There were pyramids in ancient Greece

The seven ancient wonders of the world

The pyramids of Giza (Egypt)

Even if you can still stand in amazement in front of the pyramids of Giza - in ancient times the sight must have been even more fascinating, because back then they were still surrounded by snow-white, gleaming limestone.

The only remaining of the seven ancient wonders of the world are the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinos.

The statue of Zeus by Phidias (Greece)

The Greek artist Phidias started building the statue in 432 BC and worked on it for six years. The enthroned statue of Zeus was almost 13 meters high and its core was made of cypress and precious wood. The unclothed parts of the body were covered with ivory, large parts of the statue were made of pure gold.

The statue was destroyed in a fire in the Temple of Olympia, over which the image of Zeus was watching.

The Artemis Temple (Turkey)

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was completed for the first time in 440 BC after a construction period of 120 years. A madman burned the temple down in 356 BC to go down in history. But the temple was rebuilt, this time even more splendid than before.

On a 125 by 65 meter marble platform, 127 columns, each 18 meters high, held the gigantic roof structure. Under Constantine the Great (280 to 337 AD) the temple was finally destroyed again and the remains sank into the swamp.

The tomb of Mausolus (Turkey)

Like the pharaohs, King Mausolos worried about an appropriate burial place during his lifetime. Compared to the tombs customary at the time, it overshot the mark. His grave, made of artistically carved stone blocks, had an area of ​​39 by 33 meters and was a proud 49 meters high.

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great completed the building. In the 13th century the mausoleum was destroyed by an earthquake. The rubble was built into defensive structures 200 years later.

The hanging gardens of Babylon (Iraq)

Little is known about the hanging gardens of Babylon. A first source dates the building to 775 BC.

A 30 meter high terrace is said to have stood directly on the Euphrates. The terrace garden stood on massive pillars, and beneath it was a system of corridors. The terrace was sealed with plaster of paris and lead so that the water from the ground could not penetrate the corridor system.

The Colossus of Rhodes (Greece)

The Greeks paid homage to their patron saint Helios with the Colossus of Rhodes. After twelve years of construction, the approximately 35 meter high bronze statue was erected in 290 BC. But just 66 years later, an earthquake brought the monument down.

The statue remained in the city for around 900 years until it was dismantled by the Arabs in 653 AD and transported away to be melted down.

Pharos lighthouse (Egypt)

The huge lighthouse owes its name to the small coastal island of Pharos off Alexandria, on which the topping-out ceremony was completed in 279 BC.

The tower stood on a 30 by 30 meter foundation, on its top was a gigantic bronze statue, with which it reached a total height of 113 meters. An earthquake destroyed the Pharos lighthouse in the 14th century, and its rubble was built into the nearby Kait-bey fortress in 1480.

(First published in 2002. Last updated May 10, 2021)

WDR