Do you love ancient towns? In this post we will show you top 10 most ancient towns in the world.
11. Piodao, Portugal
Situated in the center of the country, Piodao is known as one of the most picturesque villages in Portugal. Classified as a Public Interest Monument, Piodao is indeed a unique site. Its signature feature is historic architecture, covered with schist and ascending in the mountainous landscape. The reclusive settlement is slightly different than the rest of the country.
10. Civita di Bagnoregio, Province of Viterbo, Italy
Initially, Civita was the first settlement established by Etruscans over 2 500 years ago, whereas Bagnoregio was its suburb. Only recently tourists rediscovered the sister towns, that mesmerise with impressive nature and panoramic views, as well as historic architecture, balancing on a fragile cliff. Its several hundred years old architecture denotes versatile history, but also needs a preservation plan: the city is included in the list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
9. Alberobello, Puglia, Italy
A small town in a „heel“ of the country is famous for the authentic and unique trulli – a hut with a cone-shaped roof. They are very well preserved and included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The purpose of trulli was to avoid taxes: since it was possible to quickly dismantle the houses, the settlement didn’t have a status of a town, thus wasn’t entitled to pay taxes. Today this is the main attraction, as visitors come to wander the narrow streets and admire the original architecture.
8. Songzanlin, Shangri-La, China
Songzanlin, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated in Yunnan, is one of the most famous and beautiful temples in China. Built in 1679 the monastery’s complex makes an entire little historic town. Tibetan architecture, design and elements, well-preserved frescoes and golden statues of Buddha make it an attractive tourist destination. Like all the Buddhist monasteries, at the elevation of 3380 m (11090 ft), Songzanlin is surrounded with stunning nature.
7. Trakai Island, Lithuania
The historic Gothic Palace was built by Lithuanian dukes in XIV century and served as their residence since the city was a capital at the time. It is the only island castle in Eastern Europe. Today the Palace is open for the tourists. The museum has a wide display of Medieval exhibits. Many concerts and various events are organised in this gorgeous place. The Knight Competition attracts many local enthusiasts and from abroad.
6. Bergamo, Italy
The town, located near Milan, is spread across a hill and the Alps begin right of the town. Found by a Celtic tribe, Bergamo became a part of Roman Empire in 49 BC. Since the town is located on the top of the hill, the slopes are planted with various plants. Bergamot’s – a fragrant fruit’s – name is evolved from here. The amazing terraced gardens drop down from the top and bloom in various colours – a real treat for your eyes.
5. Ronda, Málaga, Spain
The historic city is founded on the high mountains, 750 m above sea level. It attracts and fascinates visitors from all around the world. The river of Guadalevín runs through the city and divides it into two parts. The water during centuries has carved a 100 m deep canyon El Tajo. Many architectures from Neoclassical style has been preserved in Ronda. Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles had the residencies and spent their summers here.
4. Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
The former capital of a kingdom, Jodhpur today is one of the biggest and most populated cities in Rajasthan. It is also the favourite tourist destination for its many castles, temples, forts, museums and its picturesque bluish houses. Situated in the Thar desert Jodhpur was featured in such films like The Dark Knight Rises and The Fall due to its architecture and landscapes.
3. Marburg, Germany
Being a university town, Marburg has always been a cultural center of Europe. Gothic and Renaissance architecture dominates the unspoilt city: churches, cathedrals, university complex, the web of narrow Medieval streets are crowned by a gorgeous castle.
2. Fenghuang (Phoenix Ancient Town), Hunan Province, China
Phoenix Ancient Town is situated in Hunan Province, which is famous for its glorious nature and unique Tianmen mountains. The historic town has rich culture: from a few ethnic languages and customs to arts and architecture. The Ming and Qing style buildings are very well preserved and protected by UNESCO.
1. Medieval Town of Rhodes, Greece
The earlier Byzantine city was extended, and the walls fortified, by the Knights of Saint John in the 14th and 15th centuries, creating the medieval city of Rhodes we see today. The Old Town, as the local call it, is today one of the best preserved fortified medieval towns and is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. There are six main entrances to the medieval town and a series of smaller ones.