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7 Wonders of the Ancient World: Hanging Gardens & Lighthouse

During ancient times, earthquakes were pretty destructive, as this natural disaster is responsible for wiping out the three wonders of the ancient world described in this article. From hanging gardens to a tower dating back to the 3rd century, we can only imagine how impressive the following ancient landmarks were:

Hanging Gardens of Babylon (605-562 BC)

Erected by the Babylonians, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (also referred to as the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis) has been described as a garden that reached 75 feet high with a multitude of levels that circulated water with the help of specialized machinery. On the roof of the gardens, large trees grew. The gardens were built around 600 BCE as a tribute to Amytis of Media, the wife of Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled Babylon during the Chaldean Dynasty.

Legend has it that the gardens was his attempt to satisfy his ailing wife who wished to smells the plants and see the trees that belonged to her homeland of Persia. What we know about the Hanging Gardens has been documented by Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian who has been credited with excellent reporting skills of his time. Sadly, an earthquake destroyed the gardens sometime after the 1st century.

Colossus of Rhodes (292 -280 BC)

The Greeks, who built the landmark on the Greek island of Rhodes, between 292 and 280 BC, created the giant statue of the god Helios , known as the Colossus of Rhodes. Before an earthquake destroyed the statue, it once rose about 110 feet into the sky. This gave the Colossus of Rhodes the title of being one of the tallest statues that the ancient world has ever known.

No thanks to the earthquake that brought down the statue, the Colossus of Rhodes was only able to last for about 56 years. The force of mass destruction caused the statue to break at the knees and fall over. Hope for the rebuilding of the statue came in the form of Ptolemy III, who offered to pay for its reconstruction. However, the oracle of Delphi placed fear in the hearts of the Rhodians, who believed they had offended Helios. They decided against rebuilding it.

For more than 800 years, it was written that the remains of the statue decorated the ground. Despite being broken, the landmark still drew people from near and wide. Pliny the Elder wrote that the statue was so large that visitors could hardly embrace their arms around the thumb that lay on the ground. It was said that each of its fingers was larger than most statues.

Lighthouse of Alexandria (~280 BC)

During the Hellenistic Egypt period, a tower called the Lighthouse of Alexandria (also known as the Pharos of Alexandria) was built somewhere between 285 and 247 BC. It stood on the island of Pharos, measuring between 383 and 440 feet tall. At first, it was meant to serve as a landmark of the port, but was later used as a lighthouse. In relation  to other samples of Egyptian construction, the lighthouse was reportedly the third tallest building after the two Great Pyramids of Khufu and Khafra.