18 August, 2012

Wonders of the World

The earth where we live is full of many amazing and wonderful things, most of them are natural like mountains, deserts, rivers, sea, volcanoes, stones & rocks, forests and many more, actually the Creator has creates some amazing things like he created some simple and familiar to us, so if we see a non-familiar thing, we amazed and we feel some happiness in our heart because human being became interested to amazing things since its starting.
When human being looked these wonders around them, they became interested to them and started calculating amount of wonders in the world, as a result they found many deserts, rivers, mountains and many more.
Human being also managed to build many wonders according to their history, culture, civilization and also for their safety and enjoyment, the Taj Mahal is built as a in the memory of a women. Chinese wall, Eiffel tower, and pyramid are the examples of human made wonders.
to find and protect monuments and wonders, they established an organization named "THE NEW 7 WONDERS" in 2001, since then, they prepare a global contest on the internet to find the wonders. the last contest was prepared  07-07-2007 which results were announced on its website.
some organizations were also established for purpose, like "International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)" is an organization which was established in  1965under UNESCO, this organization evaluates nominations for aspects related to authenticity, management, and conservation as specified in the World Heritage Convention. the international members of ICOMOS are:
 
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Mauritius
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Korean Republic
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania
  • Luxemburg
  • Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Morocco
  • Mauritania
  • Mexico
  • Moldavia
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • The Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Uganda
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine (Observer)
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • People's Democratic Republic of Korea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Belarus
  • Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • El Salvador
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sénégal
  • Serbia and Montenegro
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
I tried  to let u know about wonders of the world winch was resulted by "THE NEW 7 WONDERS" from 200 monuments in 2007. these are:



Wonder Location Image
Taj Mahal
ताज महल
تاج محل
Agra, India Taj Mahal
Chichen Itza
Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha'
Yucatán, Mexico El Castillo being climbed by tourists
Christ the Redeemer
O Cristo Redentor
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Colosseum
Colosseo
Rome, Italy The Colosseum at dusk: exterior view of the best-preserved section
Great Wall of China

Wànlǐ Chángchéng
China The Great Wall of china (Mutianyu section)
Machu Picchu
Machu Pikchu
Cuzco Region, Peru Machu Picchu in Peru
Petra
البتراء
al-Batrāʾ
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan The Monastery at Petra


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The Seven Wonders of The World






1-THE TAJ MAHAL

The Taj Mahal ( /ˈtɑː/ or /ˈtɑːʒ məˈhɑːl/; Hindi: ताज महल, from Persian/Urdu: تاج محل "crown of palaces", pronounced [ˈt̪aːdʒ mɛˈɦɛl]; also "the Taj") is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".
Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman Turkic and Indian architectural styles.
In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer.

 More About It

The Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal art and one of the most famous buildings in the world. Yet there have been few serious studies of it and no full analysis of its architecture and meaning. Ebba Koch, an important scholar,  has been permitted to take measurements of the complex and has been working on the palaces and gardens of Shah Jahan for thirty years and on the Taj Mahal itself—the tomb of the emperor's wife, Mumtaz Mahal—for a decade.
The tomb is the representation of the house of the queen in Paradise, and  its setting was based on the palace gardens of the great nobles that lined both sides of the river at Agra India.  You will explore the entire complex of the Taj Mahal with an explanation of each building and an account of the mausoleum's urban setting, its design and construction, its symbolic meaning, and its history up to the present day.


Taj mahal was built in 22 years (1631-1653) with the orders of Shah Jahan and it was dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Bano Begum), the wife of Shah. 20.000 workers labored and 32 crore rupees were spent during the construction of the monument and it was built according to Islamic architecture. It is one of the Unesco world heritage site.

