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23 of The World’s Must-See Ancient Cities That Have Stood The Test of Time

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Our world is definitely filled with fascinating places and enthralling history. The cultural diversity and the uniqueness across the planet are enough to make you long for a trip. However, with the numerous sites that every country has,and with different exciting stories that every city has to say, the challenge is to pick which ones are truly worth a visit.

These 23 photos of ancient cities that stood the test of time will make you feel nostalgic and curious. Buckle up and prepare your inner traveler as we share interesting and surprising facts about each one.

#1 Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Source: CNN Travel

A temple built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is considered as one ofthe most significant religious monuments in the world. The grandiosity of the architecture is truly admirable and is sure to take you back to ancient days.

#2 Rome, Italy

Source: CNN Travel

The home of Christianity is filled with memories from ancient times. Rome, Italy is famous for its beautiful tourist attractions like The Colosseum, The Vatican, The Catacomb and many more.

#3 Istanbul, Turkey

Source: CNN Travel

The only city in the world that sits in two continents: Asia and Europe. Istanbul is known for its breathtaking architecture, mosques and Turkish baths that will enchant every tourist.

#4 Bagan, Myanmar

Source: CNN Travel

The 11th-century temple city has an amazing combination of temples and pagodas. If you are looking for a place that is less crowded than Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, the ancient city of Bagan is the perfect place to go.

#5 Tikal, Guatemala

Source: CNN Travel

This Mayan citadel is rich in cultural achievements since 600 BC. If you want to have a glimpse of Mayan ruins and explore a touch of wilderness, Tikal Guatemala won’t let you down.

#6 Cairo, Egypt

Source: CNN Travel

The city that has a rich legacy of Islamic art preserves one of the most prominent universities and is one of the worlds biggest cities. Cairo is undeniably popular because of their cultural treasures such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

#7 Persepolis, Iran

Source: CNN Travel

City of great poets and poems, Persepolis, Iran, is one of the best examples of ancient architecture. The tall, slender columns of apadana palace are one of the most elaborate columns in the ancient world.

#8 Kyoto, Japan

Source: CNN Travel

Kyoto preserves the old Japanese traditions. If you want to experience a graceful tea ceremony and catch a glimpse of the best Zen gardens, Kyoto Japan must be on your list.

#9 Beijing, China

Source: CNN Travel

The city has a deep history in art, architecture and education. Reward your eyes with the stunning and snowy views of the Great Wall built way back 220-260 BC.

#10 Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Source: CNN Travel

Great Zimbabwe is a medieval city in southern Zimbabwe. One of its breathtaking ruins includes a 900-year-old stone kingdom.

#11 Timbuktu, Mali

Source: CNN Travel

An ancient city in Mali that was once one of the world’s most important centers of learning, Timbuktu, Mali is known for their earthen architecture and peculiar mosques.

#12 Machu Picchu, Peru

Source: CNN Travel

An Incan citadel that was built in the 15th century and later on abandoned, Machu Picchu, Peru is one of the most famous ancient cities we have around.

#13 Athens, Greece

Source: CNN Travel

The heart of ancient Greece and one of the world oldest cities, stunning ruins and art galleries are only a few of the city’s attractions.

#14 Petra, Jordan

Source: CNN Travel

Petra, Jordan is known for tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs. You will definitely appreciate the magnificent views in a traditional way because cars are not allowed in the city.

#15 Ellora, India

Source: CNN Travel

One of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave. Ellora, India’s temples were built over 400 years beginning in the 6th century. Similar to Petra, Ellora is also carved out of mountains which makes this ancient city really impressive.

#16 Xi’an, China

Source: CNN Travel

The birthplace of Chinese civilization, Xi’an, China is known as the home of the Terracotta Warriors. Their well-preserved city wall is also worth checking out.

#17 Madurai, India

Source: CNN Travel

An ancient city on the Vaigai River in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Madurai, India has one of the holiest sites that draws one million visitors for its Meenakshi Kalyanam festival.

#18 Poverty Point, Louisiana

Source: CNN Travel

Poverty Point, Louisiana peak was around 3,500 BC when its people carved out six concentric, elliptical ridges from the earth. Currently, Poverty Point is a designated UNESCO heritage site.

#19 Borobudur, Indonesia

Source: CNN Travel

A 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency. Borobudur, Indonesia has the world’s largest Buddhist temples that every traveler shouldn’t miss.

#20 Takht-i-Bahi, Pakistan

Source: CNN Travel

An Indo-Parthian archaeological site of an ancient Buddhist. Takht-i-Bahi attractions include the remains of the three stupas and the court surrounding them. If the culture of Buddhism fascinates you, this place might be the perfect spot to visit.

#21 Stonehenge, England

Source: CNN Travel

Perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument, Stonehenge is one of the oldest and best preserved ancient stone structure on earth.

#22 Gondar, Ethiopia

Source: CNN Travel

A city in northern Ethiopia that offers a glimpse of a medieval African town that remains up to this moment. Gondar is an ancient and royal city filled with legends and mystery.

#23 Nimrud, Iraq

Source: CNN Travel

Source: CNN Travel

The capital of the world empire, Nimrud is famous for its massive palaces and temples to the gods of war and writing.

These are the 23 ancient cities that fascinated the hearts of many travelers. Which one captivated yours?

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