The Great Pyramid of Giza, El Giza, Egypt; the only one that still survives, was one of the ancient seven wonders. The Colossus of Rhodes is located in Rhodes, Greece, on the same name island. The Babylonian Hanging Gardens are located in Babylon, near present-day Hillah, in Babil province, Iraq. The Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, is also considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
It was built by Pharoah Chephren around 2,550 years ago and is therefore about 4,450 years old. It is estimated to have taken 25,000 workers 20 years to build. The pyramid is approximately two miles on each side and it rises more than four hundred and fifty feet from its base to its peak.
Modern scientists believe that the Great Pyramid was built as a tomb for King Khufu (Chephren's son). According to some historians, Khufu actually wanted to be buried at Beni Suef but his body was brought back to Giza because people believed that if a pharaoh were to die at a place other than his own country, he would lose his throne. Also, people thought that since Giza is near the Nile, if Khufu died there, he would be transported back to the river every night, floating down stream on a barge made of papyrus until the day he was to be resurrected.
The Ancient World's Seven Wonders were as follows:
The Ancient World's Seven Wonders
The traditional list included seven wonders of the Eastern Mediterranean. 1. Giza's Great Pyramid The Great Pyramid of Giza, built between 2584 BC and 2561 BC, is the sole remaining ancient marvel. It is the largest single pyramid in the world. The original height of the pyramid was 467 feet (140 m), but now only 328 feet (100 m) remains. 2. Baalbek's Temple of Jupiter A temple dedicated to the Roman god Jupiter was originally built around 50 AD by the emperor Augustus. The building activity at Baalbek continued until its completion in about 175 AD. The main structure of the temple is made up of large blocks of stone that were transported from a distance of about 20 miles (30 km). 3. Hanging Gardens of Babylon The most famous garden in history is the Hanging Garden of Babylon. Built as an extension of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, the garden was filled with trees, plants, and pools where visitors could enjoy views of the city. It remained one of the principal attractions of the royal court for many years after the king's death. In 539 BC, the city was destroyed by Cyrus the Great of Persia. No evidence of the garden has been found since then.
The Pyramids of Giza are the oldest of the seven wonders and the only one still standing today. The Giza Pyramids in Egypt. Image: David Tipling/Photodisc/Getty Images
They are also the largest pyramid complex on earth. With an estimated height of 468 feet (140 meters), the Great Pyramid of Giza is more than twice as high as the next largest pyramid, that of Khafre at 257 feet (79 m).
The Giza Pyramids were built over a period of about 40 years by several generations of Pharaohs as their final resting place. Although they are a popular destination for tourists, the pyramids were not built for this purpose; instead, they were constructed as tombs. There are three types of pyramids: mastaba, conical, and true pyramid.
Mastaba pyramids are large rectangular blocks with holes to hold wooden beams underneath them, which supported the weight of the stone above. These were the earliest form of pyramid used by Pharaonic rulers. They are found mostly on the edges of fields where much wood was needed to build a large structure like the Giza Pyramids.
Conical pyramids are shaped like cones with their wide bases aligned north-south.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the world's most famous structures. Only one of the original seven marvels, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the ancient wonders, has survived remarkably intact. It is also the largest pyramid in the world.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for King Khafre and his family. It is estimated that between 2,550 and 2,100 BC, builders used about 20 million limestone blocks to construct the edifice. The blocks were transported from Aswan to Giza on the orders of Khafre and his chief architect, Imhotep. The Egyptians called this monument "the house of eternity" because they believed it would survive even after the people who built it died.
In addition to Khafre and Imhotep, other important people associated with the pyramid are Menkauhor Kaiu, who supervised its construction; Senefah, who designed it; and Ay, who introduced certain engineering innovations using stone blocks.
The architects who designed the Great Pyramid of Giza were aware of the importance of creating a structure that could stand the test of time. They took into account how earthquakes were common in Egypt at the time and designed the pyramid in such a way that if it did collapse, its fall would be broken by other pyramids thus preventing any damage or casualties.