Ancient World WondersThe creation of the first lists of Wonders of the world isattributed to Herodotus (famous Greek historian, 484 BC –425 BC) and Calimachus of Cyrene (chief of the Library ofAlexandria 305 – 240 BC). However, it is also beleived that thetraditional list was also made by Philo of Byzantium andwritten on his work "On the Seven Wonders" in 225 BC. Finally,around 140 BC, Antipater of Sidon compiled a later version ofthe list describing the structures in a poem. The monumentsmentioned in these lists were inspired by the mythology,religion and art of the ancient great civilizations of the world.The Ancient Seven Wonders of the World reflected the abilityof the men to change the nature in order to build wonderfuland beautiful structures which amaze and inspire the people.It believes that these constructions of classical antiquity wereconstructed since 2700 B.C. but, unfortunately, only one of thewonders mentioned by Herodotus has survived until today:The Pyramids of Giza. However, the Ancient Seven Wonderslist included:
1.GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA, EGYPTIt is also known as the Great Pyramid of Khufu or the GreatPyramid of the pharaoh Cheops as was called by Greeks; wholisted this pyramid as the first wonder of the world. It is the onlyone of the seven ancient wonders still remaining to our daysand one of the most famous tourist attractions in the modernworld. The Pyramid is located in the Giza Necropolis very nearCairo, the capital of Egypt. The total mass of the greatpyramid is estimated around 5.9 million tons and its volume isapproximately 2.6 million cubic meters. The great pyramidwas surfaced by white casing stones and blocks of highlypolished white limestone; therefore the original monumentshine brightly with the sun as a jewel. It is a great testimony ofperfection in design and construction that reached ancientEgyptian. Many people consider still Giza as a spiritual andenergetic place; therefore several privates groups visit Giza allthe time attracted by the mystical aspect of the GreatPyramid…HistoryHistorians believe that the great pyramid was constructed inthe fourth Egyptian dynasty by order of Pharaoh Cheops(2560 BC approximately) and its construction lasted around20 years. It was the tallest monument of the world during3800 years with 146 meters height. The great pyramid was
constructed using an impressive number of workers. Herodotus,the Greek historian who made the first list of wonders,estimated that around 100 00 workers were used to built thiscolossal monument. Nevertheless, modern calculationsestimate that at least 300 000 men would have beenrequired for this monumental work. Previously, it was believedthat workers were slaves, but now there are modern theoriesthat say they were skilled workers who camped near Giza fora salary; proof of this fact are workers cemeteries found byarcheologists in the vicinity of Giza . It is believed also thataround 2 millions blocks (each block weights between 2 and 15tons) of limestone, basalt and granite were used in thepyramid The Great Pyramid of Giza
It is the only Egyptian pyramid that has both descending andascending passages. The most popular theory about the goalof the pyramids says, they were used as tombs for pharaohs.But, we know that airshafts were built into the Kings andQueens chambers; nevertheless we don’t know the purpose ofairshafts; since pharaoh’s mummies don’t need air. Besides, nomummy or remains of any kind have been found inside thegreat pyramid. These are some of the reasons why manyEgyptologists and other academicians believe that pyramidswere also ceremonial and religious centers, but theconstruction, date and possible symbolism of these amazingmonuments are not still completely understood. There areseveral theories about the construction of the pyramids. Themost accepted of them say that the pyramid was built movinghuge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them intoplace.Another important detail about the pyramids is theirorientation, they are oriented 4’ west of north; some expertsbelieve that this peculiar orientation is due to the position ofthe stars b-Ursae Minoris and z-Ursae Majoris about 3,000years ago, thanks to this feature; some scientists date the startof the pyramid’s construction around 2467 BC.There are three main chambers inside the pyramid, which arearranged centrally, through the vertical axis of the pyramid;being the largest the lowest chamber also known as―unfinished chamber‖, which was cut into the bedrock uponwhich the pyramid was constructed. The middle chamber isknown as the ―Queen’s Chamber‖ and it is the smallest of thethree with around 25 square meters of area and 4.5 meters inheight. A peculiar detail about this chamber is that wasexplored using a robot created by the German engineer
―Rudolf Gantenbrink‖. The Egyptologist ―Mark Lehner‖believes that this chamber was designed as a ―serdab‖ astructure used in other pyramids in Egypt.The third chamber is the main, the King’s Chamber. It islocated at end of the lengthy series of entrance ways into thepyramid structure. Its original measurements were 10x20x11.2cubits (5.25x10.5x6 meters). These dimensions are consistentwith the geometric methods that used the ancient Egyptiansto determine the Golden Ratio phi. Inside the great pyramid,there had a great number of sarcophagus and a large gallery,which is 49x3x11 meters. This chamber contains also 2 ―airshafts‖, which ascend out of the pyramid, directly to the―Thuban‖ star and the ―Alnitak‖ star in the ―Orion‖constellation. It believes that, these airshafts were used with
ceremonial purposes; since they allowed to the pharaoh’s spiritto reach the stars.The King’s sarcophagus is located in the King’s chamber and itwas hollowed out of a single piece of red Aswan granite. Apeculiar detail about this sarcophagus is that it is too short toaccommodate a medium height person without the bendingof the knees, but this burial technique was not used in theancient Egypt. Therefore, several scientists believe that thesarcophagus was not designed to host a human body.
2.HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON, IRAQThese famous gardens were one of the ancient Seven Wondersof the World which was described by the Greek historianHerodotus. The oldest descriptions about the gardens werewritten by Greek sources like Strabo or Philo of Byzantium.These historians described the gardens as one of the mostimpressive sites of the World.Some stories tell that the hanging gardens towered abovehundreds of feet into the air but archaeological investigationsindicate a more modest height, but still impressive to the time.The hanging Gardens did not really ―hang ―in the exact senseof being suspended from cables or ropes. The origin of thename is an inexact translation of the Greek word ―kremastos‖which mean ―hanging‖, but it means also ―overhanging‖ suchas a terrace or balcony.The Greek Historian Strabo (first century BC) described thegardens with these words: ―Babylon, too, lies in a plain; and thecircuit of its wall is three hundred and eighty-five stadia (anancient unit of distance). The thickness of its wall is thirty-twofeet; the height thereof between the towers is fifty cubits (anancient unit of measure); that of the towers is sixty cubits; andthe passage on top of the wall is such that four-horse chariotscan easily pass one another; and it is on this account that thisand the hanging garden are called one of the Seven Wonders
of the World. The garden is quadrangular in shape, and eachside is four plethra (an ancient unit of measure) in length. Itconsists of arched vaults, which are situated, one after another,on checkered, cube-like foundations. The checkeredfoundations, which are hollowed out, are covered so deep withearth that they admit of the largest of trees, having beenconstructed of baked brick and asphalt — the foundationsthemselves and the vaults and the arches. The ascent to theuppermost terrace-roofs is made by a stairway; and alongsidethese stairs there were screws, through which the water wascontinually conducted up into the garden from the Euphratesby those appointed for this purpose. For the river, a stadium inwidth, flows through the middle of the city; and the garden ison the bank of the river‖.Another Greek historian named Diodorus Siculus tells that thegardens were around 400 feet wide by 400 feet long and
almost 80 feet high. Garden´s height is very controversial, sinceHerodotus said it was 320 feet high, but this point seems tooexaggeratedOther source described the hanging gardens as follows: "TheHanging Garden has plants cultivated above ground level,and the roots of the trees are embedded in an upper terracerather than in the earth. The whole mass is supported on stonecolumns... Streams of water emerging from elevated sourcesflow down sloping channels... These waters irrigate the wholegarden saturating the roots of plants and keeping the wholearea moist. Hence the grass is permanently green and theleaves of trees grow firmly attached to supple branches... This isa work of art of royal luxury and its most striking feature isthat the labor of cultivation is suspended above the heads ofthe spectators".HistoryAccording to Greek historians, the hanging gardens were builtby order of the king Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC. Thelegend says that Nebuchadnezzar constructed the gardens toplease his wife Amytis the daughter of the king of the Medes.Amytis was married with Nebuchadnezzar to create analliance between nations.The homeland of Amytis was green, rugged and mountainous;therefore when the new queen arrived to Babylon, she wasdepressed because this city is over a flat sun-baked terrain. Theintention of Nebuchadnezzar was to recreate the homeland ofhis wife building an artificial mountain with rooftops gardens.
