Today, lost cities from the past or those that have gone missing bear a resemblance to mystic places carrying the traces of well-known cultures. These cities have become attractive destinations for those who are curious about nature; archaeologists and fans of ancient civilizations. In their forgotten and mysterious surroundings, people from long ago have built amazing things in these lost cities that became well known throughout history. Visitors to these cities can get to hear magical stories about the deepest and oldest tales that marked the end of an empire. Here are the 10 lost cities in the world:
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Machu Picchu, Peru
One of the most famous lost cities located in Peru, is situated amidst the breathtakingly beautiful Andes Mountains. Built in the 15th century by the Inca Empire, this city has preserved its mysterious history and defenseless posture from other warring factions. For centuries, this city was forgotten and turned into a desert before it was rediscovered in 1911. People’s curiosity and fascination to uncover its secrets still captivate visitors who come to explore its ruins.
The ruined city stands at an altitude of 2,430 meters above sea level and consists of approximately 150 buildings that were used for various ceremonial and ritual activities. Its terraces were specially crafted to ensure a perfect defense line against possible invasions while irrigating crops in the area at the same time. Machu Picchu is considered one of the world’s greatest architectural feats due to its well-designed stone structures that have managed to withstand the test of time.
The ancient city of Angkor can be found in the jungles of northern Cambodia. It was at the peak of its grandeur for over 400 years as it served as a major religious and administrative center for the powerful Khmer Empire from 802 through 1432 AD. What remains today are impressive stone structures that reflect the brilliance and creativity of this long-lost kingdom.
Angkor is one of the largest archaeological sites in Asia, covering an area of over 400 square kilometers. The monuments found within this area range from towering temples to sprawling reservoirs and causeways. One of the most impressive ruins is that of Angkor Wat, a massive sandstone temple with three galleries surrounded by an expansive moat measuring 1.5 km in length. The architecture displayed throughout the cityscape exemplifies both Hinduism and Buddhism culture which were prominent during this period in history.
The ancient city of Petra is located in the heart of Jordan and is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. The city was established by the Nabateans over 2,000 years ago and served as an important trade center for them. Its strategic location allowed it to become a hub for travelers, traders, religious devotees, and artisans alike.
Though the city has been abandoned for centuries now, its incredible rock-cut architecture still stands tall. With remarkable structures like Monastery (Ad Deir), Al Khaznemon’s Treasury (“Al Khazneh”), Colonnaded Street and Obelisk Tomb, Petra looks like something out of a fairytale book. Despite centuries of human occupation and various wars that raged against it, this archaeological wonder continues to capture the attention of visitors from all around the world.
The ancient city of Pompeii, located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius near modern-day Naples, is one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world. It was once a thriving metropolis before it was buried under a thick blanket of ash and pumice by a devastating volcanic eruption in 79 AD.
Today, the city’s ruins are open to visitors who can explore the remains of its buildings, streets, shops and public baths. The site holds many artifacts such as frescoes and mosaics that offer glimpses into what life was like in this bustling city before it fell silent. Remains of some of its citizens have also been found giving us an insight into how they were at the time of their death. Pompeii is a remarkable reminder of human resilience even against natural disaster.
The city of Memphis, once the capital of ancient Egypt, is located in the Nile Delta and dates back to some 5,000 years ago. It was an iconic city that served as a gateway between Upper and Lower Egypt and was home to many great rulers of antiquity. At its peak, Memphis had two large complexes: the Palace of Apries and the Temple of Ptah.
Today, many remains of this incredible city can still be found including pyramids, temples and monuments dedicated to its gods and pharaohs. Still standing are also vast cemeteries filled with intricate paintings and sculptures depicting events from ancient times. Despite being ravaged by floods over time, the site is remarkable in its preservation and continues to draw visitors from all around the world who come to admire its beauty.
Tiwanaku is an ancient and mysterious South American city that lies in the Andes mountain range of Bolivia. This incredible site dates back to around 1500 BC and is home to some of the earliest known stone structures in the Americas. Its ruins have inspired many different theories as to who built it, though it is agreed that they were highly advanced for their time.
Today, Tiwanaku has become a symbol of cultural heritage, with its temples and sculptures still standing proud in defiance against time. Visitors can also find stone slabs inscribed with intricate symbols and patterns which tell us much about how this civilization lived and thought. While there are still many mysteries surrounding this remarkable site, what remains is a testament to its importance in South American prehistory and to the ingenuity of its builders.
Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
Ciudad Perdida (meaning ‘lost city’ in Spanish) is an archaeological site located in the jungles of Colombia. This ancient city dates back to 800 AD and was once home to as many as 2,000 people belonging to the Tairona culture. It is thought that Ciudad Perdida was a spiritual center, with numerous terraces and paths arranged by its inhabitants which were used for religious ceremonies.
Ciudad Perdida remains largely unexplored due to its difficult terrain and remote location. It has only been rediscovered relatively recently and much of its secrets are still buried deep within the jungle. Those who brave the three-day trek through dense vegetation are rewarded by breathtaking views over what remains of this once great city – a reminder that even time cannot erase all traces of our collective past.
Palenque is an ancient Mayan city located in the jungles of southern Mexico. This remarkable site dates back to around 600 AD and was home to its own powerful dynasty which ruled over the region for several centuries. The city was likely founded by a ruler known as Pakal who made Palenque a center of learning and artistry during his reign.
The ruins of Palenque are breathtakingly beautiful, with intricate carvings still visible on many of its temples and columns. It is also home to the world-famous Temple of Inscriptions, which contains a hieroglyphic inscription that dates back over 2,000 years. Together these ruins provide an unparalleled window into the past, offering insight into one of the most impressive civilizations in human history.
Taxila is an ancient city located in the Punjab region of modern-day Pakistan. This lost city dates back to the 5th century BC and was closely associated with the culture of the ancient Gandhara civilization. Taxila was a bustling metropolis for centuries, at one point even serving as the capital of the great Mauryan Empire.
Taxila stands as one of the most amazing archaeological sites in South Asia thanks to its impressive collection of ruins and artifacts from these bygone eras. From ruined Buddhist monasteries to ancient stupas and temple complexes, Taxila offers an incredible window into both the past and present, giving visitors a deep appreciation for its historical significance.
Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is an ancient city located in what is now modern-day Zimbabwe. This lost city was once the center of an expansive kingdom that covered much of the region, and dates back to at least the 11th century AD. Great Zimbabwe’s impressive stone structures are considered some of the most remarkable African architectural achievements from this period with many still standing tall today.
The site also contains numerous artifacts such as pottery and glass beads, providing a fascinating insight into ancient life. From its iconic stone walls to its culturally significant monuments, Great Zimbabwe remains one of Africa’s most powerful reminders of a world long göne, offering visitors a unique glimpse into its rich past.