Top 18 World’s Most Exceptional Historical Sites
If you are passionate about history and you want to learn about the world’s most spectacular historical sites, well books will only get you so far. In order to witness the magnificence of these wonderful and historically significant places, you really need to make an effort and visit them in person. Not sure where to go first? Just have a look at our top 18 regarding the world’s most exceptional historical sites, and you will definitely make a decision in no time. We suggest visiting them all if possible.
Even though it started out as a relatively simple sandstone fortification, India’s spectacular Agra Fort gradually evolved into a respectable city filled with incredible buildings such as mosques or even palaces. However, this splendid masterpiece is usually overlooked by tourists, since most of them choose to visit another superb landmark that is found in the near vicinity: the Taj Mahal.
The Antonine Wall
The Antonine Wall can be found in Scotland, and it used to represent a defensive wall that ran from Old Kilpatrick to Carriden along the country’s central belt. If you find yourself in Scotland during your travels, it is definitely worth it to visit the remains of this extraordinary landmark, not to mention that you would be able to feast your eyes on other nearby ruins such as the Bar Hill fort.
Contrary to popular belief, the official Barcelona Cathedral is not represented by the La Sagrada Famillia made by Antoni Gaudi, but by the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, which can be found just 3 miles away from the aforementioned masterpiece. As a matter of fact, the two cathedrals are actually quite similar from an architectural point of view, but the real Barcelona Cathedral is definitely less crowded and easier to admire up close.
The old aqueduct from Caesarea is a gateway into the past, giving us a clear insight into the architectural principles and building methods that were being used in ancient times. There are numerous other attractions to be seen at Caesarea, which sometimes tend to shadow the aqueducts in terms of popularity.
The Crypte Archaeologique can be found in Paris, and it represents a series of ruins that trace their origins to Roman times. The crypt now operates as a museum and can be reached via a staircase found in front of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. If you want to see what Paris used to look like during the Roman Empire, visiting the Crypte Archaeologique would give you great insight.
Apart from the renowned city of Pompeii, Herculaneum also fell prey to the wrath of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Many of the settlement’s most notable establishments were placed in a time capsule of sorts when the never ending waves of lava descended upon the area, and due to the incredible state of the current remains, all of Herculaneum was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore, the ruins at Herculaneum are definitely taller than those found in Pompeii, some of them flaunting up to 2 stories in height.
Kabah is a wonderful place to visit if you are interested in old Mayan temples and their incredible history. The site is in close proximity to the much more popular complex of Uxmal, and the similarities between the 2 are quite noticeable, especially since they both feature depictions of the old god of rain named Chaac.
Kerameikos can be found in Athens, and it represents an ancient cemetery for the city’s potters. The site was initially located outside of the massive city walls that encircled Athens, which is why it is surrounded by several ruins of gates, walls and graves dating back thousands of years.
Machu Picchu definitely deserves a personal visit at least once in a lifetime. This extraordinary ancient city sits proudly on top of a massive mountain in Peru, and it can be reached after a tiresome 4-day trek. The city used to represent a highly important cultural center of the Inca civilization, but it was soon abandoned after the Spanish arrived to these lands. Since 1983, Machu Picchu has been a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it was even named one of the New Seven Wonders of the world in 2007.
Tikal includes some of the best-preserved ruins of the Mayan civilizations, and it can be found in Guatemala. Highly accessible, this ancient city-state is in close proximity to Belize, and it attracts a wide array of visitors with its amazing temples and spectacular views.
The Giza Pyramids
The Pyramids at Giza are some of the most mysterious and wonderful structures on earth, and even though they were built over 3 millennia ago, we still don’t know exactly how they came to be. The pyramids include numerous chambers, some of which are still sealed to this day. The famous Sphinx can also be found in close proximity, but the most spectacular landmark in the area is definitely the Great Pyramid, which was built by the Pharaoh Khufu.
The ancient city of Angkor Wat used to be the center of the famous Kmer Empire, but after the empire ceased to be, most of its buildings were reclaimed by nature. Angkor Wat is a very famous tourist destination, which means that it is crowded most of the time, but it is still worth a personal visit nonetheless. Ancient temples such as the Ta Phrom and Bayon are some of the most impressive attractions.
The spectacular Petra complex is carved into a canyon in Arabah, Jordan, and it was featured in the third Indiana Jones movie as a potential location for the Holy Grail. In reality, Petra was discovered by a Swiss explorer in 1812, and it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Petra is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Boasting an age of 3,000 years, Stonehenge can be found near Salisbury in England, but its stones actually originate in Wales. Even though the inner circle of the complex is no longer accessible to tourists since it was fenced off, Stonehenge is still a fantastic destination because of its heritage and mysterious allure.
The colosseum and the forum are two of the most important tourist attractions in Rome. The ruins are still remarkably well preserved to this day, but they did not earn their incredible fame through their looks alone. These sites flaunt a rich historical heritage, since they used to be visited by some of the most notable figures of the Roman Empire, including Caesar.
In case you didn’t know, the Parthenon is actually an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Aside from its deep roots in the old Greek civilization, this stunning landmark also ensures fantastic views of the city of Athens, since it was perched on an elevated position. With the passage of time, the temple was ransacked by thieves who were looking to loot its treasures. Nowadays, the Parthenon is being renovated, albeit at a slow pace.
Easter Island was definitely inhabited in the past, a fact made abundantly clear by its extraordinary Moai statues. These giant sculptures are a constant reminder that ancient humans were actually quite versed at building monolithic structures in their own way, even though they had no access to technology. The stones were made out of volcanic ash, and some of them can also be found in the island’s quarry.
The Taj Mahal is definitely the most impressive destination on our list, since its superb beauty and unique architecture are unmatched by any other structure in the world today. Apart from its exceptional appearance, this sumptuous palace also represents a testament to true love, since it was built honoring the memory of Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife. Built in 1600, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and it attracts millions of tourists annually. As expected, this masterpiece is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.