The Hanging Gardens of BabylonNevertheless, many modern historians doubt about theexistence of these gardens. One of the reasons to doubt is thatthere are not Sumerians tablets of the Nebuchadnezzar’s timewhich reference to the famous gardens. Altough there areseveral descriptions of the palace and the city in thegovernment of this king. This fact is very bizarre, since if Greekswrote so much about this wonder; it would be logical thathanging gardens’ creators write much more about them.Besides, there are not vestiges of the gardens in thearchaeological excavations realized in the location wherescientists believe, ancient Babylon was.According to modern historians a possible explanation wouldbe that the soldiers of Alexander the Great were veryimpressed when they saw the fertile and amazing land ofBabylon; therefore when soldiers returned to Greece; theyrecounted stories about incredible gardens with palms and
trees and higher ziggurats; which inspired the imagination ofthe Greek poets, who created the legend of one of the SevenWonders of the ancient world.Besides, archaeological excavations in Iraq have found vestigesof a building with vaults, but this location is quite far from thesupposed location, where Greek historians placed the gardenson the banks of the Euphrates River.Another theory proposes that the hanging gardens would beconstructed by Sennacherib who was king of Assyria from 705to 681 BC and they would be located in Nineveh on the bankof the Tigris River. Recent excavations which have foundvestiges of ancient gardens placed near the entrance to apalace support this idea. According to this theory because ofthe centuries, the real location of the gardens would have beenconfused.
3.STATUE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA, GREECEIt is one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World that waslisted by Herodotus in his famous list. The statue was 12 meters(39 feet) tall. Herodotus said that statue occupied a wholeroom at western of the temple o Zeus in Olympia (about 150Km west of Athens), the city where Greeks celebrated theoriginal Olympics games. The statue was made by the Greeksculptor Phidias (who made also the statue of Athena in theParthenon) in honor to the king of the Greek gods and it wasthe most famous master piece of art of all Greece.
The statue was an ideal representation of the best classicalstyle. It was made of ivory with gold plating. There are notcopies of the statue; therefore we don’t know its exactly shape.But, the traveler Pausanias made around II century AD adetailed description of the statue and the throne on it rested.
Besides, there are many Roman coins and engraved gems thatrepresents to the Zeus at Olympia.According to the description of Pausanías, the statue waswreathed with shoots of olive and it rested on a wonderfulthrone of cedar wood, which was ornamented with ebony,gold, precious stones and ivory. In his right hand a figure ofVictory made from ivory and gold. In his left hand, his scepteradorned with precious metals and an eagle perched on thescepter. The sandals and the robe of Zeus were made of gold.HistoryThe temple that hosted the statue was constructed from 466to 456 BC approximately and was designed by the Greekarchitect Libon who was native from Elis a town nearOlympia. This temple was built with a classic Doric style verysimilar to the Parthenon in Athens.Obviously the main piece in the temple was the statue, whichwas constructed around 432 by Phidias. Greeks thought, thestatue was the incarnate god. This statue was very impressiveand it was the most important chryselephantine sculpture (acult statue of high status in the ancient Greece).The legendsays that Phidias was asked about what inspired him: If hewent to Olympus to see Zeus or if Zeus was under from theOlympus to pose for Phidias. Phidias answered then that hewas inspired by one of the verses of the Iliad of Homer: ―Hespoke, the son of Kronos, and nodded his head with the darkbrows, and the immortality anointed hair of the great godswept from his divine head, and all Olympus was shaken‖.
The Statue of Zeus at OlympiaBecause of the climate in Olympia, which was so damp, thestatue required care so that the humidity would not crack theivory. Therefore Phidias had the responsibility of themaintenance of the statue which was treated with oilconstantly.In the first century Caligula ordered to transport the statue toRome, but this attempt failed because the scaffoldingconstructed to do this work collapsed.The statue of Zeus presided the Olympics games until 393 AD,when the Roman emperor Theodosisus I decided to abolish thegames and close the temple, because Rome became Christian
and both temple and games were considered paganmanifestations.The reasons and circumstances of the destruction of the statueare not clear. A tradition compiled by the Byzantine historianGeorgios Kedrenos says that the statue was carried toConstantinople and was destroyed in the great fire in 475.Another version says that it was burned with the temple in 425AD.Recently between 1954 and 1958, archeologists have found inexcavations in Olympia several tools and terracotta mold withthe inscription ―I belong to Phidias‖ very near location wherePausanius said the Phidias’ workshop was. These objects haveallowed to scientists to confirm the date of statue’s creation.Now, there are several statues that maintain the spirit of theZeus at Olympia, one of the most famous of them is the statue
in honor to Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial inWashington D.C. In this statue Lincoln is depicted seated on ahuge throne as well as Zeus in the legendary statue of OlympiaThe statue of the Zeus at Olympia and its history has beenfrom 2500 years ago, a great source of inspiration for artists ofall times and it is still now one of the most famous works of artof the history.
4.THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES, GREECEThis wonder of the ancient World was located in the GreekIsland of Rhodes. It was a giant statue of bronze, constructedin the III century BC as the representation of the god Helios.According to the legend, the Island of Rhodes was famous forits technology advances , mainly war machines. One of theexamples of this technology was the Colossus of Rhodes. Isbelieved that this statue was approximately as large as theStatue of Liberty in New York, whose creator the Frenchsculptor Auguste Bartholdi was inspired by the ancient wonderof the world.The statue would have been located at the entrance of theharbor of the island of Rhodes. The statue’s base was made ofwhite marble; the pedestal was 50 feet height (approximately15 meters). The feet of the statue were carved in stone andlater they were covered with bronze plates riveted. The bronzeskin parts were made by workers using casts, later individualplates of bronze were joined together by through holes madeduring the molding to form a series of rings. The structure wasgradually erected and the bronze form was fortified with aniron and stone framework. The higher parts were constructedusing an earth ramp which was built around the statue; this
ramp was removed when the colossus was finished.Nevertheless, another theory proposes that the upper partswere built using towers and scaffolding. Is said that TheColossus of Rhode was 110 feet (33 m) height when wascompleted.There is a misconception about the appearance of theColossus. It has been believed that the statue stood in front ofthe Mandraki harbor straddling its entrance. But, consideringthe colossus’s height and the wide of the harbor mouth, thisimage is almost impossible; this posture was a figment ofmedieval imaginations based on texts, like ―over land andsea‖. The Colossus would probably have been in an uprightposition with its legs together.
HistoryAfter Alexander’s death, his generals fought for the control ofthe empire. Rhodes became allied of Ptolemy who had takencontrol of Egypt. Thanks to this alliance Ptolemy controlledmuch of the trade in the eastern Mediterranean. ButAntigonus (one of the generals of Alexander) was upset by thisfact; therefore in 305 BC Antigonus and Demetrius (anotherAlexander’s general) invaded Rhodes with 40 000 men andbesieged the city using giant catapults and Helipolis (anenormous wheeled fortified tower, which was 50 feet square atits base and around 100 feet tall and was armed withcatapults and sling throwers). Nevertheless, defenders ofRhodes resisted the attacks only with 7000 men, until 304 BCwhen a force of ships sent by Ptolemy arrived and defeatedDemetrius’s army saving Rhodes. The Rhodians were sograteful; therefore they decided to build a giant statue of thesun god Helios (Apolo) to celebrate the victory.
The statue was designed and constructed by the Rhodiansculptor Chares of Lindos, who has been involved with largescale statues before. The construction of the statue lasted 12years around 282 BC. It was said that 13.6 tons of bronze and8.2 tons of iron were used in the construction; therefore it was ashortage of bronze in the ancient world during colossus’sconstruction. Nevertheless the statue stood in Rhodes only by56 years, since an earthquake in 226 BC destroyed the colossuswhich was snapped at the knees and fell over onto land.According to the legend Ptolemy III offered to rebuild thestatue but a Rhodian oracle was afraid that it upset Helios,therefore the statue was never reconstructed.Remains of the colossus were on its site around 800 years andthey impressed to the travelers that saw them. In 654 AD,Arab forces invaded Rhodes and they sold the remains of thestatue to a salesman from Edessa, who transported the bronzescrap to his home using 900 camels.In 1989 media reports suggested that some big stones on theseabed of the Rhodes’s coast could have been remains of thefamous statue, but some time later this theory was absolutelydiscarded.
5.THE LIGHTHOUSE OF ALEXANDRIA, EGYPTThis wonder of the ancient World was located in the island ofPharos just off the coast of the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Thegreat Lighthouse served to guide the sailors that traveled tothe city founded by Alexander the Great.The Lighthouse of Alexandria worked by 15 centuries and itwas the last of the six lost wonders of the ancient world thatdisappeared. It was one of the greatest architectural feats ofthe antiquity.Besides, the Lighthouse was the only wonder that wasconstructed with practical purposes; since it helped seafaringships to find the harbor safely. The lighthouse served also as amilitary lookout for approaching enemy ships and a touristbalcony, because it had two observation platforms.
