The World's 7 Wonders Need to Be on Your Bucket List
Before you start to tackle your travel bucket list, you've got to cross of the "new" Seven Wonders of the World first. This group differs from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which were determined 2,000 years ago in 225 BCE. The list inevitably became outdated and only one of the original seven (the Great Pyramid) still stands today.
In 2007, over 100 million people voted to select the New Seven Wonders, which were chosen to "honor and celebrate the cultural diversity of our planet," according to its site. The great part about these destinations is that they can be visited today.
See which of the seven made the cut and add them to your list ASAP.
Taj Mahal, India
The white marble mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife in 1632 AD. Located in the Agra District, the Taj Mahal was finished almost 20 years later, complete with the mosque, guest house, and gateway. Its courtyard was actually added five years later in 1653 AD. What is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in all of Indo-Islamic architecture is also perfectly symmetrical.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu stands in the middle of a tropical mountain forest at 2,430 meters above sea level. It's believed that the 200 structures that make up the site served religious, ceremonial, and agricultural purposes, but no one really knows exactly how it was used by the Incas in the 15th to 16th century. It wasn't until 1911 that the complex became known to the world.
Petra is quite amazing because it was half built and half carved into the red sandstone rock. The prehistoric spectacle is located between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, and was a major trade site for Arabian incense, Chinese silk, and Indian spices.
The Colosseum, Italy
This massive amphitheater in Rome was once a hub of violent entertainment, including gladiator fights and public executions. It was built in the first century under rule of Roman emperors in the Flavian dynasty to boost morale after the civil war. The iconic arena was created with stone and concrete and was large enough to fit over 50,000 spectators. The Colosseum was active for four centuries before becoming completely abandoned.
The Great Wall, China
Though the Great Wall was designed to keep northern invaders out, it served more as a powerful symbol than an effective defense system. Construction began in 220 BC under Qin Shi Huang and continued through the 17th century AD, becoming more than 12,000 miles long. Starting in Shanhaiguan and ending in Jiayuguan, the structure was entirely handmade and can be seen from the moon.
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Also known as the Temple of Kukulcan, the pyramid stands at the center of the Chichén Itzá archaeological site in Yucatán. It was built between the ninth and 12th centuries CE by the Mayans for the god Kukulcan. Each side of the pyramid features stairways with 91 steps. When the four sides are added to the top temple platform, it totals to 365 steps, the same number of days in the Mayan Haab calendar year.
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
The iconic statue of Jesus Christ in Río stands at the peak of the Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest. It's 98 feet tall and was built as a symbol of Christianity between 1922 and 1931. Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski, Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, and French engineer Albert Caquot all collaborated on this piece.