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

"Building a Wonder of the World demonstrates the superiority of your civilization. Constructing a Wonder that stands for a certain period of time is one way to win the game."
Age of Empires II description

The Wonder is a civilian building in Age of Empires II that becomes available upon reaching the Imperial Age. In specific game modes, the Wonder grants victory if built and defended for 200 years.

Each civilization builds a Wonder of historical relevance and unique appearance. They cannot be converted.

Tactics and placement[edit | edit source]

Wonders only serve as a victory condition, and as such they must be used only in game modes that allow that kind of victory. When a player starts to build a Wonder, every other player receives a notification with the location of the Wonder so they know where to steer their aggression.

Wonders should be placed in a well-defended area so it is better to first build up a strong fortification composed of Castles, walls, and towers, so basically perform a late-game turtling strategy. In any case, the player must be prepared to be the main focus of all enemy attacks and prepare to defend the Wonder. It is advised to have a huge army to defend against attacking armies, particularly siege units. Since the Wonder takes incredibly long to be built, it is advised to build it with as many Villagers as possible while also leave them near the area once they finish in case the Wonder needs to be repaired. In team games, the support of allies while defending is highly valuable.

It is possible (but costly) to build more than one Wonder so that if one does not stand, other Wonders can stand for the time required to win the game. In The Conquerors, if the player has multiple Wonders and one is destroyed, the timer will reset but still be displayed. Although highly unlikely, if multiple players finished their Wonder at the same time, the player in the highest slot regardless of the color wins once the countdown ends.

A Monument (an unconstructable building) can be found in the Scenario Editor and some campaigns. Its appearance varies being different for each civilization, much like the Wonder, and it has the same icon, although it merely functions as decorative. It has 9999 hit points, making it the bulkiest building in the game.

List of Wonders[edit | edit source]

The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]

Britons[edit | edit source]

The Aachen Cathedral and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Aachen Cathedral (before the Definitive Edition)

Campaign appearances:

The Chichester Cathedral and its real-life counterpart

Wonder: Chichester Cathedral (in the Definitive Edition)

Byzantines[edit | edit source]

The Hagia Sofia and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Hagia Sophia

Campaign appearances:

Celts[edit | edit source]

The Rock of Cashel and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Rock of Cashel

Campaign appearances:

Chinese[edit | edit source]

The Temple of Heaven and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Temple of Heaven

Campaign appearances:

Franks[edit | edit source]

The Frankish Wonder and its real-world counterpart

Wonder: St. Vitus Cathedral

Campaign appearances:

Goths[edit | edit source]

The Theodoric I Mausoleum and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Mausoleum of Theoderic I

Campaign appearances:

Japanese[edit | edit source]

The Tōdai-ji Temple and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Tōdai-ji

Campaign appearances:

Mongols[edit | edit source]

The Great Tent of Genghis Khan and a medieval depiction of the tent

Wonder: Great Tent of Genghis Khan

Campaign appearances:

Persians[edit | edit source]

The Taq-i Kisra Palace and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Taq-i Kisra Palace

Campaign appearances:

Saracens[edit | edit source]

The Great Mosque of Samara and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Great Mosque of Samarra

Campaign appearances:

Teutons[edit | edit source]

The Maria Laach Abbey and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Maria Laach Abbey

Campaign appearances:

Turks[edit | edit source]

The Selimiye Mosque and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Selimiye Mosque

Campaign appearances:

Vikings[edit | edit source]

The Borgund Stave Church and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Borgund Stave Church

Campaign appearances:

The Conquerors[edit | edit source]

Aztecs[edit | edit source]

The Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan and a render of its real life counterpart

Wonder: Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan

Campaign appearances:

Huns[edit | edit source]

The Arch of Constantine and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Arch of Constantine

Koreans[edit | edit source]

Hwangnyong Temple and a miniature reconstruction of the temple

Wonder: Hwangnyong Temple

Campaign appearances:

Mayans[edit | edit source]