 Agra, once the capital of the Mughal Empire during the 16th and early 18th centuries, is one and a half hours by express train from New Delhi. Tourists from all over the world visit Agra not to see the ruins of the red sandstone fortress built by the Mughal emperors but to make a pilgrimage to Taj Mahal, India’s most famous architectural wonder, in a land where magnificent temples and edificies abound to remind visitors about the rich civilization of a country that is slowly but surely lifting itself into an industrialized society.
 The postcard picture of Taj Mahal does not adequately convey the legend, the poetry and the romance that shroud what Rabindranath Tagore calls "a teardrop on the cheek of time". Taj Mahal means "Crown Palace" and is in fact the most well preserved and architecturally beautiful tomb in the world. It is best described by the English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold, as "Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones." It is a celebration of woman built in marble and that’s the way to appreciate it.
 Taj Mahal stands on the bank of River Yamuna, which otherwise serves as a wide moat defending the Great Red Fort of Agra, the center of the Mughal emperors until they moved their capital to Delhi in 1637. It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. She died while accompanying her husband in Burhanpur in a campaign to crush a rebellion after giving birth to their 14th child. The death so crushed the emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white in a few months.
 When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. He kept the first and second promises. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. It was designed by the Iranian architect Ustad Isa and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a "symbol of eternal love".
 The Taj rises on a high red sandstone base topped by a huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous dome flanked by four tapering minarets. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen. So exquisite is the workmanship that the Taj has been described as "having been designed by giants and finished by jewellers". The only asymmetrical object in the Taj is the casket of the emperor which was built beside the queen’s as an afterthought. The emperor was deposed by his son and imprisoned in the Great Red Fort for eight years but was buried in the Taj. During his imprisonment, he had a view of the Taj.
 As a tribute to a beautiful woman and as a monument for enduring love, the Taj reveals its subtleties when one visits it without being in a hurry. The rectangular base of Taj is in itself symbolic of the different sides from which to view a beautiful woman. The main gate is like a veil to a woman’s face which should be lifted delicately, gently and without haste on the wedding night. In indian tradition the veil is lifted gently to reveal the beauty of the bride. As one stands inside the main gate of Taj, his eyes are directed to an arch which frames the Taj.
 The dome is made of white marble, but the tomb is set against the plain across the river and it is this background that works its magic of colours that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj. The colours change at different hours of the day and during different seasons. Like a jewel, the Taj sparkles in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, depict the different moods of woman.
 Different people have different views of the Taj but it would be enough to say that the Taj has a life of its own that leaps out of marble, provided you understand that it is a monument of love. As an architectural masterpiece, nothing could be added or substracted from it.

Myth about Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal means the’ Place of the Crown’ because; Taj means “Crown” and Mahal means “place”. There are several myths about Taj Mahal.
  • According to one of the myths, the construction is sinking and it is known that in spite of all the precautions, cracks were discovered in it just 4 years after its completion and that it was tilting towards the riverside.
  • According to another myth a number of items such as diamonds, a gold leaf which covered the part of the dome, a pearl blanket etc that were originally a part of the Taj were stolen.
  • It is also told that Shah Jahan got the hands of his sculptors and architects cut off so that they would never be able to build a monument as magnificent and beautiful as the Taj again and he even got their eyes pulled out so that they would never be able to witness anything bigger and more beautiful than the monument that they had built during their lifetime.

2-Chichen Itza


The Maya name "Chichen Itza" means "At the mouth of the well of the Itza." This derives from chi', meaning "mouth" or "edge", and ch'en or ch'e'en, meaning "well." Itzá is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that gained political and economic dominance of the northern peninsula. One possible translation for Itza is "enchanter (or enchantment) of the water"Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of Yucatán state in Mexico. The northern Yucatán Peninsula is arid, and the rivers in the interior all run underground. There are two large, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of the two cenotes, the "Cenote Sagrado" or Sacred Cenote (also variously known as the Sacred Well or Well of Sacrifice), is the most famous.
The layout of Chichen Itza site core developed during its earlier phase of occupation, between 750 and 900 AD. Its final layout was developed after 900 AD, and the 10th century saw the rise of the city as a regional capital controlling the area from central Yucatán to the north coast, with its power extending down the east and west coasts of the peninsula. The earliest hieroglyphic date discovered at Chichen Itza is equivalent to 832 AD, while the last known date was recorded in the Osario temple in 998.
 
Chichen Itza which means “at the mouth of the well of Itza “, is the 2nd most visited archeological site of Mexico today. The Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen-Itza which known as “El Castillo” (the castle), is one of the new seven wonders of the world elected in 07.07.2007. It is exactly 24 m. high considering the upper platform. Apart from the Kukulkan Pyramid, in Chichen Itza there many other archaeological sites to visit, all carrying traces from Mayan Culture in many ways.
Chichen-Itza, now including one of the new 7 wonders of the world; the Kukulkan Pyramid, is located in the Peninsula of Yucatan, in the Yucatan State; Mexico, between Valladolid and Merida and is just120 km from Merida.

