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7 Wonders of the Ancient World

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7 Ancient Wonders of the World

1. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon Ð'- Located approximately 50km south of Baghdad, Iraq on the east bank of the Euphrates River. King Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC), grandson of the famous King Hammurabi, is credited to have commissioned the construction of the gardens. Although no tablets were found in Babylon referring to the Gardens, accountings from the ancient Greek historian, Strabo, state that the "The Garden is quadrangular, and each side is four plethra long. It consists of arched vaults which are located on checkered cube-like foundations.. The ascent of the uppermost terrace-roofs is made by a stairway.."

2. The Great Pyramid of Giza Ð'- The only one of the Seven Wonders still left standing to this day, it is also the oldest of the 7 Ancient Wonders. Located in the city Giza, a necropolis of ancient Memphis, which is now part of Cairo, Egypt. This impressive monument was commissioned by Pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty around 2560 BC, to serve as his final resting place. The great pyramid was 145.75 meters tall when constructed, but over the course of time has lost nearly 10 meters. The entrance is located on the North side of the pyramid, and once inside there is a series of passageways and galleries that lead to the Kings burial chamber. The structure is comprised of some 2 million blocks of stone, each weighing more than 2 tons, with the King's burial chamber and sarcophagus made out of red granite.

3. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Ð'- The god of gods to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. It was located in the ancient town of Olympia, about 150 km west of Athens, in Greece. The original temple housing the massive statue was constructed around 450 BC, designed by architect Libon. The statue itself was created by the Athenian sculptor Pheidias. Constructed out of ivory sections, the massive statue was 45 feet tall, holding victory in his right hand, and his sceptor in his left. Closed by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in 391 AD, citing beliefs that the Olympic games (to which this statue symbolized) were a Pagan ritual. The Statue of Zeus was transported by wealthy Greeks to a palace in Constantinople, only to later be destroyed by fire in 462 AD.

4. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus Ð'- Built in honor of the Greek goddess of hunting, nature, and fertility, Artemis. Located in the ancient city of Ephesus, 50 km south of Izmir, Turkey. It was commissioned in 550 BC by King Croesus of Lydia, designed by the Greek architect Chersiphron, and decorated by the finest artists of that time period: Pheidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas, and Phradmon. The beautiful building was creating using all marble, with a decorated faÐ"§ade overlooking the courtyard. There were some 127 columns, each of them 60 feet tall, placed all over the platform area, with exception to the "house of the goddess". The temple served as both a marketplace and religious center for almost 200 years, but was burned down by Herostratus on July 21st, 356 BC, in order to mark his name in the history books. Coincidentally, this was the same night that Alexander the Great was born. Within 20 years the temple was restored to its original glamour, only to be destroyed again by the Goths in 262 AD, never to have been rebuilt, as most of the Ephesians had converted to Christianity by that time.

5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Ð'- The project of this burial chamber was designed for King Mausollos of Caria, by his wife and sister Artemisia. Commissioned sometime during his life, purportedly, it was not completed until 3 years after his death. It was 14 stories tall, constructed by the Greek architect Pythias in 350 BC, made of the finest quality marble. The burial chamber and sarcophagus were



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