As human beings, we are constantly in awe of the incredible feats of architecture and engineering that we have accomplished throughout history. From the towering pyramids of Egypt to the stunning skyscrapers of modern-day cities, we have created some truly breathtaking man made wonders of the world.
Interestingly, the concept of compiling a list of these wonders is not a new one. However, with the exception of the Great Pyramid of Giza, all of these ancient wonders have long since been destroyed, whether by earthquakes, fires, or other disasters.
Over the centuries, many lists of wonders have been created, each one showcasing the incredible ingenuity and creativity of human beings. Today, we continue this tradition by presenting our own selection of 10 man made wonders of the world.
These wonders include some of the most iconic and recognizable structures on the planet, such as the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Taj Mahal in India. Each of these structures represents a remarkable achievement of human creativity and engineering process and continues to inspire awe and wonder in visitors from around the world.
1. Pyramids of Giza
It is a testament to the incredible engineering feats achieved by the ancient Egyptians, and their mastery of architecture. The three pyramids found in Giza were built over the course of three generations by Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, and continue to stand tall to this day.
The construction of this magnificent structure required over two million blocks of stone, and it took around 20 years to complete, concluding around 2560 BC. At an astounding height of 139 meters (455 feet), the Great Pyramid of Khufu is the largest pyramid in Egypt. Although Khafre’s Pyramid appears larger due to its placement at a higher elevation, the Great Pyramid of Khufu remains a truly awe-inspiring marvel of human engineering.
These man made wonders of the world have captivated people’s imaginations for centuries, and continue to inspire awe and wonder today. Their grandeur and scale are a testament to the incredible achievements of the ancient world, and they serve as a reminder of the limitless potential of human creativity and ingenuity. Anyone with an interest in history or architecture should definitely put a visit to the Giza Necropolis at the top of their bucket list.
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2. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, a spectacular ancient site located in Peru, is considered one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring man made wonders of the world. This “Lost City of the Incas” remained hidden for centuries above the Urubamba Valley until its rediscovery in 1911 by Hawaiian historian Hiram Bingham. The city is entirely self-contained and is invisible from below, surrounded by breathtaking agricultural terraces and fed by natural springs.
Before its rediscovery, Machu Picchu was largely unknown to the outside world. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru, attracting visitors from all over the world. It is easy to see why, as Machu Picchu offers a truly unique and breathtaking experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
Visitors to Machu Picchu can explore the intricate and fascinating ruins of this ancient city, which is believed to have been built in the 15th century. The site offers incredible panoramic views of the surrounding Andes Mountains, and visitors can marvel at the impressive stone structures that make up the city, including the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Three Windows.
Machu Picchu is a true testament to the architectural and engineering brilliance of the Incas, who were able to construct such a magnificent city in such a remote and challenging location. Today, it stands as one of the most impressive man made wonders of the world, a true testament to the ingenuity and creativity of human beings. A visit to Machu Picchu is a must for anyone interested in history, architecture, or simply the wonder of the world around us.
Teotihuacan, a grand and flourishing metropolis that rose in the valley of Mexico during the 2nd century BC, remains one of the most awe-inspiring man made wonders of the world. The civilization that built this great city was responsible for the construction of the colossal step pyramids, including the famous Pyramid of the Sun, which was completed around 100 AD. Standing tall at an impressive height of 246 feet, it was not only the largest building in Teotihuacan but also one of the most significant structures in Mesoamerica.
Visitors today can explore these remarkable structures and marvel at the architectural ingenuity and engineering excellence of the ancient civilization that created them. The Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, along with other impressive buildings, remain a testament to the grandeur of Teotihuacan and its people.
The mysteries surrounding Teotihuacan and its pyramids continue to intrigue and fascinate both historians and tourists. With its impressive size and imposing grandeur, it is no wonder that the Pyramids of Teotihuacan have been named one of the man made wonders of the world.
Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty initiated its construction in 72 AD and his son Titus completed it in 80 AD. The Colosseum was designed to host various public spectacles, such as gladiator games, theatrical performances, and animal hunts. During the opening ceremonies of the Colosseum, 100 days of non-stop spectacles were held, in which over 5,000 animals and 2,000 gladiators lost their lives.
The seating areas of the Colosseum were designed in such a way that the audience could be arranged according to their social status, with the emperor and other high-ranking officials occupying the best seats. The spectators were protected from the scorching sun and heavy rainfall by a massive awning, known as the “velarium,” which was attached to the top of the attic.
Despite enduring centuries of natural disasters, looting, and vandalism, the Colosseum still stands tall and proud, representing the architectural genius and engineering skills of ancient Rome. The Colosseum has been designated as one of the man made wonders of the world, attracting millions of visitors from across the globe to admire its awe-inspiring beauty and rich history.
