The 7 Wonders of the World
When you think of the most beautiful landmarks around the world, what comes to mind?
For many, the Wonders of the World epitomise 'bucket list' travel and serve as great starting points for planning exciting adventures all around the globe. But what are these almost mythical World Wonders? Many landmarks claim to be on the list, but there are only 7 recognised and 'official' New Wonders of the World. There is a whole other list for Ancient Wonders, which sometimes causes confusion, although the only surviving structure on that list is the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Hence the creation of a new list, which we have researched in detail for you to peruse here....
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China was built over centuries to protect China's territory from invading forces. It has long been believed to be the only man-made structure visible from space. However, this myth has been busted since the wall looks a lot like the soil and stone surrounding it so it’s hard to see even in low orbit. Since the 17th century, the wall has lost its importance as a defence, however, it remains a symbol of Chinese identity and culture. The wall symbolises national pride, determined resistance and Chinas extravagant architecture and creativity. The phrase ‘until you reach the Great Wall, you’re no hero’ written by the founding father of the People's Republic of China, Chairman Mao, is one of the most powerful advertisings in history, and is illustrative of the Chinese belief of overcoming difficulties before reaching a goal. There are always new views to see or a new section of the Wall you have not yet experienced, so even if you have visited the Wall before there is still another tour that you would love to experience. Start by heading to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, an easy day trip from Beijing.
Chichen Itza, Mexico
The name Chichen Itza means 'at the brim of the well where the wise men of the water live'. It is one of the most important sites in pre-Hispanic America and one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico today. The site is located near Valladolid Yucatan, a small colonial town which you should definitely visit while you are nearby. There are plenty of Mayan ruins to visit to experience the history of this beautiful and magnificent place. The ruined ancient Mayan city is thought to have been the religious, military, political and commercial centre which at its peak would have been home to around 35,000 people. The only source of water in the region is from the two big cenotes which made the area a suitable place for a city. There is evidence that in the 10th century the area was taken over by another group, who are thought to have built major buildings such as El Castillo, a pyramid that rises 79 feet above the main plaza and is surrounded by 365 stairs (the number of solar days in a year). Tours around Chichen Itza are full of adventure, exploration, culture, and Mayan knowledge.
Petra is an ancient city that lies in present-day Jordan and dates back to the 4th century BC, nicknamed the ‘rose-red city’ due to the wonderful colours of the rocks. The site is significant for historians and archaeologists because of the beautiful rock-cut architecture and the water system which allows the area to be inhabited even though it’s surrounded by desert and mountainous terrain. The city is carved into the walls of the mountains and is one of the most impressive structures in the world, earning its place on the list of New World Wonders. The site is 2,640 acres and you are (with a few exceptions) allowed to explore as you wish. There is lots to see and do! There’s lots to do such as camping, hiking, hot air ballooning and camel riding. Early morning and late afternoon light brings out the amazing variety of colours in the stone city which makes the site a popular spot for photo opportunities. An earthquake in the 4th century AD caused the destruction of most of the city and therefore its downfall.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is an ancient settlement located on the top of a mountain in the middle of a tropical forest in Peru. It is the most amazing architectural construction of the Inca Empire. Made up of temples, palaces, monuments and water channels, its evidence of the great wisdom of the Inca civilization. Within the area there is a great biodiversity of flora and fauna among the steep mountains and snow-capped peaks. In total there are around 196 tourist spots within the overall complex, so there is lots to see, do and explore. There are also many species of animals to watch out for, with over 420 species of birds 377 species of butterflies, 15 amphibians and 25 reptiles as well as 20% of flower species in Peru, the wildlife is a reason to visit in itself. The magical experience of glancing out from the funerary rock hut on the temples, fields, terraces and baths will take you to a different time.
"For the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I do not know another place in the world that compares to it" - Hiram Bingham on Machu Picchu
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
The statue of Christ the Redeemer was completed in 1931 and is 98 feet (30 metres) tall, with the outstretched arms spanning 92 feet (28 meters). The statue symbolises Rio de Janeiro as well as the whole nation of Brazil. The statue is made of reinforced concrete clad in a mosaic of thousands of triangular soapstone tiles. The statue is built on a pedestal which is situated on a deck atop the mountain's summit. Christ the Redeemer was built so that it was visible throughout Rio and this beautiful world-renowned statue will leave you breathless, with its interesting history still having a monumental impact on locals and tourists alike.
The Colosseum one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres, and the most iconic Roman structure, int he world. Constructed at the height of the Roman Empire, it would have hosted events like the gladiator games and held more than 50,000 spectators. As well as gladiators, the Colosseum would have also hosted re-enactments, dramas, and even public executions. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Colosseum began to deteriorate and after a series of earthquakes almost two thirds of the original building had been destroyed. In the 1990s a restoration project began and today it is one of Europe’s biggest tourist attractions. This incredible structure is the main symbol of Rome that will take you back in time to discover the ways of the Roman Empire.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1648 in memory of Emperor Shah Jahan’s favourite wife. A mosque, guest house, main gateway and other features were added subsequently and completed in 1653, and the structure has remained a symbol of India ever since. Amazing innovations carried out by the horticultural planners and architects as well as the talents of workers with the best skill sets recruited from around the empire, all contribute to the uniqueness of the Taj Mahal. The beautiful building is enhanced by its surrounding 17 acres of remarkable gardens, while the tomb of the emperor’s late wife is at the end of the gardens, adding a rich depth and perspective to the distant view of the monument. A whole range of Indo-Islamic sepulchral architecture is represented through the perfect harmony and excellent craftmanship of the Taj Mahal, achieving the finest architecture and artistic achievement you will experience anywhere around the world. Everything about this incredible building and gardens is visit worthy, its breath-taking architecture as well as the beautiful love story that inspired its creation.
Many thanks to Olivia Cole for this contribution to the Panache Cruises blog.
Are you looking to book a bucket list trip and take in one (or more) of the majestic Wonders of the World? Get in touch with us today on 0161 513 8200 and we can curate the perfect luxury cruise holiday which takes in one of these fantastic and unforgettable experiences.