The Lighthouse had two beacons near its summit. At night agreat bonfire generated the light and during the day a greatmirror made with a concave disc of polished metal, reflectedand directing the sun rays. The colossal building wasconstructed with large blocks of light colored stone and it wascomposed by 3 basic structural elements: a rectangular base,an octagonal midsection and a cylindrical upper section wherethe beacons were. Access to the entrance was up a longvaulted ramp, from which a spiral staircase led up to manychambers which were used probably by beasts of burden tocarry fuel for the fire of the beacons. According to ancientstories the lighthouse could be seen from up 35 miles (56 Km)away and according other legends, the light of the beacons
could burn enemy ships, but this legend is very difficult tobelieve.It believes that the Lighthouse was between 330 and 600 feet(100 – 180 m) height and it was the highest building of theworld except the Great Pyramid of Giza. Some textsmentioned a statue which was placed at top of the lighthouseand a poet named Poseidipos of Pella who lived in Alexandriain the III century BC, wrote talking about a statue depictedZeus the Savior which was accompanied by Poseidon the Lordof the SeaHistoryThe construction of the Lighthouse probably started in the IIIcentury BC by order of the governor Ptolemy I Soter who wasone of the generals of Alexander the Great and the first rulerof Greek origin. The construction of the impressive building wasfinished by the son of the Hellenic general PtolemyPhiladelphos around 285 BC. Replica of the Lighthouse of Alexandria
The designer and constructor of the Lighthouse was thearchitect Sostratus who was forbidden by Ptolemy to put hisname on his work as it was traditional. Nevertheless, thearchitect wrote an inscription on the base’s walls:‖Sostratos ofDexiphanes the Cnidian to Saviour Gods for the seafarers‖. Theinscription was hidden under plaster layer, covered by anotherinscription in honor to Ptolemy; but after some centuries theplaster off and the name of the architect was revealed.During its three first centuries the Lighthouse was used mainlywith practical purposes. By the first century AD in the Romantime the Lighthouse served mainly as a landmark or daybeacon.In 796 the Lighthouse would have lost its upper storey and 100years later the sultan Toulun (868-884) built a domed mosqueon the summit. By 950 several cracks began to appear in thewalls of the tower.The Lighthouse dominated the Harbor during many centuries,in 1183 the Muslim traveler Ibn Jubayr visited Alexandria anddescribed the Lighthouse thus: ―Description of it falls short, theeyes fail to comprehend it, and words are inadequate, so vastis the spectacle‖.Unfortunately two earthquakes in 1303 and 1323 damagedseriously the tower; according to the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta,in this time, it could not enter into the ruins of the Lighthouse.In 1480 the remains of the Lighthouse finally disappeared, sincethe Sultan of Egypt Qaitbay, used several stones of the Pharosto build a fort, therefore several stone blocks of the Lighthousecan be seen in the walls of the Fort Qaitbey, these stone blocks
are clearly visible because of their big size compare to theother blocks of the walls.Recently in 1994 a scuba-diving expedition leaded by thearcheologist Jean Yves Empereur found many blocks belongedto a great building submerged in the seafloor of the harbor ofAlexandria. Probably these blocks were part of the legendaryLighthouse. Nevertheless, many academicians think that theseblocks belonged to other buildings because the original blocksof the Lighthouse would have been recycled to build otherconstructions as usually Egyptians did.
6.THE MOUSOLEUM OF MAUSSOLLOS, TURKEYThe famous tomb of the king Maussollos of Halicarnassusknown as the Mausoleum of Maussollo , which served as tombfor the satrap (a local governor) of the Persian empire and hiswife (who was also his sister) was considered by the ancientGreeks one of the Seven Wonders of the World.The tomb was a rectangular building of around 120 feet (40m) for 100 feet (30 m). The tomb was erected on a hilloverlooking the city. The building was in an enclosed patio inwhose center was a stone platform on which the Mausoleumsat. There, had a beautiful staircase flanked by stone lionswhich led to the top of the platform. Many statues of gods andgoddess ornamented the outer walls. Each corner of the tombwas guarded by statues of warriors mounted on horseback.
At the center of the platform was the tomb itself, which wasmade of marble. The Mausoleum was around 140 feet height.The tomb was covered by sculptures in reliefs that showedscenes of the Greek history and mythology, such as the battleof the Centaurs with the Lapiths or scenes of battles of themythical Amazons.Thirty-six slim columns (9 for side) adorned the four sides of thetomb, between each 2 columns, there had a statue; behindcolumns was a solid block which supported the weight of thegreat roof. The roof was the shape of a staggered pyramid.Perched at top of the tomb four horses pulling a chariot inwhich images of Mausolus and his queen rode.HistoryThe famous tomb of the governor of Halicarnassus was finishedaround 350 BC. Mausollos of Caria was the governor of theregion of Caria from 377 to 353 BC and he moved the capitalof the kingdom of Caria to Halicarnassus. Really, the
construction of the tomb of the ancient king was not idea ofhim. The great project was created and ordered by the wifeand sister of Mausollos, Artemisia.The construction of the tomb began when Mausollos was stillalive. Artemisia sent messengers to Greece to find the mosttalented artists of the time amongst them Scopas (who hadsupervised the reconstruction of the Temple of Artemis inEphesus), Bryaxis, Timotheus and Leochardes. Each one wasresponsible for one side of the tomb. Reconstruction of the Mausoleum in the British Museum
After Mausollos’s death, Rhodes an island which wasconquered by Mausollos rebelled against Haicarnassus. ButArtemisia defeated to the Rhodians. The queen lived someyears more after death of his husband. But when she died hisbody was buried together Mausollos in the tomb that sheordered to build, despite the splendid tomb was not yetfinished. According to the Greek historian Pliny, afterArtemisia’s death, the craftsmen decided to stay and concludethe tomb because they considered that it was at once amemorial of his own fame and of the sculptors art.The mausoleum was untouched by many years. It survived theinvasion of Alexander the Great in 334 BC and pirate’s attacksin 62 BC. For 16 centuries the tomb remained in goodcondition. But an earthquake damaged the roof and severalcolumns. At the beginning of the XV century during crusadesthe Knights of St. John from Malta invaded the region and theyused the stones of the Mausoleum to build the great castle ofBodrum where many of the statues that ornamented thetomb were carried. In 1522 almost all blocks of the ancientwonder had been disassembled and used to construct otherbuildings. Today some sections of polished marble from theMausoleum can still be seen in the Bodrum castle.In the XIX century many statues were carried from the castle tothe British Museum. In 1852 Charles Thomas Newton a Britisharcheologist searched the location of the mausoleum. Hefound a staircase and three corners of the foundation as well assections of the reliefs and the roof. Finally he found the statuesof Mausolus and Artemisia. Today most works of art found inthese excavations can be seen in the Mausoleum Room in theBritish Museum.
Some modern buildings were inspired by the Mausoleum likethe Grant´s Tomb in New York, Los Angeles City Hall, theShrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, the House of theTemple in Washington DC, the Indiana War Memorial or theSt. George’s Church Bloombury in London.
7.THE TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS, TURKEYThis wonder of the ancient world is also known as the Templeof Diana. The temple was located in Ephesus an ancient Greekcity around 50 Km from the actual city of Izmir in the territorythat today occupies Turkey.The temple was dedicated to Artemis the Greek goddess, thevirginal huntress and twin of Apollo, who occupied the place ofTitan Selene as Goddess of the Moon.This deity was passionately venerated as an archaic pre-Hellenic icon. The original statue that represented to Artemiswas carved in wood. The statue had many breasts whichdenoted her fertility, rather than the virginity that HellenicArtemis assumed.
The Greek Artemis was a little different from the Artemis thatwas adored in Ephesus. The Ephesus’s goddess was a deity ofthe fertility; whereas the Greek Artemis was traditionally thegoddess of the hunt. Therefore, it believes that the cult to theArtemis of Ephesus began several centuries before the Hellenicperiod. Probably the worship to Artemis derived from theancient worship that Ephesians gave to Cybele.The temple was built, destroyed and reconstructed many timessince Bronze Age. But the temple that was listed as one of theSeven Wonders of the World was a project of 120 years whichwas started by Croesus of Lydia.
Antipater of Sidon described the temple using the followingwords: ―I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which isa road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, andthe hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the hugelabor of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus;but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to theclouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, Lo,apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught(anything) so grand‖.Pliny was who described the temple with more detail.According to his description the temple was 377 feet (115 m)long and 180 feet (55m) wide, with an area three times aslarge the Parthenon in Athens. It was made mainly of marbleand was enclosed in colonnades of 127 Ionics columns, eachcolumn was 60 feet (18 m) height. The temple was alwayssurrounded by priests and priestesses, musicians, dancers andacrobats.HistoryThe sacred shrine of Artemis was very old and it was animportant religious centre many centuries before the templethat was considered one of the wonders was built. There areancient Greek stories which attributed the origin of the worshipto Artemis in Ephesus to the legendary Amazons. Archeologicalexcavations realized before World War I discovered threesuccessive temples overlying one another on the site.However, the construction of temple which was listed as one ofthe wonders was started around 550 BC, by the Cretanarchitect Chersiphron and his son by order of the King of LydiaCroesus. A new statue of the goddess was sculpted by Endoios
as well as a naiskos (a small temple with columns or pillars anda triangular structure named pediment above the horizontalstructure) to house the goddess. Remains of the Temple of Artemis in EphesusThe temple had more than 1000 items of cult like sculptures offamous artists such as Polyclitus, Pheidias, Phradmon andCresilas. Most sculptures represented Amazons who accordingthe legend founded Ephesus. Today, some fragments of thebas-reliefs that ornamented the amazing columns of thetemple are preserved in the British Museum. Because of itslocation at an important economically zone, the temple wassince ancient times a tourist attraction, visited by pilgrims,merchants, kings, who offered to the goddess jewelry and othergoods.
