Forgotten wonders of the world

The wise Greeks were wrong and inaccurate, reducing all the achievements of civilization to the sacred number “seven” (Seven wonders of the world). Modern historians, re-calculating the creations of famous architects of antiquity and the middle ages, dozens of these masterpieces of architecture.

Here is just a small part of the list — ten of the forgotten wonders of the world. Their list covers the achievements of people who lived in the four parts of the world: from the capital of the Inca to Indonesia.

UK. MAIDEN CASTLE

The monument is located in the South of England, on a hill two miles from Dorchester. To build a fortress began in the VI century BC. What effort it took the people who lived here to build a Grand fortification system! What ditches have been dug here and some stacked walls!

Excavations show that the construction lasted about three hundred years. Inner shaft with two gates in a fenced area of approximately 17 hectares. Later the old Fort was surrounded by four concentric walls, turned into an impregnable stronghold.

On the hill one can see the traces of the streets and rounded the foundations of buildings, well visible when filming from the air. Obviously, there was a settlement comprising stone and wood houses. Between them ran a paved road.

While we don’t know who built maiden castle. How long people lived here? Attacked anyone on them? Did the inhabitants of the fortress to withstand a long siege? It is only known that its defenders were probably armed with slings. Because before our time preserved the piles of stones that obviously fired at the attackers.

Just as scientists have calculated, there is about 22 thousand stones. Enviable Arsenal! Known and the subsequent fate of the fortress. In the I century ad it was captured by the Legion of Vespasian. The town declined. Only in the IV century, built here a Roman-Celtic temple.

ZIMBABWE. GREAT ZIMBABWE

One legend says that this city has built the legendary Queen of Sheba. In fact, the fortress of Great Zimbabwe, the name of which is named the whole country, was erected in the thirteenth century of our era — in times is not biblical.

Fort hill was the stronghold of the local rulers, holding in subjection a vast country, became its capital. According to scientists, there lived to eighteen thousand people. They traded with neighbouring peoples and even distant countries: during the excavations there were found pottery from Persia and China.

The best preserved outer ring of walls. Their height reaches ten meters, but they stacked without a single drop of solution. Stones hewn and tight fitting to each other. Under the protection of the walls stood various buildings.

However, scientists still know little about the lives of the inhabitants of this fortress. Who were they? What built this stronghold? For protection from enemies? Or was it some kind of temple structure, Aleksei pilgrims under the canopy of a tall fence? Or the residence of the ruler of the country, enclosed in a strong defence?

After two centuries, the heyday of Great Zimbabwe went into decline. The mystery of its cyclopean walls of concern to historians today.

INDONESIA. BOROBUDUR TEMPLE

Among the jungle of Java, this ancient temple rises like a mountain. Six square and three round terraces lead to the top, forming a pyramid rising to a height of 22 meters. It is crowned by a memorial sign — a stupa with a height of ten meters. It symbolizes the Buddha and his wisdom, exalting it over people.

The construction of Borobudur began in the late eighth century ad. Its square base aligned in the cardinal directions. The length of the base reaches 113 meters. No inner room in the temple there. But it is very ornate on the outside. There are 72 stupas and 504 Buddha statues.

On the side walls of the temple carved 1300 reliefs depicting scenes from the life of Prince Gautama Shakyamuni, is considered by the Buddha and scenes of his incarnations. The total length of the reliefs — two and a half kilometers.

In total, the construction of the temple took about a million six hundred thousand hewn stones. No glue was not. The stones are so tightly fitted to each other.

In ancient times the sanctuary of the Buddha shimmered bright colors of red, blue, green, gold. Scientists have found paint flakes and specks of gold leaf. Still not known which of the then rulers of Central Java had built this splendor. We can only say that it was one of the kings of the dynasties Shailendra, who ruled in the mid-eighth to mid — ninth centuries. After its fall to power in Java, again returned to the fans of the God Shiva.

However, no matter how called this kind of customer, it should be recognized that the king who started the construction of the temple, devoutly believed in Buddha and in addition, didn’t hesitate in the media. Raising it, he obviously desired to capture, the soul, escaping from the “world of passions”, dates back to the coveted enlightenment.

