My mom yesterday acknowledged and praised me for creating a World Wonder! I wished what you imagined now was true but my wonder got limited upto cooking dinner. Well whenever we talk about wonders of the world our eyes start a slideshow of few pictures of beautiful structures and interestingly, these pictures are never exact seven. That’s why, it’s very important to know what are the wonders and how structurally they are designed for their life longevity. Learning about these will be quite easy if you follow the easy steps given below. Tap below START QUIZ for a short quiz of 5 questions. Answer these questions for understanding my remaining blog.
How was your experience regarding quiz? I’m sure you will get all your points cleared further.
Starting from the number seven, Pythagoras and his followers identified it as the lucky number because no number under ten could be divided by it. It was so special to him because it was not too big and not too small. As per my first question in the quiz, the Wonders of the World are listed under Ancient, Modern and Natural. The classic list of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was originally compiled around the second century BC. Decades after decades, Greek historians wrote about the greatest monuments at the time.
They include –
(1) The Great Pyramid of Giza
(2) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
(3) The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
(4) The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
(5) The Mausoleum of Haliranassus
(6) The Colossus of Rhodes
(7) The Lighthouse of Alexandria
The list comprised seven most impressive monuments of the Ancient World, some of which barely survived to the middle ages mostly due to earthquakes (from the quiz). Among the oldest references to the canonical list are the engravings by the Dutch artist Maertan van Heemskerck and Johann Fischer von Erlach’s History of Architecture.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
The winner of the survivor in those earthquakes is The Great Pyramid of Giza. It’s the only oldest structure of Seven Ancient Wonders which does not need speculations concerning its appearance, size and shape. Contrary to the common belief, only the Great Pyramid of Khufu is on top of the list of Wonders and not all three Great Pyramids. This great structure lost 10 m of it’s top from 145.75 m to around 136 m still rank is the tallest structure on the earth for more than 43 centuries. The sloping angle of its sides is 51 degrees and 51 minutes. Each side is carefully oriented with one of the cardinal points of the compass that is north, south, east and west. The maximum error between side lengths is astonishingly less than 0.1 %.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens are the only one of the Seven Wonders for which the location has not been definitively established. Most recent archaeological excavations at the ancient city of Babylon in Iraq and covered the foundation of the palace. Other findings include the vaulted building with thick walls and irrigation well near the southern palace. A group of archaeologist surveyed the area of Southern palace and reconstructive the vaulted building as the Hanging Gardens. However, the Greek historian Strabo had stated that the gardens were situated By the River Euphrates. So others argue that the site is too far from the Euphrates to support the theory since the vaulted building is several hundreds of metres away. They reconstructed the site of the palace and locate the Gardens in the area stretching from the river to the palace. On the the river banks, recently discovered massive walls of 25 m thick may have been step to form terraces… ones described in Greek references.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was created by a sculptor named Phidias. Zeus was considered the king of the Greek gods and this magnificent statue was created to honor him. Phidias began working on the statue around 440 BC. Years earlier, he had developed a technique to build enormous gold and ivory statues. This was done by erecting a wooden frame on which sheets of of metal and ivory were placed to provide the outer covering. Phidias’s workshop in Olympia still exist and is coincidentally or maybe not – identical in size and orientation to the temple of Zeus. There he sculpted and carved the different pieces of the statue before they were assembled in the temple. Many copies of the statue were made including a large prototype at Gyrene (Libya), however none of them survived to the present day.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Decorated by bronze statues, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus served as both a marketplace and a religious institution. The temple was used as a bank as no one dared to steal from a holy place! This logic is unbelievable! Looking towards its foundation, it was rectangular in form and made up of marble decorated with facade overlooking a spacious courtyard. Marble steps surrounding the building platform led to the high terrace which was approximately 80m × 130m in plan. The columns were 20 high with ionic capitals and carved circular sides. There were 127 columns in total aligned orthogonally over the whole platform area except for Central cellar or house of Goddess. Today the site of the temple, is marked by a single column constructed of dissociated fragments discovered on the site.
The Mausoleum at Haliranassus
The finished structure of the Mausoleum was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of his Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Structural beauty was enhanced by overlying the foundation with stepped podium sides decorated with statues of people, lions, horses and other animals. The colonnade supported a pyramid roof which was in turn decorated with statues. A statue of a chariot pulled by four horses adorned the top of the tomb. Because the statues were of people and animals, the Mausoleum was a special place in history, as it was not dedicated to the gods of Ancient Greece. It was destroyed by successive earthquakes from the 12th to the 15th century; the last surviving of the six destroyed wonders.
The Colossus of Rhodes
Now, I’ll tell you about the Colossus starting from a great misconception regarding its appearance! It has long been believed that the Colossus stood in the front of the Mandraki harbour, one of many in the city of Rhodes, straddling it’s entrance. Given the height of the statue and the width of the harbour mouth, this picture is rather impossible than improbable. Moreover, the fallen Colossus would have blocked the harbour entrance. Recent studies suggest that it was erected either on the eastern promontory of Mandraki harbour or even further inland. The structure was gradually erected as the bronze form fortified with an iron and stone framework. Although today it disappeared from existence, the Ancient World Wonders inspired modern artists such as French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi best known by his famous work: The Statue of Liberty.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria
After Alexander the Great died, the first Ptolemy Soter announced himself king and commissioned the construction of The Lighthouse of Alexandria shortly thereafter. The light was produced by a furnace at the top and the tower was said to have been built mostly with solid blocks of limestone. The mysterious white marble cover could reflect the light tens of kilometres away and used to detect and burn enemy ships before they could reach the shore. From an architectural standpoint, the monument has been used as a model for many prototypes along the Mediterranean as far away as Spain. And from a linguistic standpoint, it give its name – Pharos to all the lighthouses in the world.
The human inquisitiveness is so wide that it would take centuries to explore the facts of the world. As you can see, The Great Wall of China, Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janerio, Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza, Roman Colosseum, Taj Mahal in India, Petra in Jordan are no were existed in Ancient Wonders of the World which we know today! However, this wonder series tries to achieve the impossible structural point of view all you wanted to know. Snap shooting some unknown information not readily found in internet was the aim of this blog. Surfing of information around the world doesn’t ends here.