The 7 wonders of the ancient world

The 7 wonders of the ancient world are, by historical tradition, the most relevant constructions in the history of humanity until the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Specifically: the great pyramid of Giza, the temple of Artemis, the lighthouse of Alexandria, the statue of Zeus, the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the hanging gardens of Babylon.

Its mythification was forged over the centuries through different thinkers and was reflected in several lists, which ended up being reduced to 7 at the end of the Middle Ages. A number that had spiritual significance in Ancient Greece.

Its magnificence is, in many cases, shrouded in legend. Even the existence of one of them moves between myth and reality, as it is not sufficiently documented.

Although they have come down to us as “wonders”, by translation from ancient Greek, it is not clear that that word meant something extraordinary in all cases. In fact, it is possible that it was used to simply define something worth seeing.

Of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, only one remains standing, the Great Pyramid of Giza, in Egypt. In other cases, you can visit the archaeological remains or the place where they were located.

The great Pyramid of Giza

It is a funerary stone construction, in the shape of a pyramid, which was built as the tomb of Pharaoh Cheops, from Ancient Egypt and which is 146 meters high.

This made it the tallest building in the world for nearly 4,000 years, until it was surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in England in the 14th century.

Of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the best known, the oldest, and also the only one still standing. All of this has also made it a first-class tourist attraction.


It is estimated that its construction could last around 15 years and that it was completed around 2,500 BC approximately.

Composed of limestone blocks, it houses three chambers inside. Also, there has been much discussion about the technique used to lift it.


The great pyramid of Giza is located in Egypt, southwest of the capital, Cairo, next to the pyramids of Kefren and Menkaure.

The Artemis’ temple

It was a temple erected in honor of the Greek goddess of fertility, Artemis. Its Location in the sanctuary of Ephesus, a traditional place of worship in the ancient world, and its imposing presence, according to the accounts of the time, made it a legend.

Of the 7 wonders, it was the one that took the longest to build and also the one that was destroyed and rebuilt on the most occasions. First the war, in 550 BC and then the fire, in 356 BC, completely destroyed it. Therefore, it was its third construction that most successfully overcame the passage of time, until in 262 it was razed by the Goths. Even so, it was rebuilt one last time, until it was finally destroyed in 401.


It is estimated that its construction lasted around 120 years, beginning in the times of Pliny the Elder, as narrated in the Bible.

Built of white marble, with 127 columns and statues, it spanned more than 130 square meters.


It was built in the sacred space of Ephesus, on the shores of the Mediterranean, in present-day Turkey, where its remains can be visited today. Although the British Museum also houses some parts of it.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria

It was an imposing lighthouse 140 meters high, erected in the port of Alexandria, whose objective was to guide the ships that reach its shores and prevent them from running aground among the rocks. Its design served as inspiration for centuries for the construction of other lighthouses throughout the Mediterranean.

A flame burned at the top of the tower, allowing its vision from a distance of 30 meters.

It suffered different damages due to successive earthquakes, common in the region, until it was finally abandoned in the 15th century.

For centuries it was, together with the great Library, the symbol of the city of Alexandria, whose history today attracts millions of tourists to the Egyptian coast.


Raising it took more than a decade and its design was in charge of Sostrato de Cnido, who divided it into three parts. In it he included statues of the Greek gods Triton, Poseidon and Zeus, as well as an inscription to the latter looking at the sea.

There are hardly any remains, although some pieces were found at the end of the 20th century on the coast of the city.


The Lighthouse of Alexandria was located in the city of the same name, northeast of Egypt. And in its place today we can find a fortress, the base of which is said to be built with the same stones that supported the famous lighthouse.

At the statue of Zeus

It was an imposing 12 meter high statue, representing the Greek god Zeus, sculpted by Phidias between 438 and 430 BC, a famous artist of Classical Greece. And located in the sanctuary of Olympia.

The statue represented Zeus seated on a throne and holding a scepter and was located inside a temple, under a roof.

The pilgrimage to contemplate it was common in Ancient Greece, where the cult of Zeus, among other gods, was widespread.

It remained in good condition until the Roman emperor Caligula requested its transfer to Rome, in order to change its bust and replace it with one of his own. It is believed that she may have been accidentally lost or destroyed along the way, or perhaps engulfed in flames.


Built in ivory, cedar wood and ebony, it stood out for the contrast between black and white, but also for its inlays of gold, glass, as well as other gems and precious stones.


Its initial Location was the temple of Zeus, in Olympia, present-day Greece, where thousands of visiting hairs came.

Halicarnasso mausoleum

It was a monumental structure, built in white marble and located on a hill, in ancient Halicarnassus, which served as a tomb for Mausolo, ruled by the Persian Empire.

With 46 meters high and an extension of 134 square meters, its construction gave its name to the word mausoleum, in the sense of a “magnificent and sumptuous” tomb, according to the RAE. It lasted centuries standing, from 350 to 1404, when it collapsed due to an earthquake.

In addition, the story of Mausolo and his wife, Artemisia, is marked by luxury, ostentation, and also myth. It is said that she dissolved his ashes in water and drank them while she ordered the construction of the famous mausoleum.


Built on different levels, the first was surrounded by steps, the second was lined with columns, and on the third stood a pyramid, the top of which crowned a sculpture, in which a winged chariot, driven by four horses, could be distinguished.

The design was carried out by the Greeks Pytheus and Satyr of Paros, two of the most renowned architects of their time.


The Halicarnasso mausoleum was built in the ancient Persian city of the same name, present-day Bodrum, in Turkey. Nothing of the magnificent tomb remains standing, however, so to see some remains you have to visit the British Museum.

The colossus of rhodes

It was a 32-meter-high statue, in honor of the god Helios, erected at the entrance to the port of Rhodes, with the aim of commemorating the victory of its citizens, who resisted a year of siege.

The colossal construction was supported on the two legs of the statue, open and each located at a different end of the entrance to the port. This meant that the ships that entered the city had to pass under them.

However, the structure lasted just 60 years standing, from 286 BC to 226 BC, when it collapsed after an earth movement and fell to pieces. Of course, the large pieces of the statue remained for more than 8 centuries in the same place where they had fallen.

All this contributed to the legend of the legendary statue, which attracted and still attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.


Its construction was carried out with the molten bronze of the weapons with which the inhabitants of the city fought and also with which the defeated left. It was built, therefore, of bronze, iron and other metals.


The enormous figure of Helios stood at the entrance to the port of the Greek island of Rhodes, located in the Aegean Sea, just off the coast of present-day Turkey.

Today, in the place where the legs of the statue were located, there are two columns, on which two deer are placed, respectively.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Architectural work, which housed gardens at different levels, located on terraces and which was probably built in the ancient city of Babylon. Although there are no first-hand documents that attest that they really existed.

The gardens, which move between myth and reality, are the only one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, of whose actual construction there is no security.

Legend also tells that the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II, had them built around 600 BC, in order to please his wife, whose homeland was greener than the city, located in a desert.

In this sense, the ability of the engineers of the moment to build exuberant gardens and keep them alive in a land dominated by drought has also been highly debated.


By not being able to ensure that they really existed, their construction has grown in the shadow of legend. It is said that they occupied an area of ​​120 square meters and had a height of about 24 meters.

Of course, if it were a reality, it would have been a true architectural milestone.


The Hanging Gardens were located at the entrance to the ancient city of Babylon, which was located in present-day Iraq. Specifically, about 100 kilometers southwest of the capital, Baghdad.

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