Top 10 oldest cities in the world
It goes without saying that having your roots in a city that’s been around for millennia is a pretty good indirect achievement that has a lot of perks. Most of these cities that hold age-old tradition are architecturally-beautiful and attract a great deal of tourists. In other words, you never feel lonely and forgotten about the whole world. We’ve wrapped up the top 10 oldest cities in the world that are very likely to entice you to pay them a visit at least once in your lifetime!
1. Damascus – Syria
Although now it may not be a pretty good conjuncture to actually pay it a visit, regardless of the context, Damascus is a very, very old city located in Syria, that goes back to the 10,000-8,000 BC ages by unanimous debates, though the exact time the city was first founded is still under the works.
Throughout history, Damascus has been a cultural, commercial and administrative pioneer, and a destination of mostly overseas merchants. Architecturally speaking, the city mesmerizes with its ancient buildings, narrow alleys, evergreen courtyards and snow-white houses.
2. Athens – Greece
Being home to one of the most famous philosophers that ever lived on this planet and changed the course of the entire history and human perception, Athens has been populated for more than 7,000 years and currently has elements from most of the historical civilizations, including Ottomans, Byzantines and, obviously, Romans. If you ever visit Athens, you ought to check out the Port of Piraeus, the most important Mediterranean port of its time due to the strategically-favorable location.
3. Byblos – Lebanon
Byblos is yet another miscellany of a lot of ancient civilization influences that’s been around for a little bit over 5,000 years. Touristically speaking, the little Lebanese town has a lot to offer to anyone who pays it a visit, including but not limited to temples, citadels, Mediterranean views, ruins and a port.
4. Jerusalem – Israel
Being one of the most visited cities in Israel and the Middle East alike, Jerusalem holds religious tradition. According to the Bible, this ancient city was founded by no one else but David, and presently, it is inhabited by “no more than” 800,00 residents.
Over the course of history, mostly owing to religious segregation, Jerusalem has experienced numerous sieges, attacks and mass destructions. It’s however always recovered from the attacks, since Jerusalem is and will always be a supporting prop of Jewish faith.
5. Varanasi – India
Located in India, the city of Varanasi is very important to most of the Indian people. Being considered a holy city, it is situated on the banks of the Ganges river, and all the Hindus believe it was built by Shiva. Aside from its over the top religious importance, Varanasi had also had a great industrial potential, being the place where high-quality perfumes, sculpture, ivory and fabrics resided.
6. Cholula – Mexico
Cholula, the name of which can be literally translated to “place of flight”, used to be an unprosperous, scattered city, that eventually gained its homogeneity by a lot of commitment. It used to be a lodging place to many Latin-American civilizations, including the Aztecs, Toltecs and Olmecs. Nowadays, the city is a popular touristic attraction that encloses around 60,000 inhabitants.
7. Jericho – Palestine
Although now Jericho is nowhere as populated as it used to be throughout the history, having a population of no more than 20,000 people, it still holds a lot of culturally-enriching tradition. Intense studies have shown that the very first humans that stepped foot onto these fields are 11,000 years old. Historically speaking, it endured a lot of war and human loss: it was first destroyed by the Romans, rebuilt by the Byzantines only to be shortly after destroyed again.
8. Aleppo – Syria
Another Syrian city that deserves a honorable mention in our list, Aleppo is the largest one in the country, encompassing more than 2 million (!) residents. Throughout history, many schools, hammams and 13th century churches had been built, and had and still is subject to many invasions and instability, unfortunately.
9. Plovdiv – Bulgaria
Bulgaria can take pride on a very ancient city, going by the name of Plovdiv, the history of which goes back to 4,000 BC, thanks to continuous and profound studies conducted over the course of many years. Like most of the previously mentioned cities, it had been through a lot: Romans, and later on, Byzantines and even Ottomans tried to take hold of this city for themselves. Presently, the city is a popular touristic attraction, and local merchants and try to take advantage of its popularity by implementing themed restaurants, workshops and museums that were previously old houses.
10. Luoyang – China
Compared to other cities, this one hasn’t been around for that long, the first historical reference being dated to 4,000 years ago, but given that virtually no other Asian city managed to last for this long, Luoyang is nevertheless impressive. Today, the city inhabits 7 million people and is home to the White Horse Temple, the first temple to be ever established in China, which attracts a fair deal of tourists nearby.