Learn more about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World:
1-The Great Pyramid at Giza,
The Great Pyramid of Giza is about 4,500 years old, and is the only ancient wonder still standing. Until the early 1800's, the Great Pyramid at Giza was the tallest building in the world!
The Great pyramid is nearly 800 feet long, 450 feet high, and built with over two million of blocks of stone. The average weight of each stone is about 2,500 pounds - around the same weight as a car!
2-the Hanging Gardens of Babylon,
Legend says ... The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built by King Nebuchadnezzar so that the queen, his wife, would have a lovely, private, terraced garden to enjoy.
The gardens were rumored to be about 400 feet wide, 400 feet long, and over 80 feet high. Some historians believe the gardens were built in a series of platforms that all together were 320 feet high. There were paths and steps and fountains and gorgeous flowers, all build to make a homesick queen feel welcomed and loved.
It was supposedly built around 600 BCE, along the bank of the Euphrates River (south of the modern day city of Baghdad, Iraq.)
No one knows if the gardens actually existed, or if they did, if they existed in Babylon, but the legend is a lovely one.
3- the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus,
The Temple of Artemis was first built around 800 BCE in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, located on the coast of what is now modern day Turkey. The temple was destroyed several times. It was rebuilt several times, always on the same site. It was rebuilt more impressively than the temple that had been destroyed before it.
The first temple was destroyed in war around 550 BCE. After the war, the townspeople rebuilt.
Some years later it was burnt down by a man who wanted his name to be remembered forever. (The townspeople created a law that said anyone who mentioned his name would be put to death, so his plan did not work very well, although he did successfully destroy the temple.) Coincidentally, it was burned down on the same day that Alexander the Great was born.
The temple was under construction (again) when some years later Alexander the Great visited the town. Alexander was so impressed with this famous temple that he offered to give the town enough money to finishing building it if they would put his name on it. The town did not want to do that, but they did thank Alexander very nicely. (You would too if you were facing Alexander's army!) But that is how incredible it was. Alexander had seen many beautiful buildings in his travels, but this temple was so beautiful that it impressed even Alexander the Great.
The temple in Alexander's time was highly decorated and very spacious. It was 425 feet long, 225 feet wide, and 60 feet high. 127 columns supported the roof.
For a while, a constant stream of visitors came to see the temple. To take advantage of this traffic, various townspeople built shops around the temple. Some shops sold little replicas of the temple for tourists to take home. The town of Ephesus boomed for a while. But it didn't last. The temple was destroyed (again) around 200 CE by the Goths.
This time, it was not rebuilt. Construction costs had increased considerably. There was not enough money in the town treasury to rebuild the temple to its former magnificence. The pieces that were not taken for new building projects slowly sunk in the marshy field until the ruin disappeared from sight altogether.
Hundreds of years later, in the 1800's, the British Museum sent a team to search for the fabled Temple of Artemis. By then, no one had any idea where the temple used to stand. Short of digging up the whole town and the surrounding countryside, the first team found themselves rather stuck. Another team, sent out a few years later, got lucky. While digging in a field, they found the remains of 5 temples, one built on top of the other. They believed they had found the Temple of Artemis.
Today, in the ancient town of Ephesus, all that remains of this incredible structure is a single column in the middle of a marshy field, left to mark the spot where the famous Temple of Artemis once stood.
4-the Statue of Zeus at Olympia,
The Temple of Zeus was completed in 456 BCE. It was built in Olympia to honor the Greek Olympic Game. Like the Parthenon and the Temple of Artemis, Doric columns were used to support the structure.
Little is left of this magnificent statue today. But the stadium has been rebuilt. And the spirit of the ancient Greek Olympic Games lives on.
5-the Pharos Lighthouse near Alexandria,
The Lighthouse was built on the Island of Pharos in the harbor of Alexandria, Egypt. It was build around 290 BCE. It was a working lighthouse that helped ships find their way safely into harbor. It was also a tourist attraction.
Visitors could buy food at the observation platform on the first level. Anyone who wished to do could climb nearly to the top. There were not many places in the ancient world that visitors could climb a man-made structure, 300 feet up, to view the sea.
The Lighthouse stood for over 1500 years. Scientists believe an earthquake topped the Lighthouse during the 1300's. Divers today search for remains at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.
6-the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and
King Mausolus was a ruler of a small kingdom in Asia Minor. He was married to Artemisia, who loved him dearly. When the king died, his wife decided to build her husband the most magnificent tomb in the world. And she did.
The tomb was called the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. It was so splendid that the Greeks selected the tomb to be one of the seven wonder of the world.
7- the Colossus of Rhodes.
Alexander the Great conquered many places, including the Mediterranean Island of Rhodes, which was part of ancient Greece.
Alexander died quite young from an insect bite around 300 BCE. His three generals split up his empire. All wanted the island of Rhodes. Rhodes was situated perfectly to be a crossroads of trade.
The people of Rhodes supported General Ptolemy. Unfortunately, although the general was successful in taking over Egypt, most of Greece was conquered by another general. This general was angry that the people in Rhodes had not supported him. He sent his son to level the city. His son was not successful. General Ptolemy sent an army from Egypt to lend the townspeople a hand. Together, they drove the enemy army away.
With joy, the townspeople used the armor and war machinery left behind. They melted down the bronze, and used it to build a giant statue of their patron god, Helios, to thank Helios for helping them save their city.
The statue was 110 feet high and stood on a 50 foot base. Each morning, the sun glittered off the bronze plates that covered the statue. It must have been quite a sight! It only took about 15 years to build this incredible statue, and the materials mostly were free!
Only 56 years after the statue was built, it was toppled by an earthquake. Most of the pieces fell into the harbor. The statue's thumb was accessible. Many people traveled to see the statue's thumb and to try and put their arms around it. The thumb was bigger than than their arms could stretch.
The king of Egypt offered the people of Rhodes money to rebuild the statue. But the townspeople said no. They were afraid their god Helios had tossed the statue down in a fit of anger. They decided to leave the statue exactly as their god had placed it.
Many years later, around 600 CE, Arab traders finally removed the remains of the Colossus to use as scrap metal. Legend says ... it took 900 camels to ferry the pieces home.
This ancient wonder inspired other artists throughout time. A French sculptor based one of his most famous work of arts on the Colossus of Rhodes. That work of art is still in existence today. It's in New York City. It is called The Statue of liberty.
(Son Düzenleme: 07-05-2009, 2:38, Düzenleyen: eğitimsokağı.) .