Kate Shrewsday’s recent post ‘Seven wonders’ couldn’t have appeared at a more apt time for me. Coincidentally, that is, as I’m in the process of telling a tale featuring the Greek Gods and vast journeys across the years.
Also coincidentally (or maybe not) is the fact that the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World from the original list is the Pyramid at Giza. A wonder that I have been able to see with my own eyes. In fact, I actually got to touch it with my own hands (well, one of the pyramids there, anyway!) All that history within such a giant structure was at my fingertips. I suppose that is one way of connecting with the past on an epic scale.
Kate’s post caused me to wonder about an updated Seven Wonders list. The fact that Kate mentioned updated lists in her post wasn’t exactly missed by me, but it wasn’t noticed completely when I first read her words. I went off on a tangent, wondering if the latest list had actually been created, or if it had appeared merely as part of one of my dreams.
Away I went, in search of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Apparently, there are eight of them now. Well, seven and an honorary one. The honorary one being the last remaining original Wonder, the pyramids.
What I found interesting is that the new wonders represent seven human virtues:
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, represents passion; the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, represents joy; the statue of Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, represents openness; Chichén Itzá in Yucatán, Mexico, represents knowledge; Machu Picchu in Cuzco, Peru, represents dedication; the Great Wall of China represents perseverance; and Petra, in Jordan, represents protection.
When I was younger, I could never name all of the original Seven Wonders. I’d still have to look them up now if asked, although I could name a couple more than I used to manage. Although, I always thought the Great Wall of China was an original Wonder, so that confuses things somewhat with the updated list.
Machu Picchu is on my to do list, and I’m sure I’ll get there one day, so I’m pleased that has become a Wonder. When I finally get there, I’ll have experienced a wonder from both lists… however, that is not a plan for my immediate future.
The seven ‘new’ wonders were shortlisted from a list of 21 ‘finalists’ which included wonders old and new. One of which is here in the UK. Representing intrigue and endurance, Stonehenge therefore must be classed as one of the twenty-one wonders of the world.
The original Henge was built sometime around 3100BC, with the current Henge, the stone circle, being started around 2150BC. The Pyramid of Giza was completed around 2560BC, somewhere in the middle!
I haven’t actually been to the site of Stonehenge, although I have driven passed it once (actually stopping to view the stones from the side of the road) so I’ll class that as experiencing it anyway. I remember standing, looking on in awe at the stones, actually seeing them for myself rather than just in a photo. I love the mysticism associated with Stonehenge, and, of course, the history. I’d love for the theory of stone tape recording to be proved, and enhanced to be able to show what the stones, and other ancient sites have been witness to over the years… I think that would be well worth seeing!
Other finalists, or others included in the twenty-one wonders, include the Statue of Liberty in New York, USA, another site I have experienced first-hand! The statue represents the virtue of generosity and hope, and is a very modern inclusion to the list of wonders. Other modern day wonders are the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and the Opera House, at Sydney, Australia, representing challenge and progress, and abstraction and creativity respectively.
One final wonder I have to mention is, or are, the Easter Island statues, in Chile, which represent mystery and awe. They, in comparison to Stonehenge and the Pyramid at Giza, are actually quite modern to the world, being carved between 1250 and 1500AD by Polynesian colonisers to the island. I think I’ll add this to my list of things to see in person as well…
And, finally, here are the twenty-one Wonders of the World, with their virtues:
|Acropolis, Athens, Greece||Civilization & Democracy|
|Alhambra, Granada, Spain||Dignity & Dialogue|
|Angkor, Cambodia||Beauty & Sanctity|
|Chichén Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico||Worship & Knowledge|
|Christ Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Welcoming & Openness|
|Colosseum, Rome, Italy||Joy & Suffering|
|Easter Island Statues, Chile||Mystery & Awe|
|Eiffel Tower, Paris, France||Challenge & Progress|
|Great Wall, China||Perseverance & Persistence|
|Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey||Faith & Respect|
|Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto, Japan||Clarity & Sanctity|
|Kremlin/St.Basil, Moscow, Russia||Fortitude & Symbolism|
|Machu Picchu, Peru||Community & Dedication|
|Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany||Fantasy & Imagination|
|Petra, Jordan||Engineering & Protection|
|Pyramids of Giza, Egypt||Immortality & Eternity|
|Statue of Liberty, New York, USA||Generosity & Hope|
|Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom||Intrigue & Endurance|
|Sydney Opera House, Australia||Abstraction & Creativity|
|Taj Mahal, Agra, India||Love & Passion|
|Timbuktu, Mali||Intellect & Mysticism|