It’s the last day of our 7th birthday week, and one of the many memes related to the number 7 is that of the Seven Wonders of the World. The idea of the “Seven Wonders” first emerged after Alexander the Great’s conquests of the known world in the 4th Century B.C.E. as a sort of tourist guide to the marvels of the world at the time.
Over time, various “Seven Wonders” lists have been compiled to take into account different themes and distinguish between man-made, ancient, natural, and engineering masterpieces. We decided to use the 2007 list of the NEW Seven Wonders of the World, and luckily we have plenty of images of them here at Shutterstock! Have a look below, you might be inspired to book your next trip.
Located in the state of Yucatán in Mexico, Chichén Itzá is an ancient Mayan archaeological site. This shot by Curtis Kautzer shows a gorgeous view of the Kukulcán pyramid (also known as “El Castillo”) from the Temple of A Thousand Warriors. We wonder if anyone has tried–and actually succeeded–in running all the way up those steps without stopping.
Christ the Redeemer–Brazil
This 130 ft statue is considered to be the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world. It stands on the Corcovado mountain, and is a distinctive feature of Rio de Janeiro. Its position provides the visitor with a striking panorama of the city, as shown in this photo by mangostock. This view makes us wish we had wings!
The Colosseum is an iconic feature of Rome, both past and present. It was used for the entertainment of the people, at the expense of the lives of poor gladiators and exotic animals such as rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, ostriches, giraffes, lions, elephants, and others. At times, it even was filled with water to re-enact sea battles, or outfitted with thousands of plants and trees to create artificial environments. This shot by Olga Dmitrieva shows the elliptical shaped arena and the labyrinth below where animals and humans awaited their horrible fate.
An enduring symbol of love, the Taj Mahal was completed in 1653 by emperor Shah Jahan to mourn the loss of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The entire complex includes gardens, smaller buildings, and the principal mausoleum. This is the most famous feature of the monument, shown in gorgeous detail in this image by Dusty Mancinelli. The gorgeous mausoleum attracts 2 to 4 million tourists per year from all over the world.
Great Wall of China
This incredible means of protection has been in existence and use since around the 5th century B.C.E. It is over 3,800 miles long and includes signal towers used for communication between army units. Nowdays, the Wall is a tourist attraction, modern marvel, and–awesomely enough–the site of Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring 2008 Fendi runway show. This image captures the Jinshanling section of the wall, running along the top of the mountain as if it were a spine. You can view this image and others in the portfolio of Shutterstock contributor SINITAR.
Another archaeological site, this ancient city was built around 1200 B.C.E.! Not only was this impressive city on a trading route, but it was a veritable oasis, due to the people’s ability to control the water sources. This led the city to prosper and survive for thousands of years, until it declined under Roman rule. In this photo by Holger Mette, you can see the rock-cut architecture that is characteristic of this site. Those carvers must have had some sore fingers after being done!
Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most breathtaking sights. Believed to have been built around 1450 for the emperor Pachacuti of the Incas, it was abandoned 100 years later as an indirect result of the Spanish Conquest. Today, the ruins are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly. Many of those tourists opt to make the 4-day long trek to arrive at the summit. You can see in this photo by Jarno Gonzalez Zarraonandia that the reward is well worth the pain.
You can find all the Wonders of the World (except the ones that no longer exist) right here at Shutterstock. We have over 12 million images that will complement any project you have. Thank you all for celebrating our 7th birthday with us, it’s been a great week!