Saturday, February 24, 2024

7 Wonders of the 21st century

MagazineUnusual places7 Wonders of the 21st century

Pyramids? Already seen. Hanging Gardens of Babylon? There’s no way to see it! Here’s the new wonders of the new millennium!

Temple of Buddha’s origin, China

For centuries people go on a pilgrimage to the source of Tian Rui in Leshan in China and belief that the warm water of 60˚ C is healing. Today this source in the shade of it’s new and vast neighbor – the temple of the Buddha’s origin, the highest statue in the world.

This 128 meters high and 35 million pounds heavy gold structure, built by the chinese government in 2002 like response to the Taliban’s destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamiyan in Afghanistan – which are considered to be at a height of 53 meters the highest statue of Buddha in the world. Yet even none of the seven wonders of the world can’t be taken for granted – the plan is to build a new 152 metres high Buddha in Uttar Pradesh in India.


The crystals cave, Mexico

Like the lost jewelry boxes the size of cathedrals, stored 305 meters underground, this cave full of huge selenite debris was founded by two miners in a silver mine only 11 years ago. Located not far from Naike, a city in northern Mexico, glittering crystal obelisks aves are long and up to eleven meters long and weigh about 500 tons.

Below the chamber there is a pool of magma, the temperature in the cave reaches 50˚ C, with humidity of over 90 percent. As the cave blueing over a period of 600,000 years, this enviroment like oven was filtered water and minerals contained in it hardened and formed these incredible crystals. Iron gate prevent breaking into the cave, and the only way to visit is with a guide and a team of emergency.

It is necessary to put on a special cooling suit – with a vest with ice and a breathing mask which ejects cooled air. Otherwise, the chances are that you will die 15 minutes after entering.


Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar

When the ruling emir of Qatar, sheikh Hamad bin Khalid al Thani, convinced I. M. Pei, designer of ninetyone year old pyramid at the Louvre, to do another big order, they decided to do something big. Sheikh wanted to build a museum in the undisputed glory of muslim culture, and before Pei made the final design, sheikh set off on to a journey around the world to study islamic architecture.

The result is a distinctly angular buildings, both traditional and modern, which, as Pei says, “brings to life the sun, with all its shadows, shades and colors.” This building is characterized by a window facing north, which extends along the five floors, as well as 50 meters high arched atrium on top of which there is an oculus through which the light is refracted and throws a specific pattern on the gallery (figure below).

Among the artifacts in the museum which is spread over 37,161 square meters, are the Kuran and fabrics, ceramics and gems and some of them date from the seventh century. The museum was specially built on the island near Doha for this purpose that it wouldn’t be bothered by a new building. Since opening in 2008 through it passed more than half a million visitors.


Bahai gardens, Israel

Religious places have always dominated at the list of the seven wonders of the world. So it is our choice also for the 21st century. This pearl is built by the Bahai believers, is an exceptional example of landscape horticulture, called the “Hanging gardens of Haifa”. This monument in northern Israel constitutes 19 terraces that extend the length of about one kilometer along the slopes of the Carmel mountains and the 1,700 steps leading to the top. In the shrine halfway is buried the priest from the 19th century Bab – one of the central figures of the Bahai.

In the gardens were planted 450 different species of plants, selected to create a meditative feeling. From the terrace, completed in 2001, spreads a spectacular panoramic view of the city, the hills of Galilee and the mediterranean sea.

Their construction was founded by voluntary suporters of Bahai culture, which worldwide has about five million. This religion advocates faith unity, and is about ninety employees in the gardens bring from many ethnic and religious communities.


Akshardham Temple, New Delhi

The Taj Mahal was once universally recognized champion of indian architecture. However, a new competitor entered in the ring – temple Akshardham. The largest indian temple in the world was completed in 2005 and in it is  234 hand-carved pillars and over 20,000 statues – including 148 stone elephants in natural size. In addition, here you can also enjoy in twentyone minutes boating indoors.

The initiator of this project is the indian guru Pramuk Swami Maharaj and in lake that is filled with lotus flowers surrounding the building is a water from 151 saint river. For build it they need 12 million man hours, which means that one person started to build Akshardham 650 years BC tt still wouldn’t have ended. But in this process is attended by 11,000 artisans and volunteers, and the temple was completed in five years at a cost of about 30 million pounds.

This ten-storey high building has no concrete steel support. Instead, it was built by a professional embedded blocks of pink sandstone. Nevertheless, it is so solid that is expected to welcome the third millennium.


Darvaza gas crater, Turkmenistan

Deep in the turkmenistan desert Karakum is located hole that is the place where the man is „nearest to the gates of hell“. Darvaza gas crater was discovered in 1971 by a group of Soviet engineers who are traces for the gas. While they are drilling, the ground beneath collapsed, revealing a 60-meter wide hole filled with methane. Concerned that the fumes could endanger nearby village of Darvaza, engineers decided to burn the gas.

They assumed that the flame take a few days, but forty years later, the underground gas supplies show no signs of abating, and the flame still eerily illuminating the desert night. Although the locals have always known of this 20-meter-deep hole in flames, only now, thanks to the few brave tourists, it is slowly becoming known to the world.


Millau Viaduct, France

Millau Viaduct in south France is the tallest road bridge in the world awhere the drivers can enjoy in stunning views of the valley of the river Tarn. With a height that reaches a staggering 343 meters, this bridge for about 18 meters exceeds the Eiffel Tower, it is long two and a half kilometers and are often above the clouds. Construction began in 2001, after 14 years of planning, under the patronage of the British architect Norman Foster and completed three years later.

You may wonder how a concrete structure that cuts the untouched nature can be called a “miracle”? However, it alternative was far unattractive. Before the bridge was completed, there was a phenomenon known as the “Bottleneck of Millau”: notorious traffic point where angry tourists would be waited for four hours and cook in their cars following the route that stretches from Paris to the Mediterranean.

The viaduct isn’t only beautiful, but also cost only 300 million pounds – which is half the stipulated price. It is really a modern miracle.


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