The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt. The Egyptian pharaoh Khufu built the Great Pyramid in about 2560 B.C. to serve as his tomb. The pyramid is the oldest structure on the original list of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was compiled by Greek scholars about 2,200 years ago. It is also the only remaining survivor from the original list.
The Colossus of Rhodes, Greece. In contrast to the pyramids, the colossus was the shortest lived of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Completed in 282 B.C. after taking 12 years to build, the Colossus of Rhodes was felled by an earthquake that snapped the statue off at the knees a mere 56 years later.
The Lighthouse of Alexandra, Egypt. The lighthouse was the only ancient wonder that had a practical use, serving as a beacon for ships in the dangerous waters off the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, now called El Iskandarîya. Constructed on the small island of Pharos between 285 and 247 B.C., the building was the world's tallest for many centuries. Its estimated height was 384 feet (117 meters)—equivalent to a modern 40-story building—though some people believe it was significantly taller.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece. The massive gold statue of the king of the Greek gods was built in honor of the original Olympic games, which began in the ancient city of Olympia. The statue, completed by the classical sculptor Phidias around 432 B.C., sat on a jewel-encrusted wooden throne inside a temple overlooking the city. The 40-foot-tall (12-meter-tall) figure held a scepter in one hand and a small statue of the goddess of victory, Nike, in the other—both made from ivory and precious metals.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq. The hanging gardens are said to have stood on the banks of the Euphrates River in modern-day Iraq, although there's some doubt as to whether they ever really existed. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II supposedly created the terraced gardens around 600 B.C. at his royal palace in the Mesopotamian desert. It is said the gardens were made to please the king's wife, who missed the lush greenery of her homeland in the Medes, in what is now northern Iran.
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Turkey. The famous tomb at Halicarnassus—now the city of Bodrum—was built between 370 and 350 B.C. for King Mausolus of Caria, a region in the southwest of modern Turkey. Legend says that the king's grieving wife Artemisia II had the tomb constructed as a memorial to their love.
The Temple of Artemis, Turkey. The great marble temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis was completed around 550 B.C. at Ephesus, near the modern-day town of Selçuk in Turkey. In addition to its 120 columns, each standing 60 feet (20 meters) high, the temple was said to have held many exquisite artworks, including bronze statues of the Amazons, a mythical race of female warriors
The Temple of Artemis, Turkey. The great marble temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis was completed around 550 B.C. at Ephesus, near the modern-day town of Selçuk in Turkey. In addition to its 120 columns, each standing 60 feet (20 meters) high, the temple was said to have held many exquisite artworks, including bronze statues of the Amazons, a mythical race of female warriors.