In 2001, the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation conducted an international poll to update the seven Wonders of the Ancient World to the new seven Wonders of the World. After more than 100 million votes and international campaigns, the finalists were announced on July 7th, 2007. From Mexico to India, the new wonders of the world represent the magnificent man-made marvels of the modern day. Check out these incredible facts about the New Seven Wonders of the World.
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Interesting facts about Chichen Itza, Mexico
With a name meaning “At the mouth of the well of Itza”, Chichen Itza is the ruins of a Mayan civilization, dating back to about 600 AD.
1. Chichen Itza may have been built where it was because of the location of two large natural sink holes nearby that would have provided water year-round.
2. One of these sink holes was thought to have been used as a place of human sacrifice. These sacrifices were made in times of drought, and men, women and children would be thrown in the well as a sacrifice to the Chac God. The Chac God is the Maya God of rain and lightning and these sacrifices were done to end drought.
3. The Castillo is probably the most famous image of Chichen Itza. Castillo means castle in Spanish. The Castillo is a monument in the shape of a pyramid. There are four staircases on the outside of the pyramid. The image of the Castillo has been popularized in media.
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Interesting facts about Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
The iconic statue of Jesus Christ, standing atop Corcovado Mountain that overlooks Rio de Janeiro, is the symbol of peace, warmth and welcoming nature of the Brazilian people.
1. Christ the Redeemer was built using reinforced concrete and has an outer shell of 6 million soapstone tiles. It’s believed that the workers who made these tiles occasionally wrote notes on the back, meaning this iconic landmark is full of hidden messages.
2. The original design of the statue was different to what we see today. It was intended for Christ to be holding a globe in one hand and a cross in the other, rather than two open arms.
3. Christ the Redeemer was not actually built in Brazil. It was first made in France by French sculptor Paul Landowski who created the statue in clay pieces. These were then shipped to Brazil to be remade with reinforced concrete by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and French engineer Albert Caquot.
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Interesting facts about The Colosseum, Italy
The mother of all sports stadiums, the Colosseum in Rome was built between 70 and 82 AD. At its height, the amphitheater could seat up to 50,000 spectators, who enjoyed various public spectacles including the infamous gladiator fights, animal hunts, executions and dramas.
1. The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater (meaning “theatre in the round”) in the world! Oval in shape, it measures 189m long, 156m wide and 50m high (about the height of a 12 storey building). This ancient sporting arena could easily fit a modern day football pitch inside!
2. This brilliant building had 80 entrances and could seat approximately 50,000 spectators who would come to watch sporting events and games. These events included gladiatorial combats, wild animal hunts and, believe it or not, ship naval battles!
3. Free for all! At the Colosseum’s major events – often those organised and paid for by the emperors themselves – there was no entry fee. And free food was sometimes served, too. Bonus! Emperors would use this as a way to gain popularity and support from the public.
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Interesting facts about Great Wall of China, China
The 4,000-mile brick wall was erected to fortify the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against Mongol invasion. Construction first began in 8th century BC and the majority was completed during the Ming Dynasty between 1368 and 1644 AD.
1. Contrary to common belief, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space with the naked eye. It can be seen with aid.
2. The Great Wall of China has been called the longest cemetery on Earth. Over a million people died building the Wall and archaeologists have found human remains buried under parts of the wall.
3. The Great Wall of China is threatened with erosion. The northwestern sections (e.g. in Gansu and Ningxia provinces) of the Great Wall are deteriorating so quickly. It is believed that these sections may disappear within 20 years, due to demolishment by nature and human.
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Interesting facts about Machu Picchu, Peru
One of the lost cities of the world, Machu Picchu is an awe-inspiring ruin of the Inca civilization.
1. The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The Incas lacked the aid of wheels or animals to transport heavy rocks, yet built one of the most impressive kingdoms in history. They used a technique known as ashlar – meaning that the rocks were shaped to fit together. And their workmanship was of such a high standard that even a knife blade can’t fit between two stones.
2. Due to its mountain setting, Machu Picchu can’t be seen from below. Consequently, it was one of the only cities built during the Inca civilisation that survived the Spanish conquest. And this archaeological site is still well-preserved today.
3. The name Machu Picchu translates to ‘old peak’ or ‘old mountain’ and the complex consists of over 100 flights of stairs carved from stone.
Interesting facts about Petra, Jordan
Another lost city of the world, Petra dates back to the 6th century BC, when it was the capital city of the Nabataens, the masters of water technology. The stone-cut architecture, which survived centuries, makes it one of the most fascinating and beautiful sites in the world.
1. Among the Petra's amazing architecture, The Treasury is the most popular. It is estimated to be over 2,000 years.
2. The structures on most of the Petra Archaeologicalsite have been weakened by the salt that is blown from the dead sea and which crystalizes on the building's columns.
3. Petra is home to over 800 carved tombs.
Interesting facts about Taj Mahal, India
Taj Mahal is indeed a beautiful place. When you visit, make sure you take a picture of yourself and your spouse with the mausoleum as the background...who knows, the love that the emperor had for his wife to dedicate this kind of resources for her remembrance after death might rub off on you.
1. The “Crown of Palaces”. The Taj Mahal is often referred to as the “crown of palaces;” as it is considered the most beautiful and eternal among all.
2. Symbol of Love. Taj Mahal is the most beautiful symbol of love. It was a dedication of a sorrowful emperor Shah Jahan to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child.
3. The Yamuna River, As Its Savior. Taj Mahal would have eroded long ago if the Yamuna river wasn’t there; as the foundation of Taj Mahal is made of timber, which is kept moist and strong by the water of Yamuna river.