I) Alexandria, Egypt
Many centuries before 331 BC, when Alexander the Great founded Alexandria, the city was already the most important port city due to its location on the Egyptian Nile Delta. Alexandria was at its prime a premium center of knowledge in the ancient world. It was home to an enormous library of scrolls, one of the largest libraries in ancient times. Until it was burned down in a fire Julius Caesar initiated, the library was a beacon of culture and sciences and intellectual achievement. Also due to its central location, Alexandria had a remarkable role in the military operations of Napoleon, many centuries later after Julius Caesar’s operations.
II) Athens, Greece
Surely, Athens has played an important role in defining the western world into its shape that we know today. By the year 1400 BC, Athens was already a very significant city in the ancient world. Even then it was already inhabited for about 7000 years before. Athens was a city-state for ancient Greece, it played a fundamental role in shaping philosophy, drama, sciences and literature.
Its central location has made Athens a main focus of the world for cultural and commercial interchange. Athens has many ancient outstanding monuments such as the Ancient Agora of Athens and the Temple of Athena Nike. Athens is still known for its heritage, culture, art, media, entertainment, commerce, and finance.
III) Beijing, China
Beijing as a city is official for about 3000 years, but being one of the four ancient capitals of China, Beijing played a huge role in China’s history for more than eight centuries. Beijing was the home of the well-known Ming and Qing dynasties, it was also the capital of China under Governor Mao during the Chinese Communist Revolution. The city is a rich opportunity to explore all of what they have left behind.
In Beijing, still exists the famous imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty, located in the Famed Forbidden City. There are also many fascinating Chinese temples that still exists, also a huge part of the Great Wall of China. Beijing holds a detailed history of one of the greatest human civilizations, which since then became highly modernized.
IV) Berlin, Germany
Berlin is known to achieve the ideal balance between the poor and the rich. However, its story requires reading between the lines, while exploring the city at the present time. Berlin’s history is something you feel more than you see, lost in its narrow, non-lethal mood, and suddenly you find yourself chilling as you remember everything that happened here.
Berlin was the capital of Nazi Germany. They were badly divided in the middle of the Cold War. Before that, it was like Marx and Einstein and many other great thinkers. Its essence was born from this history where its inhabitants developed counter-culture and nightlife, making it famous today, in response to its rich (though sometimes noisy) past
V) Boston, USA
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Historically, it is home to the educated elite of America. In fact, the first university in the country, Harvard University, was founded here. Today the city remains with most colleges in the country.
Politically, Boston was an important location for the American Revolution, making it the backdrop to many events that changed the course of history. The city has maintained much of its historical urban planning. New England-style architecture in the city and cobblestone streets still greet those times. Boston has become much more than its past, because it has become an innovative and modern city with a dynamic culture.
VI) Carthage, Tunisia
It is believed that the Phoenician Queen Dido founded Carthage around 900 BC. The Romans brought the Carthaginian Empire to ruin as a result of Punic wars. However, given its central location, they realized that it was a necessary strategic position in their empire. Under Julius Caesar, the city was revived and eventually flourished as a colony. Regrettably, the plight of Carthage as a foreign invasion has not ended there. Both the Vandals, the Muslim conquerors, and the Byzantines had every hand in the history of Carthage. Many monuments are left behind, including the ancient Roman villas, Antoine Baths, Sanctuary of Tophet, and the port of Punic, which still has great views of the sea.
VII) Cusco, Peru
A city located high in the Andes Mountains, Cusco was at some point in history the capital of the emancipated Incan Empire. We don’t know enough information about the city’s origins, but we know at the moment that it was built in the form of an image of the puma, an animal which used to be sacred by the Incas. It is clearly obvious that the city was constructed in an urban planned manner in its time. Cusco was an advanced city economically and administratively. Household heads were paying their taxes, and city officials used the money to build infrastructure and provide food and security to the people in times of need. It was also a main center for mathematics, astronomy, and calendar systems during its glory. Many ruins are still existing just outside of the modern city center.
VIII) Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the jewel of the crown in an important thread of history. When it was known as Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire following the fall of Rome, and was an important station in the Silk Roads. In fact, given its central location between East and West, most classical civilizations played a role in its formation. Istanbul was also an Ottoman capital until it was dissolved after the First World War.
Each element of its rich history can be seen throughout the city, because most of it has been beautifully preserved. A great example is the Hagia Sophia, which was a huge church under the Byzantine Empire that was converted into a mosque during Ottoman rule.
IX) Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one of the most well-preserved historical cities in Europe. It offers a good image of life in Europe during the middle ages. Some very famous persons are originated from Prague such as Alphonse Mucha, the artist, Franz Kafka, the author, and also Mozart, the well-known legendary musician, who used to visit Prague frequently.
This bohemian city is still rich in folklore; as it was the home to a large community of Jews. The oldest astronomical clock that is still functioning can be found in Prague, also it is where the Pilsner beer was produced for the first time back in 1842.
Prague was a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and a member of the demised Soviet Union. Since the independence of the Czech Republic, Prague has become a very fascinating city due to its multicultural background, acclaimed eateries and big commercial centers.
X) Varanasi, India
The history of the city Varanasi goes all the way back to the 11th century BC. It is one of the oldest cities that still exist in the world, located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on the banks of the Ganges, 320 kilometers south-east of the state capital. Many citizens come to its banks for some funeral rites, as they believe that those who die here will be granted eternal life.
Varanasi is the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hindus and Jainism as it houses many of their temples. One of the worst reputable sites in this city is the Golden Temple, which honors the Hindu god Shiva.
Nowadays, Varanasi is a vibrant and colorful city as it always was. Visiting Varanasi still can make you experience the rites of death at riverbank and explore its ancient deep passageways.
The future of our historical cities is one of the “Cities’ Identity Through Architecture and Arts” conference topics. This conference will be held in Naples, Italy from 17-19 April 2019.
If you are interested in this field, click on: http://bit.ly/2BWT2YG