According to ancient Greek poets, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built near the Euphrates River in modern-day Iraq by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 B.C. The gardens were said to have been planted as high as 75 feet in the air on a huge square brick terrace that was laid out in steps like a theater. The king allegedly built the towering gardens to ease his lover Amytis’ homesickness for the natural beauty of her home in Media (the northwestern part of modern-day Iran). Later writers described how people could walk underneath the beautiful gardens, which rested on tall stone columns. Most modern scholars believe that the existence of the gardens was part of an inspired and widely believed but still fictional tale.
5. Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro. In 1921 the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro proposed that a statue of Christ be built on the 2,310-foot summit, which, because of its commanding height, would make it visible from anywhere in Rio. Citizens petitioned Pres. Epitácio Pessoa to allow the construction of the statue on Mount Corcovado.
Permission was granted, and the foundation stone of the base was ceremonially laid on April 4, 1922—to commemorate the centennial on that day of Brazil’s independence from Portugal—although the monument’s final design had not yet been chosen. That same year a competition was held to find a designer, and the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was chosen. Funds were raised privately, principally by the church. Under Silva Costa’s supervision, construction began in 1926 and continued for five years. During that time materials and workers were transported to the summit via railway.
3. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was created by Greek sculptor Phidias. The statue depicted the god Zeus seated on his throne, his skin of ivory and robes of hammered gold, and was 40 feet tall, designed to inspire awe in the worshipers who came to the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. The Temple at Olympia fell into ruin after the rise of Christianity. The statue was carried off to Constantinople where it was later destroyed, sometime in either the 5th or 6th centuries CE, by an earthquake.
1. The Great Pyramid, located at Giza on the west bank of the Nile River north of Cairo in Egypt, is the only one of these seven wonders of the ancient world that has lasted to the present day. It was build about 2584–2561 BC.