Establishment

The Late Classic city was centred upon the area to the southwest of the Xtoloc cenote, with the main architecture represented by the substructures now underlying the Las Monjas and Observatorio and the basal platform upon which they were built
.
The Maya Civilization
The Maya originated around 3,000 years ago in present-day Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and Mexico.
The Mayan empire flourished in the southern regions from around 250 AD to 900 AD. The empire in the south collapsed around 900 AD. No one knows the reason.
Scholars have suggested, among other reasons, disease, political upheaval, overpopulation or drought. But while the empire in the south waned, that in the north, especially in the Yucatan, flourished until the Spanish conquests of the 16th century AD.
The Maya were very skilled farmers and also created a very sophisticated written language; some think it might have been the first written language native to the Americans.
The Maya also developed social class system which was a well-ordered and carried on trade throughout a network of cities that went as far south as Panama and as far north as Central Mexico. Mathematicians, their number system included the concept of zero, an idea unknown to the old Greeks, expert mathematicians themselves.
The Maya used their mathematical knowledge along with celestial observations to finesse a calendar created by the Olmec which is a culture from the Mexican Gulf Coast and to create monuments to observe and commemorate movements of the moon, the sun, and Venus.
Spectacular examples of these monuments can still be seen at Chichen Itza today.




Myth

There is a certain mystical energy about the ball court that begs to be experienced first-hand. One fact worth noting is the repetition of the number seven, which was sacred to the Mayans. There were seven players on a team, the rings were seven meters high and if you clap your hands or shout in the court, the sound will echo exactly seven times. There are carvings on the stone walls that depict the ball players (some of which are remarkably intact) and after the captain was beheaded, it is said that seven serpents grew out of his neck.
But the true mystery behind the ball court at Chichén-Itzá is the Mayan prophecy that on Dec. 22, 2012, the great warrior serpent Kukulkán will rise from the ground beneath the playing field and end the world for good. Even if you're not one to believe in predictions, it's still exhilarating and eerie to stand in the middle of the court, close your eyes, and imagine.
At the entrance to Chichén Itzá, there is an informative museum, a dining room, clean restrooms, a few gift shops, and vendor stands. If you didn't bring a hat, it's a good idea to buy one from one of the vendors outside before you go in.

3- Christ the Redeemer

 

Cristo Redentor (English: lit. Christ the Redeemer, Portuguese: Cristo Redentor, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈkɾistu ɦedẽˈtoʁ], local dialect: [ˈkɾiʃtu ɦedẽjˈtoɦ]) is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. It is 39.6 metres (130 ft) tall, including its 9.5 metres (31 ft) pedestal, and 30 metres (98 ft) wide. It weighs 635 tonnes (625 long,700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931.


 More About It

Towering atop 2400 ft. tall Corcovado Mountain stands certainly Rio’s most memorable monument Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor). Standing upright at over 100 feet tall, two and one half million pounds with outstretched arms and open, inviting hands, Cristo maintains a 24 hour vigil to all inhabitants of Rio.
The idea of a religious statue was first conceived in 1921 by Carlos Oswaldo who sketched out a design of Christ carrying a cross. When engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was commissioned to build the monument he enlisted the aid of Polish sculptor Paul Landowski and the design was changed to its current form and it was agreed that the statue would be sculpted in France (unlike the Statue of Liberty it was not a gift from France).
After five years of planning and sculpting construction finally began on the monumental project. Soapstone was chosen as the desired material, despite its softness, for its durability over time and resistance to the punishing elements. Workers were enlisted and in 1926 construction material was now being hauled up the mountain via the Corcovado Railroad. The same train today transports tourists to the base of the statue.
After five more years of laborious construction on October 12 th, 1931 the statue is inaugurated. Having been funded completely by donations and owned by the Catholic Church, what was considered to be the greatest monument of its time is now erect, inviting, embracing, protecting its people.
Today, as in 1931, a trip to the top is a must for any traveler to Rio de Janeiro. Traveling by electrified train thru the worlds largest urban forest is an adventure itself and once to the base escalators have replaced the 220 something steps once required to access the viewing area. At the base is a chapel accommodating over 100 people and a small souvenir shop. But it’s the viewing area which attracts the masses.
And the view is spectacular. On a clear day a 360 degree panorama of the entire city, the beaches, the forest, mountains, Favelas and picturesque sunsets, Maracana Stadium, Rio Niteroi Bridge, the Jockey Club, Botanic Garden and more.
Major restorative work was completed in 2000. In addition to a thorough cleaning, advances in corrosion protection were implemented and new lighting installed making this landmark beacon even more visible to the night viewer.
The train to the top is operated by Estrada de Ferro Corcovado departing every twenty minutes from 8:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. for about 10 dollars for adults. Should you decide to leave the train at Paineira station you can take a walk in Tijuca National Park, return and re-board with the same ticket. The train accesses at Rua Cosme Velho 513.