A happy fate was given to this temple. Opponents of the Buddhist faith and were willing to destroy it, but the defenders filled the temple of earth. Beneath it, he remained intact, and only in the mid-nineteenth century was re-discovered by archaeologists. In our time preserve the Borobudur as a monument of world culture.

IRAQ. THE IMPERIAL PALACE IN CTESIPHON

“Yes, the world will marvel to my greatness and splendor!” Apparently, so thought the king of Persia Khosrow I, decided to build itself around 550 ad, a new Palace in Ctesiphon — the capital city, lying near Baghdad.

Truly it was something to wonder! Decoration of the Palace was his throne room 50 meters long and 25 meters wide, surmounted by a large arch with a height of 35 meters. Historians still marvel at today, looking at her.

Upon its construction, the builders used a special binding solution: it dried up with extraordinary rapidity. The bricks instantly clung to one another, not threatening to crash down on the head of the crowned ruler.

The skill of the ancient architects was excellent. The arch stood for over thirteen centuries, until the flood of 1888 was not brought down a large part of it. And “grandeur and splendor”? It disappeared long ago. In 636 the Arabs captured Ctesiphon, putting an end to the Sassanid Persia.

MALI. CLAY MOSQUE TIMBUKTU

About a thousand years ago, at the turn of XI—XII centuries, began the rise of the city of Timbuktu, based on the intersection of trade routes that led through Sahara from the shores of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Caravans constantly stretched to Timbuktu, because he wrote a Portuguese geographer of the XVI century the Valentim Fernandes, “there is a collection point for all the gold that is exchanged for salt in both East and West” (transl. by L. E. Kubala).

“There is the greatest abundance of grain and cattle” — echoed Leo the African (sixteenth century). No wonder Timbuktu became an important center of the state of Mali. There were about one hundred thousand people.

The buildings here can be attributed to the best examples of mud architecture of Africa. Among them there are three great mosques. The oldest of them — Djinguereber — probably dates from the XIII century. It is built of mud bricks, and then plastered with clay.

To make it easier to fix the building, its walls put a frame of poles, also covered with clay. After all, repairing dwellings and temples were engaged in frequent: their walls have suffered from heavy rains, from the sand storms.

In 1591, the city abounding with shops of merchants, craftsmen and weavers, were captured by the Moroccans, and three centuries later the French. His clay mosque — Djingareyber, Sankor (XIV century) and Sidi Yahya (CA. 1440) is preserved to this day. They are included in the list of monuments protected by mankind.

MALTA. TEMPLES OF THE GIANTS

About 3600 BC — more than a thousand years before the pyramid of Cheops! — the people of Malta began to build huge stone temples (other datings, in the 2800-1900 BC).

The Temple Of Hagar Qim

Only in Malta and the adjacent Islands include 23 of the temple. All of them are oriented strictly to the South-East. In the days of the solstices the light falls directly on the main altar. Some of the temples even hidden from prying eyes under the ground: the Construction of these communities ceased about 2500 BC.

We don’t know who they were built in honor of some of the gods were held there ceremony and what were these feasts. The archaeologists suggest that the first settlers appeared in Malta about seven thousand years ago (according to other sources, about 3200 BC), arrived here from Sicily, lying nearby — only in ninety miles to the North.

Subsequently, when the history of ancient temples long forgotten, the new residents of Malta, looking at these walls, built of stones weighing more than one tonne, could explain their appearance only one that is understandable to commoners reason: once here, on the island of the giants lived. They built these strongholds, Ebtesam fragments of rock and thromosis them to each other.

MEXICO. THE STONE HEADS OF THE OLMEC

The Olmecs were the predecessors of the Maya and Aztecs. About three thousand years ago, they created the first civilization of Mesoamerica — Central America. Among the heritage left by them, stand out colossal heads, carved from basalt. The biggest of them reaches a height of 3.4 meters and weighs 50 tons.

Striking look of these stone idols: they are all slightly cross-eyed.

A giant Olmec head brought from the ruins of La Venta to the beautiful setting designed for it by the poet Carlos Pellecer in the Tabascan capital of Villahermosa.

Archaeologists do not know who was the inspiration of these unusual sculptures: the rulers of the “land of rubber” (the term “Olmec” means “people of the rubber country”), its warriors, and, perhaps, the famous ball players? Because we revered its athletes more than writers or scientists!

