New Seven Wonders : Official announcement

Around 100 million Internet and telephone voters participated in a poll to select the new Seven Wonders of the World, among which are India's Taj Mahal marble mausoleum, the Great Wall of China, Brazil's Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Peru's Machu Picchu Inca trail and Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid.

The announcement was made Saturday at a star-studded ceremony here.

Following are some details about the new seven wonders:--

The Taj Mahal

An icon of love, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned it for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Its construction began in 1632 and was completed in approximately 1648.

Built out of white marble and standing in formally laid-out walled gardens, the Taj Mahal is regarded as the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India.--

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall is the world's longest human-made structure, stretching over approximately 6,400 km from Shanhai Pass in the east to Lop Nur in the west of China, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. It is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass.

The Wall was classified a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986.-- The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue stands 32 metres tall, weighs 700 tonnes and is located at the peak of the 700-metre Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, overlooking the city.

As well as being a potent symbol of Christianity, the statue has become an icon of Rio and Brazil.

The Incan ruins of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, a pre-Columbian city created by the Inca, is located above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, about 70 km northwest of Cusco. Forgotten for centuries by the outside world, although not by locals, it was brought back to international attention by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911, who made the first scientific confirmation of the site and wrote a best-selling work about it.

The ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico

Chichen Itza is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site built by the Maya civilisation, located in the northern centre of the Yucatan Peninsula, present-day Mexico.

The Maya name Chichen Itza means 'At the mouth of the well of the Itza'. Although this was the usual name for the site in pre-Columbian times, it is also referred to in the ancient chronicles as Uucyabnal, meaning 'Seven Great Rulers'.

The pink ruins of Petra in Jordan

Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains, which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock. The long-hidden site was revealed to the Western world by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

Today, the Palace Tombs of Petra, with the 42-metre-high Hellenistic temple facade on the El-Deir Monastery, are impressive examples of Middle Eastern culture.

The Coliseum in Rome

The Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre, is a giant amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Originally capable of seating around 50,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. The amphitheatre, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign.
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