What Are the Original Seven Wonders of the World?

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The giant and stunning white statue sat overlooking the grounds where the original Olympic games were held, and people came from around the Greek empire to pay homage to Zeus and participate in the games.

Scholars agree that the statue remained in the temple for more than 800 years, but there is some debate about when and how the statue was destroyed. Some scholars believe that the statue was destroyed in a fire in the temple in the fifth century.

Others believe that the statue was transported from the temple to a palace in Constantinople, where it perished in a fire around the year 462.

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Built around the year 550 B.C. by the architect Cherisphron, the great marble temple at Ephesus (located in modern day Turkey) was built in honor of Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting and fertility.

The stunning marble structure was surrounded by 127 Ionic columns that reached to a height of 60 feet.

The facade of the temple was adorned with bronze statues attributed to a number of expert sculptors of the era and overlooked a courtyard that served as a marketplace for people from near and far to trade their goods.

On July 21, 256 B.C., the night of Alexander the Great's birth, a man named Herostatus burned the main building to the ground, hoping to make his name immortal. Another temple was reconstructed on the site but was destroyed by the Goths in the year 262.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Admired for its stunning beauty, the Mausoleum at Hailcarnassus (located near the modern city of Bodrum in Turkey) was built as the tomb for the Persian King Mausollos of Caria, and was completed around 35 B.C., a few years after Mausollos' death.

The Mausoleum, which no longer exists, was exceptional for its massive size, with a base of about 1,2000 square feet and a total height of 140 feet.

The burial chamber and the sarcophagus, which was built of white alabaster and adorned with gold, sat on top of a stepped podium and was surrounded by Ionic columns. Despite the Mausoleum's size, visitors were most impressed by the beautiful decorations and statues that adorned it.

Sixteen centuries after its construction, the Mausoleum was damaged by an earthquake, and in the early 15th century, crusaders destroyed what remained of the Mausoleum and used the bricks to build a castle that still stands today.

The Colossus of Rhodes

The 110-foot high statue of Colossus overlooked the ancient harbor of the Greek Island of Rhodes for only 56 years, but its size and construction inspired such awe in its visitors that centuries after its destruction it was included on the list of ancient wonders.

The people of Rhodes commissioned sculptor Chares of Lindos to build the giant bronze statue of their patron deity Helios the Sun God in 294 B.C. Sadly, in 238 B.C., Rhodes was hit by an earthquake and the city's beloved Colossus fell. However, according to historical accounts, visitors to Rhodes were still awed by the statue even as it laid in ruins on the ground.

In 652, an invading Arab army destroyed the fallen Colossus, and some historical accounts assert that the army then sold off the pieces to "a Jew from Syria" who transported them on the backs of "900 camels."

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