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Candidates for new 7 Wonders of the World (from AP)

I think we’ve been over this before on AL, but just to be sure, here’s the run-down of the 21 candidates for the New 7 Wonders of the World. The public may vote at www.new7wonders.com to help determine which seven locations will have to have all their marketing and promotions materials reprinted. I’ve only been to about a half -dozen of these, but I’ll go ahead and give my high-powered endorsements for the Great Wall, Angkor and the Taj Mahal. Not to dis Lady Liberty, but it seems odd to have her, the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower on the list. How many have you seen? What gets your vote?

Here are descriptions of the 21 candidates in the “New 7 Wonders of the World” competition.

Acropolis, Greece: A million people come here each year to see the marble temples – including the ruins of the columned Parthenon – and statues of Greek gods and goddesses dating from the fifth century BC.

Alhambra, Spain: The palace and citadel, perched above Granada, was the residence of the Moorish caliphs who governed southern Spain in splendour until 1492, when the city was conquered by the Christian forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, ending 800 years of Muslim rule. Stunning features include mosaics, arabesques and mocarabe, or honeycomb work.

Angkor, Cambodia: The archeological site in Siem Reap was the capital of the Khmer (Cambodian) empire from the ninth to 15th centuries. It served as administrative centre and place of worship for a prosperous kingdom that stretched from Vietnam to China and the Bay of Bengal. The 12th-century ruins include Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.

Christ Redeemer Statue, Brazil: The 38-metre statue of Christ the Redeemer with outstretched arms overlooks Rio de Janeiro from atop Mount Corcovado. The statue was built in pieces in France starting in 1926, and shipped to Brazil. A railway carried it up the 714-metre mountain for the 1931 inauguration.

Colosseum, Italy: The 50,000-seat amphitheatre in Rome was inaugurated in AD 80. Thousands of gladiators duelled to the death here, and Christians were fed to the lions. The arena has influenced the design of modern stadiums.

Easter Island, Chile: Hundreds of massive stone busts, or Moais, are all that remains from the prehistoric Rapanui culture that crafted them between 400 and 1,000 years ago to represent deceased ancestors. Some statues are over 20 metres tall. They gaze out on the south Pacific Ocean more than 1,600 kilometres off the Chilean mainland.

Eiffel Tower, France: The 300-metre tower, built in 1889 for the International Exposition, symbolizes Paris. Made almost entirely of open-lattice wrought iron and erected in only two years with a small labour force, the tower – Paris’s tallest structure – demonstrated advances in construction techniques, but some initially criticized it as unesthetic.

Great Wall of China: The 6,700 kilometre barricade running from east to west is the world’s longest manmade structure. The fortification was built to protect various dynasties from invasion by Huns, Mongols, Turks and other nomadic tribes. Construction took place over hundreds of years, beginning in the seventh century BC.

Hagia Sophia, Turkey: The soaring cathedral, also called the Church of Holy Wisdom, was built in 537 BC at Constantinople, today’s Istanbul. In 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans, it became a mosque with minarets. When Turkish President Kemal Ataturk turned it into a museum in 1935, Christian mosaics covered up by the Muslims were revealed.

Kiyomizu Temple, Japan: Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera, which means Clear Water Temple, was founded by a Buddhist sect in 798 and rebuilt in 1633 after a fire. Drinking from its three-stream waterfall is believed to confer health, longevity and success.

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Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia: Onion domes with golden cupolas surrounded by red brick walls are at the heart of Moscow’s Kremlin, a medieval fortress converted into the centre of Russian government. The Kremlin once symbolized Soviet communism. The Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed on adjacent Red Square features nine towers of different colours. It was built by Czar Ivan the Terrible in the mid-16th century.

Machu Picchu, Peru: Built by the Incan Empire in the 15th century, Machu Picchu’s walls, palaces, temples and dwellings are perched in the clouds at 2,400 metres above sea level in the Andes overlooking a lush valley 500 kilometres from Lima.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany: The inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, Neuschwanstein is a creation of “Mad King” Ludwig II of Bavaria, who had it built in the 19th century to indulge his romantic fancies. Perched on a peak in the Bavarian Alps, the grey granite castle rises to towers, turrets and pinnacles and contains many paintings with scenes from Richard Wagner operas admired by Ludwig.

Petra, Jordan: This ancient city in southwestern Jordan, built on a terrace around the Wadi Musa or Valley of Moses, was the capital of the Arab kingdom of the Nabateans, a centre of caravan trade, and continued to flourish under Roman rule after the Nabateans’ defeat in AD 106. The city is famous for water tunnels and stone structures carved in the rock, including Ad-Dayr, “the Monastery,” an uncompleted tomb facade that served as a church during Byzantine times.

Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico: This step pyramid surmounted by a temple was part of a sacred site in an important Mayan centre on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. It is built according to the solar calendar. Shadows at the fall and spring equinoxes are said to look like a snake crawling down the steps, similar to the carved serpent at the top. An older pyramid inside features a jade-studded, red jaguar throne.

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: The only surviving structures of the original seven wonders, the three pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs 4,500 years ago. Nearby is the Great Sphinx statue, with a man’s face and a lion’s body.

Statue of Liberty, New York: The 93-metre statue in New York Harbor has welcomed immigrants and symbolized freedom since 1886, when it was dedicated as a gift of the French government.

Stonehenge, Britain: How and why this circular monument of massive rocks was created between 3,000 and 1,600 BC is unknown, but some experts say the stones were aligned as part of a sun-worshipping culture or astronomical calendar. Today it is a major tourist attraction. Druids and New Age followers gather here every June 21 to celebrate summer solstice.

Sydney Opera House, Australia: Situated on Bennelong Point reaching into Sydney’s harbour, the opera house was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon and opened in 1973 by Queen Elizabeth. Its roof resembles a ship in full sail and is covered by over one million white tiles. The building has 1,000 rooms.

Taj Mahal, India: The white marble-domed mausoleum in Agra was built by a 17th-century Mogul emperor for his favourite wife, who died in childbirth. The architecture combines Indian, Persian and Islamic styles. The complex houses the graves of the emperor, his wife, and other royalty.

Timbuktu, Mali: Two of West Africa’s oldest mosques, the Djingareyber, or Great Mosque, and the Sankore mosque built during the 14th and early 15th centuries, can still be seen here in the northern Sahara Desert. Founded about AD 1,100, Timbuktu was a flourishing caravan centre in the Arabic world and a leading spiritual and intellectual centre in the 15th and 16th centuries, with one of the world’s first universities.