Digest>Archives> January 2003

Harbour Lights Collectors’ Corner

Two Ancient Wonders of the World Have Reappeared!

By Patrice Campbell Shaw


Few of us can name the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World past the Great Pyramid of Gaza and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. If you are one of the more scholarly among us, you know that not one - but TWO - of these Ancient Wonders were Sentinels of the Seas! Thanks to the remarkable artistry of Harbour Lights, The Colossus of Rhodes and Pharos...The Lighthouse of Alexandria are the newest additions to the Harbour Lights Collection for 2003.

Each of these incredible Wonders continues to mystify modern architects. There were no cranes, no cherry-pickers, no electricity to aid construction of these massive structures. Yet, the workmanship was impeccable; the results awesome - even more than two thousand years later.

The oldest of these Wonders is The Colossus, which guarded the Mandraki harbor on the island of Rhodes, took 12 years to construct and was completed in 282 BC. Ironically, this great tribute to the Greek God of the Sun, Helios, stood for only 56 years. An earthquake in 226 BC, broke the statue at its weakest point - the knee. For almost another thousand years, it lay in broken ruins. It was said that the limbs were so large that a man could rarely reach his arms around the thumb.

Though its life span was relatively brief, its magnitude both structurally and historically earned The Colossus a permanent place in the record books. Standing 110 feet high, the outer shell was cast in bronze, then painstakingly erected from the feet upward from a base of white marble. As the structure was being built, the form was fortified with an iron and stone framework, then - to reach the highest parts, workers constructed an earthen ramp around the statue that was later removed.

The statue not only served as a guide to mariners approaching the island, it was also a symbol of unity to the people of Rhodes. Although it no longer exists, this Ancient World Wonder inspired modern artists, including French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi in his most famous work: The Statue of Liberty.

The new Harbour Lights Colossus of Rhodes is limited to only 4,000 pieces worldwide, so an early reservation is encouraged because demand will be very high. This majestic creation stands 9-inches high and is destined to be one of the most important additions to your lighthouse collection.

Equally important is the magnificent Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt, whose remarkable mirrors continue to mystify scientists today. Reflecting the sun by day and torches by night, the light from these mirrors could be seen for more than 50 miles over the Mediterranean. Its majesty and beauty was so admired that the great lighthouse was depicted on coins.

Of the six vanished Wonders, Pharos was the last to disappear. Standing more than 384-feet from its gigantic base, it was equivalent to a 40-story modern building. It stood over the harbor to Alexandria for centuries, finally succumbing to a series of earthquakes in 1303 and 1323, which left it in ruins. Though the structure did not survive, it served as the architectural model for many lighthouses along the Mediterranean, as far away as Spain. And if you look up the word for lighthouse in French, Italian or Spanish, you will find Pharos.

Harbour Lights has meticulously reconstructed this great Wonder in a limited edition of only 4,000, so only the most serious of lighthouse collectors will be rewarded with this beautiful replica. It stands 10-inches high, and although minute by comparison to the original, every tiny detail has been richly sculpted and hand-painted - making it a modern-day wonder to enjoy forever.

Two Great Wonders of the Ancient World, now two great additions to your Harbour Lights collection.

This story appeared in the January 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

All contents copyright © 1995-2023 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

to Lighthouse Digest

USLHS Marker Fund

Lighthouse History
Research Institute

Shop Online

Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2023   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History