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This article is about the building in Age of Empires. For other uses, see Wonder.

A massive structure that is the crowning achievement of a civilization. Building a Wonder can be a victory condition or increase your score.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The Wonder is a massive structure that can be built in the Iron Age in Age of Empires. It greatly increases the player's score, and is a victory condition in Random Map games. It has a high amount of hit points, yet no attack, and it takes a very long time to build and repair. If it is constructed and stands for two thousand years (two hundred in Return of Rome), the player will automatically win the game.

The infobox uses "O" as the shorthand of "original" for the original icon. Moreover it uses the following shorthands for different architecture sets:

  • G - Greek
  • A - East Asian
  • E - Egyptian
  • M - Mesopotamian
  • R - Roman


Wonders require 1,000 wood, 1,000 gold, and 1,000 stone to build, making them the costliest building in the game. As such, it is highly recommended that the Wonder be built as far away as possible from the enemies, either near the heart of the player's city or by the edge of the map, as they will mount a relentless assault on it until it is brought down. Wonders are among one of the few buildings that cannot be converted by Priests. If a player's Wonder is destroyed, the player does not lose the game, although the player does not receive any resources back. The Wonder represents the prestige of a player's empire.

If a player attempts to build a Wonder, all players in the game will receive a notification, and the Wonder's foundation will be revealed as well. Clicking on the foundation will give other players a clue on how close the Wonder is to completion, since it will reveal its hit points. Once the Wonder has been completed, all players will gain line of sight on the area around it without fog of war.

By default, the timer between Wonder completion and victory is 2,000 years in the original game, or 200 years in Return of Rome. Both are equivalent to 1,000 seconds unpaused at the slowest speed, or 16 minutes 40 seconds on the in-game clock. Some scenarios have different timers for Wonder victories.


Team bonuses[]


AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Team bonuses added:


The appearances of a Wonder is determined by which architecture set the civilization belongs to, resulting in five different variations of the structure.

East Asian architecture[]

Returnofrome wonder east asian compare

The East Asian Wonder, the Temple of Heaven, and its in-game counterpart

Choson AoE Choson, Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet, Shang AoE Shang, Yamato AoE Yamato
Wonder: Temple of Heaven, built by the Chinese Ming dynasty in 1420 AD.
Campaign appearances:

Egyptian architecture[]

Returnofrome wonder egyptian compare

The Egyptian Wonder, the Great Pyramid of Khufu, and its in-game counterpart

Assyrians AoE Assyrians, Egyptians AoE Egyptians, Hittites AoE Hittites
Wonder: Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the Great Pyramid, built by the Egyptians in 2600 BC.
Campaign appearances:

Greek architecture[]

Returnofrome wonder greek compare

The Greek Wonder, the Monument of King Leonidas, and its in-game counterpart

Greeks AoE Greeks, Minoans AoE Minoans, Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians
Wonder: Monument of King Leonidas
Campaign appearances:

Mesopotamian architecture[]

Returnofrome wonder mesopotamian compare

The Mesopotamian Wonder in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, a recreation of Etemenanki, and its in-game counterpart

Babylonians AoE Babylonians, Persians AoE Persians, Sumerians AoE Sumerians
Wonder: Etemenanki, built by the Babylonians between 14th and 9th Centuries BC.
Campaign appearances:

AoE Wonder mesopotamian comparison

The Mesopotamian Wonder in Age of Empires, the ruins of Ziggurat of Ur, and its in-game counterpart

Babylonians AoE Babylonians, Persians AoE Persians, Hittites AoE Hittites
Wonder: Ziggurat of Ur, built by the Sumerians in 2100 BC and restored by the Babylonians in 600 BC.
Campaign appearances:

Roman architecture[]


The Roman Wonder, the Colosseum, and its in-game counterpart

Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians, Macedonians AoE Macedonians, Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans, Romans AoE Romans
Wonder: Colosseum built by the Romans in 80 AD.
Campaign appearances:


A Wonder is a massive structure, a crowning achievement of technology, resources, and construction time for civilizations who build one. Examples of historic ancient Wonders that have become icons for their civilization are the Egyptian Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and the Athenian Acropolis.
Age of Empires manual


