20 of the world’s most impressive ancient ruins (Part 3)
Ruins are definitely one of the most amazing things to see when you go travelling which is kind of a strange thing when you (over)think about it. In what other situation, would an old derelict building become an object of desire?
Of course, ruins are special due to the history encased in them. They are proof of civilisations from 100s even 1,000s of years ago and are quite frankly, really impressive – especially considering how they’re still standing!
Seeing these sites is like stepping back in time and witnessing what life was like in a place that ceased to exist years ago.
From the Hatra in Iraq to the Glanum in France, we found 20 ancient ruins that everyone should see.
1. Hatra, Iraq
Hatra, Arabic Al-Ḥaḍr (Sun temple) ruined city located in the Al-Jazīrah region of present-day northern Iraq, 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Baghdad and 68 miles (110 km) southwest of Mosul. The city survived several invasions before being razed in 241 ce. It is an important archaeological site with well-preserved ruins.
Photo Source: WikiWand
2. Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, Sidi Rached, Tipaza, Algeria
The mausoleum was built in 3 BC by King Juba II himself intended not just for him and his wife, but as a dynastic funeral monument for their royal descendants. The tomb is famous by numerous names. It is occasionally referred to as the Mausoleum of Juba and Cleopatra Selene.
Photo Source: wikipedia
3. Erebuni Fortress, Yerevan, Armenia
Erebuni Fortress, known also as Arin Berd (meaning ‘Fortress of Blood’) is a fortified settlement located in the southeastern outskirts of the modern city of Yerevan, Armenia. This fortress was founded during the 8th century BC by the Urartians, the predecessors of the Armenians.
Photo Source: Unknown
4. Qal'at al-Bahrain, Karbabad, Capital Governorate, Bahrain
Excavation of the Bahrain Fort site has revealed that it is an artificial mound made up of layers created by successive occupation dating back as far as 2300 BC. This type of mound is known as a “tell”.
Photo Source: Johnstclairphoto
5. Somapura Mahavihara, Naogaon, Bangladesh
Somapura Mahavihara in Paharpur, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon District, Bangladesh is among the best known Buddhist viharas in the Indian Subcontinent and is one of the most important archeological sites in the country.
Photo Source: worldheritage.routes.travel
6. Caracol, Chiquibil Forest Reserve, Belize
Caracol is the largest known Maya center in Belize. There are massive temples to climb from which to admire miles of protected Chiquibul forest. As a bonus you can often see archaeologists at work here. Much work has been done but the restoration will continue for many years to come.
Photo Source: anywherebelize
7. Palenque, Palenque, Chis, Mexico
A prime example of a Mayan sanctuary of the classical period, Palenque was at its height between AD 500 and 700, when its influence extended throughout the basin of the Usumacinta River. The elegance and craftsmanship of the buildings, as well as the lightness of the sculpted reliefs with their Mayan mythological themes, attest to the creative genius of this civilization.
Photo Source: ponchomorales
8. Lamanai, Orange Walk, Belize
Lamanai site is one of the oldest continuously occupied Maya sites in Belize, from about 1500 BC when maize was being grown at the site, to 1680 AD.
Photo Source: belizeit2010
9. Timgad, Batna, Algeria
Timgad was a Roman colonial town in the Aurès Mountains of Algeria, founded by the Emperor Trajan around AD 100. The full name of the town was Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi.
Photo Source: amusingplanet.com
10. Xunantunich, San Jose Succotz, Belize
Archaeologists believe that construction of the main buildings began around 800 AD, just as Naranjo and other Mayan civilizations were beginning to crumble. Some suggest that Xunantunich’s hilltop location gave it a strategic advantage, making it much easier to defend.
Photo Source: cahalpech.com
11. Bijela Tabija, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bijela Tabija is an old fort overlooking the historic core of Sarajevo. It is a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bijela Tabija is situated at an altitude of 667 m.
Photo Source: wikimedia
12. Zvartnots Cathedral, Armavir, Armenia
Zvartnots, buiIt as Armenias main cathedral in 641—661, was to suppress Ejmiatsin cathedral by its grandeur. This purpose was served by the original architectural composition of the building which is an example of a central-dome temple different in its appearance from the antique and Byzantine structures of this kind.
Photo Source: Garik Sargsyan (no link)
13. Plovdiv Roman theatre, Plovdiv Center, Bulgaria
The Roman theatre of Plovdiv is one of the world's best-preserved ancient theatres, located in the city center of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Photo Source: travel-junkies.com
14. Villa Armira, Ivaylovgrad, Bulgaria
Villa Armira is a 1st-century suburban Roman villa in southeastern Bulgaria, located in the proximity of Ivaylovgrad, Haskovo Province. Discovered in 1964 during reservoir construction, it is a primary historical attraction to the Ivaylovgrad area.
Photo Source: mapio.net
15. Prasat Phum Prasat, Tnaot Chum, Cambodia
Prasat Phum Prasat is a Hindu temple in Prasat, Snatuk District, in Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia. It is located 27-km from the provincial capital of Kampong Thom. The site was a former royal palace which was used as a depositary were royal valuables were kept. During the French colonization of Cambodia the valuables were removed.
Photo Source: triposo.com
16. Preah Vihear, Cambodia
Preah Vihear Temple is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia.
Photo Source: longvtours.com
17. Terracotta Army, Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
They have watched over the tomb of China's first emperor for more than 2,000 years, but it appears the terracotta army is about to swell in size. New excavations close to the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihaung, who founded the Qin Dynasty in 221BC, have revealed nearly 1,400 of the life size clay statutes.
Photo Source: maisonneuve.org
18. Deir el-Bahari, Qesm Al Wahat Al Khargah, New Valley Governorate, Egypt
Deir el-Bahari or Dayr al-Bahri is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt. This is a part of the Theban Necropolis.
Photo Source: crystalinks.com
19. San Andrés, El Salvador
San Andrés is a pre-Columbian site in El Salvador, whose occupation began around the year 900 BC as an agricultural town in the valley of Zapotitán in the department of La Libertad.
Photo Source: guidetrip.com
20. Glanum, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Glanum was an oppidum, or fortified town in present day Provence, founded by a Celto-Ligurian people called the Salyens in the 6th century BCE. It became officially a Roman city in 27 BCE and was abandoned in 260 AD.