For All the Wanderlust Wonderers Out There
The New Seven Wonders of the World represents a collection of extraordinary and awe-inspiring architectural marvels that have captivated the world with their beauty, historical significance, and cultural importance. These wonders, chosen through a global poll, symbolise the remarkable achievements of human ingenuity and artistic expression. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the New Seven Wonders of the World and marvel at these iconic sites that continue to inspire wonder and admiration.
Before we venture further, have you ever wondered how the 7 Wonders of the World were chosen?
Your vote matters
The New 7 Wonders Foundation conducted a global survey to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. The initiative was started in 2000 by the foundation under the direction of Swiss explorer and director Bernard Weber with the aim of finding and honouring the most outstanding and iconic buildings of our time. Millions of voters from all over the world participated in the selection process to come up with the final list.
An expert team selected the 21 contenders (based on multiple criteria) for the worldwide vote’s shortlist before the voting began. The public was informed of the 21 contenders that had been shortlisted, and over the course of several years, a global voting procedure allowed participants from all over the world to participate and vote for the structures they preferred.
Now that we know the science behind the chosen wonders, let’s delve into the list (in no particular order)!
#1 CHICHEN ITZA, MEXICO
In the 9th and 10th centuries CE, Chichén Itzá, a magnificent Mayan archaeological site, flourished in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. As a reflection of the city’s cultural and historical importance, the complex features a blend of Mayan and Toltec architectural styles. El Castillo, popularly known as the beautiful Pyramid of Kukulcan, is located in the centre of Chichén Itzá. With its precise alignment to celestial occurrences, this landmark stands as a tribute to the superior understanding and astronomical accomplishments of the Mayan civilisation.
Chichén Itzá has a number of other spectacular structures in addition to the Pyramid. The Temple of the Warriors is notable for its rows of stone columns and fine carvings. The Great Ballcourt, one of esoamerica’s biggest ballcourts, gives information on the first ball games played by the Mayans.
The Temple of the Thousand Columns, a sizable building covered in elaborate reliefs and said to have served as a ceremonial and administrative centre, is one of the site’s most remarkable aspects. Ancient observatory El Caracol offers proof of the Mayans’ astronomical observations and their close relationship to the universe.
Visiting Chichén Itzá allows travelers to explore the remnants of this once-flourishing civilization, providing a window into the rich history, mythology, and architectural achievements of the Mayan people. The site’s grandeur and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and those seeking to immerse themselves in the wonders of the ancient world.
#2 TAJ MAHAL, INDIA
The Taj Mahal is a magnificent marble mausoleum in Agra, India, that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of eternal love. It is an internationally recognised icon of beauty and architectural quality thanks to its elaborate carvings, symmetrical layout, and beautiful gardens. On their honeymoon, newlywed couples frequently travel to the Taj Mahal.
Miniature sculptures of the Taj Mahal (which are given to lovers as tokens of affection because it is seen as a symbol of love) are frequently offered at nearby tourist attractions. Emperor Shah Jahan, who ruled from 1628 to 1658, erected the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz Maal (“Chosen One of the Palace”), who passed away in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child.
Taj Mahal’s construction took roughly 22 years and 20,000 workers to finish. The mausoleums are crafted from priceless marble and decorated with exquisite geometric and floral designs. According to the Britannica Encyclopaedia, there are certain reports that suggest Shah Jahan aspired to build his own mausoleum out of black marble. Before any work started though, he was overthrown by one of his sons.
Today, the Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors each year from all over the world, leaving enduring memories for many.
#3 PETRA, JORDAN
Petra, located in southern Jordan, is an extraordinary ancient city that showcases the architectural and cultural brilliance of the Nabatean civilization. Carved into the rose-colored sandstone cliffs, Petra is often referred to as the “Rose City” and is one of the most renowned archaeological sites in the world. The entrance to Petra is through the narrow and dramatic passage known as the Siq, a natural geological formation that leads visitors into the heart of the city. As you emerge from the Siq, you are greeted by the iconic Treasury (Al-Khazneh), an intricately carved facade that stands as Petra’s most recognizable landmark.
A world of archaeological wonders opens up beyond the Treasury. The city is home to spectacular tombs, temples, theatres, and rock-cut constructions that display the Nabateans’ highly developed architectural methods. The Great Temple, the Monastery (Ad Deir), and the Royal Tombs are a few of Petra’s must-see attractions. When you explore Petra, you may meander through historic streets, admire intricate carvings, and take in the ambiance of a once-vibrant commercial centre. For tourists looking to immerse themselves in the wonders of the ancient world, Petra is a remarkable destination because of its unique combination of natural beauty, expert workmanship, and historical relevance.
Petra offers activities like trekking and exploring adjacent sites like the High Place of Sacrifice and the stunning views from the summit of Al-Khubtha Mountain in addition to the main archaeological site. Petra continues to captivate travellers from all over the world due to its extraordinary beauty and historical significance, which have won it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site
#4 CHRIST THE REDEEMER, BRAZIL
Christ the Redeemer is an iconic statue located atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It stands as a symbol of faith, unity, and a testament to human achievement. The statue depicts Jesus Christ with arms outstretched, embracing the city and its people.
The Christ the Redeemer statue was constructed between 1922 and 1931 and is composed of soapstone-covered reinforced concrete. Its height is roughly 98 feet (30 metres), and its outstretched arms are about 92 feet (28 metres) long, giving it a dramatic silhouette against Rio’s breathtaking scenery. Heitor da Silva Costa, a Brazilian engineer, created the statue’s design, while Paul Landowski, a French artist, sculpted it. Brazilian and French engineers and artisans worked together to develop it.
A well-liked tourist destination, Christ the Redeemer welcomes guests from all over the world. A magnificent train journey or a hike through Tijuca National Park is required to get to the top of Corcovado Mountain, where the statue is located. Visitors are rewarded with amazing panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro and the area’s stunning natural scenery once they arrive.
The monument’s significance as an iconic landmark has been further cemented by the various movies, photos, and cultural events in which it has appeared.
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, The New York Times, National Geographic Society, New 7 Wonders