The Ancient Greeks started the idea off with the original Seven Wonders of the World.
* The Great Pyramid of Giza
* The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
* The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
* The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
* The Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
* The Colossus of Rhodes
* The Lighthouse at Alexandria
Their choice was determined by many factors – spectacular engineering, of course; undoubtedly beauty; height also seems an important factor – but the main issue was the awe that these buildings engendered.
In 1994 the American Society of Civil Engineers chose the Seven Wonders of the Modern World: the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Dutch North Sea Protection Works, the CN Tower, the Itaipu Dam in South America, and the Channel Tunnel. Two millennia have certainly changed the type of building listed: the old wonders are mainly to do with honoring the gods or dead kings; today’s list mainly to do with facilitating travel or trade.
But the factors that led to the choice are very similar: when we see them we are in awe of there projects.
The main problem with both of these lists is that they are too short and too based on Classical Europe and America. There is no mention of natural wonders. Is any man-made building more impressive than the Grand Canyon or Victoria Falls?
Wonders of the World sets out to put a wider choice of wonders – ancient and modern – from all round the world, Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, Oceania. And what a collection it is! From Ayers Rock to the Amazon, from the Wailing Wall to the Great Wall of China, from the Sears Towers to the Petronas Towers, here are 71 of the most impressive, most awe-inspiring, and most beautiful wonders of our world.