A trip to a historical destination is an unforgettable and incomparable experience. Getting to know a historically significant city offers a deep and comprehensive understanding of the events and moments that shaped and changed humanity. Ancient cities seem to live outside of time. Sand literally trickles down from the historic settlements that have long been abandoned by humans, but goose bumps run down your skin at the sight of any of them.
Cities with a thousand years of history have much more to offer travelers than just beautiful architecture and unique artifacts. They bear the traces of bygone eras and civilizations. They reflect the evolution of humanity – both the creative and the destructive aspects of this process.
These cities are the 11 oldest permanently inhabited places on earth. Visiting them is like traveling back in time:
1. Jericho, West Bank – 11,000 years old
Its history was particularly stormy because the city around 1500 BC. Was destroyed for a reason still unknown: earthquake or Egyptian invasion? One of the oldest still inhabited cities in the world is Jericho (Palestine), where archaeologists have traces of settlement from the year 9,000 BC. Have found. Located in the Jordan Valley, with the Jordan in the east and Jerusalem in the west under Israeli occupation since 1967. Archaeological excavations have uncovered traces of living that were even older, around 11,000 years old. Jericho is currently located in the West Bank and is also the lowest city in the world. Its height is about – 258 m. Today the city has more than 25,000 inhabitants.
2. Damascus, Syria – 11,000 years old
Cited by research studies and historical evidence as the oldest inhabited city in the world, also named the capital of Arab culture in 2008, Damascus can be seen from 8,000 to 10,000 BC. Inhabited his time. Damascus was the preferred destination of many kings and conquerors. Damascus was an important settlement area for the Arameans, who were responsible for the implementation of modern water network systems. Later the city was conquered by Alexander the Great. Its wealth of historical sites made it a popular tourist destination until the recent riots hit it. The city has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979.
3. Aleppo, Syria – 8,000 years old
Located between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia, it is the most populous city in Syria with almost 4.4 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. Aleppo is undoubtedly one of the oldest cities in the world, mentioned under the name “Halab” as far back as Paleo-Babylonian times. While the ancient site is occupied by the modern city, it is barely touched by archaeologists. The city stood until around 800 BC. Greek and Persian hands. It was then occupied by the Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs, besieged by the Crusaders, and then taken over by the Mongols and Ottomans. For several centuries it was the largest city in the Syrian region and the third largest city in the Ottoman Empire.
4. Byblos, Lebanon – 7,000 years old
Founded by the Phoenicians as Gebal, Byblos got its name from the Greeks who imported the papyrus from the city. For centuries the city has been the main papyrus exporter to Greece. From the fourth millennium BC The word Bible is derived from Byblos. The main attractions of the city are ancient Phoenician temples, Byblos Castle and the Church of St. John, built by the Crusaders in the 12th century, and the medieval old town. The Byblos International Festival (music) is a more modern attraction. The city, 40 kilometers from Beirut, attracts tourists from all over the world with its unique mix of beaches, mountains and ancient ruins.
5. Athens, Greece – 7,000 years old
As the cradle of Western civilization and the cradle of democracy, Athens’ legacy is still very evident. Athens has been inhabited for more than 7,000 years. Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman civilizations have shaped the outward appearance of the city. This is the home of famous philosophers, writers, playwrights and artists. The city has gone through ups and downs and not always the importance it has regained today.
6. Susa, Iran – 6,300 years old
Susa no longer exists today, but Shush is a small town that more or less stands on the site of the ancient city. We therefore see a certain continuity. Susa dates from the year 8000 BC. BC was the capital of the Elamite Empire before it was conquered by the Assyrians. It was then taken by the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Greek. It is the city where the play The Persians of Aeschylus takes place, an Athenian tragedy that is the oldest play in the history of the theater. The modern city of Shushan has about 65,000 inhabitants and is also mentioned in the biblical books Esther, Nehemia and Daniel.
7. Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – 6,000 years old
North of Kirkuk is Erbil, which has been repeatedly dominated by Assyrians, Persians, Sassanids, Arabs and Ottomans. It was an important stop on the Silk Road while its old citadel, which is 26 meters high, still overlooks the horizon.
8. Sidon, Lebanon – 6,000 years old
Located 40 kilometers from Beirut, Sidon is one of the most important, and perhaps the oldest, of the Phoenician cities, and possibly the oldest. It was the base from which the great Phoenician Mediterranean Empire grew. Both Jesus and St. Paul visited Sidon, as did Alexander the Great, who visited the city in 333 BC. Conquered.
9. Plovdiv, Bulgaria – 6,000 years old
Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria, was originally a fortified Thracian city before becoming a major Roman city. It later fell into the hands of the Byzantines and Ottomans before Bulgaria was integrated. The city is an important cultural center and is home to many ancient remains, including an amphitheater and a Roman aqueduct, as well as Ottoman baths. Throughout its history, it was ruled by the Byzantines and Ottomans until it was finally conquered by the Bulgarians in 815. The name Plovdiv first appears in the 15th century. After the Second World War, communism was introduced in the country and the city became the focus of democratic groups who overthrew the regime in 1989.
10. Varanasi, India – 5,000 years old
India is the world famous center of ancient civilizations, religions and spirituality and at the same time the cradle of the oldest cities in the world. The holy city of India Varanasi. Formerly known as Benares, it has been a religious and cultural center for at least 5000 years.
11. Jerusalem, Israel – 5,000 years old
Jerusalem is one of the cities believed to be around 4,000 to 5,000 years old as of today. But this city has its own place in the world because the mixed culture of three religions can be seen here. The historical sources of these three religions can be found here, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The city of Jerusalem is considered a religious city. And it has a long history of struggle. Historian Eric H. Cline has written that the city has been destroyed at least twice and besieged 23 times and attacked 52 times. And about 44 times it has been caught and lost and caught again.