Corcovado Mountain

Originally given the biblical name ’Pinaculo da Tentacao’ (Pinnacle of Temptation) by the early Portuguese, its name was later changed to Corcovado because of its resemblance to a hunchback.
Located within the Tijuca Forest National Park and rising more than 2300 feet high, this visibly discernible natural landmark is known world wide as the site of the 100 ft. high Christ the Redeemer statue.
Its funicular railroad originally built in 1884 became the mainstay of construction transportation for the building of the statue and continues today serving tourists seeking to admire the eye-popping view from the top. Open daily from 8:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. the electrically powered trains shuttle visitors up and down the mountain at a rate of about 360 per hour. But the demand during the peak season often exceeds its capacity and waiting times can extended.
Most visitors will enjoy the comfort and ease of the Corcovado Rack Railway along with the changing scenery of the forest as it tracks its way up to the granite domed pinnacle. But for the more serious adventurer Corcovado is climbable. The south face contains over 50 climbing routes, but beware these are not hiking trails. Experienced, capable, outfitted rock climbers will relish the challenge.
Many visitors to Brazil seek out the unusual, unique, out of the way and off the beaten path experiences not found in your rudimentary tour guide. Commendable as that is, a trip to the top of Corcovado Mountain should not be missed. Regardless of how you get there.
The timeless scenery of the Cristo Redentor has been celebrated in countless songs and poems ("Corcovado"und "Samba do Avião", by Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim, to just name a few). Small wonder that the symbol of the marvelous city now also holds the title of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, established in an internet poll initiated by the swiss based New7Wonders Foundation/New Open World Corporation (NOWC) in 2007, side by side with the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Machu Picchu, the Colosseum, the stone city of Petra, Jordan and the mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza, Of these epic monuments, only the Cristo Redentor was built in the 20th century.
Plans to build a statue on Mount Corcovado took shape in 1921, during the preparations for Brazil's 100th independance day. Financing and construction of the 30 metre high structure, weighing 1145 tons and measuring 28 metres from one fingertip to the other, took more than 10 years. The statue can be reached by cogwheel trains departing from Cosme Velho district at the foot of Mount Corcovado, in a 20 minute ride through dense tropical vegetation with occasional glimpses of the City from various unusual angles, or simply by taking a cab. Since the installation of escalators in 2003, climbing the 200 remaining stairs to the viewing platform is no longer a must.

 4-Colosseum

The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.
Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started in 72 ADunder the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus,with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96).The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).
Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.
The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.

 Physical description

Exterior

The Colosseum measures 157 feet high, 615 feet long, and 510 feet wide, with a base area of six acres. Unlike earlier amphitheaters, it was an entirely free-standing structure, constructed on flat ground rather than being built into an existing hillside or natural depression. Its outer wall originally measured 1,788 feet, and is estimated to have required over 3.5 million cubic feet of travertine stone held together by 300 tons of iron clamps. However, it has suffered extensive damage over the centuries, with large segments having collapsed following earthquakes. The north side of the perimeter wall is still standing; the distinctive triangular brick wedges at each end are modern additions, having been constructed in the early nineteenth century to shore up the wall. The remainder of the present-day exterior of the Colosseum is in fact the original interior wall.

