July 8, 2007 in Nation/World

New list of world’s seven wonders released

Barry Hatton Associated Press

At a glance

And the winners are …

» The winners of the contest to name the new seven wonders of the world. The pyramids in Giza will retain their status as one of the original seven wonders of the world.

» Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. The only surviving structures of the original seven wonders, the three pyramids were built as tombs for 4th-dynasty pharaohs about 4,500 years ago.

» Colosseum, Italy. The giant amphitheater in Rome was inaugurated in A.D. 80 by the Emperor Titus. The 50,000-seat Colosseum was an arena where thousands of gladiators dueled to the death and Christians were fed to the lions.

» Great Wall of China. The 4,160-mile barricade running from east to west in northern China is the longest man-made structure in the world. The fortification, which largely dates from the 7th through the 4th century B.C., was built to protect the dynasties from invasion.

» Taj Mahal, India. The white marble-domed mausoleum in Agra was built by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1654 for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. The complex is an example of Mughal architecture combining Indian, Persian and Islamic styles.

» Petra, Jordan. The ancient city of Petra in southwestern Jordan, built on a terrace around the Wadi Musa or Valley of Moses, was the capital of the Arab kingdom of the Nabateans. The city is famous for its water tunnels and numerous stone structures carved in rock, the most impressive of which is probably Ad-Dayr, an uncompleted tomb facade that served as a church during Byzantine times.

» Christ the Redeemer statue, Brazil. The 125-foot-tall statue of Christ the Redeemer with outstretched arms overlooks Rio de Janeiro from atop Mt. Corcovado. The statue was built by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski in pieces in France starting in 1926, then shipped to Brazil.

» Machu Picchu, Peru. Built by the Incan Empire in the 15th century, the giant walls, palaces, temples and dwellings of the Machu Picchu sanctuary are perched in the clouds at 8,000 feet above sea level in the Andes mountains.

» Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico. This step-pyramid surmounted by a temple survives from a sacred site that was part of one of the greatest Mayan centers of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.

LISBON, Portugal – The Great Wall of China, Rome’s Colosseum, India’s Taj Mahal and three architectural marvels from Latin America were among the new seven wonders of the world chosen in a global poll released on Saturday.

Jordan’s Petra was the seventh winner. Peru’s Machu Picchu, Brazil’s Statue of Christ Redeemer and Mexico’s Chichen Itza pyramid also made the cut.

About 100 million votes were cast by the Internet and cell phone text messages, said New7Wonders, the nonprofit organization that conducted the poll.

The seven beat out 14 other nominated landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Easter Island in the Pacific, the Statue of Liberty, the Acropolis, Russia’s Kremlin and Australia’s Sydney Opera House.

The pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world, were assured of retaining their status in addition to the new seven after indignant Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace they had to compete.

The campaign to name new wonders was launched in 1999 by the Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber. Almost 200 nominations came in, and the list was narrowed to the 21 most-voted by the start of 2006. Organizers admit there was no foolproof way to prevent people from voting more than once for their favorite.

The Colosseum, the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and Petra had been among the leading candidates since January, while the Statue of Christ Redeemer received a surge in votes more recently.

The Statue of Liberty and Australia’s Sydney Opera House were near the bottom of the list from the start.

Also among the losing candidates were Cambodia’s Angkor, Spain’s Alhambra, Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, Japan’s Kiyomizu Temple, Russia’s Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle, Britain’s Stonehenge and Mali’s Timbuktu.

Weber’s foundation aims to promote cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments. It relies on private donations and revenue from selling broadcasting rights.

© Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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