Collage of the 7 Wonders of the World

The 7 Wonders of the World

Periodically, sparks of genius alight in humanity, and a monument to attaining the impossible is born. The New7Wonders Foundation has assembled a list of these incredible feats, which emulate the original "Ancient 7 Wonders of the World" to highlight still-standing structures. Even at face value, each of these works-of-art embodies the raw passion and drive it took to create these engineering legends. Their stories and physical remnants have survived thousands of years, and these tales are now ready to be told again: to you.

The New Seven wonders of the world:

Seven Wonders of The World
The New Seven Wonders of The World

The Great Pyramid of Giza has also been added to the list. However, it is an honorary candidate and not one of the seven wonders.

Map Showing New 7 Wonders Of The World

New7Wonders of the world map
Map showing the locations of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

The Colosseum - Italy, Built in 72 CE

Colosseum in Rome, Italy, in summer.
The ancient Roman Colosseum is one of the main tourist attractions in Europe.

The Colosseum of Rome is a historic Roman arena with a brutal gladiatorial history, built in the 1st century by order of Emperor Vespasian. With remarkable Roman engineering, it measures 620 by 513 feet and can hold 50,000 spectators. The arena is 187 feet tall and once offered an incredible tent mechanism that shaded the crowd from the blazing Mediterranean sun! Furthermore, its underground vaults (hidden chambers with modular abilities) could support various events, from gladiator fights to mock naval engagements. Legends and superstitions abound, with some believing that Rome martyred Christians here and exposed thousands of exotic species like tigers, hippopotami, and rhinoceros to the violence. Politically, the Colosseum was an indispensable tool in distracting the public from the empire's troubles. It stands in ruins today, yet, it still amazes over 6 million visitors annually and continues to be counted as one of the world's seven wonders.

The Great Wall of China - China, Built in 220 BCE

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall of China, one of the world's most extensive construction projects, is a historic engineering endeavor that stretches across thousands of miles. Its construction began in the 7th century BCE as a series of smaller protective barriers against nomadic invasions. Then, China's First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, unified these separate structures into a single colossal fortification around 220 BCE; construction continued until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). The wall's length is debatable, depending on if fortresses and ditches count. While the iconic Ming Great Wall is approximately 5,500 miles long, a Chinese study puts the total barrier length at 13,170 miles. This epic stone fortification features parallel walls in many sections, interspersed with watchtowers and barracks; many also consider it 'the world's longest cemetery' because roughly 400,000 laborers died, and overseers buried them within it. Despite its intimidating presence and success at repelling small forces, Ghengis Khan and his armies managed to overrun it in 1214 CE. However, regardless of occasional failures, pilgrims today are lucky to have the chance to witness the Great Wall, which deserves its rank among the top seven wonders. 

The Taj Mahal - India, Built in 1632 CE

Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India on a sunny day
Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

The Taj Mahal, an exquisite Mughal edifice in Agra, India, is globally recognized as the pinnacle of Mughal architecture. Emperor Shah Jahān commissioned this breathtaking marble monument to honor his wife, Mumtāz Maḥal, who tragically passed away in 1631 during childbirth. This testament to love and loss took approximately 22 years and the dedication of about 20,000 laborers to complete by 1653. The heart of the complex is a majestic white marble mausoleum adorned with semiprecious stones arranged in meticulously detailed inlay work and complemented by four smaller domes. Encircling the tomb are expansive gardens, a mosque, a guest house, and a reflective pool spanning 42 acres. Concerning the immense cost and effort, the resulting marvel is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a cherished part of India's rich Mughal history.

Christ the Redeemer - Brazil, Built in 1926 CE

Aerial view of Christ Redeemer and Corcovado Mountain
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image credit Iurii Dzivinskyi via Shutterstock

Christ the Redeemer, a monumental beacon of Christianity and artistic prowess, stands sentinel atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. Erected in the aftermath of World War I amidst a societal fear of rising secularism, this enormous symbol of spiritual resilience is more than just stone and mortar—it is a symbol of hope and resilience. Conceived by Heitor da Silva Costa and Carlos Oswald and brought to life by Paul Landowski, construction spanned from 1926 to 1931, culminating in a 98-foot high statue, its arms stretching out in a 92-foot wide embrace. And who could forget the base, adding another 26 feet to its majesty? Crafted from reinforced concrete and adorned with over six million tiles, it holds the title of the world's largest Art Deco sculpture. Struck by lightning yet unfaltering, it has withstood the loss of Jesus's right thumb tip in a 2014 storm. Visible from all corners of Rio, it offers a breathtaking view, especially from a doors-off helicopter ride, making the city a top destination among pilgrims and tourists. A symbol of faith, art, and hope, it is no surprise that it is one of our seven wonders.

Machu Picchu - Peru, Built in 1450 CE

Overview of the lost inca city Machu Picchu, agriculture terraces and Wayna Picchu, peak in the background, before sunrise
The lost Incan city, Machu Picchu.

The majestic Machu Picchu, a historic mountaintop city, is high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, near Cuzco. American chronicler Hiram Bingham, who encountered it in 1911, thought this architectural marvel from the 15th century was Vilcabamba, a secret Incan stronghold during the Spanish rebellion. However, its true purpose mystified scholars, with theories ranging from a home for the chaste 'Virgins of the Sun' to a pilgrimage site or even a royal retreat. Despite its lofty and isolated location, visitors can relive ancient life through well-preserved Incan structures with agricultural terraces, plazas, residential areas, and intricately crafted temples. These structures, built around 1450 as a royal estate for Inca emperor Pachacuti, stun visitors with polished dry-stone walls and dramatic plunging views into the valley below. 