Interior seating
 
 Side view of Colosseum seating.
According to the Codex-Calendar of 354 C.E., the Colosseum could accommodate 87,000 people, although modern estimates put the figure at around 50,000. They were seated in a tiered arrangement that reflected the rigidly stratified nature of Roman society. Special boxes were provided at the north and south ends respectively for the Emperor and the Vestal Virgins, providing the best views of the arena. Flanking them at the same level was a broad platform or podium for the senatorial class, who were allowed to bring their own chairs. The names of some fifth century senators can still be seen carved into the stonework, presumably reserving areas for their use.

 5-The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC;these, later joined together and made bigger, stronger, and unified are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty.
Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.
The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi) This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi).

Recommended Great Wall Sections

The Great Wall at Mutianyu  is fully-restored and characterized by many watchtowers on overlapping mountain ranges. It is less crowded and has better architecture than at Badaling,
 Badaling is the site of the best-preserved and most popular section of the Great Wall. 370 foreign leaders and VIPs have climbed the Badaling section. It is one of the closest sections to Beijing (about 1 hour 30 minutes on the Badaling Expressway).
The Simatai Great Wall is a section of unrestored original wall, well-preserved with a good range of architecture. Every part is at least 400 years old. The mountains at Simatai are particularly steep, offering great views, but the hiking is more testing.
Shanhaiguan is known as "the First Pass Under Heaven". With Old Dragon's Head (Laolongtou), the eastern limit of the Great Wall, only 5 km (3 miles) away, you can see where the Great Wall meets the sea, a section of the wall that was of huge military importance.
Jiayuguan  is a very well-preserved pass that has served as a gateway of the Silk Road for centuries. Jiayu Pass, in the Western limits of the Great Wall in Gansu Province, traverses desert and much of the wall has been buried by sandstorms. Experience a very different environment and culture in this part of China.
Unification, Separation and Attraction

The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall

Unification of China
The Great Wall is a powerful symbol. It represents the unification of China, because it was linked together as China was unified for the first time in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). It represents the awesome ability of the Chinese to work together for the good of the country.
Separation of a Nation
 While it represents unity on the China side the Great Wall represents separation from the rest of the world on the other, along with the lengths a nation will go to to preserve their culture and keep invaders out.
Tourist Attraction
Ironically, as a tourist attraction, the Great Wall is now helping to draw millions of outsiders in to China to experience Chinese culture. China welcomes you!
If you are also attracted by the prospect of walking on the hugely symbolic Great Wall, see our range of Great Wall Tours.

Legends and Myths of the Great Wall


The majestic Great Wall was built with wisdom, dedication, blood, sweat and tears.
Many legends and myths exist regarding the building of this wall. Some of the famous stories are as follows: The Legend of Meng Jiangnü

This is a legend about love and devotion. It tells the story of Meng Jiangnü and her anguish after her husband died building the wall. It is said that her bitter weeping caused a section of the wall to collapse. Read the Meng Jiangnü story.

"Metal Soup" Great Wall


This story tells of the construction of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall. The great general who masterminded this section was beheaded wrongly for his high expenditures, but later redeemed and honored. Read the "Metal Soup" Great Wall story.

 

6-Machu Picchu

 

Machu Picchu (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmatʃu ˈpiktʃu], Quechua: Machu Picchu [ˈmɑtʃu ˈpixtʃu], "Old Peak") is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level.Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, South America. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as the "City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca World.
The Incas started building the "estate" around 1400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.
Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.[ In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. In September 2007, Peru and Yale University almost reached an agreement regarding the return of artifacts which Yale has held since Hiram Bingham removed them from Machu Picchu in the early 20th century. In November 2010, a Yale University representative agreed to return the artifacts to a Peruvian university.

More About It

The ruins of Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham, are one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top (9060 feet elevation), erecting many hundreds of stone structures from the early 1400's, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (meaning 'Old Peak' in the Quechua language) was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time. Whatever its origins, the Inca turned the site into a small (5 square miles) but extraordinary city. Invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered b
y natural springs, Machu Picchu seems to have been utilized by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city. Two thousand feet above the rumbling Urubamba river, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation. These structures, carved from the gray granite of the mountain top are wonders of both architectural and aesthetic genius. Many of the building blocks weigh 50 tons or more yet are so precisely sculpted and fitted together with such exactitude that the mortarless joints will not permit the insertion of even a thin knife blade. Little is known of the social or religious use of the site during Inca times. The skeletal remains of ten females to one male had led to the casual assumption that the site may have been a sanctuary for the training of priestesses and /or brides for the Inca nobility. However, subsequent osteological examination of the bones revealed an equal number of male bones, thereby indicating that Machu Picchu was not exclusively a temple or dwelling place of women.

