The charm of man-made marvels
Here are some interesting facts about the new wonders:
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA Originally built in the 5th century BC, the Great Wall of China went through incessant repairs throughout the succeeding ages. It became a single long wall only during the Qin dynasty, when Emperor Qin Shihuang succeeded in his efforts to join the walls together in order to fend off the invading Hun tribes. The Great Wall stretches 6,700 km from the east to the west of China.
THE TAJ MAHAL, INDIA The architectural beauty of the Taj Mahal is acknowledged to be unsurpassed in perfection. It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum of Shah Jahan himself was later added to it. The Taj is built entirely with white marble, and was constructed over a period of 22 years, employing over 20,000 labourers. It was completed in 1648 BC.
MACHU PICCHU, PERU Comprised of approximately 200 buildings, the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountains in Peru, deep in the Amazon jungle. Machu Picchu, meaning ‘manly peak', was most likely a royal estate or a religious retreat possibly both. It was built by an Incan ruler, Pachacuti Inca Yupangui, between 1460-1470 AD. After his death, the city became the property of his kinship group.
CHRIST REDEEMER, BRAZIL The statue of Christ-the Redeemer towers above the beautiful Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro with open arms, in a permanent symbol of giving and love. It stands 100 ft tall on a 20 ft pedestal and weighs a staggering 700 tonnes. Since it was placed on top of the 2,300 ft peak of the Corcovado mountain in 1931, this figure has been one of the most famous symbols, not only of Brazil, but of the world.
THE COLOSSEUM, ROME The Colosseum is one of the most famous among Rome's Classical buildings. After 2,000 years of its construction and despite the plundering of the building during times of war the Colosseum remains a world wonder.
The amphitheatre can accommode 60,000 people, who can enter and leave in a matter of minutes, thanks to the 80 exits set at different vantage points.
CHICHÉN ITZÁ, MEXICO This temple city built by the Mayan civilisation is named Chichén Itzá, meaning ‘at the mouth of the well of the Itza'. The place was an important economic and political centre in the northern Maya lowlands. The architectural style of the structures represents the influence of various cultures on the civilisation.
PETRA, JORDAN Famous for its stone structures carved in rock, Petra was the capital of the Nabataean empire of King Aretas IV (9 BC to 40 AD. An excellent example of Middle-Eastern architecture, the archeological site is located in a basin among the mountains which form part of the Wadi Araba, the valley from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.