Chichén Itzá - Mexico, Built in 600 CE

Chichen Itza snake and Kukulkan Mayan temple pyramid Mexico
Chichen Itza snake and Kukulkan Mayan temple pyramid Mexico.

In the heart of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Chichén Itzá is a preserved symbol of Mayan-Toltec heritage, primarily flourishing from the 9th to the 10th centuries. Built under the Itzá tribe, a culture that the Toltecs heavily shaped, this ancient city is a complex arrangement of remarkable structures and temples. The towering El Castillo is at its core, and the original worshippers also revered it as the Temple of their feathered-serpent deity 'Kukulcan.' This monumental step pyramid ascends 79 feet above the central plaza, incorporating 365 steps that symbolize each day of the solar year. With a remarkable fusion of architecture and astronomy, it showcases a spectacle during the equinoxes, when the waning sun projects a series of shadows, creating an illusion of a serpent slithering down its northern stairway towards a stone snake head at its base. This city was not just an astronomical marvel; it also housed the largest tlachtli, a sports field where ritualistic games thrived in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Petra - Jordan, Built in 312 BCE

Stunning view from a cave of the Ad Deir, Monastery in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan
Stunning view from a cave of the Ad Deir, Monastery in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan.

Nestled amidst the sandstone mountains and cliffs of an isolated desert canyon in Jordan, the ancient city of Petra is proof of the Nabataeans' mastery of masonry. Often referred to as the 'rose city' due to its flushed hue, Petra's inhabitation dates back to potentially 7,000 BCE, and the engineering began in the 3rd century BCE. This city was the capital of the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe known for their exceptional carving skills and sophisticated water systems. They transformed this harsh terrain into a flourishing trade center, especially for spices, and a city that once housed a population of 20,000. Over time, shifting trade routes and devastating earthquakes led to the city's decline and eventual abandonment. Rediscovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, the city remained largely unexplored until the late 20th century. One encounters the awe-inspiring Treasury building after walking through a 3/4 mile-long gorge of towering but narrow rock walls. The walls display a gutter-like carving towards the base, which acted as an ingenious series of aqueducts to keep this incredibly dry city supplied with water. Today, Petra has emerged as Jordan's premier tourist attraction, yet many of its secrets remain untold.

"Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough, and I will move the world." Archimedes captures the heart of these wonders with this remark; his attitude perfectly reflects humanity's obsession with erecting spectacles that seem to defy all known laws of physics. Monuments of the current age could include the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the International Space Station, and the Large Hadron Collider. Yet, we stand on the shoulders of giants, and it is our responsibility to preserve these 7 Wonders to inspire future generations for further millennia. 

Great Pyramid of Giza - Egypt (Honorary Candidate), Built in 2560 BCE

Great Pyramid Of Giza
Great Pyramid Of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza, standing tall for nearly four millennia, is an architectural marvel of the ancient world and the sole survivor of the original Seven Wonders. Commissioned around 2560 BCE by the fourth-century Pharaoh Khufu, the monument's original grandeur reached 481 feet in height and spanned an average of 754 feet on each side. This project necessitated over 2.3 million carefully crafted stone blocks, placed over a period of thirty years. Despite the ravages of time and natural calamities that reduced its height to approximately 450 feet, its dimensions and alignment still reflect a nearly perfect adherence to cardinal points and mathematical precision, hinting at an advanced understanding of pi. Originally adorned with an exquisite casing of white limestone, the pyramid would have appeared differently in its prime, the polished stones gleaming so brightly that some poets claim it would be visible from the moon. The pyramid's remarkable construction methodology is still up for debate today, but the most likely method is that ancient engineers used an embankment of ramps to cart blocks to their destinations. Ultimately, the Great Pyramid was as worthy a candidate 2,000 years ago as it is today, which is an incredible accomplishment.

Seven Wonders Of The World Location And Year Built

Wonder Location Year
Great Wall of China China 700 BCE (Several walls were built from as early as the 7th century BCE. Later on, many successive dynasties built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls)
Petra Ma'an, Jordan Approximately 312 BCE (Possibly as early as the 5th century BCE.) 
Colosseum Rome, Italy CE 80 (Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 72 and was completed in 80 CE under his successor and heir, Titus.)
Chichén Itzá Yucatán, Mexico CE 600 (Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic)
Machu Picchu Cuzco Region, Peru CE 1450 (Most recent archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472))
Taj Mahal Agra, India CE 1643 (It was commissioned in 1631 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal; it also houses his own tomb)
Christ the Redeemer Rio de Janeiro, Brazil CE 1931 (Constructed between 1926 and 1931)
Giza Pyramids (honorary status) Giza Necropolis, Egypt 2560 BCE (The Great Pyramid has been determined to be about 4600 years old through its attribution to Khufu and  radiocarbon dating of organic material)

Other Collections Of Wonders 

1) The Seven Natural Wonders of the World is an unofficial list of the most spectacular places in nature from around the globe.

2) The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World include picks from ancient times, such as the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus of Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

3) The 10 Wonders of the Medieval World include the most impressive wonders of the Middle Ages. Examples of these wonders include Stonehenge, the Hagia Sophia, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.


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