Wonders of the World

chinaguangzhoutvtower_001pIt seems inevitable.  Every few years, some magazine or popular site comes up with a ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’ list.  Sometimes the lists are qualified, such as Deborah Cadbury’s Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, or CEDAM International’s Seven Wonders of the Underwater World, but more often than not, the claim is simply New, which conveniently enough can always be true.  Yesterday, Condé Nast announced their latest list, appearing in the April 2010 issue, including modern marvels such as the the Guangzhou TV Tower.

Such lists have been captivating vagabonders for 2150 years, since Antipater of Sidon wrote the following in 140 BC, highlighting the original wonders of the ancient world;

I have gazed on the walls of impregnable Babylon along which chariots may race, and on the Zeus by the banks of the Alpheus, I have seen the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Helios, the great man made mountains of the lofty pyramids, and the gigantic tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the sacred house of Artemis, that towers to the clouds, the others were placed in the shade, for the sun himself, has never looked upon its equal, outside Olympus

Of course, the only officially listed ancient wonder still standing is the Great Pyramid of Giza. However, due to the limited “known world” of the Hellenistic travelers, their list only included sights in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Modern lists try to account for a truly world scope, and include such sights as the Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu.

Christ_the_Redeemer_5One group of note that tried to establish a definitive list through worldwide voting is the New 7 Wonders Foundation. While there is still some debate as to the accuracy of their voting methods, it’s as good a list as any, and adds the following; Petra, Christ the Redeemer, Chichen Itza, the Roman Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal.

A couple of weeks ago, a design blog, Artatm, compiled a beautiful set of photographs for these “new” sights, intending to inspire travelers just as Antipater and Herodotus did two millennia ago, when they inadvertently created the first travel guide, the (Original) Seven Wonders of the World.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | April 8, 2010
Category: Travel News

One Response to “Wonders of the World”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Thanks for the information. It makes sense that the “7 Wonders of the World” list would be updated. Many travelers have their own list. It would be interesting to see each others lists along with the similarities and differences.