Some places are simply marvels of the power of human ingenuity, perseverance, and engineering. These are the monuments that you can stare at with awe. These places let you know that humanity can overcome even the most difficult obstacles, once minds are set to accomplishing the goal. It’s simply mind-boggling to look at these wonders, proof that mind can certainly triumph over matter.
The Pyramids of Giza
Located at the west bank of the Nile River, the Pyramids of Giza are defiant, symmetrical monster structures that rise up out of the sea of sand all around them. The Great Pyramid, which is probably the oldest of the grouping, is the last Ancient Wonder of the World that is still standing. And if you think they are impressive now, imagine how they would have been at the apex of their beauty, encased in limestone plates. The real mystery, though, is how the Egyptians actually built them, as it would have required mastery over many scientific and construction disciplines, and to have the project laid out as practically a multi-generational goal. Think of them as among the grandest public works projects ever made in the ancient world.
The Taj Mahal
Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan to commemorate his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died trying to give birth to their child in 1631, the Taj Mahal has become a symbol of romantic love. Located by the Yamuna River, this remarkable edifice is visited by three million or so visitors a year – and unfortunately, the site did deteriorate over time. Thankfully, restoration efforts are being done, and the plans include the restoration of the original hardens in full. Access is now given through timed tickets.
Fourteen miles long and seven miles wide, Easter Island was, until recently, a mystery in terms of history. It’s now known that the creation of the famous megalithic statues probably contributed the how barren the island is today, as many of the island’s resources were used for the creation and transportation of the large stone statues to various parts of the island.
But even then, many mysteries remain. How did 10 or 12 tribal groups work in unity to move each statue, given that each statue was around thirteen feet tall and weighed about fourteen tons? And why make them at all? Although some researchers say that these statues represented ancestral tribal chiefs, the excessive production of these statues – nearly 1,000 statues – stripped the island of many of its natural and renewable resources. Still, the sight of a line of these statues looking out to sea is still breathtaking.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a 4,500-mile long network of walls that served to define the border of ancient China. But the truth is, it isn’t just one Great Wall. It’s a network of many walls, some of which date back to the 7th century. Other parts of the Great Wall, on the other hand, have been built as recently as the 17th Century. In all one great way to appreciate the Wall is to go to one of the tourist-accessible segments, and walk a little, to appreciate just how big this construction project was.
Jordan loves to travel and has been to over 15 countries worldwide, and has seen every state in the USA. Much of his travel is thanks to Sundance Vacations. Visit Sundance’s twitter!
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