of games. Later, in 82 CE, Domitian completed the work by adding the uppermost story. Unlike earlier amphitheatres, which were nearly all dug into convenient hillsides for extra support, the Colosseum is a freestanding structure of stone and concrete, using a complex system of barrel vaults and groin vaults and measuring 620 by 513 feet (189 by 156 metres) overall. Three of the arena’s stories are encircled by arcades framed on the exterior by engaged columns in the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders; the structure’s rising arrangement of columns became the basis of the Renaissance codification known as the assemblage of orders. The main structural framework and facade are travertine, the secondary walls are volcanic tufa, and the inner bowl and the arcade vaults are concrete.
The amphitheatre seated some 50,000 spectators, who were shielded from the sun by a massive retractable velarium (awning). Supporting masts extended from corbels built into the Colosseum’s top, or attic, story, and hundreds of Roman sailors were required to manipulate the rigging that extended and retracted the velarium. The Colosseum was the scene of thousands of hand-to-hand combats between gladiators, of contests between men and animals, and of many larger combats, including mock naval engagements. However, it is uncertain whether the arena was the site of the martyrdom of early Christians.
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Petra, Arabic Baṭrā, ancient city, centre of an Arab kingdom in Hellenistic and Roman times, the ruins of which are in southwest Jordan. The city was built on a terrace, pierced from east to west by the Wadi Mūsā (the Valley of Moses)—one of the places where, according to tradition, the Israelite leader Moses struck a rock and water gushed forth. The valley is enclosed by sandstone cliffs veined with shades of red and purple varying to pale yellow, and for this reason Petra was called by the 19th-century English biblical scholar John William Burgon a “rose-red city half as old as Time.” The modern town of Wadi Mūsā, situated adjacent to the ancient city, chiefly serves the steady stream of tourists who continue to visit the site.
The Greek name Petra (“Rock”) probably replaced the biblical name Sela. Remains from the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods have been discovered at Petra, and Edomites are known to have occupied the area about 1200 BCE. Centuries later the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe, occupied it and made it the capital of their kingdom. In 312 BCE the region was attacked by Seleucid forces, who failed to seize the city. Under Nabataean rule, Petra prospered as a centre of the spice trade that involved such disparate realms as China, Egypt, Greece, and India, and the city’s population swelled to between 10,000 and 30,000.
When the Nabataeans were defeated by the Romans in 106 CE, Petra became part of the Roman province of Arabia but continued to flourish until changing trade routes caused its gradual commercial decline. After an earthquake (not the first) damaged the city in 551, significant habitation seems to have ceased.
The Islamic invasion occurred in the 7th century, and a Crusader outpost is evidence of activity there in the 12th century. After the Crusades the city was unknown to the Western world until it was rediscovered by the Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
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A masterpiece of architecture, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most famous buildings. You can take a photo on the steps of the Opera House, explore it majestic exterior and splendid interior on daily tours, and enjoy performances held under its iconic white sails.
On the edge of Sydney Harbour, one of the world’s great natural harbours, the Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was evaluated as “one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind”.
The Sydney Opera House hosts 1,600 performances every year including ballet, opera, theatre, dance, music and comedy as well as children’s shows and more. You can combine shows with delicious food at the Opera Kitchen and Bennelong Restaurant, or enjoy pre-show drinks at the Opera Bar.
For daily tours, join the Sydney Opera House Tour, the Backstage Tour or the Tour and Tasting Plate, which includes a guided tour and a three-tier gourmet tasting plate at the Opera Kitchen. Foreign language tours are in Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish and German.
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The Hagia Sophia is an enormous architectural marvel in Istanbul, Turkey, that was originally built as a Christian basilica nearly 1,500 years ago. Much like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Parthenon in Athens, the Hagia Sophia is a long-enduring symbol of the cosmopolitan city. However, as notable as the structure is itself, its role in the history of Istanbul—and, for that matter, the world—is also significant and touches upon matters related to international politics, religion, art and architecture.
The Hagia Sophia anchors the Old City of Istanbul and has served for centuries as a landmark for both Orthodox Christians and Muslims, as its significance has shifted with that of the dominant culture in the Turkish city.
Istanbul straddles the Bosporus strait, a waterway that serves as a geographic border between Europe and Asia. The Turkish city of nearly 15 million residents thus lies in both continents.
The Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) was originally built as a basilica for the Greek Orthodox Christian Church. However, its function has changed several times in the centuries since.
Byzantine Emperor Constantius commissioned construction of the first Hagia Sophia in 360 A.D. At the time of the first church’s construction, Istanbul was known as Constantinople, taking its name from Constantius’ father, Constantine I, the first ruler of the Byzantine Empire.
