It’s a Wonder-full World

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There are lots of wonderful things to see in our world. But which ones are the most amazing of all?

Since ancient times people have been making lists of the top-seven “Wonders of the World.” But in 2007 people all over the world voted for their favorite human-made wonders. More than 100 million people from 200 countries voted! The winners were announced on July 7.

How many of these wonders do you think you’ll see in your lifetime?

The Original Seven Wonders

On these two pages you’ll learn about the new seven wonders of the world. But what were the old wonders? Test an adult in your family and see how many he or she can name! Here’s the list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and where they’d be located on today’s map: •    the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (in Turkey)•    the Statue of Zeus at Olympia (in Greece)•    the Great Pyramid of Giza (in Egypt)•    the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (near Baghdad, Iraq)•    the Mausoleum (tomb) at Halicarnassus (in Turkey)•    the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue (on a Greek island)•    the Pharos of Alexandria, a lighthouse built about 300 years before Jesus was born (in Egypt) If you’ve never heard of most of these wonders, don’t worry! Only one of them still exists. Do you know which one? (See answer below.)

Chichén Itzá

What it is: a temple city built by the Mayan people. It includes a famous pyramid, a temple, and a ball court for playing sports.Where it is: Yucatan Peninsula, MexicoWhen it was built: more than 1,500 years agoWhy it’s a wonder: This major city was mysteriously abandoned around the year 1200, maybe because of a war, but no one knows why for sure.


Christ the Redeemer statue

What it is: a 130-foot (38 meters) statue of Jesus made of soapstone and reinforced concreteWhere it is: on a mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro, BrazilWhen it was built: It was finished in 1931 after five years of construction.Why it’s a wonder: It’s the largest statue of Jesus in the world, and it can be seen from 20 miles away.

Colosseum

What it is: an amphitheater (like a stadium). The Colosseum could seat 50,000 people and had about 80 different entrances. It was used for gladiator fights, animal hunts, pretend battles, and other kinds of “entertainment.”Where it is: in Rome, ItalyWhen it was built: A.D. 70-82Why it’s a wonder: It’s one of the greatest buildings the Romans ever built, and it was used for about 500 years.

Great Wall of China

What it is: a wall 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long built to keep the Mongol tribes from invading China Where it is: Northeastern ChinaWhen it was built: The Great Wall was built in many stages by many emperors between 500 B.C. and A.D. 1600.Why it’s a wonder: It’s the longest structure humans have ever built—so long you can see it from space!

Machu Picchu

What it is: a city built high in the Andes Mountains by the Incan emperor PachacútecWhere it is: in the Amazon jungle in PeruWhen it was built: Machu Picchu was built sometime in the 1400s, then abandoned by the Incas and “forgotten” until it was rediscovered in 1911 by archaeologist Hiram Bingham. Why it’s a wonder: It’s made of stone blocks that fit together so exactly that you can’t get a knife blade between them. The whole city is a masterpiece!

Petra

What it is: a city half-built by stone blocks and half-carved into sandstone hillsWhere it is: JordanWhen it was built: Scientists aren’t sure exactly when it was built, but it’s definitely more than 2,000 years old. Why it’s a wonder: The buildings cut into the side of the hills are amazing, and Petra included very good systems for collecting water—important in the desert!

Taj Mahal

What it is: a tomb made of white marble built by emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz MahalWhere it is: Agra, IndiaWhen it was built: The Taj Mahal was completed in 1648 after 17 years of construction.Why it’s a wonder: Many people think the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings ever built.

Help Choose the Seven Wonders of Nature!

The new seven wonders of the world shown on these pages were all made by people. But what about wonders made by God? What do you think are the top-seven most beautiful or amazing things in creation? The Grand Canyon? Niagara Falls? Or something in your hometown? You can help decide! Give your opinion at www.new7wonders.com. After judges choose the finalists, everyone in the world will be invited to vote for their favorite natural wonders. Stay tuned!

Make a Top-Seven Mini-book

Fold a piece of paper in half, then in half again, like you’re making a greeting card. This gives you a four-page book. Repeat the process with another piece of paper. Staple the two together to make an 8-page mini-book. Now you have a front cover, plus seven pages to write about and illustrate your own Seven Wonders. Here are some fun topics to write about:

  • seven things you like about yourself
  • your top-seven favorite foods
  • seven places you’d like to visit
  • seven things you want to do in your lifetime


About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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