If you're a resident or even an annual visitor to Gansbaai, you’ve probably noticed a tortoise or two crossing the road...
For some it might be old news, but for most it might be a surprise to learn that the 7 Wonders of the World have changed. No longer do we cling to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but now move on to next era of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Still ranking at number one on our bucket list you might just need to change your travel arrangements. The New 7 Wonders of the World was an initiative started in 2000 as a Millennium project and there was around 200 existing monuments standing in line to be chosen. The final 7 was decided upon by popular demand – the different monuments were voted onto the list via the internet or telephone.
The list now known as the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World is as follows:
The Colossus of Rhodes, Greece
Taking 12 years to build, the monument was finally completed in 282 B.C. Unfortunately, an earthquake 56 years later snapped the statue off at the knees.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
The Great Pyramid was originally built by pharaoh Khufu as a tomb and was completed in about 2560 B.C. It is the largest of the 3 Pyramids of Giza and was not considered for the New 7 Wonders because Egyptian officials were outraged by the contest.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq
Although the exact location of the gardens is yet to be determined, detailed descriptions of the gardens are given by Greek historians. The gardens were supposedly built as a gift from the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar to his wife who missed her homeland. The terraced gardens were built around 600 B.C.
The Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt
The lighthouse was constructed between 285 and 247 B.C. on the island of Pharos and was estimated at being 117 meters tall. The almost 40-story building high tower served as a warning to ships for more than 1500 years until it was seriously damaged by earthquakes in 1303 and 1323 A.D.
The Mausoleam of Halicarnassus, Turkey
The famous tomb at Halicarnassus was built for the king Mausolus of Caria by his grieving wife, Artemesia ll. Built between 370 and 350 B.C. the tomb remained intact until the early 15th century when Christian soldiers plundered it for building materials for a new castle. It is believed that the word mausoleum originated from king Mausolus’s name.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
The golden statue of the King of the Greek Gods was built around 432 B.C. by the sculptor Phidias in honour of the Olympic Games. The temple was closed in 391 A.D. when the Olympics were banned as a pagan practice after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The statue was eventually destroyed, although it is still debated whether with the temple or in a fire in Constantinople (now Istanbul).
The Temple of Artemis, Turkey
The marble structure dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis has quite a destructive history after being completed around 550 B.C. In 356 B.C. a man named Herostratus burned down the temple to immortalize his name. The Temple was restored, only to be destroyed by the Goths in 262 A.D. and again by the Christians in 401 A.D. The remaining foundations of the Temple were later excavated and some of its pillars re-erected.
The New 7 Wonders of the World are as follow:
- Chichen Itza in Mexico
- Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- The Great Wall of China in China
- Machu Picchu in Peru
- Petra in Jordan
- The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
- The Taj Mahal in Agra, India
Many other lists of concerning Wonders of the World exist, ie the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World and the Seven Wonders of the Solar System. And more are in line to get determined upon on 2014.