Seven Wonders of the Modern World - Pt 1
25 Jan 2018
Seven Wonders of the Modern World (and one ancient one)
The New Seven Wonders was a controversial project inaugurated in the Millennium year to determine a list of ‘Wonders’ to rival that of the Seven Ancient Wonders. Some 100 million votes were cast, and despite notable absentees, the following list was announced. Despite the contention, the list is arguably immediately impressive.
Here's Part One. Stay tuned for Part Two next week!
Taj Mahal – Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
A grand measure of the bereft Shah Jahan’s enduring inconsolability for his beloved Mumtaz who died in childbirth, the mausoleum best known as the Taj Mahal is arguably India’s most famous attraction. Constructed by a workforce of more than 20,000 as an integrated complex of structures containing gardens, reflecting pools, gateways, inns and a mosque, the Taj Mahal represents the finest example of Mughal architecture. The mausoleum is constructed of solid white marble with fine pietra dura, panels featuring fine calligraphy and tiles. Legend has it, Shah Jahan has planned to construct just across the river a mausoleum for himself in precious black marble, but warring with his sons prevented this. The couple are interred for eternity in a relatively unadorned crypt below visitor level.
Christ the Redeemer – Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
As Brasilian as Samba, Havaiana flip flops and Copacabana Beach, the open-armed Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) gazes out over Rio from atop Corcovado. Given the mountain rise straight up from the city to 710m, the 30m-high statue is visible from almost every part of the city, all 635 tons of the revered man. Constructed of reinforced concrete and soapstone between 1929 and 1931 at the height of the Art Deco period, the statue sits on an 8m pedestal, and its arms stretch to 28m. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.
Colosseum – Rome, Italy
Located in the heart of Rome, the Colosseum is an enduring and impressive symbol of Imperial Rome. Constructed in around 70-72 AD, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles and animal hunts. Spectators were given tickets in the form of numbered pottery shards, which directed them to the appropriate section and seat. The Coliseum’s huge crowd capacity of up to 50,000 made it essential that the venue could be filled or evacuated quickly. Roman architects adopted solutions very similar to those used in modern stadiums to deal with the same problem. To combat sun and rain, a sophisticated retractable awning known as a velarium was operated by sailors at the top of the structure.
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