The Temple of the Great Jaguar at Tikal and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Temple of the Great Jaguar

Campaign appearances:

Spanish[edit | edit source]

The Torre del Oro and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Torre del Oro

Campaign appearances:

The Forgotten[edit | edit source]

Incas[edit | edit source]

The Sun Temple of Machu Pichu and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Temple of the Sun at Macchu Picchu

Campaign appearances:

Indians[edit | edit source]

The Gol Gumbaz and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Gol Gumbaz (in The Forgotten and The African Kingdoms)

Brihadeeswarar Temple and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Brihadeeswarar Temple (since Rise of the Rajas)

Campaign appearances:

Italians[edit | edit source]

The Saint Lawrence Cathedral and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Cathedral of St. Lawrence

Campaign appearances:

Magyars[edit | edit source]

The Hunyad Castle in The Forgotten and its real-life counterpart

The Hunyad Castle in the Definitive Edition

Wonder: Hunyad Castle

Campaign appearances:

Slavs[edit | edit source]

The Kizhi Pogost and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Kizhi Church

The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]

Berbers[edit | edit source]

The Hassan Tower and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Hassan Tower

Ethiopians[edit | edit source]

Bete Amanuel and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Biete Amanuel

Campaign appearances:

Malians[edit | edit source]

Great Mosque of Djenne and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Great Mosque of Djenné

Campaign appearances:

Portuguese[edit | edit source]

The Belém Tower and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Belém Tower

Campaign appearances:

Rise of the Rajas[edit | edit source]

Burmese[edit | edit source]

Shwezigon Pagoda and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Shwezigon Pagoda

Campaign appearances:

Khmer[edit | edit source]

Angkor Wat and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Angkor Wat

Campaign appearances:

Malay[edit | edit source]

Kalasan Temple and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Kalasan Temple

Campaign appearances:

Vietnamese[edit | edit source]

But Thap Temple and its real life counterpart

Wonder: Bút Tháp Temple

Campaign appearances:

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

Bulgarians[edit | edit source]

The Preslav Round Church and a miniature reconstruction of the church

Wonder: Preslav Round Church

Campaign appearances:

Cumans[edit | edit source]

The Sarkel Fortress and an artistic depiction of the fortress

Wonder: Sarkel Fortress

Campaign appearances:

Lithuanians[edit | edit source]

The Ducal Palace of Trakai Island Castle and its real-life counterpart

Wonder: Ducal Palace of Trakai Island Castle

Campaign appearances:

Tatars[edit | edit source]

The Ulugh Beg Observatory and a miniature reconstruction of the observatory

Wonder: Ulugh Beg Observatory

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

Building strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Nothing
Weak vs. Everything except Monks.
Upgrades
Hit points Masonry.jpg Masonry (+10%)
Architecture.jpg Architecture (+10%)
Armor Masonry.jpg Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
Architecture.jpg Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
Line of Sight Townwatch.jpg Town Watch (+4)
Townpatrol.jpg Town Patrol (+4)
Construction speed Treadmillcrane.jpg Treadmill Crane (+20%)
Other Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Atheism (adds 100 years to Wonder victories for all players, Huns only)

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

Changelog[edit | edit source]

The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]

  • Wonders are always revealed on the map, regardless of victory condition.
  • Britons: The Wonder is the Aachen Cathedral.

The Conquerors[edit | edit source]

  • Wonders are only revealed on the map on Standard Victory conditions.
  • Wonders are indicated on the minimap as a white spot.

The Forgotten[edit | edit source]

  • Indians: The Wonder is the Gol Gumbaz.
  • Magyars: The Wonder is a modified, smaller version of the Hunyad Castle.

