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What are the seven wonders of the world? That depends which version of the seven wonders you’re interested in. The original, official, seven wonders, the modern seven wonders, new seven wonders, or the seven natural wonders of the world? In this post we look into the versions of the seven wonders and how you can see them today.
Looking at these various lists of 7 wonders is a great way to build a global travel bucket list, but there are many international landmarks that would be higher up my travel must-see list than some of these places.
It seems that everyone feels that “their” wonder should be on a list of 7 Wonders and various bodies, such as the BBC, CNN, and USA today have published their own lists.
The lists on this page are the most official we could find and we give sources. To me the only 7 wonders, are the Seven Ancient Wonders.
The Seven Wonders of the World
Many lists of seven wonders of the world exist. In this post we cover several important versions, and the original seven ancient wonders.
Some lists of ancient wonders are more “official” than others.
- The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World
- Seven Manmade Wonders of the World
- The Seven Natural Wonders of the World
- The Seven Modern Wonders of the World
- The New Seven Wonders of Nature
The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World
First, we’ll name the seven ancient wonders of the world and then we’ll explore where they are and which you can still see today. If they no longer exist in their entirety, some fragments do remain, and you can see them.
- The Great Pyramid at Giza
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus
- The Colossus of Rhodes
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria or Pharos of Alexandria
Origins of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The original seven wonders of the world first came about in Hellenistic times. They were reported by travellers in the Mediterranean region of Europe, Asia and North Africa.
You’ll notice that all of the original Seven Wonders are very close to the Meditteranean Sea.
These are constructions of classical antiquity, and the list dates back to at least 100 years BC. The list became “official” during the Renaissance era.
Most of these wonders were fully or partially destroyed, one, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, may never have existed, and one remains fairly intact today, ironically, the oldest of these seven wonders.
As a homeschooling family, one of the first topics we covered was the seven ancient wonders of the world. I felt it was important that the kids knew about them and I well remember D building his own version of the temple of Artemis out of paper tubes, drawing the statue or Artemis, the hunter.
I’ve mentioned often how much my kids love ancient history and this interest has often inspired our travels. One child is taking history A level today after years of worldschooling history.
We made a point of visiting the sites, or remnants of the list of seven wonders of the ancient world. Let’s get into the wonders!
The Original 7 Wonders of the World
The original 7 wonders of the world are the 7 ancient wonders of the world, parts of some of the original 7 wonders of the world do still exist today, others are lost. The original 7 wonders of the world are the great pyramid at Giza, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus, The Colossus of Rhodes, and The Lighthouse of Alexandria or Pharos of Alexandria.
Can You Visit the Original 7 Wonders of The World Today?
The Great Pyramid at Giza is the only one of the original 7 wonders that you can visit today that is fairly intact. Fragments of other 7 wonders remain in various museums and you can visit the sites where the 7 wonders once stood or were believed to have stood. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the most mysterious and its original location is still in question.
More details on these original 7 wonders and how to visit them, below.
The Great Pyramid at Giza
Only the Great Pyramid at Giza is listed as one of the original ancient wonders of the world, not the entire Giza complex, which features 2 more main pyramids, plus the sphinx, mortuary temples and queens’ pyramids.
There are also many other pyramids in Egypt and in other parts of the world, including the pyramid complex at Saqqara in Egypt
Giza lies just outside the modern city of Cairo Egypt, west of the river Nile. There are many resort hotels and simpler guest houses nearby, or you can visit from a central Cairo hotel.
Giza has a train station and will be home to the new GUM, or Great Egyptian Museum, which will run alongside the old Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
You can visit the Great Pyramid, tour the complex, and even go inside the Great Pyramid where you will see a stone sarcophagus.
You can very much visit this wonder of the world today and the great pyramid at Giza is the only one of the seven wonders of the world still standing and is the most intact, today.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon would be in present day Iraq, in Babil province, however, no remains have ever been found.
They may have been fully destroyed at some point, or there is another theory that they actually existed, but elsewhere.
