Wonders of the Ancient World

7 Wonders of the Ancient World – 2024 Guide

The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World are the term with which we indicate the seven architectural works that the ancient Greeks and Romans included in the canonical list of the third century BC, but which are they? Architectural, historical and artistic works and structures considered by the ancients to be the most extraordinary artifices of humanity, today we also know them as the 7 classical, or ancient, wonders, thus distinguishing them from the modern ones. So let’s go and find out what they are, on a timeless journey between Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq to discover history!

What are the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World?

As we said, the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World were part of a list agreed upon by both the ancient Greeks and Romans . In fact, it is thought that this list dates back to the 3rd century BC , the only era in which we are certain that all 7 works were still intact and at the height of their splendor. Currently, the oldest written document that talks about these seven wonders dates back to 140 BC. It is a poem by Antipater of Sidon , a great scholar originally from the city of the same name in present-day Lebanon. Furthermore, the Colossus of Rhodes was the last of these works to be built, but also the first to be destroyed. Finally, it is important not to confuse these with the New Seven Wonders of the World , among which we find Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, the Colosseum in Rome , and the Taj Mahal in India.

But now let’s see in detail what the 7 wonders of the ancient world are!

Click the button and find all search platforms and book your next trip yourself.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: Pyramids of Giza: Attractions, Tips & Tours

1. Pyramid of Cheops

The Pyramid of Cheops , among the things to see absolutely in Egypt, near the capital Cairo, is the most archaic of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but also the only one to still be perfectly visible. Also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza , or the Pyramid of Khufu, it dates back over 4,000 years . Furthermore, it is part of the famous Giza Necropolis, where we can find the most popular Pyramids of Egypt, and is in fact the largest and oldest of the three pyramids that make up the archaeological site.

The pyramid housed the tomb of Cheops, ruler of the 4th dynasty, and represents the most perfect concept of pyramid achieved by Egyptian civilization. It is currently 138 meters high , although at the time of construction it reached a height of 146 metres ; nothing short of incredible!

Cheops Pyramid - The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World
The Pyramid of Cheops is the only one of the seven wonders still intact
NamePyramid of Cheops
How to getEasily accessible from Cairo
Recommended tripNile Cruise + Cairo

2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The ancient city of Babylon must have been an authentic paradise, also occupying a place in myth and biblical writings; as well as Greco-Roman authors. Located approximately 80 km south of present-day Baghdad , the legendary city reached its peak under Nebuchadnezzar II . It is said, in fact, that it was he who started the construction of the magnificent Hanging Gardens .

Today, however, it is still unclear where the exact location of this masterpiece was within the current archaeological area of ​​Babylon; as well as starting to doubt their real existence . However, we know that historians of the time described them as splendid terraced flower gardens, irrigated by the waters of the Euphrates. The overall view of the gardens and the famous Tower of Babel must have been decidedly spectacular, developing on various overlapping terraces , creating a truncated pyramid and reaching up to 40 m.

hanging gardens babylon
A reconstruction of the splendid Hanging Gardens of Babylon
NameHanging Gardens of Babylon
PlaceMesopotamia, Iraq
How to get
Recommended trip

3. Statue of Zeus in Olympia

Among the ancient seven wonders of the world found in Greece was also the Statue of Zeus in Olympia . Created in 432 BC by the well-known sculptor Phidias , it was located inside the Temple of Zeus in the city of games. Today the remains of the ancient temple are still visible, but unfortunately the statue was lost in 475 during a fire that broke out in Constantinople, the city where it was transported in the Byzantine era. However, we know that this huge statue was 12m tall and made of ivory. It depicted Zeus wrapped in a cloak covered in gold foil, sitting on an ebony throne set with precious stones. A masterpiece!

To create the statue, a building was made available to the sculptor, to the west of the temple, of which we can still observe traces and finds today , which represent the materials that were used. Among these, we find ceramics, obsidian, hammers, lead sheets and ivory. For 800 years the statue remained in the temple, even when Emperor Caligula tried, in vain, to bring it to Rome.