One of Machu Picchu's primary functions was that of astronomical observatory. The Intihuatana stone (meaning 'Hitching Post of the Sun') has been shown to be a precise indicator of the date of the two equinoxes and other significant celestial periods. The Intihuatana (also called the Saywa or Sukhanka stone) is designed to hitch the sun at the two equinoxes, not at the solstice (as is stated in some tourist literature and new-age books). At midday on March 21st and September 21st, the sun stands almost directly above the pillar, creating no shadow at all. At this precise moment the sun "sits with all his might upon the pillar" and is for a moment "tied" to the rock. At these periods, the Incas held ceremonies at the stone in which they "tied the sun" to halt its northward movement in the sky. There is also an Intihuatana alignment with the December solstice (the summer solstice of the southern hemisphere), when at sunset the sun sinks behind Pumasillo (the Puma's claw), the most sacred mountain of the western Vilcabamba range, but the shrine itself is primarily equinoctial.

Shamanic legends tell that when a sensitive person touches their forehead to the Intihuatana stone it opens their vision to the spirit world. Intihuatana stones were the supremely sacred objects of the Inca people and were systematically searched for and destroyed by the Spaniards. When the Intihuatana stone was broken at an Inca shrine, the Inca believed that the deities of the place died or departed. The Spaniards never found Machu Picchu, even though they suspected its existence, thus the Intihuatana stone and its resident spirits remain in their original position. The mountain top sanctuary fell into disuse and was abandoned some forty years after the Spanish took Cuzco in 1533. Supply lines linking the many Inca social centers were disrupted and the great empire came to an end. The photograph shows the ruins of Machu Picchu in the foreground with the sacred peak of Wayna Picchu towering behind. Partway down the northern side of Wayna Picchu is the so-called "Temple of the Moon" inside a cavern. As with the ruins of Machu Picchu, there is no archaeological or iconographical evidence to substantiate the "new-age" assumption that this cave was a goddess site.
Although Hiram Bingham was the first person to bring word of the ruins to the outside world in 1911, other outsiders were said to have seen Machu Picchu before him. The site may have been discovered in 1867 by a German businessman, Augusto Berns, and there is some evidence that another German, J. M. von Hassel, arrived even earlier. Maps found by historians show references to Machu Picchu as early as 1874. In 1904, an engineer named Franklin supposedly spotted the ruins from a distant mountain.

The INCA and their History

At the time of Columbus’ landfall on the New World, the greatest empire on earth was that of the Inca. Called Tawantinsuyu or ‘Land of the Four Quarters,’ it spanned more than 4300 miles along the mountains and coastal deserts of central South America. The vast empire stretched from central Chile to present Ecuador-Colombia border and included most of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina (this is a land area equal to the entire portion of the United States from Maine to Florida east of the Appalachians). It exceeded in size any medieval or contemporary European nation and equaled the longitudinal expanse of the Roman Empire. Yet for all its greatness, Tawantinsuyu existed for barely a century.
The origins of the Inca are shrouded in mystery and mythology. According to their own mythology, the Inca began when Manco Capac and his sister, Mama Occlo, rose out of Lake Titicaca, having been created by the Sun and the Moon as divine founders of a chosen people. Manco Capac and his sister then went off with a golden rod to find a suitable location to found a great city. Through a series of adventures, geomantic resonances, and astronomical correspondences, the site of Cuzco was chosen.

Archaeological research, on the other hand, indicates that the pre-imperial Inca were simply one of a number of petty tribes in the south central region of Peru. From roughly 1200 AD to the early 1400’s, the Inca engaged in numerous battles with local rivals, but never achieved supremacy over any of them. Around 1438, however, the Inca emperor Viracocha and his son, Pachakuti, defeated a powerful rival, the Chankas. From this time the empire building era of the Inca began. Other rival tribes around the Cuzco area were soon united and campaigns were launched into the Titicaca basin and beyond. During the ensuing reigns of the emperors Pachakuti, and Topa Inca the Inca armies expanded the frontiers of Tawantinsuyu from southern Columbia to central Chile.

