10 of the Most Historical Cities Around the World To Visit
The history of humankind dates back thousands of years, and the Earth’s history is millions. Since humanity first began to settle and build cities up until now, a lot of history has been made between that time. History leaves a mark on the city it takes place in, and is a big reason why we travel around the world; to discover other people’s culture and history. We have compiled a list of the world’s most historic cities that will blow your mind away for their beauty and story.
As one of the oldest cities in the world that still inhabits people, Damascus has to tell its history to the world as a whole as it is one that has had its troubling times. A city rich in culture from education to religion, Damascus has one of the oldest and largest mosques in the world. The Umayyad Mosque was built in honor of a Jewish prophet on Christian grounds, showing a storied history of unity in religion despite having their differences. You would have to look no further than the museums of Damascus to see how the education and military of the city have shaped countries in their surrounding region, which in turn has influenced us. Being inhabited without a break for so long is a title Damascus should be proud of, and a history that often seems bleak can also be one of the hopes.
As the gateway between Europe and Asia in the north, Russia as a whole has a vibrant history of rulers, war, and culture. For over 200 years, Moscow was the capital of Russia and once again has restored its position after the fall of the Soviet Union. So much of Russia’s history can be found in Moscow, including influences to the city and the cities influence around the world. Buildings such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral were made during some of Russia’s darkest times, with its bright colors and unique design known around the world. Also, the city of Moscow is now home to the Kremlin, one of the most revered and most secretive places in the world that still fascinates people to this day.
While most countries around the world share their stories and technological advances between one another over time, Japan did not have that luxury. The history of Japan mainly lies in its ability to invent their necessities despite being on an island. For hundreds of years, Tokyo, formerly known as Edo, has been the hub for utilizing these inventions and turning Japan into a global superpower. For so long, Japan had been on their own, creating a history of advanced combat, revolutionary technology, and a disciplined population. Even after the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all that Japan faced in World War 2, Japan was able to bounce back and recreate themselves as one of the world’s most significant countries. It is no coincidence, merely a testament to what Japanese history has shown they were capable of, all represented in the great city of Tokyo.
The continent of Europe would not be the same, arguably anywhere as advanced if not for the city of Florence. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, the influence of Florence in both its culture, architecture, and arts shaped every European city and took Europe past the fall of Constantinople into a new period of history. In addition to developing other cities, Florence is home to the Florence Cathedral, which has drawn in millions of natives over the years and developed its city.
While some cities have a history of barely surviving and sometimes thriving, Cairo is an example of a historical city that has survived by commanding and conquering. The city itself is over 4,000 years old and was known as Memphis (like Tennessee) before Cairo settled on top. Cairo has been inhabited by Romans, British, pharaohs, sultans, and was even attempted to be occupied by Napoleon. A strong history of defense and protecting what is theirs has made Cairo a deeply respected city, even with all the controversy occurring presently.
A history that dates back nearly 2000 years, Istanbul, like many cities, is a story of occupation, survival, and war. For a few hundred years, Istanbul was a peaceful and secluded city that never went into anyone’s business. The first outside colonizers were the Byzantine Empire, followed by the Persians, then the Romans and finally the Turks. During this time, the city of Istanbul became a global force and a gateway from Europe to the Middle East. Each new occupation came with their influence and can be best displayed by the religion the people of Turkey follow. Almost everyone is a Muslim in Turkey as a result of the Ottoman Empire, spreading their influence, adding more to the storied history of Istanbul.
Beijing is known these days globally for its many historical sites and for being a political hub for the country. Beijing has technically been around for about 8,000 years and has gone through lots of reconstruction and timeline changes. For thousands of years, China has been ruled by various dynasties, all who would leave their mark on the modern way of life in China. Tourist attractions such as the Forbidden City from the Qing Dynasty is one of many examples in Beijing that shows just how important human life was to each civilization that has lived in Beijing throughout time.
No single empire in history is as well known as the Roman Empire, and technically it stands to this very day. The Roman Empire was technologically revolutionary, being the first city to able to support so many people through a human-made ecosystem. Catholicism was prominent in the empire, and it shows to this day with a church on every corner. Unlike during the Roman Empire, where the Romans would go around the world to conquer, people now come from around the world to see Rome. People come to marvel at how ahead of its time, the city was and how its architecture is timeless despite all the changes happening around us.
Rome is to empires as Jerusalem is to religion. The city of Jerusalem is a zone of worship for the three most well-known religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Because of its religious significance, the land of Israel has been under dispute for many years, and Jerusalem has been at the center of the controversy. Despite all this, this should not deter any tourist as the safety of the city, and its destinations are protected regardless of all that is occurring around. A city like Jerusalem holds more meaning to people than just another tourist destination; it’s the start and origin of so many people’s faith and beliefs.
Cusco, Peru South American history tends to be overlooked or overshadowed by colonization and modern tourist destinations. Before any of that, the Incan Empire used to rule the mountains of the Andes, and their ability to survive on their own is nothing short of inspiring. Cusco was the capital of the Incan Empire, and the capital needs to survive and thrive with many factors. The system of government used so many countries that include taxation, infrastructure, and education have been done for hundreds of years by people in the mountains with only themselves to learn from. To not only create irrigation systems for crops but have organized government structure makes the city of Cusco a historical marvel.