Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The New 7 Wonders of the World

The seven wonders of the ancient world – including the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Colossus of Rhodes – were remarkable, man-made structures of classical antiquity. Of the seven, only the Great Pyramid survives, standing tall in the Egyptian desert for more than 4,500 years.

However, while six of the seven ancient wonders disappeared long ago, there are new wonders to see on your travels. An organization called the New 7 Wonders of the World recently declared seven new wonders, selected from 21 finalists by more than 100 million votes. Any of these wonders can form the centerpiece of a memorable vacation. You may wish to choose your favorite wonder by the human virtue it represents, as described by the New 7 Wonders organization:
· The Taj Mahal, India, represents passion and love, without which our lives, relationships and achievements have no meaning. The white-domed mausoleum is the most familiar part of this monument, but the Taj Mahal is actually an extensive complex of buildings and gardens.

· The Colosseum, Italy, represents joy as well as the dark cloud of suffering, without which there can be no silver lining of joy. This elliptical amphitheatre in the center of Rome is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture.

· The statue of Christ the Redeemer, Brazil, represents openness and welcoming others, allowing for mutual appreciation and growth. The 130-foot statue overlooks the city of Rio de Janiero.

· Chichen Itza, Mexico, represents knowledge, coupled with worship of a higher level of consciousness. This archeological site contains many stone temples and other buildings constructed before 1000 AD by the Maya civilization.

· Machu Picchu, Peru, represents dedication to common causes and common goals, which enable and sustain community. This “Lost City of the Incas” was built about 1450 and abandoned 100 years later at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire, although it was not “rediscovered” until the early 20th century.

· The Great Wall of China represents the perseverance to build and to persist, even in the face of adversity. Built and rebuilt between the fifth century BC and the 16th century, the wall helped protect the northern border of the Chinese empire.

· Petra, Jordan, represents protection against the elements and enemies, created by engineering and resourcefulness. Through the work of archeologists and historians, a more complete picture of this ancient city and its beautiful stone buildings is slowly emerging.

Talk with your travel professional about designing a vacation around one or more of the new wonders of the world.

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