Sooner or later, our future generations, will ogle upon the remains of the Mt. Rushmore and enquire, “What’s that dad?” Moreover, over the passage of time, many incredible cities have been abandoned, drowned, or lost. However, at present, what remains with us is nothing but gorgeous ruins of the once glorious metropolis. Anyway, let’s discover some of the stunning yet dilapidated ancient lost cities of the world.
In The Article
Machu Picchu (Peru) - The Mystical Land of The Incas
- Tucked away silently in the mystic countryside of Cuzco, the unbelievable engineering marvel Machu Picchu remains a mystery even today.
- Importantly, Machu Picchu remained inhabited only for a brief time between 1450-1572 At the height of Spanish invasion, this city lost its sheen and glory.
- Moreover, this ancient lost city sits majestically in the Andes mountain range.
- In addition, in 1911, Hiram Bingham, an American Historian, re-discovered Machu Picchu while searching for another ancient city, Vilcabamba.
- Machu Picchu boasts of 3000 stone steps, six hundred terraces, around 16 fountains, and stretches over 8 km distance.
- However, many historians believe that the Machu Picchu stayed safe even during the Spanish invasion. On the other hand, some suggest that resident desertion mainly happened due to a smallpox infection.
- At present, modern-day archaeologists categorically believe that Machu Picchu uniquely served as Inca’s emperor’s royal estate.
- Finally, millions of tourists walk through Machu Picchu to see one of the most popular man-made marvels on earth.
Pompeii - Once Buried Under Ashes, Preserved By Time
- Firstly, Pompeii located about 8 km away from the mountain, was a prosperous resort place for wealthy citizens in the first century.
- To begin with, Pompeii city came under the direct attack of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., when Pompeii got buried under volcanic ashes.
- Moreover, the city lost around 2000 of its residents and the remaining abandoned the city for greener pastures.
- On the other hand, a bunch of explorers discovered this buried city in 1748. Surprisingly, Pompeii remained almost intact.
- Moreover, the various buildings, skeletons, and artifacts found in the city unravel how people lived then.
- Many history scholars believe that the digging of Pompeii exposed a major impact in the rich neo-Classical 18th-century revival.
- Finally, the Pompeii excavation project is an ongoing project for almost 300 years and it still remains eerie.
- Therefore, Mount Vesuvius finally erupted in 1944, and another eruption is due any moment.
Memphis (Egypt) - Greatness Still Intact
- First, established around 3100 B.C by the King Menes, Memphis contained two prehistoric kingdoms namely Lower and Upper Egypt.
- Moreover, originally, Memphis was called as “Whitewalls” since the King’s palace might have been constructed using whitewashed bricks.
- Furthermore, Memphis prevailed as Ancient Egypt’s capital city right throughout the reign of Old Kingdom.
- Additionally, the Ancient Egyptians called this city as Min-Nefer and today it’s known as Mit Rahina.
- Moreover, “Ptah” represented the local worship deity of Memphis and he was known as the God of workmen and creation. He along with his son Nefer-Tom and wife Sekhmet was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians.
- At present, Memphis contains some monuments from the periods of New Kingdom. These include King Ramses II’s limestone colossus, a big alabaster Sphinx, and commemorative tablets.
Ani (Armenia) - Lost in Time
- Located along an important east-west transport route, Ani became prominent in the year fifth century in
- the year fifth century A.D. Moreover, it later became a prosperous city during the rule of Ashot III (952 – 977) in the year 961.
- Not to mention, the city prospered under the rule of two successive Bagratid rulers.
- As a result, many churches constructed at that time exhibited one of the best works of medieval architecture. Moreover, Ani’s size at that time was substantial.
- However, Ani remained the most flourishing city until the change of commerce routes, a massive earthquake in 1319 and the Mongol raids.
- Finally, the city of Ani got abandoned. Presently, the remnants and the surviving churches speak volume about the greatness of this once magnificent city.
Petra (Jordan) - The Magnificent Rose City
- Rightly situated between Amman and Jerusalem, Petra makes an ideally perfect spot for commerce and trade in this area.
- Moreover, Petra remained significant because of its sophisticated water management system, and splendid rock-cut architecture. Petra or Rose City contains hundreds of rose-colored stone buildings.
- As per reports, Petra was uniquely built on a piece of land, intervened from east to west by the legendary Valley of Moses.
