"The Ancient Greeks started the idea off with the original Seven Wonders of the World: The Great Pyramid of Giza, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, The Colossus of Rhodes, The Lighthouse at Alexandria.
Their choice was determined by many factors - spectacular engineering, of course; undoubtedly beauty; height also seems an important factor - but the main issue was the awe that these buildings engendered.
In 1994 the American Society of Civil Engineers chose the Seven Wonders of th Modern World: the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Dutch North Sea Protection Works, the CN Tower, the Itaipu Dam in South America and the Channel Tunnel. Two millennia have certainly changed the type of building listed: the old wonders are mainly to do with honoring the gods or dead kings; today's list mainly to do with facilitating travel or trade. But the factors that led to the choice are very similar: when we see them we are in awe of these projects."