The world is a place of wonders. One category of these wonders are the most ancient cities that it has been housing, that have stood through time, let civilization impact them and are still going! They flaunt some of the most beautiful architecture that you will ever see and all of them are totally worth a visit! This list of the world’s oldest cities, in no particular order, will take you back through time!
Located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is named after two rivers, Varuna and Asi. It is considered to be the home of the Hindu God, Lord Shiva, and legend has it that the person who takes his last breath here will attain salvation. Situated on the banks of the sacred river Ganga, Varanasi houses the largest university in Asia, the Banaras Hindu University. Being one of the most sacred cities in the world today, people come here to bathe in the river Ganga and wash away their sins. You could catch the “frog marriage” ritual in the rainy season where a priest conducts the marriage ritual on a couple of frogs which are later let into the river.
Being the place of worship for Christians, Muslims and Jews, this city is the home for more than two thousand archaeological sites. Jerusalem is Israel’s largest city and has over 1500 parks, sixty museums and seventy cultural centers which teach music, art, literature and poetry to many young people. Jerusalem is the site of Solomon’s Temple, the place of Resurrection and the place where Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The city has a wall of length of 4 kilometers surrounding it and 7 open gates.
Often referred to as the City of Jasmine, Damascus is Syria’s capital and its second largest city, the first being Aleppo. Majority of the population here consists of the Arabs and Islam is the dominant religion. The city has more than two thousand mosques. Umayyad Mosque is one of the city’s oldest and largest mosques. Being originated in Aramaic, the name Damascus means “a well watered place”. The city is also the only place of stock exchange in the country. Damascus was mentioned in the book of Genesis and is believed to have existed during the time of the War of the Kings.
The city is believed to have originated sometime during 3000 BC and now has a population of more than 3 million people. It is the birthplace of the Olympic games, theatre, political science, western literature and philosophy and is rightly called the “Cradle of Western Civilization. Acropolis in Athens is the scared hill where the temples for the Greek Gods were built. Parthenon was built in honor of Goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom, who the city is named after.
Jericho, Palestinian Territories
Situated near the Jordan river, Jericho is a small city with a population of around 20,000. Archaeologists have discovered remains of settlements that date back to 9000 B.C, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. It is mentioned as the “City of Palm Trees” in the Hebrew Bible. The Mount of Temptation, where Jesus was tempted by the Devil is one of the most popular tourist attractions of this place. Another is the Nabi Musa where Moses’ tomb is said to be located.