The 7 wonders of the ancient world: how they were and how they are today.

Once the Mediterranean basin was the scene of a history that changed the civilization of humanity forever. In a geographical area that was already beautiful for its views, what were for centuries the seven wonders of the ancient world were built. But what happened to these incredible historical sites and what are they like today?

Hanging gardens of Babylon

Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Hanging Gardens of Babylon- Image by Carla216 from Flickr

Today

Hanging Gardens of Babylon today
Hanging Gardens of Babylon today- Image by David Stanley from Flickr

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are probably the wonder of the ancient world which, to this day, is still shrouded in total mystery.
The theories about its original position are varied and even doubts about its real existence have arisen in the past about it.
It even seems that it was just a private building with a few terraces.
The fact that the Euphrates already passed at the point where they were placed in the imagination of the first historical reconstructions, even suggests that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were not located in Babylon but in Nineveh.

The Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes
The Colossus of Rhodes

Today

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

The history of the Colossus of Rhodes also has many variations and fascinating points. Its real position is not entirely certain, given that, according to some historians, the position of the statue could have been on one side rather than as the gateway to the port.
Its construction took place in 304 BC after Rhodes repulsed an invasion attempt by Demetrius I Poliorcete.
The statue, 32 meters high, was erected in honor of Elio, the patron god of the Rhodians. In 653 Rhodes was conquered by the Arabs and the statue was taken away in pieces.
It is said that it was resold in Syria and never found again. Over the years there have been various attempts at reconstruction, tenders and more, but, to date, the entrance to the port remains as you can see in the photo.

The great pyramid of Giza

The great piramid of Giza
Image by Ramon Perucho from Pixabay

Also known as the Pyramid of Cheops, the pyramid of Giza is the largest of the three pyramids of the homonymous necropolis.
This is undoubtedly the best-preserved wonder of the ancient world and the only one that is not in a state of ruin or lost forever.
The pyramid is made up of almost two and a half million blocks, measured almost 147 meters in height which over the centuries have been reduced to the current 139 meters and seems to have been built over a period of time between 15 and 30 years.

The ancient lighthouse of Alexandria

Ancient Alexandria Lighthouse
Image by Arthur Balitskii from Shutterstock

The ancient lighthouse of Alexandria is the wonder that has endured the longest over the centuries if we exclude the pyramid of Giza.
It was built in 305 BC by the new ruler Ptolemy I, part of an urban restructuring plan of the time and to make the navigation of the seas in the area safer.
The first earthquake in Crete, in 1303 and a subsequent one twenty years later, damaged it irreparably.
In 1968, UNESCO, during some underwater expeditions, found some remains of the lighthouse but subsequently abandoned further research.

The temple of Artemis in Ephesus

Artemis Temple
Image by Arthur Balitskii from Shutterstock

Today

Artemis Temple ruin today
Image by Dennis Jarvis from Flickr

You can see it from the pictures above. Very little remains of the majestic temple of Artemis, if not its history. Located in Turkey, in Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis boasts a very long history. It seems that the area was already frequented by the Bronze Age, but the first two temples were built and rebuilt only between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Between 580 and 560 BC a large temple was built in line with those present and subsequently the construction of a Greek temple in marble. The temple was burned in the July of 356 BC, rebuilt and destroyed by the invasion of the Goths in 263 AD. Its marbles were reused and in 401 AD it definitively fell into disrepair

Zeus statue in Olympia

Zeus statue in Olympia
Image by Ingrid und Stefan Melichar from Pixabay

The statue of Zeus in Olympia measured about twelve meters in height and was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias in 432 BC.
The statue was to complete the temple of Zeus whose construction was completed around 456 BC.
The statue remained in the temple for 800 years then Caligula was the first to do everything possible to bring it to Rome.
Only in the fifth century, however, Lauso, a high Byzantine official managed to include the statue of Zeus in his collection of a palace in Constantinople which was later destroyed in a fire in 475.
…and with it also one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world …

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Image by Multipedia from Shutterstock

Today

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus today
Image by Shadowgate from Flickr

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was a tomb that Artemisia had built for her husband and brother Mausolus. It is located in Bodrum, once Halicarnassus and, destroyed by an earthquake, it preserves only a few ruins of what was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. It was built by Pitide and artists such as Briasside, Leochares, Timoteo and Skopas worked on it.

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