Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Voted lists nearly always turn up hopelessly unsatisfying results with the usual horrendous and ridiculous results - I'd always much rather hear what one person's opinions are along with their own personal reasons. There's one happening for the Seven Natural Wonders Of The World and, before listing my choices for those, here are my nominations for the manmade ones with precious little reasoning other than that an important criterion was to have a variety of structure types, ages, and locations within the list. Disagreement most welcomed.
  • Great Pyramid Of Giza, Egypt - beyond their enormous scope, mystery, and perfect surrounding location, I love it that for Emperor Hadrian, upon his first inspiring visit, they were already ancient monuments
  • Moais, Rapa Nui - ever since I was a small child, these statues, and the stories they seem to tell, still fascinate me as they continue to stare out into the open sea
  • Amalfi Coast, Italy - in a country of architectural miracles around almost every corner, I've chosen this achingly, impossibly beautiful coastline drive
  • Golden Pavilion, Japan - so precious in its setting, it's as if nature had been exquisitely designed around the structure, rather than the other way around
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany - like a hi-def screen that has a higher resolution than real life, this dreamlike castle is more fairytale than a fairytale
  • The Kremlin, Russia - an iconic exterior that tells but a mere part of the full story: it's the modern day Forbidden City
  • Nazca Lines, Peru - arguably the most mysterious manmade art of all


Grandpa Scorpion said...

In no particular order:

Angkor Wat

Sarah Winchester House - California
(A monument to fear. Both meanings of the phrase apply)

Coral Castle - Florida
(Obsession and alternative physics)

Il Duomo - Milan, Italy (cathedral or fractal porcupine?) Long shots don't do it justice. Here is a close-up "facet" . Please ignore the doofus in the shot. :)

Hassan II Mosque - Casablanca, Morocco (photo) Utterly majestic to see in person, especially when it's overcast.

Machu Picchu

The pyramids at Giza

Jack Sargeant said...

of course I love the Chrysler Building and Gaudi's Casa Mila, but I have a special passion for bridges: the Golden Gate is quite stunning, as is the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I also enjoy the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane. Whether the bridges count as wonders I don't know, but there is something quite incredible about driving over all three of these examples..,
the problem with 'wonders' (and I agree with the Winchester House, Machu Piccho et al) is that too often the apparently mundane gets overlooked in favour of the spectacular, yet there is something quite wonderful about San Francisco's victorian terraces, about the view of Manhattan from Brooklyn, about Parisian streets, and so on.

As to natural wonders, surely the most incredible aspects of nature are those fleeting moments of the 'sublime': sunsets, tornados, storms, lightning, volcanos, and so on, moments of power and transformation.

Nick said...

I was going to mention Angkor Wat as well, I've never been there but it looks fascinating.