Are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World worth seeing? No, not really (except for the Great Pyramid of Giza). There are a number of reasons why they are not worth seeing - that doesn't mean some of the Seven Wonders are not worth seeing. But it does mean that as a list, it is not a worthwhile - or even possible itinerary.
The list of the Seven Wonder of the Ancient World does not represent particularly spectacular or interesting sites today. But still, many people would like to see them just to see them, regardless of whether they are impressive or not.
What Are The Seven Wonders of The Ancient World?
The Seven Wonders was the list of remarkable constructions of classical antiquity that where popular with ancient Hellenic (Greek) tourists. The list was given in various guidebooks and were not always the same - the list as we know it didn't stabilize until the Renaissance. The first list of seven wonders dated from the 2nd-1st century BC and there were innumerable versions through the ages. With that being said, we will stick with the conventional list of Seven Ancient Wonders.
The Seven Wonders of The Ancient World Are:
- The Great Pyramid of Giza: By Far The Oldest, Largest, and The Most Intact
- The Colossus of Rhodes: Only Stood For 54 Years Until Being Destroyed By An Earthquake
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria: Remnants Can Be Seen Diving Where Stone Fell Into The Sea After The Destructive Earthquake
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: It Is Completely Destroyed and Mostly Quarried, So The Mausoleum of The Taj Mahal Is Much More Impressive
- The Temple Of Artemis: Only Remnants of The Foundation and A Single Re-stacked Under-Height Column Remain
- The Statue of Zeus: Completely Lost
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: Location Is Unknown, There Is Some Secptisim about This Wonder - Or Perhaps It Will Never Be Discovered
Problems With These Being The "Seven" Wonders of The Ancient World
There are a few big problems with this list, the first is that there are many and more impressive structures that were built later on but would be considered "ancient" to people today - like the Colosseum, the Parthenon (Greek tourists were already there though), the Great Wall of China, the Walls of Constantinople, and many more.
- More Ancient Wonders: There Are Many Ancient Wonders Built Later On
Another is that it was only for ancient Greek tourists touring the Eastern Mediterranean (plus the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in today's Iraq). But the ancient world was much larger than that (India, Mesoamerica, China, etc).
- Greek World: The List Was For Greek World In The Eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamia
But perhaps the biggest problem is that they no longer exist (except for the Great Pyramid of Giza). Four of them are ruins. They range from scattered ruins to not even knowing where the original location was.
- The True Wonder Of The List: Great Pyramid of Giza
The Case of The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was built for the ruler Mausolus - so it is also called the Tomb of Mausolus. So great was this tomb that all such above-ground tombs are known after his name - Mausolus or Mausoleum. It was the last of the destroyed Seven Wonders being wrecked by earthquakes.
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: Quarried To Build The Bodrum Castle
Later on, it was quarried for its stone by the Crusader Knights Hospitalar (Knights of St. John). They used the stone to build the Bodrum Castle in 1402. As a transnational effort, it is known for its four towers called the English, French, German, and Italian towers.
Today the Bodrum Castle is on the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey.
Not A Doable List
That would be ok for some on the list like the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Temple of Artemis. These sites are known and the remnants can be seen today. But as the for Statue of Zeus, the location is known, but there are no remains of the statue. And with the Colossus of Rhodes and the Hanging Gardens - no one even knows the exact location (or even if the Hanging Gardens existed at all).
- Unknown Locations: Hanging Gardens and The Colossus of Rhodes
In fact, there has been some debate if the Hanging Gardens of Babylon even existed - or if they did, if they were actually in a different city like Nineveh. One problem is that not only is there any archeological evidence for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but there is little left of the ancient city of Babylon at all today and more is being destroyed all the time.
That means that if one wanted to tick them off the list for ticking of the list's sake, one could visit four of them and one site, but the last two can not be visited at all.