I told a friend about my project to visit as many of the World heritage sites as possible and write about it.
“Why not”, she said, “but have you thought about the seven wonders of the world? That would be a good start.”
“Great idea, but aren’t they long gone? All but the Great Pyramid of Giza?”
Apparently not really. There is a new list. The ancient one is gone and it’s replaced by a new one. Or several. And that’s where it gets hard.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the first known list of the most remarkable creations of classical antiquity, and was based on guide-books popular among Hellenic sight-seers and only includes works located around the Mediterranean rim. The number seven was chosen because the Greeks believed it to be the representation of perfection and plenty. Many similar lists have been made and of course there are few modern ones.
The ancient list
The ancient list with seven wonders included:
– Great Pyramid of Giza
– Hanging Gardens of Babylon
– Statue of Zeus at Olympia
– Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
– Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
– Colossus of Rhodes
– Lighthouse of Alexandria
The earliest lists had the Ishtar Gate
as the seventh wonder of the world instead of the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
This is a hard one. But there are few newer ones.
In the medieval times another list was made. Typically representative are:
– Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
– Great Wall of China
– Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
– Hagia Sophia
– Leaning Tower of Pisa
Other sites sometimes included on such lists:
– Taj Mahal
– Cairo Citadel
– Ely Cathedral
– Cluny Abbey
It’s now getting esier. Several of these sotes are actually on the world heritage list. Let’s go to more modern times.
This was probably the same in ancient times, or maybe not, but now we have many such lists. Many societies, clubs and magazines try to have one. Here are s few.
American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers compiled a list of wonders of the modern world:
– Channel tunnel (between United Kingdom and France)
– CN Tower (Toronto, Canada)
– Empire State Building (New York, USA)
– Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, USA)
– Itaipu Dam (between Brazil and Paraguay)
– Delta works (Netherlands)
– Panama Canal (Panama)
In 2001 an initiative was started by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose the New7Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. Twenty-one finalists were announced January 1, 2006. Giza was named an honorary Candidate since it’s left from the original list.
The results were announced on July 7, 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal:
– Great Wall of Chins (China)
– Petra ( Jordan)
– Christ the Redeemer (Brazil)
– Machu Picchu (Peru)
– Chichen Itza (Mexico)
– Colloseum (Italy)
– Taj Mahal (India)
– Great Piramid of Giza (Egypt)
Several of these, if not all, are world’s heritage as well. USA Today and CNN also have their own. But let’s take three more.
Seven Natural Wonders of the World
Similar to the other lists of wonders, there is no consensus on a list of seven natural wonders of the world, and there has been debate over how large the list should be. One of the many existing lists was compiled by CNN:
– Grand Canyon
– Great Barrier Reef
– Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
– Mount Everest
– Parícutin volcano
– Victoria Falls
I’ve seen Vic Falls an Aurora Borealis. I still I think I’ll stick to UNESCO’s list. It’s more organized.
Seven Wonders of the Underwater World
The Seven Underwater Wonders of the World was a list drawn up by CEDAM International, an American-based non-profit group for divers, dedicated to ocean preservation and research. The list is ss follows:
– Belize Barrier Reef
– Great Barrier Reef
– Deep-Sea Vents
– Galápagos Islands
– Lake Baikal
– Northern Red Sea
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
British author Deborah Cadbury
wrote Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, a book telling the stories of seven great feats of engineering of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The seven industrial wonders are:
– SS Great Eastern
– Bell Rock Lighthouse
– Brooklyn Bridge
– London sewerage system
– First Transcontinental Railroad
– Panama Canal
– Hoover Dam
Lots of lists. All different. All good somehow. I’ll just stuck with the original plan. The rest is bonus.