"Events in Lisbon" Top 5 Page for this destination Lisbon Travelogue by a2lopes
Lisbon Travel Guide: 5,275 reviews and 13,112 photos
07.07.07 New 7 Wonders of the World
In ancient times great prominence was attributed to numbers in their application to religious observances, the establishment of festival days, symbols, dogmas, and even the geographical distribution of empires and the number 7 was considered one of the sacred ones. The astronomical origin of this number is established beyond any doubt -7 planets (wanderers)
In course of time these were transformed into 7 deities: 7 original gods -Egyptians; 7 kabiris -Phœnicians; 7 sacred horses, 7 gates, 7 altars, and 7 mysteries -Mithra (Persians); 7 angels and 7 demons -Parsees, 7 gods of happiness and luck -Japanese. The whole heaven was subjected to the 7 planets; hence, in nearly all the religious systems we find 7 heavens. In Muslim culture there are 7 heavens and 7 layers of the earth. The priests of many Oriental nations were sub-divided into 7 degrees; 7 steps led to the altars. Buddha himself walked 7 steps at his birth. In many temples candles are burnt in 7-branched candlesticks. Several of the Masonic Lodges have, to this day, 7 steps
The Bible and Catholic Church are saturated with the #7: 7 days of Creation, 7 Seals of Revelation, 7 Great Passovers, 7 years building the Temple (Solomon) and followed by 7 feast days, 7 plagues of Egypt, and 7 angels, 70x7= perfection of forgiveness; 7 deadly sins, 7 heavenly virtues; 7 sacraments
This 7 planetary spheres served also as a model for more "Earthly" divisions:
-time: 7 days a week; 7 ages of men
-human body: 7 parts of the body; 7 openings into the human head
-geography: 7 seas; 7 parts of the world; 7 climes; 7 principal rivers in the East; 7 hills of Rome, Lisbon, Jerusalem and many other towns; 7 summits; many places are named after 7
-state divisions and organizations: many nations were divided into 7 provinces and many hierarchical organizations have 7 categories
-arts: 7 arts; 7 Liberal Arts
-architecture: palaces (rooms), towns (gates) and temples (stages, altars, storied pyramids); 7 towers of Constantinople, 7 sacred buildings of Babylon
-number of people: 7 sages of Greece, 7 judges of the old German tribunals
-other: 7 famous treasures; 7 cities full of gold; mythic personages are generally endowed with 7 sons; legendary wars lasted 7 years, 7 months and 7 days; and the combatant heroes number 7 , 70, 700, 7000 or 70000
-7 layers systems: 7 layers of the skin in Ayurveda; layers in the OSI model; several cakes and dishes all over the world
-oddities: 7 spots on a common ladybug; 7 "lives" of cats, 7 years of bad luck with a broken mirror
-other famous 7’s: 7 Dwarfs (with Snow White), 7UP, 7-Eleven, 007, 7-7-7 (in casino), 7 Curses (Bob Dylan song); the G7 group of elite nations (now G8)
Some natural phenomena support the notion that 7 is important: 7 days cycle of the moon phase; 7 colours (rainbow); 7 musical notes (diatonic scale); 7 is the neutral pH (pure water)
But the most famous "7" comes from the 2nd century b.C. when Philon of Byzance listed the most beautiful and extraordinary works of his time, known as the 7 wonders of the world. Unluckily today you can see only the great pyramid
At some point around the Middle Ages, another list appeared in Europe.
More recently several "7" wonders appeared,namely the "7 Wonders of the Modern World" by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Natural Wonders of the World by the CNN
Today, 2000 years after the 1st one, a great pool in the world was made to elect the New 7 Wonders. The ceremony took place in Lisbon on 07/07/07 and the results of a global vote (the largest pool ever in the world) for the New 7 Wonders of the World were revealed
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