Rise of the Rajas[edit | edit source]

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

  • Britons: The Wonder is the Chichester Cathedral. The Aachen Cathedral remains available in the Scenario Editor.
  • Magyars: The Wonder is a full version of the Hunyad Castle.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Wonder is the only constructable building that does not have the standard building armor class, along with the Fish Trap.
  • The Wonder is the only item in the game to cost three different resources.
  • A few Wonders are repurposed as other buildings in the Scenario Editor: The Arch of Constantine in Rome, edited from the Hunnic Wonder; the Gol Gumbaz, previously used as the Indian Wonder, the Mosque, identical in appearance to the Turkish Wonder, the Cathedral, which is a larger version of the British Wonder (and actually was created first during development), the Temple of Heaven, which is a larger and more decorated version of the Chinese Wonder; and the Palace, which is identical to the Wonder except in the case of the Malians, Ethiopians, and Portuguese, where it resembles previous Wonder models that were later discarded or reworked.
  • The icon depicts the Turkish Wonder.

The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]

  • The original British Wonder is located in modern Germany.
  • The Frankish Wonder is actually in Czechia.
  • The Turkish Wonder was influenced by the Byzantine Wonder.

The Conquerors[edit | edit source]

  • The Hun Wonder was actually built by the Romans, though it might be a testament of the Huns being one of the barbarian tribes who pushed the Western Roman Empire into decline, as shown by the Huns' loot filling it.
  • The Spanish Wonder was actually built by the Berber Almohad Caliphate.

The Forgotten[edit | edit source]

  • The base of the Celt Wonder was slightly altered and reused as a base for the Mediterranean style Castles.
    • The top of the Spanish Wonder is also reused for the Italian Wonder.
  • The Slav Wonder is anachronistic, as the Kizhi Pogost was not built until the 17th century (outside Age of Empires II's timeframe). A more accurate choice would've been the Moscow Kremlin when it was a limestone citadel, the Dormition Cathedral, or the Ferapontov Monastery.
    • Notably, the Russian Mod that preceded The Forgotten and served as basis for the Slavic civilization used a model of St. Basil's Cathedral (near the Kremlin, and often mistaken for it by Westerners), which had been taken from the game Cossacks, and would be a more appropriate choice since St. Basil's was built in 1555-1561 (barely within Age of Empires II's timeframe) to commemorate the Russian conquest of the Tatar khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan.
    • It is possible that Kizhi Pogost was chosen as the new Wonder because it resembles St. Basil's but also looks different enough to avoid accusations of plagiarism.
    • Similarly, the first Indian mod actually used the Gol Gumbaz's contemporary but much more famous Taj Mahal (1632) as the Indian Wonder.

The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]

  • The Berber Wonder is actually an incomplete building, being the minaret of an unfinished mosque and has only half of its intended height.
    • The Hassan Tower has two finished "twin" minarets in Seville, Spain (Giralda) and Marrakesh, Morocco (Kutubiyya Mosque). Giralda was reformed extensively in later centuries, leaving Kutubiyya as the only resembling what a finished Hassan Tower would look like.
  • The design of the Malian Wonder is anachronistic by necessity. It is based on the current appearance of the Great Mosque of Djenne, but the mosque was rebuilt in the early 20th century. The original mosque would likely have looked different, but no records exist that describe its appearance, so it remains unknown. The architect of the original mosque was from Egypt, so it is possible that it would have been similar to medieval Egyptian mosques in appearance.

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

  • The Cuman Wonder was actually built by the Khazars, an unrelated Turkic people, with assistance from the Byzantines, but taken by the Kipchaks from the Kievan Rus' in the 12th century. This may be referenced by some Cuman AI player names being Khazar khans.

History[edit | edit source]

"One distinguishing cultural characteristic of the great Middle Age civilizations was architecture. Buildings in Japan, Scandinavia, Britain, Constantinople, and Arabia looked quite different and employed different construction techniques. In many cases, particularly noteworthy buildings stand as icons for the building civilization, marking it for all time as a culture that achieved greatness, if only temporarily. Examples of such Middle Age cultural icons are the Cathedral at Chartres, Charlemagne’s Palace, and the Hagia Sophia at Constantinople."
Age of Empires II manual

Video[edit | edit source]

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