Cultural heritageCultural heritage

8 Ancient Cities Worth Visiting this Year


Ancient places where buildings have stood for hundreds or even thousands of years immerse tourists in the distant past and distance them from modern civilization with its new technologies.

1. Tiwanaku, Bolivia

Near Lake Titicaca in Western Bolivia, the mud-brick ancient city of Tiwanaku, built around 500 AD, still stands, although today it looks more like an art installation than the bustling civilization it once was. Bolivians consider Tiwanaku a sacred place. Every year on June 21, the solstice, the ruins of Tiwanaku become the main place in Bolivia to meet the longest day of the year and celebrate the New Year according to the Aymara calendar.

Tiwanaku, Bolivia

2. Choquequirao, Peru

High in the Andes, Choquequirao — a lost stone city on top of a mountain, similar to Machu Picchu, but largely more unexplored — is actually not yet fully discovered. Archaeologists have excavated only 30% of its area, because this area is very difficult to access. These are partially excavated ruins of the Inca civilization at an altitude of 3085 meters above sea level, on the Salcantay mountain range in southern Peru. You can get there only by a two- or three-day hike lasting 30 km.

Choquequirao, Peru

3. Pompeii, Italy

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii in southern Italy, near Naples, was buried under a multi-meter layer of ash during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Nowadays, the city is a huge open-air museum, since 1997 included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It combines stunning ancient sites such as the ruins of Scavi di Pompeii and the Stabian Baths, as well as the comparatively modern sanctuary of the Madonna of the Rosary.

Pompeii, Italy

4. Cahokia, Illinois, USA

Cahokia is the largest pre–Columbian settlement north of Mexico, Cahokia Mounds. The landmark, spread over a large area, includes prehistoric earthworks. The city was abandoned due to the drought. At least, that's what scientists think. Now Cahokia is a cluster of mounds (109 pieces) on the banks of the Mississippi River, near St. Louis.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

5. Delphi, Greece

Delphi, located on the slope of Mount Parnassus in the south-east of the Phocis region, is the abode of the Greek god Apollo, who supposedly lived on this peak, which explains its heavenly attractiveness. It was believed that Delphi was the center of the universe, the exact location of which was marked by an Omphalus - a stone shaped like half an egg. At this point, according to legend, two eagles met, sent by Zeus from the western and eastern ends of the Earth. The main attraction in Delphi is the Temple of Apollo Pythias, the ruins of an ancient theater, the Temple of Athena, the stadium and the treasury.

Delphi, Greece

6. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The capital of the 9th century Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat, covers an area of 163 hectares. It is worth focusing on the most important places, such as the Angkor Wat Temple, which took 30 years to build and is reportedly the largest religious building in the world, and the Bayon Temple, which is decorated with 200 carved stone faces outside. Angkor is a complex of temples covering an area of about 200 km2, and it will take at least 2 days to inspect only the main monuments. Temples were built in the IX - XIII centuries AD, most of the temples are Hindu, some (Bayon) are Buddhist.

Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

7. Petra, Jordan

Petra is an ancient city in Jordan, the capital of Idumea, later the capital of the Nabataean kingdom. This wonder of the world must be seen with your own eyes. Otherwise, it is difficult to believe in the very existence of such a stunning city, carved out of red sandstone rocks and surrounded by desert on all sides. Petra is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and can show more than 800 ancient monuments – temples, tombs, baths, colonnades.

8. Rome, Italy

Rome tops the list of all ancient cities because all roads are known to lead to it. The city successfully combines modern and legendary ancient – the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Roman Forum, and these are just some of the most ancient sights that can be found here. Their scale is amazing and drags into the history of creation for a long time.

Ancient ruins, Rome, Italy


March 19, 2024 03:40 pm



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