According to the story, the temple was destroyed on July 21 356BC by Herostratus who realized this barbarian act findingfame at any cost. According the legend the same night thatthe temple was burned, Alexander the Great was born.Plutarch said that Artemis was too preoccupied withAlexander’s delivery to save her temple. Therefore, Alexanderoffered to rebuild the temple, but Ephesians refused.Nevertheless, after Alexander’s death the temple was restoredin 323 BC.The temple was destroyed again by Goths in 262 but Ephesiansrebuild the temple again. According the biblical book Acts ofJohn (II century), the apostle prayed publicly in the Temple ofArtemis exorcizing its demons and ―of a sudden the altar ofArtemis split in many pieces… and half the temple fell down‖instantly many Ephesians became Christians. By IV century,most Ephesians were Christians and in 391 all pagan templeswere closed by order of Roman Emperor Theodosius. Finallythe temple was destroyed in 401 by a group of people leadedby St. John Chrysostom. Most stones of the temple were used tobuild other buildings like the famous Hagia Sophia.The temple’s site was rediscovered in 1869 thanks to anarchaeological expedition sponsored by the British Museum. Atthe beginning of the XX century, some fragments of sculpturefrom the IV century were found, which have been used torebuild an image of the temple in the ―Ephesus Room‖ of theBritish Museum. In the ancient location of the temple now onlythere is a single column constructed with several fragmentsfound on the site.
These were the ancient wonders of the world. But todaythey are either distroyed or there are only their remainsleft because of the earthquakes, and other climaticalconditions. Hence a new wonders organization wasfound.The New 7 Wonders Foundation is a privateorganization established in 2001, which is dedicated toinvesting in good causes related with the monumentpreservation and reconstruction around the world.This organization prepared a global contest on Internetwhose goal was to find the New Seven Wonders of theWorld. This election was made through a global vote onits website. Finally, on July 07, 2007 the election’s resultswere announced and these are the proclaimed NewSeven Wonders of the World:
1.MACHU PICHUMachu Picchu is located on a remote secondary road in nearlyimpassable terrain high above the Urubamba River, MachuPicchu sits nearly 2438 meters (8000 feet) above sea level, ontop of a ridge between two peaks of different size. The name"Machu Picchu" comes simply from its geography. It literallymeans "old peak", just as "Huaynapicchu" is "young peak". Themore accurate translation relates, however, to the concept ofsize, with Machu Picchu as the "bigger peak" andHuaynapicchu, the "smaller peak".Machu Picchu, the most famous citadel of the Incas, isaccessible by train from Cusco or traveling along the CaminoInca. The city was never discovered by the conquerors Spanishand remained lost for centuries. Machu Picchu is anarchitectural jewel, which combine perfectly the architecturalstyle with the beautiful natural environment that surroundedit. The Beauty and the Mystery of its walled ruins that oncewas the palace the thinnest Inca of stone surrounded by thevirginal landscapes, the flora and green jungle bathes itsabrupt topography.
The citadel is divided into two sectors: the agricultural and theurban, where there are main squares, temples, palaces,storehouses, workshops, stairways, cables and water fountainswhich run through both sectors, which measure 20 and 10hectares respectively. Machu Picchu was built according to itsnatural surroundings, with its constructions following thenatural curves and dips and rises in the land.The sector is surrounded by a series of terraces of differenttypes and sizes which had two main functions: to grow cropsand halt the erosion caused by the rains. The most eyecatching terraces lie at the entrance to the citadel. They beginat the cluster of rooms located at the entrance and climb up tothe top of the mountain until they stop at a large rectangularroom. There are no canals as they were not necessary, as theconstant rains and ever-present humidity allowed the plants togrow without irrigation. The only water channel that flowsthrough the urban sector crosses through the central terrace.
The control gate is made up of a three walled room with aview with several windows, which can be found in front of themain gateway. There is a good panorama from here of theagricultural and urban sectors and the surrounding landscape.In the upper part, they also found sculpted stones that belongto the area, which indicated the Incas used the stones to makeofferings to their gods. On this same piece of ground lies agranite boulder sculpted with steps. But the most strikingfeature is that it is pierced with a ring, the purpose of which isunknown.One can see a long stairway that leads to the front gate. Thissector houses the most important constructions of any Inca city,where one can appreciate the talent, effort and quality of thepre Hispanic builders, as the constructions are entirely made ofgranite, a very hard rock that is different from that used inCusco. The city is U-shaped and containing the temples, housesand workshops on platform terraces that the americanscientist Bingham, called the Military Group.The Temple of Sun is shaped like a semi-circle and built onsolid rock, an existing granite block shaped to blend with thenatural curves, with a diameter of 10.50 meters. TheIntiwatana is located on a hill made up of several terraces, it isa granite rock sculpted into three steps. In the central part onecan see a rectangular prism that is 36cm high and which ispointing from North-West to South-East. Its four corners aredirected to the four cardinal points. The Intiwatana hadspecific functions: it measured time (the solstice and theequinox) by using sunlight and shadow, and also served as analtar. In Quechua, "Inti" means "sun" and "Wata" means "year",thereby giving us the meaning of a solar year observatory.
The sacred rock, located in a four-sided spot flanked by twothree-sided rooms, features a monolithic rock sculpture. Thepedestal, which is approximately 30cm high, resembles afeline. From another angle, it looks like the profile of amountain near Machu Picchu. The Temple of Three Windows islocated west of the main square, has a large rectangular floor.The enormous polyhedrons have been carved and joined withmillimetric precision.The Main Temple is located north of the Sacred Square, verynear the Temple of Three Windows. Doors are a common sightin Machupicchu and especially in this sector. They vary intexture, size and architectural style that set them apart fromeach other, although all have the same trapezoid shape. Tothe South of the complex, between the Temple of the Sun andthe Royal Palace, the area houses a series of water fountains,the only sources of the vital element for the residents of MachuPicchu.There are four main squares at different levels, but share thecharacteristic of being rectangular in the classic Inca style,interconnected by sunken stairways in the parameters of theterraces. The main square is the largest, which just like themain squares in all Inca cities had religious and social functions.HistoryMachu Picchu was done constructed and used by InkaPachakuteq, that was the greatest statesman of theTawantinsuyo, Pachakuteq ruled from 1438 for 1471, called thegreat age of the Inca empire; unfortunately it lasted less than100 years, because the empire collapsed under the Spanishinvasion. Although the citadel is located only about 50 miles
from Cusco, Machu Picchu, it was never found and destroyedby the Spanish, as were many other Inca sites.In the XIX century explorers like Eugenie de Sartiges, GeorgeEphraim Squire, Antonio Raimondi and Castelnau neverreached Machu Picchu, although most of them crossed theAndes to the almost inaccessible ruins of Choquekirau, builthigh above the Apurimac River. In fact, the outside worldsimply stumbled upon Machu Picchu, for it had never been lostto those who lived around it.In December 1908, Bingham attended the First PanamericanScientific Congress in Santiago, Chile. It was there that hedecided to follow the old Spanish trade route from BuenosAires to Lima, and it was to that end that he traveled to Limaand hence to Cusco. In Cusco Bingham made theacquaintance of one J.J. Nunez, then prefect of the Apurimacregion, who invited him on the arduous trip to the ruins ofChoquekirau.
Machu PicchuOn his return to the USA, Bingham decided to organizeanother expedition to Peru. Bingham returned to Cusco fromwhere he journeyed on foot and by mule through theUrubamba Valley, past Ollantaytambo, and on into theUrubamba gorge. On July 23, Bingham and his party campedby the river at a place called Mandor Pampa, where theyaroused the curiosity of Melchor Arteaga, a local farmer wholeased the land there. Bingham learned from Arteaga thatthere were extensive ruins on top of the ridge opposite thecamp, which Arteaga, in his native Quechua, called MachuPicchu, or "Old Mountain". Bingham offered to pay Arteagawell if he showed the ruins. He demurred and said it was toohard a climb for such a wet day, accompanied only bySeargeant Carrasco and Arteaga, Bingham left the camp.