The first Hagia Sophia featured a wooden roof. The structure was burned to the ground in 404 A.D. during the riots that occurred in Constantinople as a result of political conflicts within the family of then-Emperor Arkadios, who had a tumultuous reign from 395 to 408 A.D.
Arkadios’ successor, Emperor Theodosios II, rebuilt the Hagia Sophia, and the new structure was completed in 415. The second Hagia Sophia contained five naves and a monumental entrance and was also covered by a wooden roof.
However, a little more than one century later, this would again prove to be a fatal flaw for this important basilica of the Greek Orthodox faith, as the structure was burned for a second time during the so-called “Nika revolts” against Emperor Justinian I, who ruled from 527 to 565.
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Stonehenge is a massive stone monument located on a chalky plain north of the modern-day city of Salisbury, England. Research shows that the site has continuously evolved over a period of about 10,000 years. The structure that we call “Stonehenge” was built between roughly 5,000 and 4,000 years ago and was one part of a larger sacred landscape that included a massive stone monument that was 15 times the size of Stonehenge.
The biggest of Stonehenge’s stones, known as sarsens, are up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall and weigh 25 tons (22.6 metric tons) on average. It is widely believed that they were brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the north.
Smaller stones, referred to as “bluestones” (they have a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken), weigh up to 4 tons and come from several different sites in western Wales, having been transported as far as 140 miles (225 km). It’s unknown how people in antiquity moved them that far. Recent experiments show that it is possible for a one-ton stone to be moved by a dozen people on a wooden trackway, but whether this technique was actually used by the ancient builders is uncertain.
Scientists have also raised the possibility that during the last ice age glaciers carried these bluestones closer to the Stonehenge area and the monument’s makers didn’t have to move them all the way from Wales. Water transport by raft is another idea that has been proposed but researchers now question whether this method was viable.
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Chichén Itzá, ruined ancient Maya city occupying an area of 4 square miles (10 square km) in south-central Yucatán state, Mexico. It is thought to have been a religious, military, political, and commercial centre that at its peak would have been home to 35,000 people. The site first saw settlers in 550, probably drawn there because of the easy access to water in the region via caves and sinkholes in limestone formations, known as cenotes.
Chichén Itzá is located some 90 miles (150 km) east-northeast of Uxmal and 75 miles (120 km) east-southeast of the modern city of Mérida. The only source of water in the arid region around the site is from the cenotes. Two big cenotes on the site made it a suitable place for the city and gave it its name, from chi (“mouths”), chen (“wells”), and Itzá, the name of the Maya tribe that settled there. Chichén Itzá was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.
Chichén was founded about the 6th century CE, presumably by Maya peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula who had occupied the region since the Pre-Classic, or Formative, Period (1500 BCE–300 CE). The principal early buildings are in an architectural style known as Puuc, which shows a number of divergences from the styles of the southern lowlands. These earliest structures are to the south of the Main Plaza and include the Akabtzib (“House of the Dark Writing”), the Chichanchob (“Red House”), the Iglesia (“Church”), the Casa de las Monjas (“Nunnery”), and the observatory El Caracol (“The Snail”). There is evidence that, in the 10th century, after the collapse of the Maya cities of the southern lowlands, Chichén was invaded by foreigners, probably Maya speakers who had been strongly influenced by—and perhaps were under the direction of—the Toltec of central Mexico. These invaders may have been the Itzá for whom the site is named; some authorities, however, believe the Itzá arrived 200 to 300 years later.
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Situated in the eastern Higashiyama area, Kiyomizu-dera is one of the most famous and celebrated temples in Kyoto. The temple was founded in 778 AD and contains buildings from the 17th century, including a main hall designated as a National Treasure. The temple’s wooden stage is undoubtedly what the temple is most famous for, offering an outstanding panoramic view of Kyoto rising out of a sea of maples. Drink the sacred water filled with good karma at the Otowa no Taki waterfall, wish for a loving relationship at the Jishu Shrine, venture into the “womb of the bodhisattva” tunnel and admire the numerous examples of beautiful architecture… There are countless ways you can enjoy Kiyomizu-dera.
Kiyomizu-dera temple is currently undergoing renovations on the main hall and stage area, but visitors are still permitted to enter the hall. Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2021
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Neuschwanstein Castle is said to have inspired Walt Disney. This is the untold story of the Bavarian castle, which attracts 1.5 million visitors a year, and is also known as the ‘castle of the fairy tale king.’
Just over 150 years ago, in 1869, construction of Neuschwanstein Castle began in Bavaria, Germany. This documentary gives a behind-the-scenes view of the famous building, which is said to have inspired the Disney castle.
