By Sarah Bradbury
About 2,200 years ago, a group of Greek scholars got together and made a list that named seven of the world's most amazing structures. These seven structures came to be known as the Seven Wonders of the World. Through the course of history, six of those Wonders were destroyed.
PYRAMIDS OF GIZA (EGYPT)
Height: 145 meters (480 ft.)
Construction: 2560 B.C.
Destruction: Still standing.
The Pyramids are the only structures that remain of the original Seven Wonders of the World, and are the oldest of all of the wonders. The largest Pyramid, the Great Pyramid, took 20 years to complete and was built by the pharaoh Khufu as his personal tomb. It was also said to have been the tallest structure in the world for thousands of years – about the same height as a 45-storey building!
COLOSSUS OF RHODES (GREECE)
Height: 33 meters (110 ft.)
Construction: 282 B.C.
Destruction: About 56 years later
The towering statue, a representation of the Greek Sun God Helios, took a whopping 12 years to complete and was the first of the Seven Wonders to collapse. Barely half a decade after its construction, the large statue (about as tall as the Statue of Liberty) was snapped at the knees by an earthquake.
THE PHAROS (LIGHTHOUSE) OF ALEXANDRIA (EGYPT)
Height: 384 ft. (117 meters)
Construction: Between 285 and 247 B.C.
Destruction: A.D. 1303 and 1323
The lighthouse was the only wonder to have a practical use. Its 40-storey height directed ships for more than 1,500 years before one earthquake after another caused its demise.
STATUE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA (GREECE)
Height: 12 meters (40 ft.)
Construction: 432 B.C.
Destruction: Estimated at 462 A.D.
The massive statue, built for the first ever Olympic Games, was one of the largest statues ever constructed. After a number of years, it was relocated to a temple in Turkey where it was later engulfed by a terrible fire.
HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON (IRAQ)
Construction: 600 B.C.
Destruction: There is no mention of the Hanging Gardens in ancient Babylonian.
Records suggest that they might never have existed at all. Supposedly, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II built the gardens for his wife to remind her of their former home in lush northern Iraq. It was rumoured that slaves worked a complicated irrigation system that kept the plants alive in the middle of the desert. There are continued debates as to whether the Hanging Gardens ever really existed.
MAUSOLEUM OF HALICARNASSUS (TURKEY)
Height: 40 meters (120 ft.) long and 45 meters (140 ft.) tall
Construction: Between 370 and 350 B.C.
Destruction: Early 15th century
The tomb was built by the heartbroken Artemisia II for her husband, King Mausolus, governor of the Persian Empire. It remained intact for many years, until it was damaged by an earthquake and later dismantled, its parts used to build a new castle. Some of the intricate carvings that survived can be viewed at the British Museum in London, England.
TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS AT EPHESUS (TURKEY)
Height: 120 columns, each 20 meters (60 ft.) tall
Construction: 550 B.C.
Destruction: 356 B.C., A.D. 262, A.D. 401
The temple, taller than a 5-storey building, was built in honour of the Greek Goddess Artemis. A man named Herostratus allegedly burned down the temple so that his name would forever be remembered. After the damage to the temple was repaired, it came under attack from the Goths and then later, by the Christians.