The few wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them.
(Charles De Lint)
We’ve all heard of the Seven Wonders of the World. They include Christ the Redeemer, the Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu, to name but a few, and represent some of human kind’s greatest achievements. However, there are some jaw-dropping constructions that haven’t made the cut. These five alternative wonders of the world deserve some recognition.
1. Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Park is renowned as one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. It contains the ruins of the capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th century. The Angkor Wat Temple is the most spell binding piece of architecture the park has to offer. Dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu, its construction began in the 12th century and took 37 years to be completed.
2. Moai Statues Of Easter Island
Easter Island’s silent stone figures are an impressive monument to the achievements and culture of ancient Polynesian peoples. The purpose of the statues is shrouded in mystery. The effort involved in moving them must have been inhuman, as the carved head and torsos weigh around 14 tons and are about 13 feet tall. Most researchers believe that they were erected to honour chiefs or ancestors.
Stonehenge is one of the most impressive ancient sights Britain has to offer and has long been associated with powerful forces and folklore. The real meaning behind the stones is unknown, which only adds to its mystique. Many suggestions have been made as to its purpose. It could have been a temple, a centre of healing, a burial site or even a gigantic calendar. To this day researchers are not certain how the stones were transported 240 miles only with the use of primitive tools.
4. The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City in Beijing is an impressive testament to China’s regal legacy. During the Ming and Qing dynasties it was the palace for 24 emperors. These leaders ruled with an iron fist and famously kept a harem of women within the city. It is the world’s largest palace complex covering 75 hectares with a 52 metre wide moat and a 10 metre high wall.
5. The Temple Of The Golden Buddha
The beautiful Wat Traimit temple in Bangkok houses a 3 metre tall, 5.5 tons solid gold Buddha image. Now that’s impressive in anyone’s book. It was constructed over 700 years ago in the Sukhothai period. To conceal it from the invading Burmese the statue was originally covered in plaster, and its true identity was accidentally rediscovered forty years ago.
These five alternative wonders are a magnificent testament to the peoples who built them. Getting off the tourist trail and seeing lesser known attractions, doesn’t mean that they will be any less impressive. And you get the pleasure of knowing that fewer people have had the same experience.