There are many wonderful things in the world, and everyone has their own favorite place. But the current official seven wonders of the modern world are listed below.
The seven wonders have changed over the centuries as different civilisations view the world differently.
The list below includes those voted for in a worldwide ‘New7Wonders’ poll between the years 2000 and 2007 to find the new seven wonders of the modern world.
There are other such lists, like the seven natural wonders of the world and the seven wonders of the ancient world, but these are the seven wonders as they stand today.
1 The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The impressive white marble mausoleum that is The Taj Mahal was born out of love.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was heartbroken when his third wife, a Persian Princess, died in 1631 whilst giving birth to their fourteenth child Gauhara Begum, and he vowed to construct a magnificent building in her memory.
Building began a year later in 1632 and the main building was finished 16 years later in 1648. Other buildings and the gardens were finally finished in 1653.
Almost everyone who visits India makes visiting the Taj Mahal part of their trip. It looks beautiful from all sides and has an equally impressive interior.
2 Petra, Jordan
Petra is known as the Lost City as well as the “rose-red city half as old as time”, due to its pink-hued rock. Situated in Ma’an Governorate, Jordan, it is a once-magnificent city carved into sandstone rock.
It was built in the second century AD as the capital of the Nabataeans, an ancient Semitic people, and was at the time a much-used religious building. Today it is a major tourist attraction where visitors can buy souvenirs from local Bedouins.
But it never fails to impress, and when travellers stand in the doorway of its famous monastery Ad-Deir they are almost always taken aback by the enormity of the entrance.
The city dates back as early as 312 BCE, but has wowed visitors throughout the centuries. Scenes from the Hollywood movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were shot there.
3 Machu Picchu, Peru
Like Petra, this is another one of the world’s “Lost Cities”, with Machu Picchu only being discovered in 1911.
Situated on a hilltop between the Andean Mountains with the Uramba Valley below, the city of the Incas is a favorite place for charity treks and hikers to visit.
It lies at the end of the Inca Trail, and when walkers approach they are greeted with magnificent views of the ruined temples, fields, terraces and ancient baths that take them back to a time long gone.
At one time more than 12,000 people lived at Machu Picchu, but it later became uninhabited.
It is not known for sure why that is, but it is thought it could have been due to conflict, a disease epidemic which wiped out the population, a lack of food, or perhaps some religious belief.
4 Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China was built to protect the country from invasion and runs from east to west along the northern reaches of the country as it is today. Work began on the first part of the wall between the 7th and 6th centuries BC and it was opened in 206 BC.
It consists of a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, solid earth and wood and the last part of the Great Wall was finally finished between the 14th and 17th centuries.
It is now a must-see, must-walk attraction for visitors to China and you can either walk the route of the entire wall or take shorter walks along various sections.
Only some sections of the wall still stand today after much of it was eroded over the centuries by the weather. However, various parts near Beijing have been rebuilt to restore them to their former glory.
5 Colosseum, Rome, Italy
The ruin of this magnificent Flavian Amphitheater is situated right in the center of Rome and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
When the construction started in 70AD, Vespasian was Emperor of Rome but it took ten years to build and by the time it was finished in 80AD Vesparian had been succeeded by Titus.
In its heyday 50,000 to 80,000 spectators watched exciting events at the Colosseum including fierce competition between gladiators, chariot races, mock sea battles and classical mythological dramas.
The original amphitheater has been partially destroyed by various earthquakes and stone robbers but there is enough left to show what it must have been like.
Each Good Friday the Pope leads the “Way of the Cross” torchlight procession through Rome which starts at the Colosseum.
6 Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redento to give it its Portuguese name, is the magnificent 40-meter high statue of Christ that stands on top of the 700-meter high Corcovado Mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
His arms are outstretched as he welcomes visitors to the city, and and is such an iconic movie it has been featured in many Hollywood movies.
The distance between the fingertips of Christ’s left hand to the fingertips of his right hand is 28 meters and at the base of the statue is a small chapel that can hold up to 150 people.
The concrete and soapstone statue was officially inaugurated on the day of Our Lady of Aparecida, in October 1931, by then President of Brazil Getulio Vargas and Cardinal Dom Sebastian Leme.
7 Kukulkan Pyramid, Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza, meaning “at the mouth of the well of Itza”, was a large pre-Columbian City built by the Maya people in Tinum in the Mexican state of Yucatan.
The square-based stepped Kukulkan Pyramid situated there, known as El Castillo (the Castle), is probably the least known wonder on the seven wonders of the world list.
It stands 75 feet tall and was built for astronomical use. What makes it a wonder is what happens at 3pm on the day of the Vernal Equinox on March 20 and the Autumnal Equinox on September 31, when the sun focuses on the western balustrade of the main stairway.
The sunlight shining on it creates seven isosceles triangles which form the body of a huge serpent 37 feet long.
This serpent’s body then creeps downwards and joins on to a large serpent’s head which is carved in stone at the bottom of the stairway.