Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World, where to find them and what makes them so special.
In association with Exodus Travel
People throughout history have tried to compile lists of the most spectacular sights in the world. Unfortunately, only one of the original Seven Wonders of the World still exists, but now there’s a modern list for contemporary travellers to seek out.
So let’s take a look at both the original Seven and the New Seven Wonders of the World:
What were the original Seven Wonders of the World?
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was the first known list of the most amazing sights in the classical world. All of the sites were located in Mesopotamia and around the Mediterranean Sea.
The original list was compiled around 300 BC from guidebooks which were popular with Greek sightseers at the time. Seven sites were selected because the Ancient Greeks believed that the number seven represented perfection.
The classical Seven Wonders of the World were
- Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt
- Colossus of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes
- Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Babylon (modern day Iraq)
- Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in the Achaemenid Empire (modern day Turkey)
- Statue of Zeus at Olympia in Greece.
- Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (modern day Turkey).
Of these seven wonders, only the Great Pyramid of Giza is still standing.
Only the Pyramids of Giza still remain intact today, but you may like to read about the others.
The New 7 Wonders of the World
A campaign at the turn of the millennium set out to choose the New 7 Wonders of the World. A list of 200 monuments was put to an online vote and the list whittled down to a final seven sites.
The Great Pyramid of Giza featured on the list of 200 but didn’t make the final seven winners. However it was later added as an honorary member of the list.
The new Seven Wonders are just as fascinating and beautiful as the ones on the original list. They’re all ideal destinations to add to your bucket list now that travel is starting to return to normal.
The Great Wall of China
Over 12,000 miles in length, the Great Wall is generally considered one of the most impressive architectural feats in history. Construction is believed to have begun in the 7th Century BC, and the wall provided China with protection against nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe.
Nowadays much of the wall is crumbling and overgrown. However some sections north of Beijing and near popular tourist centres have been preserved and renovated, meaning that it’s still possible to walk along some sections of it.
Chichen Itza, Mexico
The well preserved Maya temples fascinate travellers as well as historians and archaeologists. One of the most impressive Maya settlements is at Chichen Itza, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.
Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and nowadays is one of Mexico’s most visited archeological sites. Over 2.6 million tourists visited the site in 2017, drawn by the ornate buildings including the famous step pyramid.
Those looking for an adventure holiday will not be disappointed with a trip to Petra. The city’s buildings, carved out of rose coloured rock, date back as far as the 2nd century BC. But there are signs of settlements dating back to 7000 BC.
The Treasury is probably the most famous building at Petra, and featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Watching the sun rise over Petra’s buildings would be an amazing experience for anyone.
The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum is one of the most popular attractions in Rome, drawing millions of visitors every year. Work finished on the Colosseum in AD 80, making it the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built. It remains the world’s largest amphitheatre still standing today.
The Romans held Gladiator fights and other events at the Colluseum, in front of up to 80,000 spectators. In medieval times, it was used for various other reasons such as housing and a quarry. And although earthquakes and looters have damaged the stone walls over time, it remains an iconic symbol of the Roman empire.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is a citadel in Peru’s Andes Mountains, which was a sacred ceremonial site for the Inca. It’s considerably newer than many of the other New Wonders and dates back to the 15th Century. and considered to be an Incan sacred ceremonial site in the Andes Mountains.
Reconstruction of the outlying buildings gives an idea of how they may originally have appeared, and restoration work is ongoing. The hike to Machu Picchu is an important part of the experience and leads through beautiful mountains and landscapes.
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
The statue of Christ the Redeemer looks out over the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It is the youngest monument on the list, completed in 1931. Cristo Redentor stands 30 metres high (excluding the 8m pedestal) and his outstretched arms measure 28 metres from fingertip to fingertip.
The statue symbolises protection over the city and is both a symbol of faith and a cultural icon for Brazilians. You may well have seen this statue in many films, TV shows and music videos.
Taj Mahal, India
Completed in AD 1653, the white marble mausoleum of the Taj Mahal is one of India’s most popular sites. The emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the tomb for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. And after his death, Shah Hahan was also buried in the Taj alongside his wife.
The romantic story behind this beautiful building draws millions of visitors each year. Many of them choose to visit during the cooler months of October, November and February.
Have you visited any of the New 7 Wonders of the World? Which one would you most like to visit?