The story

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - The Zeus Statue

The Zeus Statue

Ivory, ebony and stones

The fifth wonder is statue of Zeus in Olympia. It was built in the 5th century BC by the Athenian Phidias, named after the king of the Greek gods - Zeus. It is assumed that the construction of the statue took about eight years. Zeus (Jupiter, to the Romans) was the lord of Olympus, the abode of the deities. The statue was 12 to 15 meters high - the equivalent of a five-story building - and was all ivory and ebony. His eyes were gems.

Phidias carved Zeus sitting on a throne. In his right hand was the statue of Nike, goddess of Victory; on the left, a sphere under which an eagle leaned. It is supposed that, as in representations of other artists, the Zeus of Phidias also showed a frown. Legend had it that when Zeus frowned, all Olympus trembled.

After 800 years it was taken to Constantinople (today Istanbul), where it is believed to have been destroyed in 462 AD by an earthquake.

Halicarnassus Mausoleum

24 step pyramid

The mausoleum of Halicarnassus was the sumptuous tomb that Queen Artemisia II of Caria had built on the remains of her brother and husband, King Mausolus, in 353 BC… It was built by two Greek architects - Satyr and Pythi - and four sculptors. Greeks - Briaxis, Schooners, Leopards and Timothy. This being the sixth wonder of the ancient world.

Halicarnassus was the capital of Caria - a region that encompassed Greek cities along the Aegean Sea and inland mountains and is now part of Turkey.

The Roman Pliny described the mausoleum as a sumptuous monument supported by 36 columns. Almost 50 meters high, it occupied an area of ​​over 1200 square meters. Above the square base stood a twenty-four-step pyramid with a four-horse-drawn marble carriage at the top.

Inside were the statues of Artemisia and Mausolus, as well as works by Escopas, considered one of the greatest sculptors in fourth-century Greece. Some of these sculptures, such as a 4.5-meter statue, probably from Mausolo, are found in the British Museum. The tomb was destroyed, probably by an earthquake, sometime between the 11th and 15th centuries. The stones left over from the destruction were eventually used in the construction of local buildings.

Today, fragments of this monument are found in the British Museum in London and in Bodrum, Turkey. The word mausoleum is derived from Mausol.

The Colossus of Rhodes

One foot on each bank

The Colossus of Rhodes, the seventh wonder of the ancient world, was a gigantic statue of the Greek god Helios placed at the sea entrance to the Greek island of Rhodes. It was completed in 280 BC by the sculptor Cares de Lindos, being 30 meters high and seventy tons of bronze, so that any boat that entered the island would pass between its legs, which had one foot on each bank of the channel that led to the port. . In his right hand was a lighthouse that guided the boats at night. It was such an imposing statue that a man of normal height could not hold his thumb. It was built to commemorate the withdrawal of Macedonian troops trying to conquer the island, and the material used to make them were weapons abandoned by the Macedonians in place. Although imposing, she stood for only 55 years, being shaken by an earthquake that knocked her to the bottom of the bay. Ptomoleus III offered to rebuild it, but the islanders refused to think they had offended Helios. And at the bottom of the sea it was still so impressive that many traveled to see it below, where it was forgotten until the arrival of the Arabs, who sold it as scrap.