Amit Tejpal, Founder| 7 WONDERS| Best business magazine in India

After reading the below, I leave it to you to decide whether there are 7 or 14 or more wonders of the world, however the reason this topic is important is because these 7 monuments collectively bring in more wealth every year from tourists than the economy of some mid sized countries. Not just the wealth they generate, they all have their own micro economies with the number of jobs that are created in the process of serving the tourists. They are the most important pillars of Tourism and Hospitality, but to find out why only seven, we need to understand the history of the topic.
The first reference to a list of seven such monuments was given by Diodorus Siculus, whilst our traditional set of ancient wonders is recorded in a poem by Antipater of Sidon, writing in 140 BC, including six of the present list (substituting the walls of Babylon for the lighthouse):, though later lists included Roman and then Christian sites.
“I have gazed on the walls of impregnable Babylon along which chariots may race, and on the Zeus by the banks of the Alpheus, I have seen the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Helios, the great man-made mountains of the lofty pyramids, and the gigantic tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, the others were placed in the shade, for the sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus” – Greek Anthology IX.58
The historian Herodotus (484–425 BC), and later a scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (305–240 BC), had made early lists of seven wonders, at the Museum of Alexandria, however their detailed writings about the monuments did not survive, except as references in some texts.These are known as the Ancient 7 wonders, or the Classic 7 wonders.
The classic seven wonders were:
. The Great Pyramid of Giza, El Giza, Egypt .
. Colossus of Rhodes, in Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name.
. Hanging Gardens of Babylon, in Babylon, near present-day Hillah, in Iraq.
. Lighthouse of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt.
. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Achaemenid Empire, modern day Turkey.
. Statue of Zeus at Olympia, in Olympia, Greece.
. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, (near the modern town of Selçuk in present-day Turkey).
Some interesting facts about the seven wonders are, of the original Seven Wonders, only the Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu, named after the pharaoh who built it), which is the oldest of the ancient wonders, remains relatively intact. The Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis, and the Statue of Zeus were all destroyed. The exact location and ultimate fate of the Hanging Gardens are unknown, and there is speculation that they may not have existed at all. The Colossus of Rhodes was the last of the seven to be completed, after 280 BC, and the first to be destroyed (by an earthquake in 226/225 BC). Hence, all seven existed at the same time for a period of less than 60 years.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the first known list of the most remarkable creations of classical antiquity; it was based on guidebooks popular among Hellenic sightseers of Greece and only includes works located around the Mediterranean rim and in Mesopotamia, near the ancient Greek Empire. One can say that these attractions were in their version of the modern day ‘Lonely Planet Guide’.
The number seven was chosen because the Greeks believed it represented perfection and plenty, and because it was the number of the five planets known anciently, plus the sun and moon. We continue to call 7 lucky till today.
In the modern day, most of us will remember and may have voted, New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) was a campaign started in the year 2000 to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. There was an international exercise carried out for voting, led by a gentleman called Bernard Weber, and the New7Wonders foundation based in Zurich. The winners were announced on 7th July 2007 in Lisbon, and the foundation claimed they received over 100 million votes in 7 years of this exercise.
All seven were existing UNESCO World Heritage sites:
. Taj Mahal, India
. Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
. Petra, Jordan
. The Great Wall of China
. The Colosseum, Rome
. Machu Picchu, Peru
. Chichén Itzá, Mexico
In 2007, the New7Wonders Foundation (established in 2001), which claims to be a not-for-profit organization but is owned by The New Open World Corporation (NOWC), which is a commercial business and receives licensing and sponsorship money, contracted a partnership with the United Nations in recognition of the efforts to promote the UN’s Millennium Development Goals” The UN posted on its website:
“The New7Wonders campaigns aim to contribute to the process of uplifting the well being and mutual respect of citizens around the world, through encouraging interaction, expression and opinion and direct participation by voting and polling on popular global issues which are understandable to everyone. — United Nations Office of Partnerships”
However, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a press release on June 20, 2007, reaffirmed that it has no link with the “private initiative”. The press release concluded:
“There is no comparison between Mr. Weber’s mediatised campaign and the scientific and educational work resulting from the inscription of sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The list of the 7 New Wonders of the World will be the result of a private undertaking, reflecting only the opinions of those with access to the Internet and not the entire world. This initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by the public” — UNESCO
While concluding, I would also like to list some of the other noteworthy mentions for the new7wonders which did not make it to the top 7; The Acropolis, The Alhambra, Angkor Wat, Eiffel Tower, Hagia Sophia, Kiyomizu Temple, Kremlin and Red Square, Neuschwanstein Castle, Statue of Liberty, Easter Island, Stonehenge, Sydney Opera House, Timbuktu. If Unesco could drop the idea of ‘7’ wonders and expand that list to say 50 wonders of the world, or even one in every country, including natural, modern, religious, and ancient sites, the tourism industry in these areas would increase about tenfold every decade, and that would also lead to better long term maintenance of those sites. This would help our world become an even more wonder-ful place.
About the Author
Amit Tejpal is the Founder of Tejpal Hospitality, a B2B setup that aims to assist, current or aspiring, Restaurateurs and Hoteliers to establish new Restaurants – Bars and Hotels and upgrade existing ones with global standards of quality and service.

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