Jun 20, 2015

40 Wonders of the World You Didn’t Know Existed

By on Saturday, June 20, 2015

1. Semuc Champey, Guatemala

40 Wonders of the World - 01
This natural limestone cascade drops gently down the mountainside to create a series of falls and clear turquoise pools.

2. Viñales Valley, Cuba

40 Wonders of the World - 02
This amazing valley and its surrounding limestone monuments seem like a picture out of Southeast Asia rather than the island of Cuba.

3. Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Venezuela’s highest tabletop mountain, with its pyramid-like steps and cascading waterfalls, is so high that it’s perpetually ringed by masses of swirling clouds.

4. Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval, France

Created by a local mailman over the course of several decades, this folly almost looks like something straight out of Tomb Raider.

5. Chapelle St-Michel d’Aiguilhe, France

Towering high over the surrounding town of Le-Puy-en-Velay, this stunning chapel dates back over 2,000 years.

6. Ruins of Leptis Magna, Libya

These sprawling ruins, with their colonnades, triumphal arches, and amphitheater, display some of the most delicate and intricately carved motifs left to us from the Romans.

7. The Archeological Site of Meroë, Sudan

Once the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, Meroe is home to a series of fabulous tombs and mausoleums and has produced stunning artifacts from antiquity.

8. Cuicul (Djémila), Algeria

This ancient Roman town is unique due to its mountainous locale and boasts several temples, public and private buildings, as well as an impressive amphitheater.

9. Lauca World Biosphere Reserve

A truly stunning landscape, this reserve encompasses broad ranges of plateau, all at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. The area is dotted with various archeological sites and is home to wide range of animal species.

10. Maelifell, Iceland

This beautifully – not to mention unusually – formed volcano is entirely swathed in bright green moss and ringed by serpentine glacial rivers and streams.

11. Transfiguration Church, Kizhi, Russia

This extraordinary display of mass onion domes and arches, all done in wood, is an early 18th century marvel not to be matched anywhere else.

12. Portmeirion, Wales

This charming seaside town, built along the hillside of a peninsula in Wales, is unique for its design scheme, as it’s more reflective of an Italian town than a coastal Welsh village.

13. Standing Stone of Callanish

Every bit as mysterious and magical as more well-known Stonehenge in England, these Scottish Neolithic stones are composed of a circle of stones as well as lines of stones that radiate from it.

14. Anjar, Lebanon

These 8th century ruins are incorporated into the small town of the same name and was originally constructed by builders and artists from Turkey and Egypt at the behest of local rulers.

15. Baalbek, Lebanon

Known in its original days as Heliopolis, both under the rule of Alexander the Great and later the Romans, these ruins date back over 2,000 years, with overall settlement here going back as far as 9,000 years.

16. Schwerin Palace, Schwerin, Germany

Built by the Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, this palace is reminiscent of French chateaux and puts any Disney castle to shame.

17. Gorges de l’Ardèche

This spectacular gorge has as its main showpiece the remarkable Pont D’Arc, a 200ft high arch and remnant of an ancient cavern system that once existed thousands of years ago.

18. Mogao Caves, China

Consisting of hundreds of temples, the caves and their respective complexes also display countless colorful frescoes and meticulously carved statues.

19. Wulingyuan, China

This extraordinary range of mountains contain thousands of pillars of sandstone that tower hundreds of feet over the valleys and gorges below.

20. Potala Palace, Tibet

Built in 1645, this palace was long the home of the Dalai Lamas of Tibet until the Tibetan Uprising.

21. Dobsina Ice Cave, Slovakia

This stunning ice cave has a central chamber that is 40ft high and a floor composed of an over 80 foot thick slab of ice. The stalagmites and stalactites are more like spires of crystal than rock formations due to their layers of ice.

22. Lake Ohrid, Albania and Macedonia

Europe’s oldest lake, Lake Ohrid straddles the borders of two Balkan countries and boasts water so clear that you can see dozens of feet below the surface.

23. Ordesa Canyon, Spain

Part of the Ordesa Y Monte Perdido National Park, Ordesa Canyon is located deep within the Pyrenees and is home to such majestic creatures as the Golden Eagle.

24. Prambanan, Indonesia

Built in the mid-9th century, this Hindu temple complex was abandoned about a century later and fell into the realm of myth until the early 19th century.

25. Ayutthaya, Thailand

This great city was built in the mid-14th century and was the center of the royal court as well as the name of the kingdom that it headed until the 18th century.

26. Sighișoara

This charming little town doubles as a mountain citadel. Brightly painted and beautifully constructed buildings compose this architectural ensemble, but it’s also known as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula.

27. Pamukkale, Turkey

What looks like ice and snow is actually a layer of calcium carbonate left behind by water from the area’s hot springs. The cliffs and terraces are continually forming and reforming as water continues to pour over them.

28. Cathedral Gorge, Australia

Located within the quirkily named Bungle Bungles sandstone formations, this gorge has created a unique natural amphitheater in which voices carry from one side to the other with ease.

29. Kangaroo Island, Australia

This unique island combines amazing rock formations, pristine beaches, and rolling forests and grasslands to create a biologically diverse habitat for various plants and animals – including kangaroos of course.

30. Palau Archipelago, Micronesia

Boasting some of the clearest water and beautiful reefs in the world, this compact little grouping of islands makes for one attractive diving locale.

31. Milford Sound, New Zealand

This New Zealand fjord was created around 20,000 years ago by glaciers. Their retreating forms created a rich array of sculpted peaks and valleys, along with waterways and waterfalls.

32. Red Seabeach, Panjin, China

This vast marshland is home to the Suada grass which gives this wetland habitat – the largest in the world – its name.

33. Meteora, Greece

Meteora is a complex of monasteries built upon various sandstone pillars, with the buildings dating between the 11th and 16th centuries.

34. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland

Falling over 200ft to the pool below, this waterfall provides a rather unique interior view due the path that leads behind the fall.

35. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

This tropical archipelago along the Atlantic Ocean is comprised of 21 different islands as well as islets that are home to several endemic species.

36. Forest of Knives, Madagascar

With its jagged rock formations dating to the Jurassic Period, this area of Madagascar has created the perfect barrier between humans and the plants and animals that call this space home. It’s so removed from human involvement that some species are still being discovered here.

37. Mount Bromo, Indonesia

This active volcano resides in the midst of a plain known as the Sea of Sand and stands well over 7,000 feet tall.

38. Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

This extraordinary complex was built around 1,500 years ago and has as its main feature a nearly 700ft tall rock column with the ruins of a palace atop it. The entrance to this feature, also called the rock fortress, is composed of the ruins of a massive stone lion.

39. Tower of Hercules, Spain

Built by the Romans sometime in the 2nd century, the lighthouse rises to 187ft and is the second highest in Spain.

40. The Amber Room, Catherine Palace, Russia

This exquisite room in the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, former home to the Russian Imperial family, is composed of intricate mosaics of Baltic amber. The current room is a rebuilt form, as the original amber panels were stolen by the Nazis in WWII, never to be seen again.


Post a Comment