7 Wonders of the Ancient World

A "wonder" is something beautiful or exceptional that gives us a feeling of surprise or admiration.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were amazing buildings and structures in ancient times. Here is the generally accepted list:

The Great Pyramid of Giza (modern Egypt)

The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) at Giza, outside modern Cairo, is often called the first wonder of the world. This pyramid was built around the year 2560 BC and is the only Ancient Wonder to survive today.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (modern Iraq)

These beautiful gardens were probably built by King Nebuchadnezzar around the year 600 BC to please his queen, Amuhia. Their terraces perhaps rose as high as 300 feet.

The Statue of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia (modern Greece)

This was a colossal 40 ft high figure in gold and ivory. It was built by Phidias in the 5th century BC.

The Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus (modern Turkey)

This was a beautiful building, started about 350 BC, built in honour of the Greek goddess of hunting. The temple was destroyed by invading Goths in AD 262.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (modern Turkey)

This was a famous tomb built by Queen Artemisia around the year 353 BC in memory of her husband, King Mausolus. This tomb is the origin of the modern word "mausoleum".

The Colossus at Rhodes (modern Greece)

This was a huge bronze statue of Helios (Apollo), about 105 ft high. It was created by the sculptor Chares, who apparently worked on it for 12 years, finally completing it in 280 BC. It was destroyed during an earthquake in 224 BC.

The Pharos of Alexandria (modern Egypt)

This was a lighthouse built by Sostratus of Cnidus during the 3rd century BC on the island of Pharos. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 13th century.

AD (abbreviation): "Anno Domini" (after Christ)
ancient (adjective): very old, the very distant past
BC (abbreviation): "Before Christ"
ft (abbreviation): foot or feet (3 feet = approximately 1 metre)
lighthouse (noun): a tower with a light to warn ships at sea
mausoleum (noun): a large building containing a tomb or tombs
sculptor (noun): an artist who makes sculptures
wonder (noun): something that causes great admiration

Contributor: Josef Essberger