Massive triangular structures made without any modern equipment. Statues as tall as giants from fairy tales. Exquisite architecture with intricate detailing that stuns even the best artists. Picturesque harbors, forests, and mountain ranges that take your breath away.
That's right. We are talking about the amazing wonders of the world. If your child has an insatiable curiosity that makes him wonder about everything from the stars to the color of the grass, it's time to introduce them to the wonders of the world. There are many beautiful things in the world. While it is not easy to rank all the incredible things on this planet, some have managed to create a list of the seven best. In fact, there are several lists of wonderful things/places in the world, and here are some of them -
New Seven Wonders of the World: Considering that six of the seven wonders of the ancient world do not exist anymore, a company called New7Wonders took upon itself to figure out the new seven wonders of the modern world. The company used the survey and voting system to choose the New Seven Wonders of the World. The list included seven different sites, monuments, and places from around the world, and not just Europe and Africa, where all the ancient wonders were. Great Wall of China:
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortified walls built using wood, stone, metal, and earth. The wall was built to protect the country from invasions, and also to control immigration between the nations around China. Here are some interesting facts about this modern marvel from the Orient.
* The first part of the Great Wall was built under the rule of Emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Win dynasty. They took around 20 years to complete the original wall.
* The wall is 13,171 miles long and was constructed by several emperors, during their time. But most of the wall was built during the rule of the Ming Dynasty.
* It took several empires over 2000 years to complete the wall, which involved building and rebuilding it.
* The stretch of the Great Wall also has natural barriers such as mountains and water bodies. Unlike popular belief, the Great Wall of China is not visible from outer space.Petra:
An ancient city in Jordan, Petra was unveiled to the western world in the year 1812, when a Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig introduced it. One of the things that makes this a wonder is that half the city is carved into a huge rock. Imagine that!
* The rock into which the city is carved is pink in color, giving the place its nickname, Rose City.
* The Nabataeans, who built this rock-carved city, also designed a water conduit system that was way advanced for their time. The museum in Petra displays the pipes that were used for this system.
* A UNESCO Heritage Site, Petra is one of the top "28 places you must visit before you die" list by the Smithsonian.
* The city has over 600 structures in it, including a mausoleum of a pharaoh.
* Remember Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? A part of the movie was shot at Petra.Christ the Redeemer
: The massive statue of Jesus Christ on the Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro is a sight to see. The world's largest art deco statue, Christ the Redeemer was unveiled in 1931.
* The statue is 125 feet tall, not including the 22 feet pedestal it stands on.
* It was designed by Paul Landowski, a French sculptor, and built by Brazilian and French engineers. They took 11 years to complete the statue.
* The arms of the statue stretch 92 feet wide!
* The statue was destroyed partly when lightning struck it during a major thunderstorm in 2008. The authorities restored it soon after.
The Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the most interesting places to visit in the world. Machu Picchu was built around 1450 and was abandoned a hundred years later, during the Spanish inquest. It was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1983.
* Built with dry stone walls, Machu Picchu covers an area of 80536 acres or approximately 353 square kilometers! If you are planning to visit it, get ready for a long, long walk!
* The city is situated 7970 feet above sea level, which makes getting to it a little difficult during rains.
* It is one of the top 100 endangered places and is under threat of destruction by civilization (mostly tourists!) and earthquakes.
A Mayan city built before the Colombian period, Chichen Itza is a popular tourist destination in Mexico. It is believed to be the largest city ever built by the Mayan civilization.
* Chichen Itza translated to English is "at the mouth of the well of the Itza".
* The Castillo, a pyramid shaped castle in the city, is perhaps the most famous structure there.
History enthusiasts and tourists visit the Castillo during the Summer and Spring Equinoxes to witness the famed Chichen Itza illusion. The movement of the sun at that time casts triangular shadows that make it look like a plumed serpent is crawling down the northern balustrade of the castle.Colosseum:
The Colosseum in Rome is an ancient amphitheater built in 80 AD by emperor Titus Vespasian. The Colosseum was primarily used to host gladiatorial contests, although events were held there from time to time.
* The Colosseum was built using sand and concrete and had a massive capacity. It could accommodate around 65,000 spectators in its stands!
* 60,000 slaves built the massive complex in just nine years! It had four-storied arcades.
* A massive fire in 207 AD destroyed the top levels of the structure, which were never repaired. An earthquake further damaged the structure.
* Protests to abolish the death penalty were held opposite the Colosseum. Today, it stands as a symbol against the death penalty.
In recent times, the Colosseum was used to host concerts by people such as Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, and Elton John.
A mausoleum built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal is a tomb where his wife Mumtaz is buried. Made entirely from marble stone, the Taj Mahal is a UNESCO Heritage site that attracts over eight million tourists every year.
* It took the emperor over 20 years and 20,000 artisans to complete the construction.
* Because of its pure white color, the structure changes color based on the lighting during that specific part of the day. It has been known to assume natural colors such as pink, blue, orange, and yellow during different times of the day.
* The tomb had several precious stones engraved in it when it was built. Soldiers and protesters took most of these away during a rebellion in 1857.
In addition to these, other structures such as the Stonehenge in England and the Leaning Tower of Pisa were also considered to be among the wonders of the world at a time. The Stonehenge is a Neolithic monument made of massive boulders and is also a UNESCO Heritage site. How the people managed to put stones that big on top of one another is still a mystery to historians. (excerpt)
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