In the few short years before their overthrow by the Spanish in 1532, the Inca developed one of the largest and most sophisticated empires in the entire pre-industrial world. (In discussing Inca achievements, however, it is important to state that they were not the singular invention of a few inspired emperors but rather the ultimate elaboration of numerous pan-Andean institutions.) The Inca accomplished their phenomenal growth through a mixture of diplomacy and warfare, and a sociopolitical management system based on highly effective taxation and the dependable provision of goods and services to the peoples of their realm.

As the Inca began to expand their territories, the first step was to seek alliances with tribes upon the frontiers. Copious gifts of textiles, exotic products from distant regions, and wives to add blood ties to the alliances were offered to the chiefs of these tribes. Quite frequently these gifts were readily accepted (certainly the intimidating specter of the powerful Inca armies assisted in this process), but if certain tribes proved recalcitrant, the Inca simply overwhelmed them with superior military power.

Picchu in particular, are known to have been ceremonial sites many centuries and even millennia before the Inca developed and, furthermore, already had existing structures that were used for astronomical observations and ceremonial functions. Many contemporary people writing and speaking about the Inca are not well enough educated to know this matter yet, none the less, it is archaeological fact.

The name of the archaeological site Machu Picchu is sometimes misspelled as machu pichu, macchu picchu, machu piccu, machupicchu, macu picchu, macho picchu, machu piccho, machu picch, macha picchu, machu piccuh, mach picchu. The correct spelling is Machu Picchu.

 7-Petra

 

Petra (Greek "πέτρα" (petra), meaning stone; Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ) is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage".] See: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the "28 Places to See Before You Die."

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea and inhabited since prehistoric times, the rock-cut capital city of the Nabateans, became during Hellenistic and Roman times a major caravan centre for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India, a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. An ingenious water management system allowed extensive settlement of an essentially arid area during the Nabataean, Roman and Byzantine periods. It is one of the world's richest and largest archaeological sites set in a dominating red sandstone landscape.
The Outstanding Universal Value of Petra resides in the vast extent of elaborate tomb and temple architecture; religious high places; the remnant channels, tunnels and diversion dams that combined with a vast network of cisterns and reservoirs which controlled and conserved seasonal rains, and the extensive archaeological remains including of copper mining, temples, churches and other public buildings. The fusion of Hellenistic architectural facades with traditional Nabataean rock-cut temple/tombs including the Khasneh, the Urn Tomb, the Palace Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb and the Deir ("monastery") represents a unique artistic achievement and an outstanding architectural ensemble of the first centuries BC to AD. The varied archaeological remains and architectural monuments from prehistoric times to the medieval periods bear exceptional testimony to the now lost civilisations which succeeded each other at the site.
Criterion (i): The dramatic Nabataean/Hellenistic rock-cut temple/tombs approached via a natural winding rocky cleft (the Siq), which is the main entrance from the east to a once extensive trading city, represent a unique artistic achievement. They are masterpieces of a lost city that has fascinated visitors since the early 19th century. The entrance approach and the settlement itself were made possible by the creative genius of the extensive water distribution and storage system.
Criterion (iii): The serried rows of numerous rock-cut tombs reflecting architectural influences from the Assyrians through to monumental Hellenistic; the sacrificial and other religious high places including on Jebels Madbah, M'eisrah, Khubtha, Habis and Al Madras; the remains of the extensive water engineering system, city walls and freestanding temples; garden terraces; funerary stelae and inscriptions together with the outlying caravan staging posts on the approaches from the north (Barid or Little Petra) and south (Sabra) also containing tombs, temples, water cisterns and reservoirs are an outstanding testament to the now lost Nabataean civilization of the fourth century BC to the first century AD.
Remains of the Neolithic settlement at Beidha, the Iron Age settlement on Umm al Biyara, the Chalcolithic mining sites at Umm al Amad, the remains of Graeco-Roman civic planning including the colonnaded street, triple-arched entrance gate, theatre, Nymphaeum and baths; Byzantine remains including the triple-apses basilica church and the church created in the Urn Tomb; the remnant Crusader fortresses of Habis and Wueira; and the foundation of the mosque on Jebel Haroun, traditionally the burial place of the Prophet Aaron, all bear exceptional testimony to past civilizations in the Petra area.
Criterion (iv): The architectural ensemble comprising the so-called "royal tombs" in Petra (including the Khasneh, the Urn Tomb, the Palace Tomb and the Corinthian Tomb), and the Deir ("monastery") demonstrate an outstanding fusion of Hellenistic architecture with Eastern tradition, marking a significant meeting of East and West at the turn of the first millennium of our era.
The Umm al Amad copper mines and underground galleries are an outstanding example of mining structures dating from the fourth millennium BC.
The remnants of the diversion dam, Muthlim tunnel, water channels, aqueducts, reservoirs and cisterns are an outstanding example of water engineering dating from the first centuries BC to AD.

