Seven Wonders of Medieval World

n the 19th and early 20th centuries, some writers claimed that lists of wonders of the world have existed during the Middle Ages, although it is unlikely that these lists originated at that time because the word medieval was not invented until the Enlightenment-era, and the concept of a Middle Age did not become popular until the 16th century. Hence, the list of seven wonders of medieval world is considered to be ‘the later list’.

Eventhough many of the structures in this list were built much earlier than Medieval Ages, some even in ancient world category, but only to be famous in later time. This is the list of the Seven Wonders of Medieval World:

1. Stonehenge

It is a prehistoric monument located in English county of Wiltshire, which is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones. This monument is believed to have been erected around 2500 BC. It is at the centre of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.

2. Colosseum

It is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in Roman empire that could hold over 80 000 people. Construction started in 72 AD and completed in 80 AD, and it was used for gladiatorial contests, and public spectacles such as animal hunts, dramas and even executions.

3. Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

It is a necropolis located in Alexandria, Egypt consisting of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. The most gruesome feature is Hall of Caracalla, mass burial chamber for humans and animals massacred by order of the Emperor Caracalla.

4. Great Wall of China

It is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect northern borders against intrusions by various nomadic groups. Several walls have been built since 5th century BC, most famous one being built by China’s First Emperor, Qin Shih Huang Ti between 220 and 206 BC and majority of the walls was built during Ming Dynasty. It stretches over 8850 km.

5. Porcelain Tower of Nanjing

It was a pagoda constructed in the 15th century during Ming Dynasty at the south bank of Yangtze, China. The tower was octagonal with a base of about 30 m in diameter, rising up to 79 m with nine stories, making it one of the tallest structures in China. It had a staircase in the middle, spiraling upwards with 184 steps. The top of the roof was marked by a golden sculpture of pineapple.

6. Hagia Sophia

It is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. It is 82 m long, 73 m wide and 55 m tall. It is designed by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. It is constructed by Emperor Justinian between 532 and 537 AD and is mainly constructed of ashlar and brick. Famous for its massive dome, it is an epitome of Byzantine architecture and was the largest cathedral in world for nearly a thousand years.

7. Leaning Tower of Pisa

It is a free standing bell tower of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. The height of the tower is 55.86 m on the low side and 56.70 m on the high side. The tower has 294 steps and it is now leaning at an angle of 3.99 angles after some repair and restoration works. Construction began in 1173 and started to lean in 1178 with completion in 1372 with addition of a bell chamber.

I wish to include one more structure to be in 8th position and should be mentioned.

8. Taj Mahal

It is a mausoleum located in Agra, India built by Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is built from 1632 till 1653 with a height of 171 m. It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and also one of the most recognizable. The white-domed marble mausoleum is the finest example of Mughal architecture; combination of Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles.

Beautiful structures in the list, isn’t it? Actually, there are also sources mentioning Cairo Citadel, Ely Cathedral and Cluny Abbey as the wonders in this category too. However, I am already pretty agreed and satisfied with this list above with addition of only Taj Mahal.

(The pictures do not belong to me ad the information is obtained and paraphrased after some researches from internet)



8 thoughts on “Seven Wonders of Medieval World

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