There are references to the gardens in classical literature.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The statue of Zeus at Olympia in Greece, an artist’s impression of the giant seated statue and what remains today in Olympia Greece. There is an on-site museum where we saw a recreation of the Zeus statue, plus innumerable other relics and sculptures. It’s well worth visiting this ancient wonder site.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The temple of Artemis was built in Ephesus in Turkey. Ephesus is still an archaeological treasure today, but if you’d like to see fragments of the Temple of Artemis, head to the British Museum in London.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Lighthouse of Alexandria or Pharos of Alexandria
When Were The 7 Ancient Wonders of The World Built
- The Great Pyramid at Giza- approx 2550 BC, it took 30 years to build and is the oldest of the 7 wonders.
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon – unknown, and may never have existed.
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia – 5th century BC
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – 6th century BC
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus – 4th century BC
- The Colossus of Rhodes – 4th century BC
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria or Pharos of Alexandria – 3rd century BC
Dates taken from National Geographic.
The New Modern Seven Wonders of the World
This is a list of the new, modern, or man-made 7 wonders of the world. This list came about in the year 2000 and this was voted in by the people of the world.
More than 100 million votes created this list, such as it is. The list became public in 2007 and is the work of a Swiss organisation.
- The Taj Mahal
- The Great Wall of China
- Chichén Itzá
- Petra in Jordan
- Machu Picchu
- The Statue of Christ the Redeemer
- The Colosseum
Citation- Tikkanen, A.. “New Seven Wonders of the World.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Invalid Date. https://www.britannica.com/list/new-seven-wonders-of-the-world.
The Taj Mahal
The Great Wall of China
Tourist flock to Petra in Jordan, it’s a stunning marvel of the world. Visiting Petra should absolutely be on your world travel bucketlist.
The Statue of Christ the Redeemer
The Seven Natural Wonders of the World
The seven natural wonders of the world are quite recent, the campaign began in 2008 to create this list. This list is different in that it was chosen by an expert team, rather than by voting.
As such, it was immune to manipulation and tactical voting campaigns.
You can visit sevennaturalwonders.org to learn more about this organisation. The Seven Natural Wonders organisation also compiles lists of wonders for each continent.
- Mount Everest
- The Great Barrier Reef
- Victoria Falls
- The Harbour at Rio de Janeiro
- The Northern Lights
- The Grand Canyon
- Paricutin Volcano
The Great Barrier Reef
The Harbour at Rio de Janeiro
The Northern Lights
The Grand Canyon
The New Seven Wonders of Nature
The list of 7 wonders of nature was compiled using 500 million votes from all over the world. There are a couple of really obscure ones on this list, and I find this selection very puzzling.
- Iguazu Falls
- Table Mountain
- Ha Long Bay
- The Amazon Rainforest
- Jeju Island
- Komodo Island
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Ha Long Bay
The Amazon Rainforest
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
What’s Not on The 7 Wonders of the World List?
I’m sure you could find a list of 7 wonders somewhere, that would include the following places, but for the most part, no, the following landmarks, places, and constructions, are not on the Seven Wonders of the World Lists, classic or current, that we feature here.
- Uluru in Australia’s Northern Territory, is not on the list of 7 wonders of the world. This one is on the 7 natural wonders of Oceania list.
- Las Vegas is not on the 7 wonders of the world list
- Easter Island is not on the 7 wonders of the world lists.
- The Eiffel Tower is not one of the 7 wonders of the world.
- Niagara falls is not one of the 7 wonders of the world.
- Stonehenge is not one of the seven wonders of the world.
- None of Asia’s ancient cities, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Sigiriya, Hampi, and Anuradhapura, are on the lists
- Angkor Wat is not on any of the above seven wonders of the world lists. (but it should be.)
- The Acropolis in Athens Greece also did not make the list (but should have.)
- The Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan is not on the list.
- The Potala Palace in Tibet is not on the list.
- Sydney Harbour is not one of the seven wonders of the world.
Thanks for reading, researching the 7 Wonders, ancient and modern, was a fun project and I think people should know about them. Now I’m going to get my kids to read this post just to be sure they do. I’m making some free printable pdfs with these lists too. They’ll be available soon. What wonders would you like to add to these lists?