From the river they climbed a precipitous slope until theyreached the ridge at around midday.Here Bingham rested at a small hut where they enjoyed thehospitality of a group of peasants. They told him that they hadbeen living there for about four years and explained that theyhad found an extensive system of terraces on whose fertile soilthey had decided to grow their crops. Bingham was then toldthat the ruins he sought were close by and he was given aguide, the 11-year old Pablito Alvarez, to lead him there.Almost immediately, he was greeted by the sight of a broadsweep of ancient terraces. They numbered more than ahundred and had recently been cleared of forest andreactivated. Here young Pablito began to reveal to Binghama series of white granite walls which the historian immediatelyjudged to be the finest examples of masonry that he had everseen.According to Bingham, "I had entered the marvellous canyonof the Urubamba below the Inca fortress. Here the riverescapes from the cold plateau by tearing its way throughgigantic mountains of granite. The road runs through a land ofmatchless charm. It has the majestic grandeur of the CanadianRockies, as well as the startling beauty of the Nuuanu Palinear Honolulu, and the enchanting views of the Koolau DitchTrail on Maui, in my native land…..‖Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca City was named to be part ofthe new list of the Seven Wonders. The global vote that beganin 1999, accumulated near 20 million votes in its initial phase.And the final decision on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal toname to Machupicchu one of the New Seven Wonders of the
Contemporary World for satisfaction of the Cusqueño town(Cuscos people). Machu Picchu is today the main archeologicalsite of Peru and America, and probably the most beautifulplace of the world.
2. CHICHEN ITZA, MEXICOThe famous Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza (chee-chehn eet-sah) in Maya literally means: "Mouth of the well of the Itza",the name Chichen Itza is a Mayan word: CHI (mouth), CHEN(well) and ITZA (of the Itza tribe), it is located a 75 miles eastof Merida, the Capital of the State of Yucatan, Mexico. Thisarchaeological site is rated among the most important of theMaya culture and covers an area of approximately six squaremiles.The architectural characteristics of Chichen Itza and that havea direct relationship with the Mayan Toltec style are: "El juegode la Pelota", "El Castillo", "El Grupo de las Mil Columnas", "Eltzompantli", El Edificio de las Aguilas", "El templo de losGuerrerros", and "El Mercado". All of these buildings have thesame decoration motives found in Tula. The most frequentrepresentations are warriors and Quetzalcoatl.The main attraction is the central pyramid, a square-based,stepped pyramid that is approximately 75 feet tall, El Castillode la Serpiente Emplumada, which means "Castle of thePlumed Serpent," and is pictured at the top. The plumedserpent is a popular deity in various Mesoamerican cultures. "ElCastillo" is surely the place where the ceremony of the descentof Kukulkan was held. The pyramid has special astronomicallayout so that a game of light and shadow is formed. OnMarch 21st the body of the serpent metaphorically descendsfrom the temple on top of the pyramid and arrives at theheads at the foot of the staircase.
Just beyond El Castillo you will find a large ball court whereMayan men played a game called pok ta pok. Anthropologistsbelieve that the object of the game was to hurl a ball througha ring that was mounted on a wall, seven meters above theground. The largest Ball Game in Mesoamerica is 168 meters inlength and 70 meters in width.The Temple of Chac Mool, upon whose walls and interior pillarsthere are richly colored carvings of plumed serpents, warriors,and priests. The upper building only partially reflects its truegrandeur. There are three sculpted masks with extremely longnoses on the outer walls and at the corners. On the inner wallsof the vaults there were murals with scenes of war and dailylife. The altar tables and benches may have served as seatsand thrones for dignitaries.In the "Templo de los Guerreros" there is a temple on the toppart where the entrance columns are typically Toltec. Anotherone of the buildings that have a Toltec seal without is the"Muro de los Craneos". These buildings were destined to be themausoleums of the tying up the years. Every 52 years theancient Mayans and other cultures would tie up a sheaf ofyears to end a cycle. Platform of Venus or of the Dance, SacredWell or the Well of the Sacrifices, Tzompantli, that displaysfigures of skulls in relief.In the Central Group of the Ruins you can find:The Red House or Chichan Chob, the name of this building,situated upon a high platform, is derived from the fragmentsof red paint that were found in its interior. The word "ChichanChob" means "small holes" and probably alludes to its Limeroof comb. The structure is comprised of an antechamber and
three rooms and has a sculptured hieroglyphic inscription in themain chamber. The building must have had a religious andpublic use, since there is a Ball Court joined to its eastern side,with bas-reliefs in the Maya-Toltec style.The Caracol or Observatory This structure is known as theObservatory due to its shape and some possible astralassociations, since astronomical events concerning the planetVenus and the setting of the sun during the three windows inthe upper section. The name "Caracol" (conch) comes from thespiral stairs that lead to the upper part of the building.The Church, This small building with only one chamber owes itsname to its proximity to the so called "convent" of the Nunneryand to the exuberant decoration on its upper facade, whichrises even higher due to its lofty roof comb. One can observelarge areas covered with the original stucco on the Grecianfrets of the central panel. "Bignosed" masks constitute the main
element of the facade, with a seated figure, god or ancestorintegrated upon the nose of the central mask. There also arefigures of the four carriers of the corners of the sky, "bacabes"or "pauahtunes", kneeling in the side panels. It’s appearingthat the builder had certain difficulties in placing the threelarge masks rescued from earlier buildings on the roof comband opted to suppress detail. Up to now, it is not known whatthe function of this building was, and in spite of the overloadeddecoration of the building, it is one of the best architecturalexamples of the Puuc style in Chichen Itza.Temple of the Carved Panels, the name of this building comesfrom the relieves carved on the north and south walls of thecolonnade, depicting scenes of numerous people, plants, andanimals, both real and imaginary, which are dominated bytwo warriors. The building is made up of a temple erected ona slab foundation with a colonnade in front of it. The offeringsdiscovered during exploration of the fire - related rituals.All areas can be seen comfortably in one day. Also you shouldenjoy the wonderful Light and Sound Show that is held everyevening. At the entrance to Chichen Itza, there is aninformative museum, a dining room, clean restrooms, a fewgift shops and vendor stands.HistoryChichen Itza was first populated between 500 and 900 AD byMayans and for some reason abandoned around 900; the citywas then resettled 100 years later and subsequently invadedby Toltecs from the North. There are numerous relieves of bothMayan gods including Chac and the Toltec gods includingQuetzacoatl. For some reason the city was abandoned around
1300. If the Spanish did not make it a policy to kill all of theMayan priests and burn books when they arrived in Mexico,we would all have a few more answers.The ruins are divided into two groups. One group belongs tothe classic Maya Period and was built between the 7th and10th centuries A.D., at which time the city became aprominent ceremonial center. The other group corresponds tothe Maya Toltec Period, from the later part of the 10th centuryto the beginning of the 13th century A.D. This area includes theSacred Well and most of the outstanding ruins. Chichen ItzaWhen Chichen-Itza was first settled it was largely agricultural.Because of the many cenotes in the area, it would have been agood place to settle. During the Central Phase of the ClassicPeriod, referred to as Florescence, (625-800 A.D.) arts and
sciences flourished here. It was at this time that Chichen-Itzabecame a religious center of increasing importance, evidencedby the buildings erected: the Red House, the House of theDeer, the Nunnery and its Annex, the Church, the Akab Dzib,the Temple of the Three Lintels and the House of Phalli.Toward the end of the Classic Period, from 800 to 925 A.D.,the foundations of this magnificent civilization weakened, andthe Maya abandoned their religions centres and the rural landaround them. New, smaller centres were built and the greatcities like Chichen Itza were visited only to perform religiousrites or bury the dead. The Itza people abandoned their city bythe end of the 7th century A.D. and lived on the west coast ofthe peninsula for about 250 years. However, by the 10thcentury A.D. they returned to Chichen Itza.Around 1000 A.D. the Itza allied themselves with two powerfultribes, Xio and Cocom, both claiming to be descendants of theMexicans. This alliance was favourable to the Itza for abouttwo centuries. During this time, the people of Chichen Itzaadded to the site by constructing magnificent buildingsbearing the touch of Toltec art: porches, galleries, colonnadesand carvings depicting serpents, birds and Mexican gods.The Toltec influenced the Itza in more ways than justarchitecture. They also imposed their religion on the Itza, whichmeant human sacrifice on a large scale. They expanded theirdominions in northern Yucatan with an alliance with Mayapanand Uxmal. As the political base of Chichen Itza expanded, thecity added even more spectacular buildings: the Observatory,Kukulkans Pyramid, the Temple of the Warriors, The BallCourt, and The Group of the Thousand Columns. The Templeof the Warriors has pillars sculptured in bas-relief, which have
retained much of their original colour. Murals once adorned itswalls. It is surrounded by numerous ruined buildings known asthe Group of a Thousand Columns. In 1194, Mayapan broke thealliance and subdued Chichen and Uxmal. The city wasgradually abandoned.
3.CHRIST THE REDEEMER, BRAZILThe statue of Christ the Redeemer is located at the top ofCorcovado Mountain. The entire monument of statue of Christthe Redeemer is 38m high with the statue accounting for 30mand overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the talleststatues in the world; the span from finger tip to fingertip is 28mand there is a small chapel housed in the base.The reason why it was built was to show that Christ loves all. InPortuguese, this iconic monument is known as Cristo Redentor.Christ the Redeemer was designed by a French sculptor by thename of Paul Landowski and a local engineer named Heitorda Silva Costa was chosen to supervise the entire construction.The statue was built not out of steel but from reinforcedconcrete as that was considered a more suitable material forthe cross shaped statue. The external caps of the idol wereconstructed in soapstone due to the resistance of this materialto the extreme time and also due to its malleability.