  • The East Asian Wonder, the Temple of Heaven, is anachronistic for the time period, as it was built in the Middle Ages.
  • The Ziggurat of Ur was built by the Sumerians in real history, but that civilization in the game has the Pyramid of Khufu as their Wonder instead. While the Sumerians were changed to use Mesopotamian architecture in Return of Rome, the Mesopotamian Wonder has been changed to a different structure before this.
  • In the original game, the East Asian and Egyptian Wonders look different in their icons because they are from the beta. Also, the Mesopotamian Wonder in the beta is the Temple instead of the Wonder.
  • The Pyramid of Khufu, Temple of Heaven, and Colosseum reappear in Age of Empires II, as the Great Pyramid, Chinese Wonder, and Amphitheatre, respectively. There is a separate Colosseum building as well.
  • While not matching any monument that ever existed, the Greek Wonder was likely inspired by the Colossus of Rhodes, which is approximated to not have appeared like a hoplite or a swordsman, but as a torchbearer.
  • By in-game appearance, the Great Pyramid is the fourth tallest Wonder in the game. In reality, it was the tallest man-made structure from its completion in about 2470 BC until the early 1300s AD, where it was overtaken by Gothic cathedrals of France and England.


Buildings in Age of Empires
Stone Age Icon (DE)
Stone Age
Aoede greek barracks available
Aoede greek town center available
Aoede storage pit available
Aoede house available
Aoede granary available
Aoede dock available
Tool Age Icon (DE)
Tool Age
Aoede stable available
Aoede archery range available
Aoede watch tower available
Aoede market available
Aoede small wall availableReturnofrome small gate available
Aoede farm available
Bronze Age Icon (DE)
Bronze Age
Aoede greek academy available
Aoede siege workshop available
Aoede sentry tower available
Aoede greek government center available
Aoede temple available
Aoede greek medium wall availableReturnofrome medium gate available
Aoede greek town center available
Iron Age Icon (DE)
Iron Age
Aoede greek guard tower available
Aoede greek fortified wall availableFortified Gate
Aoede greek ballista tower available

Buildings in Age of Empires
Civilian buildings
GeneralReturnofrome stone age house icon House · AOEDE Temple icon Temple · Returnofrome greek iron age government center iconReturnofrome east asian iron age government center iconReturnofrome egyptian iron age government center iconReturnofrome mesopotamian iron age government center iconReturnofrome roman iron age government center icon Government Center · Returnofrome greek wonder iconReturnofrome east asian wonder iconReturnofrome egyptian wonder iconReturnofrome mesopotamian wonder iconReturnofrome roman wonder icon Wonder
EconomicReturnofrome greek town center iconReturnofrome east asian town center iconReturnofrome egyptian town center iconReturnofrome mesopotamian town center iconReturnofrome roman town center icon Town Center · AOEDE Dock icon Dock · Storage Pit icon Storage Pit · AOEDE Granary icon Granary · Market AOEDE icon Market · AOEDE Farm icon Farm
UnconstructableAqueduct aoe2DE Aqueduct · Army Tent icon nuRoR Army Tent · Barricade aoe2DE Barricade · Chain aoe2DE Chain · Amphitheatre aoe2DE Colosseum · 2de granary new icon Granary · Pyramid aoe2DE Great Pyramid · Hut small aoe2DE Hut · Returnofrome greek wonder icon Monument · Pyramid aoe2DE Pyramid · Returnofrome ruins icon Ruins · AOEDE Trade Workshop icon Trade Workshop · Yurt thatch small aoe2DE Yurt
Military buildings
ProductionReturnofrome greek barracks iconReturnofrome east asian barracks iconReturnofrome egyptian barracks iconReturnofrome mesopotamian barracks iconReturnofrome roman barracks icon Barracks · AOEDE Archery Range icon Archery Range · AOEDE Stable icon Stable · AOEDE Siege Workshop icon Siege Workshop · Returnofrome greek academy iconReturnofrome east asian academy iconReturnofrome egyptian academy iconReturnofrome mesopotamian academy iconReturnofrome roman academy icon Academy
TowerAOEDE Watch Tower icon Watch Tower · AOEDE Sentry Tower icon Sentry Tower · Returnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Guard Tower · Returnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Ballista Tower
WallReturnofrome small wall icon Small Wall · Returnofrome greek medium wall iconReturnofrome east asian medium wall iconReturnofrome egyptian medium wall iconReturnofrome mesopotamian medium wall iconReturnofrome roman medium wall icon Medium Wall · Returnofrome greek fortified wall iconReturnofrome east asian fortified wall iconReturnofrome egyptian fortified wall iconReturnofrome mesopotamian fortified wall iconReturnofrome roman fortified wall icon Fortified Wall · Small Gate (AOE RoR) icon Small Gate · Medium Gate (AOE RoR) icon Medium Gate · Fortified Gate (AOE RoR) icon Fortified Gate
UnconstructableReturnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Mirror Tower · Returnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Zenobia's Tower