This is not official or something – just my list of the “alternative seven wonders of the world”. The Seven Wonders of the World, describes seven great constructions known in the Hellenistic period – that’s why they are also known as the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”. In fact, in the Hellenistic era, each famous traveler had his own version of the list, but the best known and earliest surviving was from a poem by Greek-speaking epigrammist Antipater of Sidon, which he described in a poem composed about 140 BC:

“I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Sun, and the huge labor of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, ‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand.'”

But, in fact, all “seven wonders of the world” existed at the same time for a period of fewer than 60 years. And now, only the Great Pyramid of Giza is still in existence. All the others somehow were gone.

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World

If Antipater of Sidon was living in the more recent times, say the 19th century, he probably would prepare a very different list. Here are the alternative seven wonders of the world that still exist today (with the images and videos):

7. Mont Saint-Michel of France

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Mont Saint-Michel (July 2011)
Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Mont Saint-Michel (July 2011). Photo: Wikipedia

Le Mont-Saint-Michel (English: Saint Michael’s Mount) is an island commune in Normandy, France. It is located about one kilometer (0.6 miles) off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches, and is 100 hectares (247 acres) in size. One of France’s most recognizable landmarks, visited by more than 3 million people each year, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Over 60 buildings within the commune are protected in France as monuments historiques (historical monuments).

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Mont Saint Michel – High-Definition footage, information, and facts on the stunning Mont Saint Michel. Mont Saint Michel is one of the most remarkable examples of medieval architecture in the whole world.

6. Hagia Sophia of Turkey

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: World: Hagia Sophia
Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Hagia Sophia

Constructed in 537 AD, the Hagia Sophia was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome (102 feet/31.09 meters in diameter and 184 feet/56.08 meters in height), it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture”. It remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, 532-37 (architects: Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles)
A conversation with Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.

5. St. Peter’s Basilica of Vatican

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: St. Peter's Basilica
Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: St. Peter’s Basilica from Ponte Umberto I, on the Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of Rome. Photo: Wikipedia

Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s Basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and one of the largest churches in the world.

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: St. Peters Basilica – an HD footage, information, and facts on one of Rome’s most stunning sites; St. Peters Basilica. For centuries, this basilica has been the center of the Catholic faith and it is regarded as the most beautiful buildings ever made.

4. Taj Mahal of India

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Taj Mahal
Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Taj Mahal

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”, the Taj Mahal (Persian for Crown of Palaces) is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658), to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Taj Mahal – The stunningly beautiful mausoleum of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, and his wife. This video was recorded in January 2018 in 4K Ultra HD with Sony a6300 and AX100 (distant shots). Music: Jay Kishor – The Color of Night – 02 – Kirwani

3. Meteora Suspended Rock Monasteries of Greece

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Meteora Monasteries
Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Meteora Monasteries

Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Metéora (literally means “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” – etymologically related to meteorology) is a formation of immense monolithic pillars and hills like huge rounded boulders dominate the local area. It is also associated with one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece.

In the 9th century AD, an ascetic group of hermit monks moved up to the ancient pinnacles; they were the first people to inhabit Metéora since the Neolithic Era. They lived in hollows and fissures in the rock towers, some as high as 1800 ft (550 meters) above the plain. This great height, combined with the sheerness of the cliff walls, kept away all but the most determined visitors.

At the end of the 14th century, the Byzantine Empire’s 800-year reign over northern Greece was being increasingly threatened by Turkish raiders who wanted control over the fertile plain of Thessaly. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation, found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. More than 20 monasteries were built, beginning in the 14th century. Six remain today.

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Meteora is an area in Thessaly (Central Greece) and Kalampaka is the city under the rock towers of Meteora. The thing that makes Meteora so special is the monasteries on the top of the rock towers. U.N.E.S.C.O has characterized the Holy Meteora as a “monument of Humanity that has to be maintained”. the monasteries of the Meteora are included in the Monuments of world cultural heritage because they are a unique harmonious matching of Byzantine architecture and natural beauty.

2. Sigiriya Rock Fortress of Sri Lanka

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Sigiriya
Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Sigiriya

Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 feet) high. The most visited historic site in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya today is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: The Sigiriya Rock Fortress of Sri Lanka is situated in Matale district near Dambulla. It can be reached along Colombo- Habarana highway and turning towards East from Inamaluwa. Then proceeding about 10 km from Inamaluwa and passing Kimbissa township one arrives at Sigiriya.

1. Angkor Wat of Cambodia

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Angkor Wat
Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Angkor Wat. Photo:

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2; 402 acres). It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century.

It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.

Alternative Seven Wonders Of The World: Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 square kilometers, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings.


M. Özgür Nevres

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.