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The Mystery Behind the Hanging Gardens Unraveled

By Treeves Subscribe to RSS | January 10th 2012 | Views:

I have always had this curiosity of knowing how a garden can hang in the air. I tried visualizing the picture but failed in my attempts. Can you guess what I am talking about? Yes! You are right; it's about the hanging gardens of Babylon. Would you like to know about the history of the hanging gardens? Come, let's unravel the mystery. The gardens were one among the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is probably the only wonder which became extremely famous. But the hanging gardens were not the only wonders. The earliest known version of the list of seven wonders was prepared in 2nd century BC. That was when the hanging gardens were included in the list. It would have been really tough for people to choose the list because there are so many marvelous wonders all around the world. Even though a new list has been compiled, the seven wonders of the ancient world still continue to bewitch and capture people.

It is said that the gardens were built by King Nebuchadnezzar to restore joy in the face of his homesick wife Amyitis. She was the daughter of the king of Medes, and the knots were tied in order to develop the alliance between the two countries. Amyitis came from a place which was filled by lush green meadows, mountains and trees, so she found the dull sandy Mesopotamia very depressing. Nebuchadnezzar wanted to bring back the glow on her face by creating an artificial mountain with roof top gardens. So in fact the hanging gardens did not literally hang in the air suspended by ropes, but the word is derived from a Greek word kremastos meaning overhanging and not hanging. The gardens were constructed in the city of Babylon which is described to have surpassed in splendor any city in the known world as described by Herodotus, a historian in 450 B.C., The historian claimed the outer walls of the city were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high. Though archeologists give us a different picture about the thickness and height of the walls it still continues to awe the people.

There is also another story behind the building of the wonder. Some say that the gardens were built by Assyrian Queen Semiramis in 810 B.C. After the garden was built, there was this challenge of watering the plants and trees because Babylon is a place which hardly ever receives any rain. It is believed that irrigation was carried out from a river nearby called as Euphrates. The designers of the garden might have made use of a chain pump to address the herculean task of watering the tall roof top gardens. Construction of the garden would have been definitely not an easy task, since Mesopotamia did not have much of stones to build, the bricks were made by mixing clay and chopped straw and it was baked in the sun. The bricks were glued to one another using bitumen which was a slimy substance. The gardens stood on platforms of stone which was covered by reed, asphalt and tiles. These layers were further covered by sheets of lead to prevent the the foundation from being rotted by the earth. Upon these layers soil was dumped in huge quantities for even the biggest of the trees to survive. Finally all sorts of exotic trees were planted which rendered beauty to this amazing garden.

Some of the stories say that the gardens rose up to hundreds of feet up in the air. Historians say that the garden was 400 feet long, 400 feet wide and over 80 feet high. I recently happened to watch a program about these gardens on TV through one of the Dish Network Offers that I got and believe me I was taken aback. The saddest part is this marvelous wonder got destroyed by an earthquake that occurred in the second century B.C. The remains of this great wonder were discovered by a German archeologist Robert Koldewey in 1899 which is a proof that that these wonderful gardens did exist in the past.

Treeves - About Author:
Tina is a freelancer who loves to research about the wonders of the world and has a passion for History. In free time, she likes to watch her favorite programs on TV that are received through the Dish Network Offers and are related to the mysteries of the world.

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