Sites of the Seven Wonders
THE Great Pyramid of Giza might be the only surviving member of the Seven Ancient Wonders, but the sites of several of its erstwhile companions can still be found scattered across the Eastern Mediterranean. Here are four you can visit.
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
This giant seated figure of the god Zeus rose 13m in height and was sculpted with panels of ivory and gold. It was created within the Temple of Zeus around 435 BC but destroyed in the fifth century AD. Today the site of the temple can still be seen among the spectacular ancient ruins at Olympia, best known as the birthplace of the Olympic Games.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey
The mighty Temple of Artemis was proudly decorated with 127 Ionic columns that stood 20m high, with interiors gilded in gold and silver. Having been rebuilt several times, its final incarnation stood from 323 BC until it was destroyed in 401 AD. All that remains today is a single column to mark its location, but the wider site of Ephesus is one of the most visited ancient locations in Turkey and home to some of the country’s most magnificent ruins.
The Colossus of Rhodes, Greece
This towering statue was said to stand astride the entrance to Rhodes harbour on a scale similar to Statue of Liberty. It was built to commemorate a military victory in 305 BC and stood for almost 80 years until it was toppled in an earthquake. There’s no sign of it today, but Rhodes has become one of the most popular of the Greek isles, famous for its old city, beaches and archaeological sites.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Turkey
The final resting place of the Carian ruler Mausolus dates from around 350 BC and was adorned with sculptural reliefs created by celebrated Greek sculptors. Its architecture was renowned in ancient times and said to be the inspiration of many modern buildings including Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance. Destroyed by earthquakes between the 12th and 15th centuries, its ruins can be visited today in the scenic port of Bodrum.