Wonders of the World


Will wonders never cease? It seems the world is ready to get rid of the old 7 wonders of the world and bring in a new 7. This is set to occur in Lisbon, Portugal on the very auspicious day of the 7th of July 2007 or 07/07/07. Cute! This campaign to replace the old wonders was started in 1999 by Swiss adventurer, Bernard Weber. Weber “felt it is time for something new to bring the world together” and to “symbolize a common pride in the global cultural heritage,” said Tia B. Viering, spokeswoman for the campaign.

The first known list of wonders was put together by Antipater of Sidon around 2nd century B.C. and had evolved with contributions form others over time until it came to be known as the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World sometime in the Middle Ages. This list included the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria, Colossus of Rhodes, and Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus. Sadly, Lone Grey Squirrel can quickly confirm that he has been to none of these sites which is not surprising on account of LGS’s financial situation and the fact that only the Great Pyramid remains today with 2 Wonders having long ago gone up in smoke and the other 4 Wonders brought down by earthquakes.

Anyway, when the campaign started to find the new 7 Wonders in 1999, over 200 sites were nominated from around the world. Nominations were whittled down by public votes to 77 last year. Then a panel of architectural experts, chaired by former UNESCO chief Federico Mayor, shortened the list to 21. All this time, Lone Grey Squirrel was oblivious to this process but if you too were unaware, it is still not too late to be involved. Visit http://www.new7wonders.com. and you can still cast your vote for the final 7.

Machu Pichu (stevenellem)

The final 21 contestants are (in no particular order);
1) the Statue of Liberty, USA. 2) the Pyramids, Egypt. 3) Eiffel Tower, France. 4) Taj Mahal, India. 5) Machu Picchu, Peru. 6) the Acropolis, Greece. 7) the Hagia Sophia, Turkey. 8) the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia. 9) the Colosseum, Italy. 10) the Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany. 11) Stonehenge, United Kingdom. 12) the Alhambra, Spain. 13) the Great Wall, China. 14) the Kiyomizu Temple, Japan. 15) the Sydney Opera House, Australia. 16) Angkor Wat, Cambodia. 17) Timbuktu, Mali. 18) Petra, Jordan. 19) Statue of Christ Redeemer, Brazil. 20) Easter Island and 21) Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Hagia Sophia (guenter11)

Petra (maryjanesolomon)

Sadly, Lone Grey Squirrel can also quickly confirm that he has been to only one of these sites, Sydney Opera House. I hope those of you who have traveled more extensively will vote wisely. Nevertheless, I have chosen 7 in my ignorance. Let me know what your choices are and why.

My choice for the new 7 Wonders of the World;
1) the Pyramids (hey, they were already in the old list); 2) Machu Picchu (can you imagine having to build on such steep slopes?); 3) the Acropolis (have to give a nod to the immense influence the Greeks had on civilization); 4) the Great Wall (can be seen from space.); 5) the Hagia Sophia (two cultures meet and it just impresses me…truly); 6) Taj Mahal (a monument to love. How can we leave that out?) and 7) Petra, Jordan (endorsed by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).

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