We are standing on the best preserved time capsule in existence. Earth, the only planet we live and share, has an incredible history in architecture and a more incredible history in the culture of human civilization. You could learn a great deal by simply setting foot in a country you’ve never visited and experience things you are not likely to experience elsewhere. In a world with such significant history, you would be doing this beautiful planet a disservice if you do not travel to and see the untouched through the ages. History and the stories it narrates are special, abstract in many ways but yet attaining simplicity with tangible materials scattered all around. Here are some of the best known ancient sites that are must visit places, in no particular order.
Acropolis of Athens
One of the most important ancient site in the western world, the Acropolis of Athens is a sight of historic significance and brilliant architecture. In the heart of Athens is the Parthenon, majestic and tall over the city, portraying an aura of impeccable Greece in all its glory. Athens is a culmination of numerous temples, monuments and sculptures that pay respect and devotion to the mythos of Greece and the Olympians gods. Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage sites, you will experience a sense of other worldly awe while strolling around the incredible city.
Alhambra of Grenada
Hanging by the edge of a hill, Alhambra in Grenada, Spain was originally constructed as military area with towers, barracks and the king’s garden in the confines of the wall. Now, however, the Alhambra palace has been open to tourists and visitors to observe and realise the intricate details found throughout the palace. The inner walls of the palace are detailed with some of the most staggering art pieces found nowhere else in the world. Walk through the orchards and trees in the garden and you experience a serene bliss of calm and thoughtfulness.
Machu Picchu of Peru
The greatest archaeological find in the 20th century, Machu Picchu has marvelled archaeologists and historians then and they still do. A fair trek to the site, the entire scape of the place is an absolute wonder and awestricken experience. We do not yet know the origins of the Machu Picchu, how it was constructed and why it was abandoned so quickly. What we do know is that the resident civilisation were incredibly capable in carving and construction. The stones on the walls are so firmly placed that you wouldn’t be able to slip a knife through them. Machu Picchu is a destination every human must see.
Angkor Wat of Cambodia
The Angkor Wat is one of the most significant ancient sites in the South-East Asia region due to its cultural substance and the history it contains. For a few hundred years, Angkor was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom, displaying its monuments, canals and some of the most beautiful architectural temples in the world. Angkor is an amalgamation of monuments, architecture, culture, religion and archaeological importance. You do not want to miss everything Angkor of Cambodia has to offer.
Petra of Jordan
You wouldn’t expect to find a city in the middle of the desert, but that’s what so special about all of our cultures and humankind. Petra, Jordan or ‘Rose City’ named after its lush pink sandstone and a mesmerising hue right when the sun kisses the stone. Carved into the sandstone, as well as, channels of water throughout the city, Petra of Jordan is an engineering marvel in its own right. The best time to visit the site is during the spring since summers can be unceasingly hot.
Giza of Egypt
A list of ancient sites would not be complete if Egypt isn’t included. Egyptian civilisation has impacted the way we see the world. The technological advances created and the culture they were devoted to are mysteries yet to be solved. Archaeologists continue to wonder about the Pyramids of Giza and how they came about. The construction of the Pyramids of Giza spells impossible, but this did not stop the Egyptians from constructing such a marvel.
Roman Forum of Italy
In the heart of Rome, you would come to find what was to be the epitome of Roman civilisation. The Forum was meant to be the centre of Rome, housing the government buildings, citadels and numerous monuments. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the marshland was heavily restored to represent what it was meant to be in the glory days. Walking through the ruins of the Forum, you would sense a degree of the power and authority of Rome and the empire created.
Taj Mahal of India
One of the New Seven Wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is constructed to express the incredible love a king had for his wife. Located in Agra, Delhi, the capital of India, Taj Mahal is sophistication in every marble, in every direction and in every season. However, Taj Mahal is threatened by the ongoing pollution in India and the blackening of marbles. The country is doing everything it can to diminish the pace of pollution.
The Great Wall of China
The most ambitious architectural feat in the history of the world and one of the better tourist attractions, the Great Wall of China, spanning over 21,000km, is an unconceivably large piece of architecture and a great capsule of time. The wall was originally constructed to form a defensive barrier from China’s northern invaders. Now, the Great Wall of China represents the power of the Qin Dynasty and the resources accumulated to construct such a wall.
Chichén Itzá of Mexico
Mexico’s most important archaeological find, the Chichén Itzá is an ancient Mayan city in the Yucatan Peninsula. This ancient city is combination of stone carvings and temples built to honour their gods. The most famous of the temples is the El Castillo or the Temple of Kukulcan miniaturising every other construction in the city.
That brings us to the end of 10 ancient sites you must visit in your lifetime. There’s nothing more surreal than experiencing the world and everything in it. So, go out there and live!