The world has progressed incredibly since the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Today, there are so many incredible marvels in the world that it’s now infinitely more difficult to come up with only 7 wonders.
Seven is a good number though, so here I’ll give you my opinion of what I consider the 7 greatest wonders of the modern world to be at this point in time. First let’s reflect back towards ancient times to see what made the list back then.
7 Wonders of the Ancient World
1. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece – Giant statue of Zeus made of ivory (45 feet high).
2. The Colossus of Rhodes, Greece – Giant bronze statue of the God of the sun.
3. The Pyramid of Giza, Egypt – The largest stone structure in the world and still here today.
4. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey – The largest marble temple ever constructed.
5. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq – The only wonder containing natural beauty.
6. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Bodrum), Turkey – Elaborate tomb lined with statues.
7. The Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt – A lighthouse said to be over 400 feet high.
Well that’s what they came up with in Building the Impossible: The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, narrated by Pierce Brosnan. Keep in mind, back in ancient times many other great cultures such as the Chinese and Incas were totally unknown to the Greeks. This obviously meant that their buildings and structures weren’t even considered. That’s what happens when your ignorant.
‘History is a set of lies agreed upon’
~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~
7 Wonders of the Modern World
1. Sydney Harbour (Australia)
Sydney Harbour has to be the most beautiful harbour in the world. Seeing the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from multiple perspectives is simply astounding. Rio de Janeiro is a challenger, but they had to be excluded for obvious reasons.
The Sydney Opera House was the vision of a Danish architect named Jørn Utzon, who won the commission for the Opera House design in 1957 in a competition. Foundations were built in 1959 and while the project started with a budget of only seven million Australian dollars, in the end due to huge construction complexities, the project ended up costing something like $102 million. The spectacular roof caused the biggest headaches. I’m sure a big sigh of relief occurred when the Opera House finally opened in 1973. The visionary genius behind it, Mr Utzon, didn’t even attend the opening ceremony due to a fallout with the NSW Government in the mid-1960s.
The construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge started in 1923 and it opened on 19 March 1932. What made it all the more remarkable was that during the ribbon cutting ceremony, one chap known as Captain De Groot rode a horse in uniform behind the Governor’s official cavalry guard undetected. He approached the official area where the ribbon stretched across the bridge and slashed it exclaiming ‘On behalf of decent and loyal citizens of New South Wales, I now declare this bridge open.’ Someone obviously made this quote up by the way. This infuriated the official person tasked with the honourable job. De Groot was quickly arrested and taken to a psychiatric centre.
As icing on the cake and added proof that Sydney Harbour is the best, the Olympics Games were held in Sydney in 2000. Australia’s Simon Fairweather won the Gold medal for the men’s individual archery at these Games, which says it all. Sydney is number 1.
2. Eiffel Tower (France)
I have to say that I never had any really high expectations when visiting the Eiffel Tower, however after I viewed the tower and made my way to the top, I absolutely fell in love with it. The structure was only meant to be in place for a temporary period of time as part of the Paris exhibition in 1889 for the World Fair. I completely understand why it had to stay in Paris permanently. It’s an absolute marvel.
The tower was designed by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel. It was constructed in 1887-1889 taking 18 months to complete. At the time it was the tallest building in the world at 300 m high, until the Empire State Building came along in 1931. The tower is made of wrought iron sections bolted together. It’s something that Daedalus from Greek Mythology would find irresistible.
The movie Superman II has a great Eiffel Tower scene where Superman rescues Lois Lane from the Eiffel Tower just in the nick of time. As a result it leads to Superman unwittingly freeing three criminals from the phantom zone imprisonment. The newly released villains from Planet Krypton first cause chaos with the crew of Artemis on the moon before causing havoc on earth. Artemis remember is the Greek virgin Goddess of hunting and the Moon, as well as the twin sister of Apollo.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is the principal boulevard in Paris. ‘Champs-Élysées’ is the French translation for Elysian Fields, which the ancient Greeks knew as paradise. Paris as most of you know is the prince who judged the beauty contest between the three Goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. His judgement led to the Trojan War after he awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, because of her sweetener to gift him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. The city who many would grant it the title as the beautiful city of the world, also referred to as the city of love, is obviously called Paris for that reason.
3. Katikies Hotel (Santorini, Greece)
The proviso is that you have to be staying somewhere great. Katikies hotel is a myth in itself. Who’d have thought that a superb five-star whitewashed hotel like Katikies would eventually be placed high up on the edge of the caldera on an island which blew itself to smithereens in ancient times.
I loved my one night at Katikies. Thanks everyone, even the girl who accidentally charged me $9,999 when I first arrived. Thanks for the upgrade everyone. 🙂
4. Disneyland, Walt Disney World (USA)
What a great idea Disneyland turned out to be. I’ve never been and probably won’t ever go, but I’m 100% positive Walt Disney Theme Parks have to be included in the greatest wonders of the modern world.
Disneyland in California has been a fantastic inspiration ever since it first opened in 1955. This led to the establishment of Walt Disney World in Florida in 1971, which makes any choice between the two destinations extremely difficult. Where to go? Walt Disney World is much larger so there’d be a lot more things to see and do. Either way I’m sure Disneyland and Disney World are phenomenal places.
- Disneyland, Anaheim, California (West Coast) – It’s way smaller than Disney World, but it’s the original.
- Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida – The grounds are astronomical at over 40 square miles.
Then there are the Disney Resorts located around the world including:
- Hong Kong
5. The Burj Al Arab Hotel and Atlantis (Dubai)
The first time I ever saw The Burj Al Arab Hotel on television, it blew my mind.
Watching tennis legends Roger Federer and Andre Agassi play a friendly game of tennis on the rooftop court made my jaw drop. This hotel is an incredible icon for Dubaii.
Same goes with Atlantis. They’re only 20-25 minutes away from each other.
6. Palace of Versailles (France)
It does have the fountain of Apollo. Seems like it would be a brilliant day trip from Paris. I love France.
In 1661, King Louis XIV expanded his father’s lodge, by turning it into a grand palace with approximately 700 rooms surrounded with large manicured gardens. The Hall of Mirrors is probably the most famous part of this lavish palace complex. That’s where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919 to end World War 1. A German emperor was also crowned in Versailles in 1871. Not sure why.
This palace is linked to Marie-Antoinette who some say gave one of the most famous quotes in history. In 1789 after being told that her French subjects had no bread, Marie-Antoinette quipped:
“Let them eat cake”
Well if I ever visit the Palace of Versalles the first thing I’d do is make sure I took some cake with me to eat while walking through the Hall of Mirrors. If anyone tried to stop me eating my piece of cake inside the palace, I’d eat it at the fountain of Apollo. It would be a win-win scenario.
7. Dream house or Yacht (Somewhere)
I’ve never been, but I’m sure there are a few exclusive places out there in the world that are way-way beyond normal human comprehension, just like eternal paradise is incomprehensible.