The Colossus of Rhodes

When Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, three of his Generals split up his empire -- Ptolemy, Seleucus and Antigous. The island of Rhodes supported Ptolemy and angered Antigous, who sent his son Demetrius in 305 BC to capture and punish Rhodes. Despite his army of 40,000 men, elaborate siege equipment, and almost a year of effort, Demetrius was unable to accomplish his mission and departed, leaving his siege equipment behind. To celebrate the victory, the people of Rhodes decided to build a giant statue of their patron sun god Helios (often referred to as 'Apollo'). Using an abandoned siege tower and melted down bronze from the siege equipment, they proceeded to build the giant statue around 292 BC.

It took 12 years to build the 108 foot statue atop a 50 foot pedestal near the harbor entrance. For comparison, the statue figure itself was about 10% larger than Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, or roughly 3/4 the size of the 151 foot Lady Liberty figure in New York harbor (although Lady Liberty has a 154 foot pedestal, making her almost twice the overall height of the Colossus). It was constructed of bronze plates over an iron framework, using some 15 tons of bronze and 9 tons of iron. When an earthquake hit Rhodes in 226 BC, the barely 50 year old statue collapsed, giving it the dubious distinction of being the shortest lived of the seven wonders. The Egyptian King, Ptolemy III, offered to finance it's reconstruction, but the people of Rhodes insisted on first consulting the oracle of Delphi for guidance. Receiving a negative response, they feared that they had offended the god Helios and Ptolmey's offer was rejected.

Some artists' drawings depicted the statue with legs spanning the harbor entrance where ships could pass beneath. This was almost certainly not the case. Shutting down the harbor for the 12 year construction period would have been economically impossible. Furthermore, the collapsed statue would have fallen into the harbor entrance and probably blocked it. In fact, the historical record shows that large pieces of the figure lay alongside the harbor for some eight centuries. Its final demise came when the Arabs conquered Rhodes in the 7th century AD. They broke whatever remained into smaller pieces and sold them as scrap metal. Thus, the statue location was likely somewhere on the mole of land adjacent to the harbor where the fortification and windmills now stand.    Link.