The world is full of history, and some cities are actual examples of how time has passed. These historic cities provide an incredibly inspiring window into the past with their extensive histories and enduring legacies. We’ll explore some of the world’s oldest cities in this piece, along with some interesting historical tidbits that highlight their extraordinary longevity.
Jericho, West Bank
Tucked away in the West Bank, Jericho is frequently cited as one of the planet’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. With an estimated age of over 10,000 years, it is a location of great historical significance. Archaeological discoveries at Jericho have uncovered traces of prehistoric human settlements and walls that provide insight into the city’s long history.
History trivia: Jericho is well known for its 8,000 BC old walls of defense, which are thought to be the oldest in the world. These walls, which are supposed to have collapsed in response to the Israelites’ trumpets and cries, are associated with the biblical account of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.
Syria’s Aleppo is another historic treasure. With a history dating back to approximately 5000 BC, it has always been a significant center of trade and culture. Aleppo is still a city steeped in history, despite the violence and devastation it has experienced recently.
History trivia questions and answers: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aleppo’s old city is home to a maze-like system of tiny lanes and souks. It’s a place where buildings, crafts, and customs dating back hundreds of years have persisted.
With a history that dates back to approximately 3000 BC, Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and is frequently referred to as the birthplace of Western civilization. Renowned for its contributions to democracy, philosophy, and the arts, Athens has made a lasting impression on human history.
The past Fact: One of the best examples of classical Greek architecture and culture is the Acropolis of Athens, a citadel perched atop a rocky promontory overlooking the city. One of the most recognizable sites from antiquity is located there: the Parthenon.
Luxor, which was once called Thebes, is a city steeped in millennia of history. Known for its iconic monuments like the Karnak and Luxor Temples, it was the capital of ancient Egypt during the New Kingdom period.
History trivia: The Avenue of Sphinxes, a 2.7-kilometer path paved with sphinx statues that formerly connected the Luxor Temple to the Karnak Temple, is the reason for the temple’s fame.
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Hindus hold Varanasi in high regard because it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. With a history spanning over three millennia, the holy Ganges River runs alongside its location.
Historical Note: Varanasi is well known for the abundance of ghats, which are places where pilgrims congregate to carry out rituals and take a dip in the Ganges. The religious and cultural significance of the city is deeply rooted in India.
Mexico’s Cholula is an ancient marvel that has been around since at least 500 BC. The Great Pyramid of Cholula, the largest pyramid in the world in terms of volume, is what draws people to Cholula even more.
The past Fact: The Great Pyramid of Cholula is among the oldest and largest pyramids in the world. It took several centuries to build, with each new civilization building on top of the one that came before it.
With a history spanning more than a millennium, Fez, one of Morocco’s imperial cities, is regarded as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The past Fact: One of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world is the Fez Medina, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its winding alleyways and age-old crafts have long been treasured.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the Mediterranean coast is Byblos, also referred to as Jbeil locally. With a history spanning more than 7,000 years, it is thought to have been home to numerous civilizations.
Historical Note: Byblos is well known for having what is thought to be the oldest port in the world. The city was a center for the production of books and papyrus, which is where the Greek word “biblion,” meaning “book,” originated.
Discovering the world’s oldest cities is like traveling back in time, with history engraved on every street and stone. These cities are living, breathing examples of the human spirit’s tenacity and endurance rather than merely historical relics. Even though we’ve covered a lot of interesting historical information, there are still a ton of unanswered mysteries about each of these cities that await exploration.