The Colossus of Rhodes
Built in c.290 BC, overlooking the harbour on the Greek island of Rhodes, this enormous statue was more than 30m tall but stood for just 56 years before it was toppled in an earthquake.
Did you know?
Although the ancient statue depicted the titan Helios, male personification of the sun, it has a rather more feminine descendant: the Statue of Liberty in New York, which is based on 19th-century ideas of what the Colossus looked like.
Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
The imposing statue is an icon of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and has watched over the city since 1931.
- Fact: The statue is 130-foot statue has a wingspan of 92 feet. A mix of concrete and soapstone was used to build Christ the Redeemer which weighs in at approximately 700 tonn.
- Fact: The easiest way to access the sculpture is via a cogwheel steam engine train up the steep 2.3-mile slope followed by 200 steps.
The majestic Colosseum was built in Rome in approximately AD70.
- Fact: It was used for many years as a stage for gladiator contests, group combats, battle re-enactments and other productions were performed to audiences of between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators.
- Fact: Over the years it has undergone structural work and battled the elements and to this date is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions.
Taj Mahal, India
This stunning ivory-white marble mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal (or Mogul) Emperor of India as a memorial to his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal.
- Fact: Construction of the Taj Mahal started on 1631 shortly after the passing of the Emperor’s wife and took more than two decades at a cost of 32 million rupees (today’s equivalent of $827 million).
- Fact: The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year.
Great Wall of China
The actual length of great wall is of great debate, with sources claiming anywhere from 4,000 – 13,170 miles in length.
- Fact: Contrary to popular belief the structure is not visible from outer space and is made up from several separate structures.
- Fact: The wall was originally built to protect the Chinese states and empires from invaders and raids, but also acts as a useful boarder control.
Petra, which is Greek for “rock,” is also known as “the city in the rock” or “Rose City” due to the colour of the sandstone cliffs it is carved from.
- Fact: The huge templates, tombs and monuments were not known to the western world until 1812.
- Fact: As well as the impressive rock carved city, Petra has a highly organised water system, which includes ceramic pipes, intricate water channels and cisterns; advanced for a city essentially carved into rocks.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The ancient city if the Incas is located at an altitude of 7,710 feet, between two peaks; Machu Picchu (Old Peak) and Huayna Picchu (New Peak).
- Fact: The city was built around 1450 but abandoned due to the Spanish conquest a century later. American historian Hiram Bingham brought Machu Picchu to international attention in 1911.
- Fact: The city was home to approximately 1,200 residents at its peak.