5. Easter Island
Easter Island, one of the world’s most remote islands, is home to the famous monolithic statues known as moai. These impressive works of art were crafted by the Polynesian colonizers who settled on the island between approximately 1250 AD and 1500 AD.
Aside from serving as representations of their ancestors who had passed away, the moai were also considered to embody the powerful chiefs who had once ruled the island. The largest of these statues, called Paro, towered at almost 10 meters (33 ft) high and weighed an impressive 75 tonnes.
Although the moai were still standing when Europeans first arrived on the island, conflicts between clans led to many of the statues being toppled over. Nowadays, approximately 50 moai have been restored and re-erected on Easter Island or displayed in museums around the world.
The construction and placement of the moai are a testament to the incredible engineering capabilities and artistic talent of the Polynesian colonizers. These statues remain a fascinating example of the man made wonders of the world, attracting visitors from around the globe who come to marvel at their scale and beauty.
6. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive man made wonders of the world. The wall was built, rebuilt, and maintained over centuries, from the 5th century BC to the 16th century. However, only a small portion of that wall remains today. The majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). This remarkable feat of engineering is an incredible testament to the ancient Chinese civilization’s ingenuity and determination.
The wall is made of various materials such as brick, tamped earth, stone, and wood, depending on the location and resources available. The construction involved extensive labor, with millions of workers estimated to have been involved in its creation over the centuries.
The Great Wall is not only a remarkable engineering feat, but it also serves as a cultural and historical icon of China.
Moreover, the Great Wall of China is an awe-inspiring man made wonder of the world that reflects the ancient Chinese civilization’s greatness. With its remarkable length and history, the Great Wall stands as a testament to human engineering and determination.
Petra is an awe-inspiring man made wonder of the world, known as the “rose-red city, half as old as time.” It was once the bustling capital of the Nabataean kingdom, located in Jordan. This ancient city is Jordan’s most prized possession and top tourist attraction. Today, Petra stands as a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship and ingenuity of ancient civilizations.
One of the most breathtaking structures within Petra is Al Khazneh, or “The Treasury.” This magnificent building was carved out of a sandstone rock face, with a massive facade that towers above everything around it. The intricate details of its design, including the ornate columns and intricate carvings, are a true testament to the skill and dedication of the Nabataean people. Visitors can explore Petra’s vast network of tombs, temples, and other impressive structures, including the Monastery and the Theater.
As one of the man made wonders of the world, Angkor Wat is a massive temple complex that encompasses the ruins of several capitals of the Khmer Empire, spanning from the 9th to the 15th century AD.
This awe-inspiring site features numerous ancient structures, including the world-renowned Angkor Wat temple, which happens to be the largest single religious monument on the planet. Additionally, visitors can marvel at the Bayon temple, located at Angkor Thom, which is famous for its massive stone faces.
Throughout its lengthy history, Angkor Wat underwent various religious transformations, transitioning between Hinduism and Buddhism on multiple occasions. This magnificent site has become a symbol of Cambodia, and it is proudly displayed on the nation’s flag.
Today, it remains the country’s most prominent tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all corners of the globe to witness its breathtaking beauty and unparalleled historical significance. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates awe-inspiring feats of human ingenuity, Angkor Wat is undoubtedly a must-see destination.
9. Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, one of the man made wonders of the world, is a breathtaking mausoleum made of white marble. It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife and took over two decades to complete, from 1632 to 1653. The entire complex is a true wonder, showcasing the brilliance of the Mughal era and the dedication of its builders.
Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of man made wonders, the Taj Mahal is a must-see destination that will leave you awestruck.
The Parthenon, nestled atop the Acropolis in Athens, stands as an enduring symbol of ancient Greek civilization and a marvel of human engineering. This majestic temple is widely recognized as one of the world’s most famous man-made wonders, drawing countless visitors from all over the globe to marvel at its awe-inspiring beauty.
Constructed between 447 BC and 432 BC, the Parthenon replaced an earlier temple that had been destroyed by invading Persians. Its primary purpose was to house an enormous statue of Athena Parthenos, a magnificent work of art made of ivory, silver, and gold. Although the statue was looted and destroyed centuries ago, the Parthenon continues to captivate and inspire all who gaze upon its grandeur.
Once a house of worship, it was later repurposed as a fortress, a church, a mosque, and even a gunpowder magazine. Despite facing a number of challenges, including damage from fires and explosions, the Parthenon has managed to withstand the test of time, standing tall as a testament to the ingenuity and vision of its creators.
Today, visitors to the Parthenon can explore the site and marvel at the impressive scale of its towering pillars, intricate friezes, and stunning marble sculptures. It is a true wonder of the world, steeped in history and culture, and a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the grandeur of ancient Greece.