Despite their massive size, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes are not necessarily the seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Rather, these ancient buildings were notable because they are unique in their design and construction. These buildings, along with the Great Pyramid of Giza, are some of the best-known structures from antiquity.
There are countless examples of architectural and cultural greatness in humanity’s ancient past. Some of the monuments are permanently lost to the modern world, reduced to dust throughout long centuries, or destroyed in upheavals both natural and anthropogenic in nature, or sometimes both.
The ‘seven wonders of the ancient world’ are perhaps the greatest examples of such lost beauty. Located in the eastern Mediterranean, these legendary wonders have long captivated and inspired the imagination.
List of 7 Wonders of the Ancient World
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are one of the most fascinating seven wonders of the ancient world. It was created by the Assyrian queen Semiramis, around the eighth century BC. In order to make irrigation easier, the garden was covered with huge trees and flowers. The gardens were built on top of the citadel. They were constructed so that the king’s wife would not feel homesick while she was away.
Originally, it was believed that the Hanging Gardens were located in Babylon, on a roof of the ziggurat, but recent research suggests that the Gardens were in Nineveh. Another theory says that the Hanging Gardens were built by the ruler of Nineveh, Sennacherib. The Hanging Gardens were laid out on a sloping structure, which was probably irrigated with a novel irrigation system, possibly based on an early Archimedes screw irrigation system.
In the sixth century BC, Nebuchadnezzar II had many temples and monuments built in Babylon. He also constructed the Hanging Gardens. These gardens were intended to please his wife, who was from Medina. Medina was a mountainous region in western Iran that had much more dense vegetation than the desert that surrounds Babylon.
Although we have not seen these gardens ourselves, we can still see the impressive structures in paintings and sculptures. Nebuchadnezzar II’s garden was built for his wife Amytis, a princess from Media, Iran, and the Caspian Sea region. This magnificent creation has been named one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes is a monstrous statue that was once considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient World. It was constructed to commemorate freedom and was erected over 2000 years ago on the Island of Rhodes. The original colossus was built about the same height as the modern one.
The Colossus of Rhodes is a 30-meter-tall statue of the Greek god Helios. It was built during the reign of Demetrios Poliorketes, the successor of Alexander the Great. After the Greeks had taken Rhodes, they abandoned their siege machinery and decided to build a statue of Helios in its place. It took twelve years to complete.
The Colossus of Rhodes was built between the third and fourth centuries BCE. The Rhodians, under the direction of the sculptor Chares, started building the colossal statue in the third century BCE. They believed that it would provide protection from attack and would help them survive their long siege. It was built of bronze, iron, and stone. It was erected on the island’s harbor.
The Colossus of Rhodes stood for 54 years before it was destroyed in 226 BCE. During its time, it inspired awe among people. The massive bronze statue was a symbol of the Greek people’s unity and victory over their enemies.
Great Pyramid at Giza
The Great Pyramid at Giza was built more than four thousand years ago and was originally about twenty feet higher than it is today. The construction involved massive amounts of limestone and other stones that were transported by log rollers and sleds. Its sloped walls were shaped to mimic the rays of the god Ra. In addition to the dazzling exterior, the pyramid was also built with intricate interiors that include a series of secret chambers and narrow corridors. These features are believed to have helped prevent tomb robbers from looting the tombs.
The Great Pyramid at Giza was built to honor King Khufu, the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh. His sons Khafre and Menkaure built pyramids next to the original. Khufu’s mausoleum was the tallest building in the world for about 4,000 years.
The height of the Great Pyramid at Giza was originally 147 meters (482 feet) high, but it has now been reduced to 138 meters (451 feet). Its length at the base is around 230 meters (756 feet). More than two million stone blocks were used to construct the structure.
The Great Pyramid at Giza is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built more than four thousand years ago to honor king Khufu (Cheops). The Great Pyramids of Giza are the largest of three Pyramids at Giza and cover an area of 13 acres. It is estimated to contain 2 million stone blocks weighing between two and 30 tons each.
Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis is a ruin in Ephesus, Greece. Archaeologists from the British Museum discovered it in 1869. It is thought to be the largest temple in the ancient world, spanning over 377 feet long and 180 feet wide. Its massive interior included four bronze statues of Amazon women, carved by the best artists of the day. The ruins are surrounded by rubble, but a lone column still remains.
The Temple of Artemis was a huge Greek temple that was built during the Bronze Age. Although it was completely destroyed by the early AD 400s, a reconstruction was carried out. Originally, the Temple of Artemis, also known as the Temple of Diana, measured 115 meters long, 46 meters wide, and 40 meters tall. The ancient Greeks reconstructed the temple after it was completely destroyed in a massive flood in the 7th century BC.
In addition to its beautiful interior, the Temple of Artemis had fine sculptures and paintings. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Artemis, the goddess of the Amazons, who founded Ephesus. Today, only one column remains of the original structure, and most of the archaeological remains have been removed and stored in the British Museum.
The Temple of Artemis is a spectacular structure and one of the seven wonders of the ancient Greek world. It is possible that the original structure is the oldest marble building in the world. It was constructed by Architect Chersiphron, who also designed many of the other Greek temples. Today, this ancient marvel continues to awe visitors from around the world.
Pharos of Alexandria
The Pharos of Alexandria is an ancient lighthouse, built on a small island off the coast of Alexandria. The island was connected to the mainland through a man-made bridge called Heptastadion. It served as a lighthouse and navigational marker for ships. Its use dates back to the first century C.E. when the city was under Roman rule.
The Pharos of Alexandria was an early example of technology and was the archetype of lighthouses throughout history. It was designed by Greek architect Sostratos and completed around 270 B.C., during the reign of Ptolemy II. It guided ships navigating the Nile River into the harbor of Alexandria. Even though the lighthouse was built centuries ago, it remained standing until the fifteenth century.
The Pharos of Alexandria is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Its harbor was a unique sight in the eastern Mediterranean. Its five districts contained palaces and royal gardens. Some rooms were lavishly decorated for important visitors. Some rooms were also fitted with all the scientific advances of the time.
The lighthouse’s two mirrors were so powerful that they could reflect light over 35 miles of sea. It was also capable of communicating with ships in the harbor by lighting a fire inside it. There are conflicting theories about the material of the mirrors, but there are no doubts that the Pharos of Alexandria is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is a giant seated figure that was created around 435 BC by the Greek sculptor Phidias. It is located in the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, Greece. Zeus is the sky and thunder god, and king of Mount Olympus.
The statue was erected by Phidias, the most talented Greek sculptor. The sculptor was inspired by Homer’s Iliad poem to create the statue. Phidias used ivory and gold in creating the statue. It was highly prized for its beauty and was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The statue stood on a base of black Eleusinian marble that measured 9.93 x 6.25 meters. The base was adorned with scenes of the Birth of Aphrodite. The sculpture was signed by Phidias, the son of the Athenian sculptor Charmides.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is a UNESCO world heritage site and is part of the Archaeological Site of Olympia. The Statue of Zeus was a central part of the ancient Olympic Games, which were held every four years. The statue presided over the games until 393 AD when the Roman Emperor Theodosius I declared the games to be pagan and ordered the temple to be destroyed.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is a masterpiece of ancient Greek sculpting. Created by Phidias, the statue took several years to complete. It is one of his two greatest works, alongside the statue of Athena on the Parthenon.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
This wonder stems from the ruler named Mausolus who wanted to build a city beautiful and intricate, so he transformed the city of Halicarnassus into a sight to behold. He died relatively young, though he had planned for this with an elaborate tomb and surrounding architecture.
This tomb looked down over the city and included a stairway flanked by statues. At the time, it looked much more like a temple than a tomb. Tombs like this today, usually large rooms that hold the coffin, are called mausoleums after him.
It was destroyed when Catholic knights took over the city and built Bodrum castle, using the mausoleum’s bricks to fortify it. Following this, the rest of the treasures and even the body of Mausolus and his wife went missing.
You can visit this castle now and likely spot bricks and pieces that are from the old Mausoleum. You can also see the spot where the mausoleum used to sit. Our last Wonder is the only Wonder that there is no physical evidence of, it may not have even existed at all.