It is unclear how the stone heads were taken to the place of destination. Because the Olmecs knew neither wheeled carts nor draft animals, but they had to travel up to a hundred kilometers. Perhaps, says one hypothesis, these sculptures were transported on the rivers.

But pile up on the boat the heavy stone ball weighing nearly fifty tons? Without the whole system lifting blocks it was impossible, but somehow they just didn’t have the Olmec. There is only one option: to roll them by hand!

And another mystery: how processed these stone blocks? Because the Olmecs were not metal tools and were not stone tools harder than basalt. Alas, these statues are silent, and, apparently, archaeologists have long to look for the answer to their questions.

PERU. TEMPLE FORTRESS SACSAYHUAMAN

It was “the largest and most majestic building vykazyvanie the valor and power of the Incas,” wrote the Spanish chronicler. Built in the XV century, the temple served as both a fortress. He towered above the Inca capital of Cusco.

When in 1533 arrived Europeans, they were struck not only by the beauty of the temple itself. They were astonished looking at the stones of which it was composed. The length of these blocks reached five meters. Calculations showed that they weighed 128 tons!

How the Indians managed to lay down a wall of these blocks, which are impossible to budge even a giant? They brought them here? The Incas never knew the wheel. They had no carts. The authors of the old Chronicles report that the Incas dragged the boulders to the temple, tying them with ropes with the thickness of the human hand. And as they lifted the stones up, balancing on a narrow wall, and deftly fitting them one to another? It remains a mystery to this day.

Only the construction of the temple were about twenty thousand people. Work lasted almost half a century. However, this “wonder of the world” did not stand for long. It suffered the same fate as the famous Colosseum. After the fall of the Inca power, the Spaniards gradually began to disassemble the temple, using it as a huge “quarry”. From this stone was built the home of the new rulers of Peru.

SRI LANKA. THE PALACE AND GARDENS OF SIGIRIYA

Two hundred meters above the dome stands the jungle Paradise. Once there lived a king Kassapa I (473-491). It was surrounded by magnificent gardens with fountains, streams and ponds, in the midst of which lay the islets. On these Islands adorned with beautiful pavilions.

Your Palace of king Kassapa ordered to build on the top of the cliff. To rise to it, was to pass through a huge lion’s mouth carved in the rock. Hence the name of this chic citadel — Sigiriya, the “Lion rock”.

Beautiful was the house of the king, fanned the scent of flowers and the murmur of streams, but with blood and death were lined path. In your refuge Kassapa were hiding from enemies and conspirators. Because he was a usurper and not the rightful king: he killed his father and sent into exile brother, to whom they should inherit power.

Fear of the dagger and poison it at the same time, feel God. Here, on top of the world, he was the incarnation of Kubera — the God who owned the once Sri-Lanka and the Creator of Paradise on earth.

In his Palace full of earthly temptations, Kassapa reigned for eighteen years. It was like a fairy tale: “Among gardens and streams wove pattern, spicy Fragrant flowers And fringed with hills of the same age, forest, meadows, bright sunshine flooded” (translated by V. V. Rogov).

However, in the unfinished poem by Samuel Colridge Kubla Khan forever reigns in his extraordinary Palace, but this tale of the South seas still ran out. Rightful heir exiled brother returned and overthrew Kassapa. Since none of the kings no longer lived on Pride rock.

ETHIOPIA. THE STELE OF AXUM

In Axum failed one of the most ambitious creations of antiquity. One of the rulers of the African kingdoms conspired to build the world’s biggest tombstone. It has reached the height of 33 meters and a weight of 520 tons.

However, the attempt to set up this stele has failed. The column collapsed and split. However, the admiration of other steles, erected by the kings of Axum. The altitude of the largest of them is 20.6 meters and a weight of 160 tons. It resembles the ten-story building — and not only in their height.

The ancient builders finished side of the stele clear pattern, reminiscent of Windows and doors. What do they need? How did this strange idea? In the II—IV centuries of our era, when these were built stele in Axum did not build multi-storey buildings.

It is unclear how these steles were taken from the quarry situated about four kilometers from here. Archaeologists suggest that for this purpose they used elephants. Had raised the stele, obviously, with the embankment — ramp. However, this is not certain.

It should be admitted that constructing these funerary column, the people of Axum showed no less ingenuity than their Northern neighbors — the builders of the pyramids.