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The Colossus wonder is based on the Colossus of Rhodes, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was a statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun, Helios. It was erected between 292 and 280 BC in the city of Rhodes at the entrance to its harbor, on the Greek island of the same name. Made of bronze and iron, with a white marble pedestal, the statue stood over 30 meters (107 ft) high. It was destroyed in an earthquake in 226 BC, just 54 years after its completion.

The statue was built to commemorate the victory of Rhodes over the invading forces of Demetrios Poliorketes, son of Antigonus and known as "The Besieger" of many cities. Rhodes was aided in its defense by Ptolemy, a former general of Alexander the Great. Since Ptolemy was associated with the sun god ("Helios" to the Greeks; "Ra" to the Egyptians), the portrayal of the sun god in the Colossus's form was an especially remarkable tribute to the general.