- Significantly, the Arab tribe, Nabataeans occupied this place and established their capital. Consequently, the city of Petra prospered as an important trade route that involved disparate countries like India, Greece, Egypt, and China.
- However, an earthquake damaged Petra in 551, and the city of Petra suffered significant habitation decline.
- Finally, the city lost its identity in the 12th century and it remained unknown until it was discovered by a Swiss tourist in 1812.
- Some important places of interest include Al-Dayr (the monastery) and Khaznah (Treasury) amongst others.
Tikal (Guatemala) - Concealed Mayan Mystery in Every Square Inch
- Located in the rainforests of present Guatemala lies the ancient city of Tikal, a Mayan masterpiece. As a matter of fact, this metropolis prospered somewhere between 3rd – 9th centuries A.D.
- Particularly, the city’s urban landscape consists of 3000 different structures, ball game courts, paved plazas, and footpaths.
- In other words, these structures contain several gigantic step-pyramid temples and one of them rises to a stellar height of 64.6 meters.
- Notably, another pyramid structure simply called ‘Temple I’, contains nine different levels of limestone structures. The pyramid also hosts the tomb of Jasaw Chan K’awiil, a Mayan King.
- Between 7th and 8th century, modern-historians believe that at least 70,000 people would have inhabited Tikal. Furthermore, Tikal remained the headquarters of the Mayan rule before being neglected around 900 A.D.
- Overall, Tikal remained hidden under thick vegetation until it was rediscovered in 1848.
Sigiriya - Dazzling Ancient City
- The most stunning fortress place of Sigiriya stays nestled around a huge rock outcropping on the small island of Sri Lanka.
- Moreover, during 5th century A.D., King Kasappa I, a cruel monarch usurped the crown and killed his father by burying him alive.
- On the contrary, fearing a backlash from his own brother, Kasappa I designed a beautiful new capital.
- However, Sigiriya’s main piece of attraction was a 201-meter tall granite plateau called as “Lion’s Rock”. Furthermore, the king’s luxury palace was located on top of this plateau.
- In those days, the mountaintop citadel remained accessible only via a giant stairway faithfully guarded by a stone lion. Furthermore, this ultra-luxurious sky palace served as the residence quarters of King Kasappa I.
- Finally, King Kasappa I committed suicide after losing the battle against his brother in 495 A.D.
- At present, Sigiriya remains a hot tourist destination.
Great Zimbabwe - Influential Ancient African City
- Firstly, Great Zimbabwe remains the best impressive sub-Saharan city because of its defensive walls, stone towers, and stacked boulders.
- On the contrary, this rock citadel was previously considered as the residence of Queen Sheba but historians say otherwise. As per reports, this region thrived as a capital city during the 13th-15th centuries.
- In addition, this ancient kingdom controlled over a vast space of present age Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. This place contained precious metals and remained an important trade route.
- Overall, this fortress city was suddenly abandoned in the 14-15th century.
Angkor Thom (Cambodia) - Incredible !
- The capital city of the ruling Khmer empire between ninth and fifteenth century, Angkor Thom spelled grandeur and opulence.
- Especially, Angkor Thom served as the most sophisticated capital in Southeast Asia at that time.
- Furthermore, King Yashovarman I and other subsequent rulers used the vast quantities of wealth and labor to construct mega projects.
- After its glorious days, Angkor Thom lost the vitality and power when the armies of Ayudhia captured power in 1431. And gradually Angkor Thom was abandoned.
- Notably, Angkor played dual roles, one as a place of the divine monarch and other as an administration center.
- Finally, in 1861 century, a French explorer rediscovered this place. It’s believed that 70,000 people inhabited this city once.
- In addition, Angkor Wat, an imposing temple complex located here attracts millions of tourists every year.
Vijayanagar - The City of Victory
- Astonishingly, the city of Vijayanagar emerged seven centuries ago and lasted an illustrious three centuries. Moreover, this formidable Hindu kingdom ruled parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra.
- At present, the kingdom’s ruined capital metropolis of Vijayanagara lies in Karnataka’s Bellary district.
- Historically, Bukka Raya and Harihara I laid the foundation stone for this magnificent empire in 1336. Furthermore, these two Sangama brothers consolidated their control and then impressively expanded Vijayanagara as a powerful fortress city.
- Remarkably, this city flourished in unequaled prosperity and peace.
- Finally, in 1564, the disastrous Battle of Talikota started the decline of this once majestic city.
- However, currently, Vijayanagar or Hampi sees a steady stream of tourists from all over the world.