The statue of Christ the Redeemer can be accessed by the 2.4meter Corcovado Railway that has the capacity to hold 360passengers every hour. The trip by rail is approximately 20minutes and leaves the base each half hour. From the road orthe train terminal Christ the Redeemer statue is reached by222 steps. For those not wishing to make the arduous trek upthe mountain, reaching the statue is possible by escalators andelevators.Christ the Redeemer is one of the tourist attractions that everyyear attracts to more and more visitors. The best time to visitthe Christ the Redeemer statue is late afternoon or eveningwhen you can enjoy the splendour of the setting sun whiletaking in one of the most important landmarks in the world.HistoryThe history brings over of the construction of Christs Redeemerstatue begins in the century XVI, when the Portuguese gavethe name of ―Corcovado Mountain‖, to one of its moreimpressive mountains an allusive name to its form hump.
In 1924, Don Pedro personally drove to the first officialexpedition to the Corcovado Mountain, this expedition endwith the opening of an accessible raise to the above mentionedmountain. Then in 1859 the father Vincentian Pedro Maria Bosscame to Rio de Janeiro and was struck by the mysteriousbeauty of the Corcovado Mountain and suggested theconstruction of a religious monument in honour of PrincessIsabel, who in 1921 gave way for the idea of a great statue ofChrist. Christ the RedeemerFrom 1859 to 1921, Don Pedro gave his consent for the buildingof the Corcovado Railroad line between Cosme Velho and
Paineiras. After a hard competition, the project by theengineer Heitor da Silva Costa is chosen and in September, anational fundraising campaign for the works is organized.Finally, in 1927, the construction of the statue begins aftermodels of diverse sizes had been constructed. All calculationswere done by Coast Hisses, helped by Pedro Viana and HeitorLevy, which during the years of construction, resided in a shedof wood at the foot of the monument.All the necessary work material and workers who participatedin the construction of the Christ statue were transported toCorcovado by the trains from the railroad that links the streetCosme Velha, which today functions as a tourist train to thetop. The train was the first in Brazil appointed exclusively totransportation of tourists and also the first train to work byelectricity.The monument was inaugurated on October 12, 1931. The finaldesign of the monument was of the artist Carlos Oswald andthe person in charge of realizing the sculptress was theFrenchman Paul Landowskitura. The monument to Christ, theRedeemer on the Corcovado Mountain is one of the biggestdéco sculptures in the world. Up to today, several reforms havebeen completed to assure the quality of the Christo Redeemer.Lighting has been added, and the latest renewal of September2002 is the addition of a panoramic elevator and motorizedstaircase to ease the difficulty for elderly persons.
4. THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA, CHINAThe Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthenfortifications in China, built, rebuilt, and maintained betweenthe 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect thenorthern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule ofsuccessive dynasties.The steps that form the Great Wall of China are very steepand tall in some areas. Tourists often become exhaustedclimbing the wall and walk no more than a kilometre or two(around a mile). In some areas the blocks were cemented witha mixture of glutinous rice and egg white. In the extremewestern desert locations, where good materials are scarce, thewall was constructed from dirt rammed between rough woodtied together with woven mats.
The Wall is included in lists of the "Seven Medieval Wonders ofthe World" but was of course not one of the classical SevenWonders of the World recognized by the ancient Greeks.It isthe worlds longest human made structure, stretching over
approximately 6,400 km from Shanhaiguan in the east to LopNur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates thesouthern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 6,700km in total. It is also the largest human made structure everbuilt in terms of surface area and mass.Three sections are in Beijing municipality, which was renovatedand which is regularly visited by modern tourists. One of themost striking sections of the Ming Great Wall is where it climbsextremely steep slopes. It runs 11 kilometres long, ranges from 5to 8 meters in height, and 6 meters across the bottom,narrowing up to 5 meters across the top. Wangjinglou is one ofJinshanlings 67 watchtowers, 980 meters above sea level.South East of Jinshanling, is the Mutianyu Great Wall whichwinds along lofty, cragged mountains from the southeast tothe northwest for approximately 2.25 kilometers. It isconnected with Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou tothe east. Another notable section lies near the easternextremity of the wall, where the first pass of the Great Wallwas built on the Shanhaiguan, the first mountain the GreatWall climbs. Jia Shan is also here, as is the Jiumenkou, which isthe only portion of the wall that was built as a bridge.HistoryThe construction of the Great Wall China began in the 7thcentury B.C., under the Dynasty Zhou. This wall wasconstructed along many hundreds of years. The first version ofthe wall was constructed to support invaders far from thevillages that cultivate the land for the Chinese border. Thesewalls were constructed in weak points in the natural landscapeor where the threat was perceived like the major one.
Some of these walls eventually became of greater strategicimportance when the localised defences were gradually joinedto form the Great Wall of China. At those times that theChinese territory expanded northward, earlier walls becamesecondary defences when a more northerly wall was built. TheGreat Wall of China was built by soldiers, civilians, farmers andprisoners, primarily during three dynasties: the Qin, the Hanand the Ming, although the Sui Dynasty and the Ten Kingdomsperiod also played a part. The building styles of each dynastyadded their own flavour and advanced the techniques learnedfrom the previous. The Great Wall of ChinaThe first dynasty of China was the short lived Qin Dynasty. Thefirst emperor, Qin ShiHuang, was a tyrannical emperor whounified China by force and set about constructing one Great
Wall by joining. He even sent scholars to work on the GreatWall, anyone who was deemed unproductive. These workersfaced arduous labor, and the constant danger of beingattacked by bandits.Most of early Great Wall was composed of weak stone, butwhen the natural stone in an area was not sufficient did thatthe engineers were turning to another method, there had tobe used a rectangular frame that was filled with loose soil. Thissoil was trampled for several hours by a team of workers untilthis was solid. This process of landfill and to trample would berepeated again and again until the wall was reaching thewished height.The second dynasty to add to the Great Wall was the HanDynasty. The most notable contribution of the Han Dynasty isthat they extended the Great Wall westwards through theGobi Desert. Despite a lack of building materials, ingeniousChinese engineers found a solution. This method involved firstlaying down a layer of willow reeds, possibly woven. Then alayer of gravel and a little water was applied and trampledsolid. After the trampling, a new layer of reeds and gravel wasadded. This process would be repeated until the desired heightwas reached. Amazingly, some portions of this Great Wall arestill standing, partly due to the dry conditions of the Gobi.The last dynasty to build a northern wall was the MingDynasty (1368-1644). This dynasty built the biggest, longest,strongest and most ornate Great Wall ever. These are the wallsthat we are familiar with today. Their methods of Great Wallbuilding fused all that was learned by the two previousdynasties. First, a center of trampled earth was created. Then,around the firm center was applied a shell of stone and bricks.
The bricks that were created by the Ming are so strong thatthey compare well with the ones we use today. The strongMing wall was built across some of the most dangerous terrainsin China, including steep mountains, sometimes on 75 degreeinclines. It has been said that every foot of the construction ofthis Great Wall cost one human life.The Ming Dynasty Great Wall starts on the eastern end atShanHai Pass, near QinHuangDao, in Hebei Province, next toBohai Sea. It once spanned 9 provinces and 100 counties, butthe final 500 kilometers of the Great Wall to the west have allbut turned to rubble. Along the Ming Great Wall of Chinathere are many watchtowers, spaced from less than akilometer to several kilometers or more apart. These werepartly used to transmit military messages. Fire and smokewere the most efficient means for communication; fire wasused at night and smoke during the day. Straw and dung wasused for this. In 1468, a series of regulations set specificmeanings to these signals: a single shot and a single fire orsmoke signal implied about 100 enemies, two signals warnedof 500, three warned of over a 1000 and so on. In this way, amessage could be transmitted over more than 500 km of theGreat Wall within a few hours.
5.PETRA, JORDANPetra is approximately at 3-5 hours to the south of modernAmman, approximately 2 hours to the north of Aqaba, on theedges of the mountain desert of the Wadi Araba. The city issurrounded by the highest hills of rust by colored sandstonethat gives a natural protection to the city against the invaders.Petra has more than 800 individual monuments, includingbuildings, tombs, baths, funeral corridors, temples, archedincome, and adjacent streets, which especially were carved inthe kaleidoscopic sandstone by the technical and artistic geniusof their inhabitants. Petras monuments are best seen by thevisitors at early hours of the morning and last hour of theevening, when the Sun warms the multicoloured stones.The site is semi arid, the friable sandstone which allowed theNabataeans to carve their temples and tombs into the rockcrumbling easily to sand. The colour of the rock ranges frompale yellow or white through rich reds to the darker brown ofmore resistant rocks. The contorted strata of different-colouredrock form whorls and waves of colour in the rock face, whichthe Nabataeans exploited in their architecture.Petra was chosen as the capital of the Nabateans because itwas located in a valley surrounded by Sandstone Mountains.There are many ways to get into Petra, but none of them areeasy, and if the valleys are sealed, it is almost impossible foranyone to enter.