Neuschwanstein was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria, a man known also as the Swan King or the Fairy Tale King, but also as Mad King Ludwig. Ludwig II did not enjoy reigning. He dreamt of a life surrounded by nature, was an ardent fan of Wagner, and loved mythical imagery. Neuschwanstein Castle was his dream realized in stone. But it was also a withdrawal from his duties as head of state. And the more Ludwig II hid away in his dream castle, the more he angered his ministers. They saw his artistic and architectural projects as overly extravagant. Eventually, this ‘overindulgence’ was used as grounds to declare him insane.
He was interned in 1886. Just days later, he drowned in Lake Starnberg under mysterious circumstances, together with the psychiatrist who had certified him insane. Six weeks after the death of Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle was opened to visitors. The decision was also an effort to convince the public that the king had been ‘mad,’ and many came to see the castle.
Then came the World Wars and Neuschwanstein was briefly forgotten by the public. During the Third Reich, Nazis misused it to store looted art. But the castle survived the wars unscathed. After the end of World War II, U.S. troops reached the castle. Before long, it had become a favorite among GIs stationed in Germany, and Neuschwanstein was once again a much-loved tourist attraction. Today, it’s a tourist phenomenon.
ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS
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The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous ancient archaeological sites in the world. Located on a limestone hill high above Athens, Greece, the Acropolis has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Over the centuries, the Acropolis was many things: a home to kings, a citadel, a mythical home of the gods, a religious center and a tourist attraction. It has withstood bombardment, massive earthquakes and vandalism yet still stands as a reminder of the rich history of Greece. Today, it is a cultural UNESCO World Heritage site and home to several temples, the most famous of which is the Parthenon.
The term “acropolis” means “high city” in Greek and can refer to one of many natural strongholds constructed on rocky, elevated ground in Greece, but the Acropolis of Athens is the best known.
Made of limestone rock that dates to the Late Cretaceous period when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, the Acropolis is located on the Attica plateau of Greece and includes four hills:
- Likavitos Hill
- Hill of the Nymphs
- The Pynx Hill
- Philapappos Hill
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The Giza Pyramids, built to endure an eternity, have done just that. The monumental tombs are relics of Egypt’s Old Kingdom era and were constructed some 4,500 years ago.
Egypt’s pharaohs expected to become gods in the afterlife. To prepare for the next world they erected temples to the gods and massive pyramid tombs for themselves—filled with all the things each ruler would need to guide and sustain himself in the next world.
Pharaoh Khufu began the first Giza pyramid project, circa 2550 B.C. His Great Pyramid is the largest in Giza and towers some 481 feet (147 meters) above the plateau. Its estimated 2.3 million stone blocks each weigh an average of 2.5 to 15 tons.
Khufu’s son, Pharaoh Khafre, built the second pyramid at Giza, circa 2520 B.C. His necropolis also included the Sphinx, a mysterious limestone monument with the body of a lion and a pharaoh’s head. The Sphinx may stand sentinel for the pharaoh’s entire tomb complex.
The third of the Giza Pyramids is considerably smaller than the first two. Built by Pharaoh Menkaure circa 2490 B.C., it featured a much more complex mortuary temple.
Each massive pyramid is but one part of a larger complex, including a palace, temples, solar boat pits, and other features.
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Two senior engineers working for the architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel designed the Tower, which was then approved by Eiffel and proposed as the centrepiece for the world fair held in France’s capital, the Exposition Universelle in 1889. Once approved, 250 builders were hired to build the monument, which took over two years to finish.
Initially, the Eiffel Tower was subject of controversy. The artists of the period thought the monument to be monstrous, and given its poor profitability, it was suggested on several occasions that they should demolish it.
During World War I, enemy messages were intercepted thanks to the tower radiotelegraphy centre.
Currently, the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited monument in the world with over 7 million visitors a year. This is partly due to the popularity of Paris as a tourist destination.
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Timbuktu (Timbuctoo) is a city in Mali, West Africa which was an important trade centre of the Mali Empire which flourished between the 13th and 15th centuries CE. The city, founded c. 1100 CE, gained wealth from access to and control of the trade routes which connected the central portion of the Niger River with the Sahara and North Africa.
Timbuktu’s golden period was in the 14th century CE when it grew rich passing along gold, slaves, and ivory from Africa’s interior to the Mediterranean and sending salt and other goods southwards. The ruler Mansa Musa built mosques of pounded earth and established universities which gained the city international fame as a centre of Islamic learning. The city thrived longer than the Mali Empire, experiencing various subsequent rulers such as the Songhai Empire, the Tuaregs, and the Moroccan Pashas, but the medieval descriptions of the city’s wealth lingered long in the memory. The difficulty European explorers had in finding the city and establishing the source of the Niger River resulted in Timbuktu becoming one of the most mysterious places in world geography. Timbuktu is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site
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Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Peru, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a royal estate or sacred religious site for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years, until the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911, the abandoned citadel’s existence was a secret known only to peasants living in the region. The site stretches over an impressive 5-mile distance, featuring more than 3,000 stone steps that link its many different levels. Today, hundreds of thousands of people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over its towering stone monuments and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous manmade wonders.
