Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Wonders and Ancient Wonders of The World..

1) Christ the Redeemer:

The 105-foot-tall (38-meter-tall) 'Christ the Redeemer' statue 
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was among the "new seven wonders
of the world" announced on July 7, 2007 following a global poll
to decide a new list of human-made marvels.

The winners were voted for by Internet and phone, 
American Idol style. 

The other six new wonders are the Colosseum in Rome, 
India's Taj Mahal,the Great Wall of China, Jordan's 
ancient city of Petra, the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, 
and the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza in Mexico.
Content courtesy: National Geographic

2) Great Wall of China:

This newly elected world wonder was built along China's 
northern border over many centuries to keep out 
invading Mongol tribes.

Constructed between the fifth century B.C. and 
the 16th century,the Great Wall is the world's longest 
human-made structure, stretching some 4,000 miles 
(6,400 kilometers). The best known section was built 
around 200 B.C. by  the first emperor of China, 
Qin Shi Huang Di.

3) The Colosseum, Rome, Italy :

The only finalist from Europe to make it into the top seven 
the Colosseum in Rome, Italy-once held up to 50,000 spectators 
who came to watch gory games involving gladiators, 
wild animals, and prisoners.

Construction began around A.D. 70 under Emperor Vespasian. 
Modern sports stadiums still resemble the Colosseum's 
famous design.

4) Petra, Jordan:

Perched on the edge of the Arabian Desert, Petra was 
the capital of the Nabataean kingdom of King Aretas IV 
(9 B.C. to A.D. 40).

Petra is famous for its many stone structures such as 
a 138-foot-tall (42-meter-tall) temple carved with classical 
facades into rose-colored rock. The ancient city also 
included tunnels,water chambers, and an amphitheater, 
which held 4,000 people. The desert site wasn't known to 
the West until Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt 
came across it in 1812.

5) Machu Picchu, Peru:

One of three successful candidates from 
Latin America, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century mountain 
settlement in the Amazon region of Peru.

The ruined city is among the best known remnants of the 
Inca civilization,which flourished in the Andes region of 
western South America. The city is thought to have been 
abandoned following an outbreak of deadly smallpox, 
a disease introduced in the 1500s by invading 
Spanish forces.

6)Chichen Itza, Mexico:

Chichen Itza is possibly the most famous temple city of the Mayas,
a pre-Columbian civilization that lived in present day Central America. 
It was the political and religious center of
Maya civilization during the period from A.D. 750 to 1200.

At the city's heart lies the Temple of Kukulkan
(pictured)-which rises to a height of 79 feet (24 meters).
Each of its four sides has 91 steps-one step
for each day of the year, with the 365th day 
represented by the platform on the top.

7) Taj Mahal, India:

The Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, is the spectacular 
mausoleum built by Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan 
to honor the memory of his beloved
late wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Construction began in 1632 and took about 15 years 
to complete. The opulent, domed mausoleum, which stands 
in formal walled gardens, is generally regarded as 
finest example of Mughal art and architecture.
It includes four minarets, each more than 13 stories tall.

Shah Jahan was deposed and put under house arrest by 
one of his sons soon after the Taj Mahal's completion. 
It's said that he spent the rest of his days gazing 
at the Taj Mahal from a window.

8) The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt:

The Egyptian pharaoh Khufu built the Great Pyramid in 
about 2560 B.C. to serve as his tomb. The pyramid is 
the oldest structure on the original list of the seven wonders 
of the ancient world, which was compiled by Greek scholars 
about 2,200 years ago. It is also the only remaining 
survivor from the original list.

The Great Pyramid is the largest of three Pyramids at Giza, 
bordering modern-day Cairo. Although weathering has 
caused the structure to stand a few feet shorter today, 
the pyramid was about 480 feet (145 meters) high when it 
was first built. It is thought to have been the planet's tallest 
human-made structure for more than four millennia.

9) The Colossus of Rhodes, Greece :

In contrast to the pyramids, the colossus was the shortest lived
of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Completed in 282 B.C. 
after taking 12 years to build, the Colossus of Rhodes was felled by
an earthquake that snapped the statue off at the knees a mere 
56 years later.