Integrity (2010)

All the main freestanding and rock-cut monuments and extensive archaeological remains within the arid landscape of red sandstone cliffs and gorges lie within the boundaries of the property that coincide with the boundaries of the Petra National Park. The monuments are subject to ongoing erosion due to wind and rain, exacerbated in the past by windblown sand due to grazing animals reducing ground cover. The resettlement more than twenty years ago of the Bdul (Bedouin) tribe and their livestock away from their former seasonal dwellings in the Petra basin to a new village at Umm Sayhun was aimed in part at arresting this process.
They are also vulnerable to flash flooding along Wadi Musa through the winding gorge (Siq) if the Nabataean diversion system is not continually monitored, repaired and maintained.
The property is under pressure from tourism, which has increased greatly since the time of inscription, particularly congestion points such as the Siq which is the main entrance to the city from the east.
The property is also vulnerable to the infrastructure needs of local communities and tourists. A new sewerage treatment plant has been provided within the property to the north with the recycled water being used for an adjacent drip irrigation farming project. Further infrastructure development proposed inside the boundary includes electricity supply and substation, a community/visitor centre, an outdoor theatre for community events, picnic areas, camping ground and a new restaurant near the Qasr al Bint temple, all of which have the potential to impact on the integrity of the property. There are also noteworthy relics from Roman times: at the southern edge of the valley stands the 1st century AD theatre, carved almost entirely in the rock, which could hold more than 8,000 spectators, while at the end of the Siq the ruins open out of the colonnaded way. Set on a promontory that overlooks the valley of Petra to the west, accessible via a type of sacred stepped way cut into the rock, is another building with an imposing facade carved out of the rock: this is al-Dayr, the austerity and the simplicity of which join to demonstrate the original local version of elements of the Hellenistic tradition. The structure of the interior is devoid of any funeral installation.


Other famous Monuments 

Wonder Location Image
Acropolis of Athens Athens, Greece Acropolis of Athens 01361.JPG
Alhambra Granada, Spain Patio de los Arrayanes.jpg
Angkor Wat Angkor, Cambodia AngkorWat 20061209.JPG
Eiffel Tower Paris, France Tour eiffel at sunrise from the trocadero.jpg
Hagia Sophia İstanbul, Turkey Aya sofya.jpg
Kiyomizu-dera Kyoto, Japan Kiyomizu-dera beams1.JPG
Moai Easter Island, Chile Ahu-Akivi-1.JPG
Neuschwanstein Füssen, Germany Neuschwanstein castle.jpg
Red Square Moscow, Russia Kremlin 27.06.2008 03.jpg
Statue of Liberty New York, United States Statue-de-la-liberte-new-york.jpg
Stonehenge Amesbury, United Kingdom Stonehenge Total.jpg
Sydney Opera House Sydney, Australia Sydneyoperahouse.JPG
Timbuktu Timbuktu, Mali Timbuktu Mosque Sankore.jpg

References 

 

www.wikipedia.com.
www.TAJMAHAL.COM
www.indianline.com
http://yucatantoday.com
http://www.votecristo.com.br
www.greatwall-of-china.com
www.chinahighlights.com
http://sacredsites.com/americas/peru/machu_picchu.html
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326
http://www.tajmahal.co.in/abouttajmahal.htm
http://www.braziltravelvacation.com/christ-redeemer.html
http://www.chichenitza.com/listingview.php?listingID=4
www.7wonders.org

wiht special thanks to Google and Bing
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