Terracotta Army, City of Xi'an, China Terracotta Army, City of Xi'an, China

Top 10 Oldest Cities in the World

Jerusalem, Lisbon and Giza are just three of the ten metropolises inscribed on our Top 10 Oldest Cities in the World. All of them have stood the test of time and can amaze even the most exigent traveler not only with rich history but also with beautiful architecture, unique culture, old customs and tasty traditional cuisine. These are probably the only places in the world where you can see the influence – positive and negative – of human civilization.


Gaziantep is situated in the South West of Turkey and is one of the most important cities from our Top. It is considered to be a very significant industrial and commercial center due to the pistachio crops, olive groves and vineyards. Legends say that Hittites, a nation of Indo-European origin, were the first who inhabited this region since 3650 B.C. At the moment, the city is home to about 730.000 people and occupies an area of 7.642 square kilometers. Gaziantep is also known as Antep.


Jerusalem is located in the historical region of Palestine and has a population of about 800.000 people. It is also called the Holly City by Christians, Muslims and Judas. Jerusalem had a very tumultuous ancient and medieval history; it was attacked 52 times, besieged 23 times and completely destroyed two times. But, regardless the hard times it had to pass through, the city occupies a very important place in our Top 10 Oldest Cities in the World, and is ranked as one of the most popular tourist and pilgrimage destinations from all over the world. Those who want to visit Jerusalem shouldn’t miss the Solomon Temple, the Tomb of King David and the Tomb of Jesus Christ.


Kirkuk is located about 240 kilometers away from Bagdad – the capital city of Iraq. It occupies the third place in the list of the oldest cities around the world, being considerate the capital of Assyrian Kingdom in 1.000 B.C. Although, it is not as important as it was in the past, Kirkuk remains a very significant region for Arabian Culture, reason for which in 2010, it received the title of Cultural Capital of Iraq.


Zürich is located about 408 meters above the sea level and in 2012 was awarded with the title of the city with the highest gross income per capita, according to a study conducted by UBS. More, specialists said it is one of the richest cities in the world, being one of the biggest global financial centers in Europe and in the world. Zürich was first known as Turicum and has been inhabited since around 3000 B.C. In the past, Romans used it as a tax collecting point for goods travelling along the Limmat River.


Konya is located south of Ankara – capital city of Turkey, and is one of the oldest settlements around the globe. It was conquered by Turks in the XI century and by Mongols in the XIII century. While a Phrygian legend says that the city of Konya was the first city built after the Great Flood, the historians say that there are no documents to confirm exactly the period of time Konya was inhabited. The first documentary attestation of the city appeared in the ancient texts of the Greco-Roman world, referred to as Iconium in Latin, and also Ikonion in Greek.


Giza is located about 20 kilometers South West of Cairo – the capital city of Egypt – on the West bank of the Nile River. It is the third largest cities in Egypt and is inhabited with about 3.300.000 people. It dates back to well before 2568 B.C. and is very famous among tourist worldwide due to its numerous historic highlights including the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx.


Xi’an is located in central-northwest China and is one of the four ancient capitals of the country, and one of the Top 10 Oldest Cities in the World. It was built around 2206 B.C. and is a living history book for local and foreign tourists. More, in the past the city was known as Chang’an and became famous due to the Terracotta Army owned by the Qin Shi Huangdi King. Like Egyptians, Chinese believed in the immortality of the soul, reason for which, Qin Shi Huangdi King ordered to build an army of 8,000 terracotta soldiers to protect him after death. Nowadays, Xi’an is an immense metropolis which is home to over 8 million people.


Asyut is located about 400 kilometers away from Cairo, in the South of Egypt. The city is not only one of the oldest cities in the world but also one the crowded cities in Africa. Although it isn’t reach in cultural monuments, there is a necropolis where were buried several rulers who lived here roughly 12 centuries ago. Asyut dates back to 2160 B.C. and fell to ruin for a long period of time, after it was won by Luxor. But now it is a modern city inhabited by more than 400.000 people.


Luxor is located on the East bank of the Nile River, in Southern Egypt. It is considered to be one of the oldest cities on the globe because of the significant archeological discoveries found here. The Karnak Temple complex found within the city is the largest ancient religious site in the world. Luxor has so many historical monuments that it was called the biggest open-air museum. Luxor was founded well before 2160 B.C. and was once the capital of Egypt.


Lisbon spreads along the north bank of the River Tejo, which meets the Atlantic Ocean here. It is one of the biggest cultural European centers and ends our Top 10 Oldest Cities in the World. It was built around 2000 B.C. and hosts the busiest seaport on the European Atlantic coast. Visiting Lisbon you will find numerous cultural monuments dating 500 years ago including the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery.
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