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The modern alternative? Among the world's most striking modern temples are Chiang Rai's impossibly intricate Wat Rong Khun, opened in 1997,Harmandir Sahib, or the "Golden Temple", completed in Amritsar in 1604, Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (its full name is Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) and the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, a place of worship of the Bahá'í faith built in 1986, which has won numerous architectural awards.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

This is the only ancient wonder whose exact location has not been established. While some believe they were purely mythical, other sources suggest they were built by King Nebuchadnezzer II around 600BC. The site may have comprised an ascending series of tiered gardens which resembled a large green mountain rising from the centre of ancient Babylon, near present-day Hillah in Iraq. If the gardens did exist at all, they were destroyed soon after the first century AD.

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