The towering figure-made of stone and iron with an outer skin
of bronze represented the Greek sun god Helios, the island's 
patron god. It looked out from Mandraki Harbor on the 
Mediterranean island of Rodos (Rhodes), although 
it is no longer believed to have straddled
the harbor entrance as often shown in illustrations.

The Colossus stood about 110 feet (33 meters) tall, 
making it the tallest known statue of the ancient world. 
It was erected to celebrate the unification of the island's 
three city-states, which successfully 
resisted a long siege by the Antigonids of Macedonia.

10) The Lighthouse of Alexandra, Egypt:

The lighthouse was the only ancient wonder that had a 
practical use, serving as a beacon for ships in the dangerous waters 
off the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, now called El Iskandariya.

Constructed on the small island of Pharos between 285 and 247 B.C.,
the building was the world's tallest for many centuries. Its estimated 
height was 384 feet (117 meters) -equivalent to a 
modern 40-story building- though some people believe 
it was significantly taller.

The lighthouse was operated using fire at night and polished 
bronze mirrors that reflected the sun during the day. 
It's said the light could be seen for more than 35 miles 
(50 kilometers) out to sea.

The huge structure towered over the Mediterranean 
coast for more than 1,500 years before being seriously 
damaged by earthquakes in A.D. 1303 and 1323.

11) The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece:

The massive gold statue of the king of the Greek gods 
was built in honor of the original Olympic games, which 
began in the ancient city of Olympia.

The statue, completed by the classical sculptor Phidias 
around 432 B.C., sat on a jewel-encrusted wooden throne 
inside a temple overlooking the city. The 40-foot-tall 
(12-meter-tall) figure held a scepter in one hand and a small statue 
of the goddess of victory, Nike, in the other both made from 
ivory and precious metals.

The temple was closed when the Olympics were banned 
as a pagan practice in A.D. 391, after Christianity became 
the official religion of the Roman Empire.

The statue was eventually destroyed, although historians 
debate whether it perished with the temple or was moved to 
Constantinople (now Istanbul) in Turkey and burned in a fire.

12) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq :

The hanging gardens are said to have stood on the banks of the
Euphrates River in modern-day Iraq, although there's some doubt as
to whether they ever really existed.

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II supposedly created the 
terraced gardens around 600 B.C. at his royal palace in the 
Mesopotamian desert. It is said the gardens were made to please 
the king's wife, who missed the lush greenery of her homeland in
the Medes, in what is now northern Iran.

Archaeologists have yet to agree on the likely site of the 
hanging gardens,but findings in the region that could be 
its remains include the foundations of a palace and a nearby 
vaulted building with an irrigation well.

The most detailed descriptions of the gardens come 
from Greek historians. There is no mention of them in 
ancient Babylonian records.

13) The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Turkey :

The famous tomb at Halicarnassus-now the city of Bodrum-was built
between 370 and 350 B.C. for King Mausolus of Caria, a region
in the southwest of modern Turkey. Legend says that the king's grieving
wife Artemisia II had the tomb constructed as a memorial to their love.

Mausolus was a satrap, or governor, in the Persian Empire, and his 
fabled tomb is the source of the word "mausoleum." The structure 
measured 120 feet (40 meters) long and 140 feet (45 meters) tall.

The tomb was most admired for its architectural beauty and splendor.
The central burial chamber was decorated in gold, while the exterior
was adorned with ornate stone friezes and sculptures created by 
four Greek artists.

The mausoleum stood intact until the early 15th century, 
when Christian Crusaders dismantled it for building material 
for a new castle. Some of the sculptures and frieze sections survived
and can be seen today at the British Museum in London, England.

14) The Temple of Artemis, Turkey :

The great marble temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis was
completed around 550 B.C. at Ephesus, near the modern-day town 
of Seluk in Turkey.

In addition to its 120 columns, each standing 60 feet (20 meters) high,
the temple was said to have held many exquisite artworks, including
bronze statues of the Amazons, a mythical race of female warriors.

A man named Herostratus reportedly burned down the temple 
in 356 B.C. in an attempt to immortalize his name. After 
being restored, the temple was destroyed by the Goths 
in A.D. 262 and again by the Christians in A.D. 401 on the orders 
of Saint John Chrysostom,then archbishop of Constantinople (Istanbul).

Courtesy : Yahoo India

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