Across the globe, people travel far and wide to visit The New Seven Wonders of the World. But, do you know the history of theses sites and how they came to be so important to the global community?
For centuries the world has celebrated amazing sculptures and architecture. So much so that seven of these landmarks have the global status of being a “Wonder of the World”. Although there are now several categories with this title, the original list of ancient wonders dates back to a piece of work written in 225 B.C. by Philo of Byzantine called On Seven Wonders. These landmarks are revered because they show the true capability humans have for incredible imagination and creativity. After all, each of these architectural phenomenons is manmade.
The New Seven Wonders
The only ancient wonder that still exists today is the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. In order to choose the new seven wonders of the world, a foundation was created in 1999 to vote and choose them. After over 100 million votes, the new sites were revealed in 2007. They are Petra, The Colosseum, The Great Wall of China, Christ the Redeemer, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, and the Taj Mahal.
Although these sites are currently closed to the public, travelers can still admire and explore them through virtual tours. Learn about each of the new seven wonders of the world and plan for your future visit.
Petra, Jordan is one of the most remarkable landmarks on the planet. This ancient city is from the 1st century B.C. and served as the Arabic capital of the Nabateans Empire. The state became very wealthy due to its position in the trading routes between Arabia, India, Africa, and the West. Its moniker is the Rose City and it became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1985. The beautiful sandstone walls are famous for their feature in the 1989 film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. According to the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), Petra welcomed over one million visitors in 2019.
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
The colossal Christ the Redeemer statue looks over Rio de Janeiro from the summit of Mount Corcovado. Construction on the statue took place in April 1922 and it was completed in 1931. The statue is 98 feet tall and its arms span 92 feet wide from fingertip to fingertip. It is the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the entire world. Christ the Redeemer celebrates and honors the 100th year anniversary of the Brazilian Republic. It is still one of the most visited sites in not only Brazil but the world. There is even a replica of the statue in Lisbon, Portugal.
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Over 2 million tourists visit Chichen Itza, the second most popular archeological site in Mexico, a year. The ancient city is on the Yucatan Peninsula. The Kukulkan Pyramid, which is located in the center of the site, is one of the only buildings to maintain its original structure. Historians say Chichen Itza was built from 600 A.D. until 1221 during the Mayan empire. Due to its location and size, it stood as one of the most important places in Mayan culture. In December 2019, a new daily visit record was broken, with over 18,000 visitors in just one day. It is a must-visit when planning a trip to Mexico.
The Great Wall of China, China
One of the most famous structures in the world is the Great Wall of China. Built in the early 7th century B.C. it took over 2,500 years to complete the entire wall. It spanned over more than 10 Chinese dynasties. The wall winds up and down the country in a dragon-like shape and extends over 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers). Due to both human and natural causes, almost 1/3 of the wall is missing today. Thus, the Chinese government has commissioned many restoration projects to renovate the wall and its missing parts. The Chinese don’t refer to this wonder as “the Great Wall.” They call it Chángchéng, which means Long Wall. Visited by over 10 million people a year, this wonder of the world became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1987.
The Colosseum, Italy
Located in the heart of Rome, Italy, The Colosseum stands proud as a symbol of power for the country. Construction on the Colosseum started in 70 A.D. However, it did not officially begin until 72 A.D. and finish until 80 A.D. Building the Colosseum was ordered by Emperor Vespasian who wanted to build the largest amphitheater in the world. In fact, it is still the largest in the world. During its time, the Colosseum could seat as many as 50,000 to 70,000 spectators. It was used to host gladiator contests, mock sea battles, and animal hunts. Some of the animals even included big cats and crocodiles. The historical landmark is one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions and welcomes over 7 million visitors a year.
The Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal is so much more than just a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in 1632 to 1648 for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The building represents the emperor’s everlasting love for his wife. Today, it stands as a beacon of light and strength for India and the global community. Over 2.5 million visitors come to visit the Taj Mahal every year. As are the other wonders, the Taj Mahal is also a UNESCO Heritage site since 1983. While photos of the building show its beauty, they cannot truly capture the delicacy and attention to detail. It is truly a place one must see in person in order to know its magnificence.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Last, but not least is Machu Picchu. This site is one of the most breathtaking global landmarks and the true pride of Peru. Machu Picchu belongs to the Incan empire from the mid-15th-century. However, it wasn’t rediscovered until 1911 by archeologist Hiram Bingham. He was searching for another ancient city when he found the green terraces and remains of the structure. Many historians commonly use the term “ruins” when referring to this wonder, however, that is an incorrect description according to Machupicchu.org. It is best to describe this city as a sanctuary as it was a spiritual and sacred place for the Incans. Machu Picchu became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.
Have you ever visited one of the new seven wonders of the world? Let us know! Check out our blog to learn about more places you can virtually visit today.
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