Historians believe Machu Picchu was built at the height of the Inca Empire, which dominated western South America in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was abandoned an estimated 100 years after its construction, probably around the time the Spanish began their conquest of the mighty pre-Columbian civilization in the 1530s. There is no evidence that the conquistadors ever attacked or even reached the mountaintop citadel, however; for this reason, some have suggested that the residents’ desertion occurred because of a smallpox epidemic.
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Angkor Wat is an enormous Buddhist temple complex located in northern Cambodia. It was originally built in the first half of the 12th century as a Hindu temple. Spread across more than 400 acres, Angkor Wat is said to be the largest religious monument in the world. Its name, which translates to “temple city” in the Khmer language of the region, references the fact it was built by Emperor Suryavarman II, who ruled the region from 1113 to 1150, as the state temple and political center of his empire.
Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, Angkor Wat became a Buddhist temple by the end of the 12th century.
Although it is no longer an active temple, it serves as an important tourist attraction in Cambodia, despite the fact it sustained significant damage during the autocratic rule of the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s and in earlier regional conflicts.
Angkor Wat is located roughly five miles north of the modern Cambodian city of Siem Reap, which has a population of more than 200,000 people.
However, when it was built, it served as the capital of the Khmer empire, which ruled the region at the time. The word “Angkor” means “capital city” in the Khmer language, while the word “Wat” means “temple.”
Initially, Angkor Wat was designed as a Hindu temple, as that was the religion of the region’s ruler at the time, Suryavarman II. However, by the end of the 12th century, it was considered a Buddhist site.
Unfortunately, by then, Angkor Wat had been sacked by a rival tribe to the Khmer, who in turn, at the direction of the new emperor, Jayavarman VII, moved their capital to Angkor Thom and their state temple to Bayon, both of which are a few miles to the north of the historic site.
As Angkor Wat’s significance within the Buddhist religion of the region increased, so too did the legend surrounding the site. Many Buddhists believe the temple’s construction was ordered by the god Indra, and that the work was accomplished in one night.
However, scholars now know it took several decades to build Angkor Wat, from the design phase to completion.
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The Alhambra is an ancient palace, fortress and citadel located in Granada, Spain. The eighth-century-old site was named for the reddish walls and towers that surrounded the citadel: al-qal’a al-hamra in Arabic means red fort or castle. It’s the only surviving palatine city (a royal territorial center) of the Islamic Golden Age and a remnant of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Islamic kingdom in Western Europe.
In 1984, the Alhambra was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with two other related sites: the Albaicín (or Albayzín) and the Generalife Garden.
The Alhambra is located west of the city of Granada on the Sabika hill—a strategic vantage point that provides views of the whole city of Granada and the plain (vega) of Granada.
The complex is irregular in shape and surrounded by defensive walls. In all, the Alhambra spans nearly 26 acres, with more than a mile of walls, 30 towers and numerous smaller structures.
The Sabika hill and its palatine city are further surrounded by mountains, and Arab writers once likened Granada and Alhambra to a crown and diadem, respectively.
At the base of the plateau is the Darro River, which runs through a deep ravine to the north. The river separates Sabika from the Albaicín, a Moorish residential district that, along with the Alhambra, form the medieval part of Granada.
The Generalife Garden, on the other hand, is situated nearby on the slopes of the Hill of the Sun. The Generalife contained residential buildings and land used for grazing and cultivation, and it was designed as a place of rest for the Muslim royalty living at the Alhambra.
CHRIST THE REDEEMER
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Christ the Redeemer (Portuguese: Cristo Redentor, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈkɾistu χedẽˈtoɾ], local dialect: [ˈkɾiʃtu ɦedẽˈtoɦ]) is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot.
The face was created by the Romanian artist Gheorghe Leonida. The statue is 30 metres (98 ft) tall, not including its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide. By comparison, it is approximately two-thirds the height of the Statue of Liberty’s height from base to torch.
The statue weighs 635 metric tons (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.
Do you agree with the new world wonder 07 list ?
- Great Wall of China. Great Wall of China
- Chichén Itzá El Castillo, a Toltec-style pyramid, Chichén Itzá, Yucatán state, Mexico
- the Khaznah
- Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, Peru
- Christ the Redeemer. Christ the Redeemer statue
- Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal