Friday, December 3, 2010

World Oldest Cities...

There’s something fascinating about ancient cities that makes you want to explore everything they have to offer. If you too, love to explore ancient civilizations or what remains of them, there is a list of the 10 oldest cities in the world that are still standing, reminiscent of how people lived millenniums ago.

1 ) Gaziantep, Turkey (3650 B.C.?)

This is the capital city of Gaziantep Province informally known as Antep is the oldest city that’s still standing, with a history dating back to the Hittites period. During the Paleolithic age, It was continually inhabited and experiencing serious growth along with the Ottoman Empire. The stone houses and vibrant bazaars are bordered by beautiful gardens and vineyards, combining in a spectacular sight anywhere you turn.

2 ) Jerusalem, Israel (3000 B.C.?)

It’s a holy city for three different religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Jerusalem is the place where ancient values combine with modern culture to bring a fascinating metropolis. Jerusalem is divided into three parts – West Jerusalem, the rapidly developing commercial part of the city, East Jerusalem – home for the majority of the Arab population, and the Old City – a truly breathtaking location, declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

3 ) Kirkuk, Iraq (3000 B.C.?)

With archaeological remains that are over 5,000 years old, Kirkuk is an important city for the Kurdish identity and also the center of the Iraqi petroleum industry. While it may not be the most inviting tourist destination, Kirkuk stands on the site of the ancient Assyrian, once being the battlegrounds for three empires, Assyria, Babylonia, and Media that took turns controlling the city.

4 ) Zurich, Switzerland (3000 B.C.?)

The oldest cities in Europe and also the biggest city in Switzerland, Zurich was established in Roman times under the name Turicum. Traces of these times can be found throughout the Old Town – narrow streets filed with antique shops, boutiques and cafes. Shopping is concentrated around the famous Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most beautiful shopping streets in Europe.

5 ) Konya, Turkey (2600 B.C.?)

Located 250 km from the Mediterranean Sea and 500 km from the Black Sea, at an altitude of over 1000 meters in the Anatolian steppe, Konya is one of Turkey’s most fascinating cities, full of mosques and museums. The most popular museums is the Green Mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, a great Turkish poet. Konya has a vast array of historical finds, kept in several museums, such as the Archaeological Museum, the Koyunoglu Museum or the Ethnographical Museum.

6 ) Giza, Egypt (before 2568 B.C.)

Napoleon Bonaparte to his soldiers before the Battle of Giza, 1798. Contrary to popular belief, Giza is a city in itself, but which got absorbed by the rapidly developing metropolis of Cairo. It holds one of the most important attractions in Egypt – the Pyramids of Giza, coupled with the Sphinx at the base of the Giza plateau. Giza’s desert plateau will be part of the Grand Museum of Egypt, a project to be completed in 2012 that will replace the Egyptian Museum in Midan Tahrir.

7 ) Xi’an, China (2205 B.C.?)

With a history of over 3,000 years, the city is one of the most important in Chinese history, being one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Xi’an, the eternal city, enjoys fame equal to that of other famous cities such as Athens, Cairo, or Rome. The abundance of relics and sites of important cultural significance gained the city the title of a Natural History Museum. Furthermore, the Museum of Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is often referred to as “the eighth major miracle of the world”.

8 ) Asyut, Egypt (before 2160 B.C.)

The shield of a king named Recamai, who reigned in Upper Egypt (probably during the “shepherd dynasty” in the “Lower Country”), has been discovered in Asyut [4]. Lycopolis has no remarkable ruins, but in the excavated chambers of the adjacent rocks are found mummies of wolves, confirming the origin of its name, as well as a tradition preserved by Diodorus Siculus [5], to the effect that an Aethiopian army, invading Egypt, was repelled beyond the city of Elephantine by herds of wolves. Osiris was worshiped under the symbol of a wolf at Lycopolis.

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