Because in a world so wondrous, 7 Wonders wasn’t enough…
In the year 2000 a Swiss foundation, New7Wonders Foundation, decided it was time to establish a new 7 wonders of the world! Considering that all the previous seven originated in the 2nd Century and only one still stood, there wasn’t much protest to this proposal.
With over 100 million votes cast the results were announced in 2007. With so many wondrous points of interest in the world, it was hard to pick just seven and when the list was announced there were both cheers and jeers as people claimed their countries landmark should have made the cut. But what are the new 7 wonders? Well, we thought it was time you found out…
7 Wonders, number 1. The Great Wall of China, China
I mean, we’d all look pretty silly calling it the ‘Great Wall’ if it didn’t eventually make it onto a list like this. The first of the 7 Wonders is this 13,000-mile-long ‘wall’ first started its construction in the 7th century and was added to over the next 2 millennia. Originally built as a way to protect the country from invasion (although research suggests it wasn’t very good at this and was more of political propaganda) the wall has since become one of the most sought-after attractions in the world.
The notion that the wall can be seen from space is unfortunately a myth! But that shouldn’t take away from this amazing piece of human engineering. As even today it is still one of the largest building-construction projects in the world!
Want to visit the Great Wall of China? Find out more here – https://neon.ly/Bucket-List-China-Wall
2. Chichén Itzá, México
I’m sure there is some joke I could make here, having just discussed a large wall and now discussing Mexico, but my current mental capacity caused by 5 months in lockdown is preventing me from finding one. So, let’s all just laugh, pretend I made one, and that it was bloomin’ funny!
Chichén Itzá is a Mayan city on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Whilst the most iconic image from this city are of the temples that can be found there, the actual ‘wonder’ is the entire city itself. With its early development having started between 750 and 900 AD, the current and final layout of the city didn’t come to be until the 10th Century, when it saw itself become the regional capital controlling most of the north coast.
In 2017 Chichen Itza saw over 2.6 Million tourists visit, making it one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico.
7 Wonders number 3. Petra, Jordan
The Ancient city of Petra, Jordan. Once a busy market city then left abandoned and not actually re-discovered until 1912. This stunning and mystical city still leaves people full of as many unanswered questions as it does awe.
Located in a remote valley, nestled among sandstone mountains and cliffs Petra quickly became an important trade center for the people of Jordan with it lying on a trade route. But as these routes shifted and small earthquakes and tremors occurred, Petra gradually became abandoned. It wasn’t rediscovered until 1912, but even then people didn’t take too much interest with archaeologists not really examining it until the 20th Century.
It was purported to be one of the places where Moses struck a rock and water gushed forth.
Want to visit Petra in Jordan? Find out more here – https://neon.ly/Bucket-List-Jordan
4. Machu Picchu, Peru
From one wonder leaving so many questions still unanswered to another. Machu Picchu, found in Peru, was re-discovered in 1911. It was originally thought to be a stronghold used by the Incan tribes to defend themselves against the Spanish rule. This was later disproved and even today the true purpose of Machu Picchu is not fully known. Some believe it to be home to the ‘Virgins of the Sun’, others a pilgrimage site and some believe it to be home to the tribes royal family. With so many theories flying around the only thing we can be sure of is that its one of the only major Pre-Columbian ruins found nearly entirely intact left. Despite its relative isolation high in the Andes Mountains, it features agricultural terraces, plazas, residential areas, and temples.
In 2000 Machu Picchu was used as the location for a beer commercial where a crane used for filming fell and cracked one of the monuments… Safe to say I don’t think they’ve let people come back and film anything else since…
We recently watched a brilliant documentary on Disney Plus about Machu Picchu, read more about it here – https://neon.ly/Bucket-List-What-To-Watch
Want to visit Machu Picchu? Find out more here – https://neon.ly/Bucket-List-Machu-Picchu
7 Wonders number 5. Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
There’s not too much we can say about Christ the Redeemer. It’s a giant statue of Jesus of Nazareth, which was constructed in 1926 after the first world war when the Brazilians feared a ‘tide of Godlessness’. It took 5 years to construct and stands at 98 feet tall, the base is an additional 26 feet.
The tide of Godlessness refers to a decrease of people following the catholic religion. So, Christ the Redeemer was erected in the hope it would help the people of Brazil find faith.
It is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world. The statue has often been struck by lightning, in 2014 the tip of Jesus’s right thumb was damaged during a storm.
6. Colosseum, Italy
The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. It is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built and is still the largest standing amphitheatre in the world today. The Colesseum was constructed in the 1st century by order of Emperor Vespasian. It measures 189m by 156m and features a very complicated system of vaults within.
In its day it could hold over 50,000 spectators and was most known for holding Gladiator fights. According to some estimates, about 500,000 people died in the Colosseum. Additionally, so many animals were captured and then killed there that certain species reportedly became extinct.
7 Wonders Number 7. Taj Mahal, India
No, we’re not talking about the Bournemouth-based Indian Takeaway, but more about the stunning Mausoleum found in India…
The final of the 7 Wonders is The Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the world’s most iconic monuments. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in honour of his wife. It is a Mausoleum, (an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people). According to some reports, Shah Jahān wished to have his own mausoleum made from black marble. However, he was deposed by one of his sons before any work began.
It took about 22 years and 20,000 workers to construct the complex, which includes an immense garden with a reflecting pool.
The total cost at the time has been estimated to be about 32 million Indian rupees. Which is around 52.8 billion Indian rupees ($827 million US) based on 2015 values.