Wondering about Wonders

On the bus to Project Graduation, I got into a discussion about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As we tried to discuss the various wonders, we soon realized that we couldn’t actually remember all seven (we forgot the Temple of Artemis). Various forces destroyed six of the seven many years ago, so I doubt many people could name more than the Pyramids at Giza—the only extant one.
I voted for the new 7 wonders of the world. While this may just be another unrecognized attempt, I figured it couldn’t hurt to take part. This list has been condensed significantly, containing both recognizable items such as New York’s Statue of Liberty and the Great Wall of China, along with some less popularized items, such as Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and Alhambra in Spain.
Of the twenty-one finalists, I knew fifteen, a seventh less than how many I knew of the older wonders.
Just yesterday, the new 7 wonders were announced. I wasn’t particularly surprised with the results; all are recognizable and have exotic cultures surrounding them. Perhaps the least recognizable of the group is Petra, but I think that garnered votes for being recognized from Indiana Jones. That’s why I voted for it.
I was surprised to see that six of the seven are at least several centuries old. I had anticipated a younger, western bias in the voting, perhaps favoring the Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower. Instead of voting for modern masterpieces of engineering, the public favored the aged testaments of enduring construction.
When voting, I had picked sites I learned and admired from history class. The Hagia Sophia, a religious symbol built in the city of a thousand names at the crux of several empires, struck me as a critical site. It, like the Kremlin, symbolizes a culture and the people in history around it.
The wonders should reflect not only architectural achievement, but significance to people and culture. Looking at the wonders picked, I’m still impressed. All are breath-taking expressions of human creativity, but not all of them evoke the epic sense I wanted. Maybe I need to take another history class.

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