Category: Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World represent a list of remarkable constructions known to the ancient Mediterranean societies.

Their existence and grandeur showcased the abilities of ancient civilizations to shape their environment and create structures that would inspire awe and wonder for generations.

Though many of these wonders no longer exist, their legacy endures through historical accounts, writings, and artistic depictions.

The Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt)

Constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu (circa 2580-2560 BCE), the Great Pyramid is the oldest and the only surviving wonder from the original list.

It originally stood at 146.6 meters, though now it’s slightly shorter due to the loss of the outer casing stones. This marvel, primarily built as a tomb, showcases the precision and architectural genius of ancient Egyptian civilization.

The pyramid’s alignment, with the cardinal points of the compass, and its astronomical significance, remain subjects of study and admiration.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq)

While there’s debate about their actual existence or location, the Hanging Gardens are traditionally said to have been built in the ancient city-state of Babylon, near present-day Baghdad.

Legend states that King Nebuchadnezzar II constructed the gardens in the 6th century BCE for his homesick wife, who missed the green hills and valleys of her homeland.

These terraced gardens, with trees and flowers planted on raised platforms, were a feat of engineering, supposedly irrigated by an Archimedes screw from the Euphrates River.

Statue of Zeus at Olympia (Greece)

A monumental statue dedicated to the king of the Greek gods, the Statue of Zeus was created by the sculptor Phidias around 435 BCE.

Situated in the temple at Olympia, the statue stood around 13 meters tall. Made of ivory plates and gold panels over a wooden framework, Zeus was depicted seated on a grand throne, holding a statue of Nike, the goddess of victory.

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Turkey)

Dedicated to the goddess Artemis, this temple, located in Ephesus (modern-day Turkey), was rebuilt multiple times after being destroyed.

The most famous iteration, constructed around 550 BCE by the Lydian king Croesus, was known for its majestic size and magnificent sculptures.

Made of marble with a decorated façade, this ancient wonder housed many works of art, including a statue of Artemis.

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Turkey)

Located in Halicarnassus (modern-day Bodrum), this tomb was built for Mausolus, a Persian satrap, and his wife Artemisia after his death in 353 BCE.

The structure, standing approximately 45 meters tall, was adorned with decorative reliefs and sculptures crafted by four renowned Greek sculptors.

Colossus of Rhodes (Greece)

A giant statue of the sun god Helios, the Colossus was erected on the Greek island of Rhodes around 280 BCE.

The structure was about 33 meters tall, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. Despite myths, it did not straddle the harbor entrance. Unfortunately, it stood for only 56 years before being destroyed by an earthquake.

Lighthouse of Alexandria (Egypt)

Also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, this lighthouse stood on the small island of Pharos, guiding sailors safely into the bustling port city. Constructed in the 3rd century BCE, it stood approximately 100 meters tall and was adorned with a statue of Zeus or Poseidon.

The lighthouse used an open flame at night and polished bronze mirrors during the day to reflect sunlight and guide ships.

Did you know…?

Tragically, only the Pyramid of Giza stands today. Natural disasters, human interventions, and the ravages of time have claimed the other six. Yet, these wonders continue to captivate, serving as a testament to the grandeur, innovation, and vision of ancient civilizations.