Learn all about The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!*Click on the links to go to Wikipedia to find out more information*
Early Greek writers drew up a list of the most important buildings in the world they knew. Of these only the Great Pyramid has survived, but we know about the others from writers accounts and the work of archaeologists.
The Great Pyramid of Giza.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, is the oldest, and the only one of The Seven Wonders to survive. It was made as a tomb for King Khufu, who ruled Egypt from about 2551 to 2528 BC. It is the largest stone structure ever built. Its sides are 230 metres long and it covers an area the size of 20 tennis courts.
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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were legendary gardens of King Nebuchadnezzar II but they may not have existed. Some people believe they were created in about 600 BC in Babylon, 88 kilometres south of present-day Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. ‘Hanging’ suggests that they were a series of terraces made of bricks, some glazed and brightly coloured.
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The Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
The Statue of Zeus was an enormous statue of the Greek god, carved by the sculptor Phidias. It was inside the Temple of Zeus, built about 466-456 BC. The statue was 13 metres high and one of the largest indoor sculptures ever made. Today little remains of the temple and nothing of the statue.
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The Temple of Artemis.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey, was built to honour the Greek goddess of hunting and nature. The temple was completed in 550 BC. It was the largest of all ancient Greek buildings and measured 114 x 55 metres. Archaeologists have found the foundations and some columns of this ancient wonder.
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The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was the tomb of Persian ruler Mausolus, who ruled part of the Persian empire from 377 to 353 BC. Halicarnassus (modern-day Bodrum) in Turkey was his capital. After his death his widow built this magnificent tomb,which measured 105 x 242 metres and was 43 metres high. It was damaged by an earthquake and demolished in 1522. The word mausoleum has come to mean any great tomb.
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The Colossus of Rhodes.
The huge statue of sun god Helios stood in Rhodes harbour, Greece. In 305 – 304 BC warrior King Demetrius Poliorcetes attacked the city of Rhodes. When he abandoned his seige, the people built the giant statue – Colossus of Rhodes – as an offering to the god Helios. It took 12 years to build and stood 33 metres high, but in 226 BC it was destroyed by an earthquake.
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The Pharos of Alexandria.
The Pharos of Alexandriawas a lighthouse off the coast of the city of Alexandria. Work started on it in about 299 BC and it was completed 20 years later. It was 12 metres tall – the tallest lighthouse ever made! It was damaged by earthquakes and in 1375 toppled into the sea. Marine archaeologists have found a few remains.