Monday, 24 Jan 2022

Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 


There are a couple of odd choices here. Stonehenge is old enough to be classified with the Ancient Wonders, although this may not have been known when the list was compiled. Even though many of the structures in this list were built much earlier than Medieval Ages, some even in ancient world category, but only to be famous in later time. This is the list of the Seven Wonders of Medieval World and the Colosseum dates more from late antiquity, but I guess they wanted to honor it somewhere in a list of wonders.



Colosseum of Rome

Quoted from The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 


It is located from the east of the Roman Forum, the massive stone amphitheater known as the Colosseum was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum–officially known as the Flavian Amphi theater. The name Colosseum has long been believed to be derived from a colossal statue of Nero nearby the statue of Nero was named after the Colossus of Rhodes.


The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, executions and dramas. The arena itself was 83 meters by 48 meters 272 ft by 157 ft / 280 by 163 Roman feet. It comprised a wooden floor covered by sand the Latin word for sand is harena or arena, covering an elaborate underground structure called the hypogeum literally meaning underground.

The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus.  The Colosseum was built in six to eight years. As part of the Roman Emperor Vespasian’s vision for the glorification of Rome, the Colosseum’s construction began between 70 and 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD.



Catacombs of Alexandria

Quoted from The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 


The Catacombs of Kom Shoqafa was used as a burial ground from the 2nd to the 4th centuries A.D.Kom el Shoqafa means Mound of Shards. The reason for this name is that there used to mounds of terra cotta shards. These shards were once jars and other clay objects brought into the tombs by visitors.

Archeologists believe that the Catacomb of Kom el Shoqafa was started in the 2nd century A.D. and was used to intern the dead for the next 200 years. This was a period in the history of the city of Alexandria when there was a great mixing of different cultures.


A stone staircase descends to the second level, an area eerily alive with sculptures. In the lobby of the building two pillars are topped by the papyrus, lotus, and acanthus leaves of ancient Egypt and two falcons flanking a winged sun decorate the frieze.

Before accessing the main chamber there are 2 corridors, one in the east and the other in the west, each one leading to a large number of Luculi. After you descend to the hall that passes the Rotunda there is a small hall in front. In this vestibule, we see to the east a statue of a man inside a niche; while to the west there is a statue of a woman inside a niche. Both statues were sculpted in the Egyptian way, with some features of Greek art. 2 composite columns, containing a mixture of Egyptian and Greco-Roman elements, support the façade of this hall.


Great Wall of China

Quoted from The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 




Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe with an eye to expansion. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built in 220–206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains. The Great Wall has been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced over various dynasties; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).


Though the Great Wall never effectively prevented invaders from entering China, it came to function as a powerful symbol of Chinese civilization’s enduring strength. Great Wall was mainly built from rammed earth, stones, and wood. During the Ming, however, bricks were heavily used in many areas of the wall, as were materials such as tiles, lime, and stone. The size and weight of the bricks made them easier to work with than earth and stone, so construction quickened.



Quoted from The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 






One of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon.  It has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882 when legislation to protect historic monuments was first successfully introduced in Britain. The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.


Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B.C. The cremation burial dating to Stonehenge’s sarsen stones phase is likely just one of many from this later period of the monument’s use and demonstrates that it was still very much a domain of the dead


In 1963 American astronomer Gerald Hawkins proposed that Stonehenge had been constructed as a “computer” to predict lunar and solar eclipses; other scientists also attributed astronomical capabilities to the monument. Most of these speculations, too, have been rejected by experts. In 1973 English archaeologist Colin Renfrew hypothesized that Stonehenge was the centre of a confederation of Bronze Age chiefdoms.


Leaning Tower of Pisa

Quoted from The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 



Extensive work was subsequently done to straighten the tower, and its lean was ultimately reduced to less than 4.0 degrees. The Leaning Tower of Pisa took 344 years to build, beginning in August 1173. It began to lean in 1178 once construction on the second floor had begun. The lean was due to one side sinking into the soft ground.

Construction of the tower occurred in three stages over 199 years. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on August 14, 1173 during a period of military success and prosperity. This ground floor is a blind arcade articulated by engaged columns with classical Corinthian capitals.

The Tower of Pisa is located next to the Cathedral of Pisa, in Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of miracles) in the city of Pisa, Italy. The leaning Tower of Pisa is a medieval architecture, in Romanesque style. The construction of Tower of Pisa began in 1173 and was completed in the 14th century, in 1399.  It is considered that the architects and engineers who designed the leaning Tower of Pisa are: Bonanno Pisano, Gherardo di Gherardo, Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni di Simone



Porcelain Tower of Nanking

Quoted from The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 



The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing was a pagoda constructed by the Ming Dynasty during the early 15th century. This tower, which is part of the larger Bao En Si (translated as ‘Temple of Repaid Gratitude’) temple complex, is sometimes considered to be one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Medieval World’.

The new tower, reportedly funded by the richest man in China, Wang Jianlin, is surrounded by a futuristic, Buddhist-themed museum that opened late in 2015. The sites are collectively known as the Porcelain Tower Heritage Park. The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing was designed during the reign of the Yongle Emperor (r. 1402–1424), shortly before its construction in the early 15th century. It was first discovered by the Western world when European travelers like Johan Nieuhof visited it, sometimes listing it as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.


The tower was octagonal in shape. It was one of the largest buildings in China when it was built. It had nine stories and a long staircase in the middle having 184 steps. At the top of the roof was a golden pineapple.



Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (sometimes called the Church of Saint Sophia)

Quoted from The Seven Wonders of the Medieval World 




It was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture”. The Hagia Sophia was built in the remarkably short time of about six years, being completed in 537 CE. Unusual for the period in which it was built, the names of the building’s architects—Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus—are well known, as is their familiarity with mechanics and mathematics.

Hagia Sophia is one of the world’s most distinguished. The imposing, 1,480-year-old building in the heart of Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district stood for almost 1,000 years as an ornate cathedral, a place where Byzantine emperors came to be crowned.



References (some of the Photos/Text):


Wikipedia . org


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