The new seven wonders of the world has been chosen in an online poll organized by Switzerland based foundation, New7Wonders. The result was announced in a glitzy and glamorous ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. The seven wonders has been chosen from 200 nominations from around the world. They are Great Wall of China, Petra Jordan, Chichén Itzá Mexico, Christ Redeemer Brazil, Machu Picchu Peru, The Roman Colloseum Italy and The Taj Mahal India. Currently the only historical monument of seven wonders which still remain until today is the Pyramid of Giza. The credibility of the new seven wonders has been in question since the poll did not has any mechanism to prevent repeated votes from one person. UNESCO, a United Nation organization was not involved in this poll to avoid any possible controversy which may arise from this poll.
I am not seeing the new seven wonders as a replacement of what we have in seven ancients wonders but it is more like an additional historical site to explore. Let’s put the controversy aside and see what the new seven wonders has to offer which put them into the controversial list.
1. Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Chichén Itzá, the most famous Mayan temple city, served as the political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Its various structures – the pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of Chac Mool, the Hall of the Thousand Pillars, and the Playing Field of the Prisoners – can still be seen today and are demonstrative of an extraordinary commitment to architectural space and composition. The pyramid itself was the last, and arguably the greatest, of all Mayan temples.
2. The Great Wall, China
The Great Wall of China was built to link existing fortifications into a united defense system and better keep invading Mongol tribes out of China. It is the largest man-made monument ever to have been built and it is disputed that it is the only one visible from space. Many thousands of people must have given their lives to build this colossal construction.
3. Christ Redeemer, Brazil
This statue of Jesus stands some 38 meters tall, atop the Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Designed by Brazilian Heitor da Silva Costa and created by French sculptor Paul Landowski, it is one of the world’s best-known monuments. The statue took five years to construct and was inaugurated on October 12, 1931. It has become a symbol of the city and of the warmth of the Brazilian people, who receive visitors with open arms.
4. Petra, Jordan
On the edge of the Arabian Desert, Petra was the glittering capital of the Nabataean empire of King Aretas IV (9 B.C. to 40 A.D.). Masters of water technology, the Nabataeans provided their city with great tunnel constructions and water chambers. A theater, modelled on Greek-Roman prototypes, had space for an audience of 4,000. Today, the Palace Tombs of Petra, with the 42-meter-high Hellenistic temple facade on the El-Deir Monastery, are impressive examples of Middle Eastern culture.
5. Machu Picchu, Peru
In the 15th century, the Incan Emperor Pachacútec built a city in the clouds on the mountain known as Machu Picchu (“old mountain”). This extraordinary settlement lies halfway up the Andes Plateau, deep in the Amazon jungle and above the Urubamba River. It was probably abandoned by the Incas because of a smallpox outbreak and, after the Spanish defeated the Incan Empire, the city remained ‘lost’ for over three centuries. It was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.
6. The Roman Colloseum, Italy
This great amphitheater in the centre of Rome was built to give favors to successful legionnaires and to celebrate the glory of the Roman Empire. Its design concept still stands to this very day, and virtually every modern sports stadium some 2,000 years later still bears the irresistible imprint of the Colosseum’s original design. Today, through films and history books, we are even more aware of the cruel fights and games that took place in this arena, all for the joy of the spectators.
7. The Taj Mahal, India
This immense mausoleum was built on the orders of Shah Jahan, the fifth Muslim Mogul emperor, to honor the memory of his beloved late wife. Built out of white marble and standing in formally laid-out walled gardens, the Taj Mahal is regarded as the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India. The emperor was consequently jailed and, it is said, could then only see the Taj Mahal out of his small cell window.
So, now we have additional places to travel in seven more countries. It’s great to have the chance to understand the culture and history behind all these historical sites.