The main entrance to Petra is called the Siq; it has sides as highas 200 m. This gorge and the temple in the end of it (theKazneh) were popularized in the movie Indiana Jones and theLast Crusade. Of all 800 tombs carved in Petra, the Kazneh isthe most famous. His name Kazneh means "treasure" andcomes from the Bedouin belief that the Pharaoh whoprosecutes the Israelites concealed his exchequer in the urn inthe high of the Kazneh. The fronts of tomb were constructed ofthe top downwards. The channels were carved in the rock.The Monastery is the largest tomb façade in Petra, measuring50 m wide and 45 m high. Despite its name, it was built as atomb monument and may have acquired its name from thecrosses inscribed inside. Like the Kazneh, the structure consistsof two stories topped by a magnificent urn.
HistoryArchaeologists believe that Petra has been inhabited fromprehistoric times. Just north of the city at Beidha, the remainsof a 9000-year-old city have been discovered, putting it in thesame league as Jericho as one of the earliest knownsettlements in the Middle East. The Bible tells of how KingDavid subdued the Edomites, probably around 1000 BCE.According to this story, the Edomites were enslaved, buteventually won their freedom. A series of great battles werethen fought between the Judeans and the people of Edom. PetraAs many as 30,000 people may have lived in Petra during the1st century A.D. It is a misconception that Petra was a city onlyfor the dead. A large earthquake in 363 A.D. destroyed atleast half of the city. Petra never recovered from thisdestruction.Petra was seen first when discovered in 1812 after being lost bythe 16th century for almost 300 years. The classical namePetra, and the early name Sela both mean the same thing,"Rock"; and surely no city was ever more aptly named. But
"Rock" only conveys half the picture of the city; the wild,fantastic shapes of the hills, the great chasms which cleavethem, the brilliant colouring all these must be seen to bebelieved. Petra is unique alike in its antiquities, its naturalsetting, and its approach.
6. ROMAN COLOSSELUM, ITALY (ROME)Rome was a center of learning, trade and commerce for agesand has contributed significantly in the development of theseareas. The origination of the word ―Coliseum‖, probably comefrom colossal statue of Nero which once stood near thestadium.The discussion of Rome would be unfinished without thedescription of so the much talked Roman Colosseum. But nondoubt the architecture and the concept is definitely a matterof appreciation and pride.Originally was the Flavian Amphitheatre, an ellipticalamphitheatre located in the heart of the city of Rome. It is oneof the greatest works of Roman architecture and Romanengineering. The building was constructed by emperors of theFlavian dynasty, hence its original name. In antiquity, Romansmay have referred to the Colosseum by the unofficial nameAmphitheatrum Caesareum; this name could have beenstrictly poetic.The Colosseum or Coliseum occupies a site just east of theRoman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 ADunder the emperor Vespasian, opened by Emperor Titus in 80AD with 100 days of games which roughly have taken the livesof some nine thousand animals and remodeled by Domitianwho constructed the hypogeum, a series of underground
tunnels used to house animals and slaves. Also he added agallery to the top Colosseum to increase its seating capacity. ROMAN COLOSSELUMThe Coliseum was used for gladiatorial contests and publicspectacles, with a capacity of 50 000 spectators. It was usedfor the next 500 years with the last recorded games being heldthere. As well as the traditional gladiatorial games, manyother public spectacles were held there, such as mock seabattles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famousbattles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. It ceased tobe used for entertainment in the early medieval era and it waslater re-opened for such varied purposes as housing,workshops; quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarryand a Christian shrine.Today the Colosseum is in a ruined condition, due to damagecaused by an earthquakes and stone-robbers. For a long timeit has been seen as an icon symbol of Imperial Rome. It’s one of
modern Rome’s most popular tourist attractions and still hasclose connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as eachGood Friday the Pope leads torchlight ―Way of the Cross‖procession to the amphitheatre. The Coliseum is depicted onthe Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.HistoryThe construction began under the rule of Vespasian Emperoraround 70-72. The site was a flat area on the floor of a lowvalley between the Caelian, Esquiline and Palatine hills,through which a canalized stream ran. Later the area wasdensely inhabited by the 2nd century. The Great Fire of Romein AD 64 devastated it, in addition Nero seized much of thearea to add to his personal domain. He built the grandioseDomus Aurea on the site, in front of which he created anartificial lake surrounded by pavilions, gardens and porticoes.To supply water to the area, the existing Aqua Claudiaaqueduct was extended and the gigantic bronze Colossus ofNero was set up nearby at the entrance to the Domus Aurea.
The superb Roman ColosseumAlthough the Colossus was preserved much of the DomusAurea was torn down. The lake was filled in and the landreused as the location for the new Flavian Amphitheatre.Within the former grounds, gladiatorial schools and othersupport buildings were constructed nearby the Domus Area.The Coliseum can be thus interpreted as a great triumphalmonument, in accord to a reconstructed inscription found onthe site, ―the emperor Vespasian ordered this newamphitheatre to be erected from his general’s share of thebooty‖. This is thought to refer to the vast quantity of treasureseized by the Romans following their victory in the GreatJewish Revolt.The Colosseum was badly damaged by a major fire around217, possibly caused by the lightning which destroyed thewooden upper levels of the amphitheatre’s interior. It was notfully repaired until about 240 and underwent further repairs
in 250 or 252 and again in 320. In 443 a possibly to repairdamage caused by a major earthquake. The arena continuedto be used for contests well into the 6th century withgladiatorial fights last mentioned around 435. Animal huntscontinued until at least 523.During the medieval period, the Coliseum underwent severalradical changes. The arena was converted into a cemetery.Around 1200 the Frangipani family used it as a castle, but thegreat earthquake of 1349 caused the outer south side tocollapse. Much of the tumbled stone was reused to buildpalaces, churches, hospitals and other buildings elsewhere inRome. In 1749, the Pope Benedict XIV consecrated the building to thePassion of Christ and installed Stations of the Cross, declaring itsanctified by the blood of the Christian martyrs who perishedthere.Due to the ruined state, the Coliseum cannot use to host largeevents so much of these larger concerts have been held justoutside, using the building as a backdrop. The Colosseum wascovered with an enormous awning known as the velarium.This protected the spectators from the sun. It was attached tolarge poles on top of the Colosseum and anchored to theground by large ropes. A team of some 1,000 men was used toinstall the awning.
7. TAJ MAHAL, INDIA (AGRA)The Taj Mahal is standing majestically on the right bank ofRiver Yamuna at a point where it takes a sharp turn and flowseastwards; the Taj Mahal is synonymous of love and romance.The Taj Mahal complex is organized in a rectangle, measuringapproximately 310 x 550 meters. It comprises a number ofbuildings and structures, all functioning together as thefunerary monument for Mumtaz Mahal.The entire architectural complex mainly consists of five majorconstituents the Darwaza (The main gateway), Bageecha (Thegardens), Masjid (The mosque), Naqqar Khana (The resthouse), Rauza (The main mausoleum).The Taj Ganj area leads to the southern gate into the forecourtof the Taj Mahal complex, although the eastern and westerngates of the Jilaukhana are more frequently used by tourists.The latter two gates are identical, with central pointed-archPishtaqs flanked by octagonal pilasters crowned withGuldastas (ornamental flower pinnacles).The southern gate is similar to the east and west ones in itsverticality. Due to the natural gradient of the site, which slopestoward the riverbank, this gate lies 2.4 m above the groundelevation of the Jilaukhana itself. Two bazaar streets begin atthe east and west gates and lead to the Jilaukhana. Thebazaars consist of individual rooms (Hujra) along an arcadedVerandah of multi-cusped arches that are supported onslender columns. The Jilaukhana consists of a large courtyardwith 128 hujra rooms opening directly onto the courtyard.