Olympia Statue of Zeus - The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World
The enormous Statue of Zeus was placed in the center of the Temple of Olympia

4. Temple of Artemis in Ephesus

Moving to Turkey, in the ancient city of Ephesus, we find the remains of what was the Temple of Artemis . This wonder of the ancient world was built in 560 BC. Its grandeur and importance was known throughout the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. In fact, it was 115 m long and 55 m wide , four times larger than the Parthenon in Athens! Today, after its destruction by the Goths and the Archbishop of Constantinople, few remains remain, but we know that in ancient times it featured over 100 beautifully decorated Ionic columns .

The temple was rebuilt several times, distinguishing above all the late-archaic temple of Croesus and the late-classical temple , even if the ancient authors treat it as a single structure. Furthermore, the cult of the goddess Artemis was probably founded by the Amazons, mythological warrior women of ancient Greece.

the ancient seven wonders of the world ephesus temple of artemis artemisio
The reconstruction of the splendid Temple of Artemis, in Ephesus
NameTemple of Artemis
How to getEasily accessible from Izmir, Pamukkale and Kusadasi
Recommended tripGrand Tour Türkiye

5. Colossus of Rhodes

Among the seven ancient wonders of the world, the Colossus of Rhodes must have been a mammoth work. Located at the entrance to the main port, it essentially served as a city lighthouse. In fact, the colossus was 32 meters high , built in stone and completely covered in bronze . The statue depicted Helios , the Sun God who was highly revered on the island of Rhodes.

Unfortunately, today there is nothing left of this incredible construction, which was destroyed by an earthquake. In fact, according to legend, the people of Rhodes opposed its reconstruction fearing the wrath of the deity. Therefore, the remains remained under water until the conquest by the Arabs , who lost track of them forever. Furthermore, recent studies demonstrate that it was probably not located at the entrance to the port, but on a pillar inside the Acropolis of Rhodes; later city of the Knights of Malta on a hill near the port.

Colossus Rhodes - What are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - What are the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World
© gqitalia.it – Ancient illustration of the Colossus of Rhodes
NameColossus of Rhodes
PlaceRhodes Island
How to get
Recommended trip

6. Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Returning to Turkey, we find the evocative Mausoleum of Halicarnassus , in today’s city of Bodrum , it was built by Queen Artemisia for her husband Mausolus , ancient satrap of Caria. This splendid architectural work consisted of a large base that supported a semi-pyramidal structure surmounted by splendid decorations. Today, few ruins remain of this wonder of the ancient world at the archaeological site, while some decorations such as the quadriga and horses that dominated the building are preserved in the British Museum in London .

Furthermore, numerous artists of the time participated in its construction, such as Timotheus , Skopas , Pythides and Bryaxis . The work was so imposing and famous that the term mausoleum was born in this period to indicate the monumental tombs of the great figures of history.

Halicarnassus mausoleum model
Model of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus at Dokuma Park Mini City, Turkey
NameMausoleum of Halicarnassus
How to getThe archaeological site that houses the remains of the mausoleum is located in the center of Bodrum
Recommended trip

7. Alexandria Lighthouse

Finally, the greatest work of Hellenistic civilization was located in what is now Egypt. In fact, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was, together with the library, the true symbol of the Egyptian city on the Mediterranean. Alexandria was also one of the main commercial centers of the ancient world and for this reason an imposing and spectacular lighthouse was built on the island of Pharos , which lit the way for merchants heading to Asia Minor, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aegean coasts.

134 meters high , topped by a statue of Zeus and was completely covered in bronze mirrors which reflected the sunlight during the day. These in fact allowed sailors to sight the port and pay attention to the numerous sand banks that came from the desert. It was destroyed in the 14th century by two earthquakes, but today it is possible to see the remains via diving excursions.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: Rhodes Island – The 10 most beautiful beaches

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *