What are the Wonders of the World?

Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the world, only one remains: the Pyramids of Giza.  Through neglect and general slack maintenance, the other six have ceased to be (and it's debated whether the Hanging Gardens of Babylon ever really were in the first place). An update is needed. If celestial beings were to arrive and ask for a quick tour of our seven greatest achievements, it doesn't look too good to say that we've kind of mislaid most of them, hence since 2011 I have been travelling around the world, visiting man-made monuments, to determine what the actual and existing Seven Wonders of the World are.

As such, I have selected 106 of what I consider to be the best candidates, ranging from the ancient to the modern, the sacred to the unholy, the graceful to the brutal. From the crumbling ruins of mysterious civilisations to the gleaming showpieces of modern capitalist powerhouses, one thing unites them: they are all, quite literally, monumental. These are the most remarkable buildings known to man.

Every location I visit, I research in advance. I want to understand the history, the feats of engineering, the manpower (and cost to life) and the - sometimes entirely insane - motives behind building such epic structures. I want to understand the story behind each, so that I know exactly what I'm seeing, rather than wander around with a slightly glazed expression admiring really large piles of bricks. I want to know who built each place, and when, and how, and why. I want to understand, and I want to appreciate, to the very best of my ability.

  • For my full list of candidate World Wonders, check out The Full Wonder List, or click on the tab on the green bar above. 
  • For the list of the original Seven Wonders, plus my motives for this mission, please see The Ancient Wonders and Motives For A New Selection.
  • What are my criteria in determining a Wonder? Please see my Criteria Of A Wonder.
  • For a further definition of what I feel qualifies as a World Wonder, please see The Bagan Question.
  • For my current Top Seven, plus all the rest, take a look at The Leaderboard, or again, click on the tab above. The Reviews tab will take you to a succinct list of all the formally visited and reviewed Wonders.
  • For a brief overview of my travels, check out the wildly-titled Travel Overview.
  • For everything else, check out the Archives or the various tags on the side bars (the formatting on the Archives page seems to have gone a little awry, I'm afraid, and I'm not technical enough to fix it).
  • For the very start of this blog, visit here.
  • For the beginning of the Asian travels, please visit Off and Away.
  • The beginning of the American and European travels commence at Part 2 Begins.
  • And for the most recent stuff, visit here. Little grey arrows (I designed them myself, as you may be able to tell) are at the side of each entry to go forward or back.
The blog is currently taking a hiatus till 2017 while I give myself a break and figure out how to tackle the remaining Wonders on my list.

17 comments:

  1. I am interested in licensing a photo on your website for an ebook about Kazakhstan. How can I contact you?

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  2. My email is on the right hand side if you scroll down, just above the map.

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  3. GOLDEN TEMPLE IS JUST AWESOME .... IN 2007 GOLDEN TEMPLE GOT THE TITLE OF PEACE AND HARMONY WONDER OF INDIA....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxHFXpQQqr0

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  4. These man made buildings are really beautiful and wonderful.

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  5. These man made buildings are really beautiful and wonderful.

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  6. Really nice website you've got going here man. The world needs to know more and appreciate human achievment. And that will come mainly though awareness. So thanks for taking the time to share this website that celebrates human endeavour.

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  7. Nice site... and perhaps you want to check my world wonder puzzles via http://www.digipuzzle.net/worldmap/index.htm
    Also if you have photos of wonders I miss so far I would like to make puzzles out of them :-)

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  8. Please tell me how the hell you are managing to afford all this adventuring? I am going to explode with envy.

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    1. I try to travel on a budget of about £25 a day, which in a year come to less than £10,000. Obviously there are some other expenses, maybe bumping that to £12,000. I'm lucky enough to work offshore on a freelance basis, and (when work is busy) this can be a decent earner, and I try and live cheaply and save the rest.

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    2. This is absolutely phenomenal. I only discovered this yesterday and now I can't stop reading haha! Fantastic, thank you so much for documenting it all and I hope you enjoy it even more than I'm enjoying reading!

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  9. Just spent a year travelling and reckon we knocked over 50% of the list. Rest of it is now high on the wishlist for next trip. Might have missed it on your list - but Cappadocia's fairy castles in Turkey were utter magic. Relatively inexpensive accommodation in Goreme and you'll be right in amongst it (E40 for private room in a cave with own bathroom - literally among the fairy castle. The dawn balloon ride is a must do even if you don't eat for a few days (kidding - food like in the rest of Turkey is inexpensive). Near the underground city.

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    1. I originally had Derinkuyu Underground City on my list, but removed it as I felt that the popular accounts of the scope and the size were very exaggerated, and reliable information was very hard to come by. It still sounds fascinating, but I didn't feel it could constitute a World Wonder. The rest of Cappadocia looks incredible, and I definitely hope to visit next year, but the appeal seems to be the crazy natural landscape rather than the man-made efforts, and my list is focussed on the man-made.

      Thanks for the advice though - it's reinforced that this is an unmissable place to see when I'm in Turkey.

      As you've seen around 50% of my list - more than me right now! - I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on what you liked the most. And if there's anywhere else you'd recommend that I've not considered.

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  10. Excellent stuff Niall.....glad to see you are living the dream....you knew those long night shifts in the middle of the Caspian were going to pay dividends one day..

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  11. Nice page. I only don't give it 10/10 because, there are no Portuguese wonders on this list.
    I think you should visit or search some wonders made by Portugal around the world. There is a big list of portuguese empire buildings classified by Unesco. Inside territory and old colonies. Definitly, Jerónimos Monastery is one that should be part of the list.

    Greetings!

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    1. I guess I should update my main page more often. You'll be pleased to hear, Anonymous, that I do have a Portuguese Wonder, Pena National Palace in Sintra, added in May - http://www.nevworldwonders.com/2015/05/new-additions-to-list-part-7-final.html Do I now get a 10/10?

      I'm not familiar with the monastery but a quick Google search makes it look interesting, and I'll give it a closer look.

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