Hidden Stories about the New 7 World Wonders
We all have heard about the 7 World Wonders, but did you know that the New 7 World Wonders have been announced in 2007?
In our blog post, we show you all of these New World Wonders but also share interesting background info that you might not know yet.
Join us and discover hidden stories and interesting facts about the Taj Mahal, Machu Pichuu or The Great Wall of China.
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When the New7Wonder Foundation started the campaign for finding new wonders of the world it soon started to be a very popular undertaking.
When the results were announced in 2007 in Lisbon, more than 100 million votes had been cast from all over the world.
Almost 2000 years after the announcement of the Ancient 7 World Wonders, voters selected 7 new wonders from a list of 200 monuments.
In addition to the New 7 Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza was named an honorary candidate and made it to the list as the 8th wonder. The reason for this decision is that the Pyramid of Gaza is the only still existing place of the original 7 World Wonders list. It was adjudged being inappropriate that such an important piece of history has to compete with monuments of more recent nature.
In 2011 and 2014, the New7Wonder foundation has run voting campaigns also for the New7Wonder of Nature and the New7WonderCities.
The New 7 Wonders of the World and Interesting Facts
This list is in alphabetical order and prescinds from just listing well-known facts but aims at giving astonishing, interesting and curious facts that hopefully inspire you to travel to places you haven’t been yet.
Chichén Itzá (Mexico) was one of the largest Maya cities. With a population of about 50,000 people, it also held trade routes as far as South America. It is thought that the construction began during 600 and 900 AD.
The city was built close to natural sinkholes known as cenotes. One of the sinkholes is thought to have been used for human sacrifice to the God Chac.
Chichén Itzá is famous for its Pyramid of Kukulkan (also called ‘El Castillo’). It forms a temple with four sides; each side has 91 steps making the top level the 365th step.
During the Spring and Autumn Equinox (around 20 March and 23 September, when day and night are of equal duration), sun rays create a series of triangular shadows across the pyramid. It gives the illusion of a serpent crawling down the pyramid.
According to some sources, Hunac Ceel, ruler of Mayapan, conquered Chichén Itzá in the 13th century. Other findings indicate that Chichén Itzá declined as a regional center by 1250 AD before the rise of Mayapan.
Only in 2010, it became Yucatan property, before this the land (under the monuments) was privately owned.
Christ the Redeemer
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is located on top of the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro. The statue was constructed between 1922 and 1931 and is the youngest of the New7Wonders.
It is an interesting fact, that the proposal for this monument first came up in the 1850s, but didn’t get enough support to be realized.
The original plan for the opening ceremony in 1931 was to light the statue with floodlights with the battery switched on remotely from Italy. But bad weather upset these plans and the battery was turned on on-site.
As the statue is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, harsh weather conditions on the top of the mountain force a frequent maintenance of the sculpture. Strong winds, but also lightning strikes hit the sculpture in the past with severe damages.
During the Soccer World Championships (FIFA World Cup) in 2010, Christ the Redeemer was illuminated in the Brazilian national colors, green and yellow.
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The Colosseum is located in the center of Rome. It was originally called Amphitheatrum Flavium or Amphitheatrum Caesareum. But the name ‘Colosseum’ was in reference to the gigantic statue of Emperor Nero that stood in close proximity to the
The Colosseum could hold up between 50,000 and 80,000 people. The seating arrangement of the stadium segregated the visitors based on their societal background.
If you love ancient places, don’t miss our blog post:
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The building was constructed from over a volume of 100,000 m³ of travertine stones and tufa. The stone blocks were placed without any mortar; instead more than 300 tons of iron clamps held the components together.
And the underground system (Hypogeum) housed the animals and gladiators, who were brought to the upper ground level arena via elevators. At the end of the day, the dead gladiators were dragged through the Porta Libitinensis (‘Gate of Death‘).
Surprising fact: More than 600 species of plants have been identified at the Colosseum. Many of the seeds were planted through fecal matter of the exotic animals.
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Machu Pitchuu is probably the best known Inca landmark but it wasn’t known beyond the local borders until 1911.
It was built around 1450 and only inhabited for a bit more than 100 years. Although it seems to be very packed with construction, it is estimated that agriculture could have fed 4 times more people than ever lived there.
Contrary to what we would think about the remote location of the city, finds of non-local artifacts actually show that Machu Pichuu was connected to trading lines. In fact, the city was already connected with the Inca Trail.
Because of its location high up in the mountain (almost 2500m) the city was never exposed to plunder or any other violent attacks.
Machu Pichuu, which means ‘old peak’, is the most visited tourist attraction in Peru and the government tries, since years, to find a fine line balance between tourism and site protection. A 2-entrance time schedule will be a new trial from 1.7.2017-30.6.2019.
Inspired visiting these amazing new World Wonders?
The city of Petra, the next of the New 7 World Wonders is located in southern Jordan and it is believed that Petra was established in 312 BC.
The city was located on the famous Silk route connecting Egypt, Rome, Syria, and Greece with China, Arabia, and India. Thus, merchants and traders used the city as a stopping point.
It is known as the ’Rose Red City’, owing to its buildings that are carved into rose-red colored sandstone. The structures are huge and can only be accessed via a narrow passage cut through the sandstone as a result of years of rain and wind.
The inhabitants of Petra (the Nabateans) were efficient water collectors. A water conduit system made of clay pipes was put in place that could store water during long periods of drought.
In 383 AD, many buildings and the water conduit system were destroyed during an earthquake. After that, i
In 1812, the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscovered Petra. Until this point, it had remained unknown to the Western World. That’s why Petra was also given the name ’Lost City’.
The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognizable images of India.
Concerning its origin, there are different theories. It is rumored that in 1631, Shah Jahan’s third wife Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to their 14th child. Shah Jahan commissioned the construction of the mausoleum Taj Mahal.
According to some sources, it took 22 years and 20,000 workers to build. Over 1000 elephants were needed to transport the building material. A total of 28 types of precious and semiprecious jewels were set in the white marble.
It is believed that Shah Jahan wanted to build an identical black colored Taj Mahal as his final resting place. However, a number of historians believe that Taj Mahal was actually ‘Tejo Mahalaya’, a Shiva temple constructed under the Hindu king, Jai Singh.
The four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical. It follows the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements.
The four minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal lean slightly outward rather than stand straight. This was done as a safety measure so that if any of them fell, they would fall away from the central structure.
The Great Wall of China
Let’s dive into the last wonder on the New 7 Wonders of the World list.
The Great Wall of China wasn’t built in one go from one side to the other. Instead, the first pieces were constructed in the 7th century BC and the majority of the wall was just built during the famous Ming Dynasty, which lasted until 1644.
As most know that it is the longest building on earth, what is less known is that the wall consists of numerous not connected parts. These parts also vary in terms of construction methods.
All parts of the wall add up to an incredible 21.196km (13.170mi) [2012 by State Administration of Cultural Heritage].
During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), many Great Wall bricks were used in building homes, farms, or reservoirs.
It is hard to believe that already in 1754 a first reference exists that the wall would be visible from the moon. This belief held for centuries, but in reality, this has never been confirmed. And it is still not clear whether or not the wall is visible from low earth orbit with the naked eye. Many astronauts discussed this issue and showed various pictures for proof but a common decision is still missing.
The most visited section, Badaling [about 1hr train ride from Beijing], sometimes welcomes up to an incredible 70.000 people per day!
What do you think?
Which of these 7 got your vote?
Do you have plans visiting any of these or have you already been there?
Leave us a comment below and let us know.
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