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The New 7 Wonders of the Modern World

Inspired by the 7 wonders of the ancient world, in 2007 a public and international contest organized by the New Open World Corporation was held, where more than one hundred million votes were counted to publicize the new seven world monuments and tourist attractions who would bear this prestigious title. 

This corporation, through an internal committee, drew up an initial list of 77 monuments considered for the title of Wonders of the Modern World. In this initial list, only structures created up to the year 2000 were admitted, as long as these structures met the only condition that they are standing today.

The channels through which the votes from all the countries of the world were cast were not centralized exclusively through the organization’s website, but a paid telephone number was also enabled, as well as a channel via text messages. In each vote, one person chose up to seven nominees.

After  a  long voting period around the world, only 7 of these constructions were shortlisted for a final vote. Below is the list of the winners of this title that were announced on July 7, 2007 at the Estádio da Luz, Lisbon (Portugal):

The citadel of Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru

Discovered in 1902 by Agustín Lizárraga and made known to the world in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, the “lost” city of the Incas was built in the mid 15th century AD commissioned by the Inca Pachacútec. Although this archaeological center does not have a name, Machu Picchu, the mountain where it is located, means “Old Mountain” in Quechua. According to research, this site served as a resting place for the Inca and was destined to house approximately 300 people.

Chichén Itzá in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

In the Mayan language, its name means “Mouth of the Well of the Water Witches” since, according to the belief of that time, the sacred cenote served as an entrance to the underworld.

Inaugurated in 525 AD, this “castle”, as the Spanish conquerors called this world wonder, served as a temple for the god Kukulkán and consists of a pyramid with a series of square terraces with stairs leading to the top of the pyramid from each of its four sides. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

This amphitheater, which is the treasure that the Roman Empire left as inheritance to the Eternal City, is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world because it is the largest ever built in the world. Its original name was Flavian Amphitheater and here gladiator fights were organized, among other shows. It was used for more than 500 years and was built to hold more than 50 thousand spectators. Today it is a tourist attraction that brings more than 100,000 tourists to the city of light each year.

Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Another of the 7 wonders of the modern world is the large statue of Jesus of Nazareth with open arms that can be seen from anywhere in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This 30-meter-high Art Deco monument at the peak of the Corcovado mountain was inaugurated in 1931 as the result of the joint work of the Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. An interesting fact is that the statue was built in France and arrived in Brazil in hundreds of parts to be assembled from head to toe to be able to be erected on the mountain.

The Great Wall of China

This wonder of the modern world, which is the emblematic construction of China, served as a fortress made of stone, brick, wood and rammed earth to protect this Asian country from possible invasions of the Mongols from the north. Originally, it spanned more than 21 thousand kilometers when it was built between the 5th century BC and 16th century AD (More than 2000 years!), and millions of workers lost their lives during its construction, which also makes it the largest cemetery in the world since these people were buried there. There is a belief that this construction can be seen from space, but it was denied by different astronauts.

Taj Mahal, India

If we talk about the 7 wonders of the modern world, we cannot forget the amazing Taj Mahal. This is possibly the most romantic building in the world, as it was built in the mid-17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum to bury his late wife. It is said that the emperor was so in love with her that he had the most beautiful and grandiose mausoleum built in her honor. It measures 42 acres that include a mosque and a guest house, in addition to the gardens. The name of this building refers to Arjumand, his late wife, who was known as Mumtaz Mahal, which in Persian means “Chosen of the Palace” or “First Lady of the Palace”; while “Taj” means “crown”. Hence, the name of the Taj Mahal means “Crown of the Palace.”

Petra: the City of Stone, Jordan

Originally known as Raqmu, the City of Stone earned a place among the 7 Wonders of the Modern World for its rock-cut architecture, as well as its advanced system of water conduits. The city of Petra, quite possibly built as early as 312 BC as the capital of the Arab Nabataeans, was the place of passage for caravans that transported spices, incense and luxury goods between Arabia, Syria, Egypt and the southern Mediterranean. Its high walls, which housed drinking water and provided security for merchants, are a definite symbol of Jordan. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

Although there are different  routes to get to Machu Picchu, one of the 7 wonders of the modern world and a heritage of an entire millenary culture, you can always enjoy an excellent travel experience aboard our trains. You can  experience the Andean culture on route to the Inca citadel; buy your tickets now to travel on board the  PeruRail Vistadome panoramic train  and surround your senses on the way to Machu Picchu! Buy your tickets here!

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