To the northeast of the Jilaukhana are the khawasspuras, tworesidential enclosures. The north side of the Khawasspurasabuts the southern galleries that flank the great gate to theeast and the west. The outer southern corners of the enclosuresin the khawasspuras have rooms giving access to latrines. Thetwo Saheli Burj (inner subsidiary tombs) enclosures to the eastand west of the Jilaukhana are the tomb complexes of twoother wives of Shah Jahan. The saheli burj enclosures havegardens arranged in the Chahar Bagh style, with a pool ofwater in the center surrounded by paved walkways.The tomb buildings are octagonal, single-story structures, builton a plinth. The walls are formed of multi cusped arcades. Thebuilding and its plinth are clad in red sandstone; the structureis topped by a bulbous white marble dome. Inside, the southdoor of both of the Saheli Burj tombs leads to the cenotaphwithin. The colours of the exterior cladding are reversed in theinterior: the walls are clad in white marble, while the Jalis andceiling are sandstone.The great gate (darwaza-i rauza) is a large structure withtriadic openings the base of the gate measures nearly 38meters and its peripheral walls, including the cupolas, are 30meters in height. The central Pishtaq, also including thecupolas, is 33 meters in height and 19 meters wide. The gate iscomposed of red sandstone with decorative panels and accentsin white marble.The entry Iwan contains Muqarnas in red sandstone, whichcontrasts with the white plaster paint outlining each segment.Topping the central Pishtaq is a series of eleven arches in redsandstone, capped by a chajja. This arrangement ofarchitectural elements into rows is found on both the north
and south side of the gate, in keeping with the design of theTaj Mahal complex and its internal hierarchies. The corners ofthe gateway are accentuated by engaged towers, also of redsandstone, that project outward slightly; these towers aredecorated with frames of white marble.The pointed arch on the south elevation of the darwaza-irauza partially frames the visitors first glimpse of the mainstructure, the mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal. Flanking thedarwaza-i rauza on the north, two double arcaded galleries ofmultifoliate arches known as the southern galleries, one to theeast and one to the west, overlook the large garden thatprecedes the main mausoleum. The columns of the outer andinner arcades differ only in the decoration of their bases: theouter ones have floral decoration alluding to the garden. Theplatform of the galleries extends into the garden, and itsdecorative tile paving pattern faces the garden. The galleriesterminate on the east and west ends in rooms which areentered from within the gallery.A shallow water canal (nahr) runs along the centre of theprimary walkways; a line of equidistant water fountains runsdown the center of the nahr. Geometric patterns in redsandstone depicting regular and elongated stars decorate theedges of the central pathways running on each side of thenahr. At the intersection of the primary walkways is a raisedplatform with a square water tank (Hauz) at its center. Fivefountains are located within the tank, one at each of its fourcorners and one in its center. The east-west walkwaysterminate in two-story pavilions (Naubat Khanas) that mergeinto the outer garden walls. Aqueducts supplied water to thegarden from the Yamuna River just north of the mausoleum.The central fountains operated with an underground system of
copper vessels connected by copper pipes. At present thegarden contains relatively few trees, consisting mainly of fairlymaintained grass lawns.The two Naubat Khanas (drum houses) are constructed onraised platforms and have two floors. On each level, thenaubat khanas have a triple archway in the center of the eastand west elevations, respectively. On the ground level, thearches are closed with a Jali screen; on the upper level, theyremain open. The floor slab of the upper story projects beyondthe wall above and below to form a balcony as long as thebuilding; carved red sandstone handrails run along its length,and carved sandstone brackets help support it from below.The Tahkhana, a gallery of rooms arranged in a row andconnected by a narrow corridor, is reached by two staircasesthat descend from openings in the surface of the plinth to theeast and west of the mausoleum.The secondary, square marble plinth, 93 meters long, is centredon the sandstone terrace. The mausoleum proper and the fourminarets flanking it are placed on this marble plinth. The baseof the plinth is decorated with delicate carvings of vegetalmotifs, which also appear on the white marble cladding of themausoleum.In the mausoleum of the Taj Mahal complex, the centralchamber is double-height and octagonal in plan. At its centerrest the cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. Thechamber is capped by a shallow dome and decorated withniches on each two-story wall. These niches on the cardinalaxes have Jali screens, fitted on the external faces of the walls,which allow light into the room. The niches on the diagonalaxes hold rectangular doors. The niches are separated into
lower and upper stories by an inscription band that runsaround the interior. On the upper level, these frames arereplaced by Muqarnas that begin to transform the octagonalplan into a circular ring for the dome. The shallow dome,which is the lower portion of the double dome used forconstruction, thus appears as decorated with an extendedpattern of the Muqarnas that support its base.The floor of the tomb chamber is tiled with octagonal marblestars in alternating cruciform modules, each outlined withinlaid black stone. Each side of this marble octagonal screen isdivided into three panels; only one opens to access thecenotaph. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal is a rectangularblock placed on a platform decorated with Quranic verses onthe upper block and naturalistic motifs on the lower base.On the roof of the mausoleum is a high drum, topped with abulbous dome measuring 25.6 meters high by 17.6 meters wide.Four diagonally placed chhatris flank the drum. The terraceprovides a view of the garden below; it is accessed by staircasesfrom the ground floor that lie on either side of the entrance tothe mausoleum. The four elevations reflect the symmetry ofthe mausoleums plan. The two frames flanking the centralPishtaq contain blind arched niches on the upper and lowerlevels. Each corner of the building presents a chamferedelevation (to the northeast, northwest, southeast, andsouthwest).The frame of the mausoleums central Pishtaqs, as with othersimilar forms within the complex, is decorated with an inlaidThuluth inscription of a Quranic verse. At the Pishtaqs highestpoint is a linear pattern of floral motifs running between twoextended engaged columns capped with guldastas. As
compared to the larger central Pishtaqs, these two sub-pishtaqs are less elaborately treated, with pilasters on theouter elevations decorated with an inlaid herringbone patternin black and dark yellow. These pilasters are flanked by squarepanels, framed with horizontal and vertical chevrons, at theirbase.The mosque and Mihmankhana are located to the west andeast of the mausoleum building. Symmetrical and identical indesign, it is conjectured from records that the mosque was builtfirst, followed by the Mihmankhana. The mosque has a Mihrabin its Qibla wall, highlighted by a marble frame with aninscription of the Sun Sura. The floor of the mosque also differsfrom that of the Mihmankhana; it is patterned in Muslimprayer mats. The ceilings are finished in the Sgraffitotechnique, consisting of a coat of red plaster laid over a white
one. Floral designs are later carved through the red layer, toappear in white.The southwest tower contains a Stepwell (baoli) whereas thatto the south of the Mihmankhana holds chambers leading tolatrines. The southwest tower with the baoli also has a wellshaft running down the centre of the structure and extendingthrough its five floors: three above, two below. The two towerpavilions north of the mosque and Mihmankhana containchambers leading to latrines on the lower levels, and stairsleading toward the riverbed. The four riverfront towers areeach octagonal in plan. Each tower has a central room with anambulatory path circling around the exterior. The exteriorwalls have multi-cusped blind arches; each terrace has an Orielwindow (Jharoka) with views of the river. The towers are cladin red sandstone and have floral motifs carved in relief withmarble inlays on panels.HistoryTaj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658), grandson of Akbar the great, in the memory of hisqueen Arjumand Bano Begum, entitled Mumtaz Mahal aMuslim Persian princess. The queen’s real name was ArjumandBanu. In the tradition of the Mughals, important ladies of theroyal family were given another name at their marriage or atsome other significant event in their lives, and that new namewas commonly used by the public.She died while accompanying her husband in Burhanpur in acampaign to crush a rebellion after giving birth to their 14thchild. When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted fourpromises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second,
that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to theirchildren; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her deathanniversary. But this has not been proven to be true, till date.According to legend, after his wife’s death, Shah Jahanreportedly locked himself in his rooms and refused food foreight days, when the emperor emerged from his seclusion, hisblack beard visible in many Mughal miniature paintings hadturned completely white. For the monument to his wife, ShahJahan chose a site occupied by sprawling gardens on a bend inthe left bank of the Yamuna River. Six months later, her bodywas transferred to Agra to be finally enshrined in the crypt ofthe main tomb of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is themausoleum of both Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. The Taj MahalThe construction of Taj Mahal started in the year 1631 and ittook approximately 22 years to build it. It made use of theservices of 22,000 labourers and 1,000 elephants for the
transportation of the construction materials. The materialsused in the Taj Mahal complex are bricks, sandstone and whitemarble. Brick sizes varied between 18-19 x 11-12.5 x 2.3 cm, astandard size since Akbars rule. These bricks were baked inkilns on the outskirts of Agra. The sandstone used in thecomplex has a colour varying from soft red to red with ayellow tint. White marble came from the quarries of Makranain Rajasthan, approx. 400 kms southeast of Agra. The marbleused in the complex was a white one with black and greystreaks.The greatest technical problem in the construction of the TajMahal was its heavy superstructures near the riverfront. Thiswas accomplished using wells cased in wood and filled withrubble and iron, spaced at 3.75 meters on center. Precious andsemi-precious stones are used in the decoration of themausoleum than elsewhere in the complex. These stonesinclude lapis lazuli, sapphire, cornelian, jasper, chrysolite andheliotrope. A strict discipline in colours and decoration is visiblein the detailed ornamentation of the Taj Mahal. Floral reliefcarvings are found on the marble and sandstone walls; thesecarvings are stylistically related to the pietra dura work, yetare worked according to the material of the building theyadorn.The Taj Mahal architecture is a kind of fusion of Persian,Central Asian and Islamic architecture. Specific design credit isuncertain, and is given by different sources to Istad Usa, UstadAhmad Lahori, Isa Muhammad Effendi or Geronimo Veroneo.But construction documents show that its master architect wasIstad Usa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time. Thedocuments contain names of those employed and theinventory of construction materials and their origin. And how
the entire complex is designed in such a way that the apparentorganic unity of the whole does not obscure the individuality ofany part, nor does it detract from the prominence of the TajMahal proper. It was completed in 1648 at a cost of 32 MillionRupees (more than 750 000 dollars).