Time Travel Through The Oldest Cities In The World

Shreya Cheema

Jericho, West Bank

Jericho boasts an uninterrupted 11,000-year history, serving as a crucial trading post and earning a mention in the Old Testament. Notably, Jericho became the first city given to Palestine post the 1994 Oslo Accords.

Jericho, West Bank | Valdemaras D. on Unsplash

Xi'an, China

Formerly Chang'an, Xi'an boasts a 3,000-year history, serving as the capital for 13 dynasties and 73 emperors. Recognised as the birthplace of Chinese civilisation, Xi'an carries a historical weight that few cities can match.

Terracotta Army Museum in Xi'an | Aaron Greenwood on Unsplash

Luxor, Egypt

Recently in the spotlight for unearthing a complete Roman city dating back 1,800 years, Luxor's historical significance extends to being the site of the Ancient Egyptian capital, Thebes.

Luxor, Egypt | Photo by Elifinatlasi

Argos, Greece

As Europe's oldest city, Argos, dating back to 1200 BC, once reigned as the most powerful Greek city. Today, it remains a charming regional centre, preserving its historical significance.

Larissa Castle, Argos, Greece | Above Horizon on Unsplash

Quito, Ecuador

Recognised as South America's oldest continuously inhabited city, Quito earned UNESCO World Heritage status in 1978. Its well-preserved historic centre takes visitors on a journey to the mid-16th century Spanish conquests.

Quito, Ecuador | Kiyoshi on Unsplash

Varanasi, India

As the holiest city in the world's oldest religion, Varanasi's spiritual and cultural legacy spans over 3,000 years. Today, it stands as a stunning city of temples and traditions, attracting believers and explorers alike.

The evening Ganga aarti in Varanasi | Jannes Jacobs on Unsplash

Byblos, Lebanon

Occupied since 8800 BC, Byblos shines as a day-trip gem from Beirut. Its vibrant town centre, from the Old Souq to the Citadel, reflects the passage of countless civilisations, offering a rich tapestry of history.

The harbour of Byblos | fornStudio on Shutterstock.com

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Regarded as Europe's oldest continuously inhabited city, Plovdiv boasts 8,000 years of history. Amidst its evolving landscape and vibrant culinary scene, history buffs find delight in its ancient amphitheatres and old towns.

Alyosha Monument in Plovdiv, Bulgaria | nikolay100 on Shutterstock.com

Hanoi, Vietnam

Founded in 257 BC, Hanoi's rich history spans from the Palaeolithic era to its present bustling streets. Renowned for its food and cultural venues, Hanoi blends its historical roots with a contemporary spirit.

Hanoi, Vietnam | David Emrich on Unsplash

Sydney, Australia

Established in 1788, Sydney, though comparatively young, holds significance as the first city in modern Australia. The date of its founding, January 26, is celebrated as Australia Day.

The Opera House | Kewal on Unsplash

Athens, Greece

Athens, with over 3,000 years of continuous habitation, remains a city deeply rooted in history. While embracing the present, Athens echoes the enduring legacy of democracy and Western philosophy.

The Panthenon in Acropolis of Athens | Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexel

In Pics: The Most Ancient Temples In The World

Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt | Shutterstock.com