Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, selected by Hellenic travelers and noted in poetry and other arts, tell the stories of human imagination and technical aptitude, and how civilizations left their marks on the world and culture.


3 - 12


Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, World History


The Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid, the largest of the Pyramids of Giza, is the only Great Wonder still standing. It was build more than 4,000 years ago.

Photograph by James P. Blair
The Great Pyramid, the largest of the Pyramids of Giza, is the only Great Wonder still standing. It was build more than 4,000 years ago.
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The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are grand monuments. They were chosen by Greek travelers.

There have been many great monuments in history. Only seven are known as "wonders." Ancient Greeks traveled to lands in Persia, Babylonia, and Egypt. This region is now known as the Middle East. Travelers chose some landmarks as wonders. They were shown in art and poems.

These constructions are great achievements of ancient engineering. But they do not include wonders from many of the ancient civilizations of most of Africa, Europe, and Asia, and none from the Americas. Most of those places were unknown to ancient Greeks.

The Seven Wonders are still known today. Yet only one still stands.

Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid is the only wonder that still exists today. It was the world's tallest man-made building for nearly 4,000 years. The Great Pyramid was first built as a pharaoh's grave. It is in Egypt.

The pyramid is enormous. Over time, the pyramid has become slightly shorter than it once was. Yet it is still about as tall as a 32-story building. The pyramid took more than 20 years to build.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

There is not much evidence proving that the gardens existed. Some people claimed to have seen the gardens. They described them as incredible. The gardens were said to have been filled with flowers, trees, and waterfalls. They were located in what is now the country of Iraq.

Statue of Zeus

Phidias was a sculptor in ancient Greece. He created a statue of the god Zeus. Zeus was the king of the ancient Greek gods. The statue was in the Temple of Zeus in Greece. It showed Zeus on a throne.

The statue was almost as tall as a three-story building. It was destroyed by an earthquake.

Temple of Artemis

The Temple of Artemis was built in what is now western Turkey. Observers described it as a marvel. The temple was first constructed to honor Artemis. Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting. The temple was torn down and rebuilt several times. It was decorated with sculptures and paintings.

A criminal named Herostratus burned down the temple. Today there are only a few remains of the temple.

Mausoleum Of Halicarnassus

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was built in what is now Turkey. It housed the dead. It was designed by Greek architects in honor of a Babylonian governor. Carvings decorated the structure. Earthquakes destroyed it, and today there are only a few pieces left.

Colossus of Rhodes

A statue of the god Helios stood on the Greek island of Rhodes. It was built to honor a battle. An army tried to invade the island and was defeated. An earthquake destroyed the statue 56 years after it was built.

Pharos (Lighthouse) of Alexandria

The ancient lighthouse was the model for all lighthouses that followed. It was built on an island in Egypt. It helped sailors navigate their way to port. It was damaged by earthquakes, and now the lighthouse is completely gone.

Media Credits

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Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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