The New 7 Wonders of the World

April 2, 2019

For thousands of years, scholars and historians have been compiling lists of the world’s most amazing places and things. Greek historians were responsible for the first list of “Seven Wonders.” The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was a collection of amazing ancient sights that included the Colossus of Rhodes and the Temple of Artemis.

In 2000, the New7Wonders Foundation, based in Zurich, Switzerland, started a popularity poll to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. The organization reported that over 100 million votes were cast.

In this article, we'll look at all seven of the winning wonders, plus a few of the sights that almost made the cut.

Chichén Itzá

Chichen Itza

Now an impressive collection of ruins on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, Chichen Itza was once a large city built by the Maya people around AD 600-900. It's dominated by a massive pyramid known as El Castillo.

It is believed that Chichen Itza, one of the largest Maya cities, had a diverse population, and that a mixing of cultures is one thing that helped define its wide range of architectural styles.

Managed by the Mexican federal government, the site is looked after by that country's National Institute of Anthropology and History. More than 2.5 million people visit Chichen Itza each year.

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a massive fortification running east-to-west across the historical northern borders of China. It's big, like, can-be-seen-from-space big.

The 13,170-mile long Great Wall of China is actually made up of several walls that were built starting around the 7th century BC. These walls were enlarged and joined together around 220–206 BC. Many dynasties have kept the project going, with the final gaps being filled in during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

The Great Wall served many purposes, including border control that greatly impacted trade and transportation, but it's role as a defensive structure was significant, with troop barracks and watch towers built at strategic locations.

Hundreds of years after its construction, the Great Wall is still considered to be one of the most impressive architectural structures ever erected.


Petra, Jordan

Petra is a historical city in southern Jordan that was founded by nomadic Arabs called the Nabataeans. This archaeologically important city is thought to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC.

Petra was a major regional trading hub, and, being surrounded by towering rocks, the site also had the characteristics of a fortress.

With the site getting almost 100,000 visitors each year, Petra is being damaged by unsustainable tourism. Other factors adding to its deterioration include collapse of ancient structures, erosion, weathering, and improper restoration.

The Colosseum


The Colosseum is an ancient, oval-shaped amphitheater in Rome, Italy. It was built around 70–80 AD.

Situated east of the Roman Forum in the center of the city, the Colosseum could accommodate between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators. A typical audience was around 65,000, and they came to see gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, executions, dramas, and other spectacles.

It's been badly damaged by earthquakes, but the Colosseum has endured as an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. Millions of people visit this popular tourist attraction each year.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is an Inca fortress in southern Peru, built as an estate for the emperor Pachacuti. This citadel was constructed around 1450–1460, in the classical Inca style, which featured polished stone walls. It was divided into three main structures, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows.

The site included terraced fields, located in the upper agricultural sector, with advanced channel systems providing irrigation. Stairways cut from stone were set in the walls and allowed access to different areas, including the temples in the upper town and the warehouses in the lower portion of the site.

Restoration of Machu Picchu is on-going; by the mid-1970s, thirty percent of site had been restored.

Its located on a mountain ridge that's 7,970 ft above sea level, and the nearby Urubamba River contributes to the area's tropical mountain climate. Machu Picchu is popular with tourist and anyone interested in the ancient history of South America.

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a marble mausoleum located in the Indian city of Agra. It's regarded as an important symbol of India's rich history. In 1632, the Indian emperor, Shah Jahan, commissioned the structure to house the tomb of his wife.

The actual tomb is in the middle of this grand, 42-acre complex that includes a mosque, a guest house, formal gardens, and ornate walls. It took about eleven years to construct the mausoleum, but the project continued for 10 more years, ending in 1653.

Around 8 million visitors tour the Taj Mahal each year.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ Statue

Christ the Redeemer is a massive statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is 98 ft high and the arms span 92 ft!

This Art Deco statue, which is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, was created by French sculptor Paul Landowski. Its builder was Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, who got help from French engineer Albert Caquot.

Situated atop the 2,300 ft peak of Corcovado mountain, the statue can be seen from the nearby city of Rio de Janeiro.

Some Almost Wonders

The results of the New7Wonders Foundation's poll may have ruffled some feathers. People who voted for the wonders that ranked eighth and ninth, especially, must feel cheated.

We don't have access to the rankings, but some of the finalists included the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Eiffel Tower nearly made it into the top seven. Built in 1889, the massive wrought-iron tower is a French cultural icon that looms over the Champ de Mars in Paris. At 1,063 ft tall, it became the tallest man-made structure in the world, and it held that distinction until the Chrysler Building was built in New York City in 1930.

Another finalist, Stonehenge, is a prehistoric monument made up of a ring of tall stones. It was built around 3000-2000 BC in what is now Wiltshire, England.

The Sydney Opera House almost squeaked into the top seven wonders too. Built in Australia in 1973, the massive performing arts center is considered an architectural marvel and receives over 8 million visitors each year.