28 October 2015

The Seven Wonders

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus still existed after Columbus reached North America. It was disassembled between 1494 and 1530. It actually survived to the modern age but was destroyed to build a fort. The desire to kill people overwhelmed the desire to inspire humanity and celebrate the human spirit.

If one were to construct a list of the new seven wonders, what would they be? I can propose a few criteria:

1. It should be a permanent structure
2. Its design should be innovative for when it was built
3. Its construction should have been unbelievably difficult

Something easy, but tedious, should not be included. The Great Wall of China is just a row of bricks. Also as construction techniques improve the scale of the wonder should increase along with it. Building a 300 foot tall light house today would be very easy. To qualify as a wonder a structure should be wondrous. People should look at it and marvel that it was ever built at all.

I have thought of five of seven structures I would consider wonders.

New Seven Wonders

1. Giza Pyramid Complex
A complete map of the night sky, with the pyramids themselves as the stars of Orion (identified as Osiris) and the Nile as the Milky Way. The only member of the original seven wonders that still stands.

2. Borobudur
A one of a kind "learning machine" in Indonesia. After years of study, a student comprehends the meaning behind the hundreds of stone inscriptions on the spiral path up the monument and reaches enlightenment.

3. Leshan Giant Buddha
By far the largest pre-modern statue in the world.

4. Burj Khalifa
The tallest building ever.

5. Apollo 11 Landing Site (Sea of Tranquility, Moon)
The first (temporary) human habitation on another planet.

6. Undecided

7. Undecided

Potentials:

1. Kanishka's Stupa (Destroyed)
The tallest stupa ever built.

2. Sagrada Familia (Incomplete)
The greatest basilica in the world. Designed to perfectly combine ancient and modern architecture as well as elements from the human and natural world.

3. Hagia Sophia
Originally the largest church in the world, with the largest dome at the time enclosing the largest open space.

4. Larung Gar
Largest religious institution in the world, with over 40,000 monks and nuns.