Thursday, 19 Sep 2019

Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

Wonders that still exist from all times and places. Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World Great Wall of China, Pyramids, Angkor Wat, Panama Canal, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, Mount Rushmore, Trans-Siberian Railroad, Machu Picchu, and Golden Gate Bridge.

 

Great Wall of China

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the 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.

 

 

Chichen Itza, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

 

 

Pavel via Flickr Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

“Chichen Itza” means ” at the edge of the Itza’s well.” This derives from chi’, meaning “mouth” or “edge”, and ch’e’en, meaning “well.” Itza is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that dominated the northern peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico prior to the Spanish Conquest. It is believed that “Itza” derives from the Maya itz, meaning “magic,” and (h)�, meaning “water;” Itza means: “Water Magicians.” Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature.[2] The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site

 

About 987 the ruler of the Toltec people of central Mexico came here, and with his Maya allies made Chichen Itza the most powerful city in the Yucatan. The ruler called himself “Kukulcan”, the name of the Mesoamerican Feathered Serpent deity (also known as “Quetzalcoatl”) and Chichen Itza became a center for worship of that god as well. More buildings were built here in a mixture of Maya and Toltec styles.

About 1221 the Maya revolted against the rulers of Chichen Itza. The city was not abandoned, but as political power shifted elsewhere it declined and no major new buildings were constructed. The reasons for the final abandonment of the city are unknown, but spanish documents show that the city was already abandoned on their arrival.

 

Angkor Wat

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

 

 

Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu.

 

Angkor Wat was first a Hindu religion temple and then later it was turned into a Buddhist temple. It is located in Cambodia and was first built by Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire.

 

Angkor Wat – built by Suryavarman II (r 1112–52) – is the earthly representation of Mt Meru, the Mt Olympus of the Hindu faith and the abode of ancient gods. The Cambodian god-kings of old each strove to better their ancestors’ structures in size, scale and symmetry, culminating in what is believed to be the world’s largest religious building.

The temple is the heart and soul of Cambodia and a source of fierce national pride. Unlike the other Angkor monuments, it was never abandoned to the elements and has been in virtually continuous use since it was built.

 

 

Panama Canal

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

 

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President Theodore Roosevelt therefore supported the cause of Panamanian independence with the Canal in mind. His support paid off, and on November 18, 1903, the United States signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, establishing permanent U.S. rights to a Panama Canal Zone that stretched across the isthmus. The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is an artificial 82 km (51 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal locks are at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 m (85 ft) above sea level, and then lower the ships at the other end. The original locks are 34 m (110 ft) wide.

 

Sydney Opera House

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

The facility features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete “shells”,[11] each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius,  forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m (82 ft) below sea level.

 

The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, is one of the most distinctive and famous 20th-century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world. It is administered by the Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of the Arts.

 

Standard tours at the Sydney Opera House are held in a variety of languages and cost AU$37 (about $27) for adults and AU$20 ($15) for children. The design techniques developed by Utzon and Arup for the Sydney Opera House have been further developed and are now used for architecture, such as works of Gehry and blobitecture, as well as most reinforced concrete structures.

 

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

It 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 from 1628 to 1658), to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

It was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1631, to be built in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess who died giving birth to their 14th child, Gauhara Begum.  Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The imperial court documenting Shah Jahan’s grief after the death of Mumtaz Mahal illustrate the love story held as the inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1643 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished about five years later

 

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! Probably for Taj Mahal, the axiom is just the other way round.The Taj is the beauty personified! The Taj displays its different moods through its varied shades. The Taj has as many shades as any kind of beauty can ever have! The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, golden when the moon shines and the intermediary variants during different hours of the day and during different seasons in a year.

Picturesque descriptions by the historians contemporary to the period of its making, the facts revealed by the scholars & archaeologists of today and the panoramic montage of the reasons behind its making are sketched with every step you would walk towards the mausoleum the next time you visit The Taj!

 

 

Mount Rushmore

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

 

 

Originally known to the Lakota Sioux as “The Six Grandfathers” (Tunkasila Sakpe) or “Cougar Mountain” (Igmu Tanka Paha), the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885.  At first, the project of carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

Seeking to attract tourism to the Black Hills in the early 1920s, South Dakota’s state historian Doane Robinson came up with the idea to sculpt “the Needles” (several giant natural granite pillars) into the shape of historic heroes of the West.

 

These men were chosen because all four played important roles in American history. The four faces carved onto Mount Rushmore are those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt was chosen because he was such an influential president and world leader.

 

Trans-Siberian Railroad

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

 

 

The railway is often associated with the main transcontinental Russian line that connects hundreds of large and small cities of the European and Asian parts of Russia. At a Moscow–Vladivostok track length of 9,289 kilometres (5,772 miles),  it spans a record eight time zones. Taking eight days to complete the journey, it is the third-longest single continuous service in the world, after the Moscow–Pyongyang 10,267 kilometres (6,380 mi)[5] and the Kiev–Vladivostok 11,085 kilometres (6,888 mi)  services, both of which also follow the Trans-Siberian for much of their routes.

The trans-Manchurian line came under full Chinese control only after World War II; it was renamed the Chinese Ch’ang-ch’un Railway. In the Soviet Union, over the years, a number of spur lines have been built radiating from the main trans-Siberian line.

 

Machu Picchu, Peru

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored  and restoration continues.

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

The high level of preservation and the general layout of the ruin are remarkable. Its southern, eastern, and western portions are surrounded by dozens of stepped agricultural terraces formerly watered by an aqueduct system. Some of those terraces were still being used by local Indians when Bingham arrived in 1911. Walkways and thousands of steps, consisting of stone blocks as well as footholds carved into underlying rock, connect the plazas, the residential areas, the terraces, the cemetery, and the major buildings.

Though Machu Picchu is considered to be a “royal” estate, surprisingly, the estate would not have been passed down in the line of succession. It was only used for approximately 80 years before being abandoned seemingly due to destruction of the Spanish Conquests in other parts of the Inca Empire.

 

 

Golden Gate Bridge

Quoted from Ten Ultimate Man-Made Wonders of the World

 

 

The structure links the American city of San Francisco, California – the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula – to Marin County, carrying both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. There are plenty of great spots to capture a snap of the majestic bridge. But if you want a truly postcard-worthy shot, head to the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point, situated high on a hill overlooking San Francisco.

 

The total length of the Golden Gate Bridge from abutment to abutment is 8,981 feet (2,737 m). It spans 1.7 miles across the Golden Gate Strait which connects San Francisco to the Pacific Ocean is 90 feet wide. It’s average height above the water is 220 feet, with the two towers rising up to 746 feet above sea level; more than 80,000 miles of wire were used in the bridge.

 

During Daylight Savings Time (March – November) the bridge is open from 5 am to 9 pm, however, during Pacific Standard Time, (November – March) it’s only open till 6 pm. How long does it take to cross the bridge on foot? For the average person it takes around 30−40 minutes one way.

 

 

References some of the (text and photos):

Wikipedia . org

Pexels

 

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