Urban centers have existed for at least 6,000 years worldwide, despite the fact that large, sprawling cities are undoubtedly a contemporary phenomena. Despite the difficult times suffered by numerous metropolises due to natural disasters or human warfare, their ruins remain today, providing a glimpse into a bygone era. See the most well-known ancient cities on Earth by scrolling through these stunning pictures.
The façade of the Library of Celsus, which dates from the reign of Emperor Hadrian in the early part of the second century AD, is still exquisitely preserved. Ephesus is home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but not much of it is visible today. It was formerly said to hold twelve thousand scrolls. A earthquake in AD 262 damaged the library, but archaeologists reconstructed the façade in the 1970s.
Leptis Magna, Libya
One of the most stunning cities in the Roman Empire was Leptis Magna, located on the shore of Libya’s Mediterranean Sea. Initially established in the 7th century BC, it was the birthplace of Septimus Severus in AD 145. When he became emperor in AD 193, he expanded and decorated the city. Its port was used to export olive oil production, which contributed significantly to its wealth, to the other empires.
This enormous city once had thousands of constructions. Two massive pyramids on the east and west, an acropolis on the north, and the Great Plaza, which occupies the center, all surround the area. Numerous temples can be found, some reaching heights of more than 130 feet. The surrounding area is rich in unique flora, wildlife, and hundreds of kinds of birds, so the city isn’t the only attraction here.
Ayutthaya, which dates back to the 14th century and was the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand), was once one of the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Before being destroyed by an advancing Burmese army assaulting it in the 18th century, it was a center of art, architecture, and literature for 400 years.
Herculaneum, located on the southwest coast of Italy, was similarly devastated by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in AD 79, just like its more well-known neighbor Pompeii. Though Herculaneum’s buildings are regarded to have been more preserved by the flow of ash and dust from the volcano than Pompeii, the latter is nevertheless more spectacular artistically. Rome’s ordinary streets, homes, businesses, and brothels offer an intriguing window into daily life.