When setting off on your globe trotting adventures, just remember that some of the richest stuff on earth is also the oldest. Ancient ruins remind us not to forget early civilization, a time without modern technology where incredible creativity was used to show passion for culture. These fading monuments tell tales of golden eras, powerful kings and devastating wars as well as the history of our origins. It’s time to respect your elders people. Here’s 10 sites to add to your bucket list.
Explore the underground Cappadocian Kingdom, established in 332 B.C. Once active volcanoes, these “mound like” structures will make you feel like you are on another planet with their unique design and construction.
El Jem, Tunisa
In this small North Africa town you will find the third largest Roman Amphitheater rising up amongst the tiny homes surrounding towering structure. It was believed to have been built around 230 AD by a local proconsul by the name of Gordian.
Everyone knows about breathtaking Machu Picchu, but Peru is filled with many ruins that will make your eyes glaze over- such as Choquequirao, the hilltop Incan city located in South Peru. This is a great choice to avoid crowds that you would normally face at Machu Picchu.
It is the largest Buddhist monument in the world, located on the Island of Java in Indonesia. This incredible temple was built in 750 AD in the shape of a mandala, representing Buddhist teachings.
There are about 2000 of these magnificent ancient pagodas and temples dotting the lush landscape in central Myanmar. The history of this mysterious ancient city is peppered with the accounts of various kings, religion and war.
This ancient gem was once the capital of a booming pre-Incan civilization between 500 and 900 AD and was viewed as the birthplace of the god, Viracoca. Located near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca, there are several temples, monoliths, carvings and a pyramid that are a must to check out.
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
One of Sri Lanka’s most well preserved ancient cities; Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the North Central Province, built in the 4th century BC. There are three classes of ruins: bell shaped dagobas, monastic buildings and pokunas- tanks of water used for bathing or drinking. Be sure to check out the sacred Bo tree, which is said to have taken root way back in 245 BC.
Built between 500 and 700 AD, Palenque portrays the true creative prowess of the Mayans, with careful craftsmanship that still shows today. With the use of drainage techniques and other construction methods, the Mayans achieved a fine, light architectural method to achieve a rich elegance that is unparalleled.
Pompeii tells the story of a civilization taken in the blink of an eye and preserved carefully in time following the devastating eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Located near Naples, visitors can stroll the quaint, peaceful streets lined with the villas of a once bustling town.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The awe these masterpieces evoke is undeniable, representing a civilization of great power, wealth and architectural genius. Built as tombs for Egyptian rulers, the pyramids of Giza, which includes the largest, the Pyramid of Khufu is the most famous. It is the only 7th wonder of the ancient world that continues to stand strong.
Courtney is a full-time writer covering soccer, travel and the outdoors. You can find her scouting out hole in the wall joints for the perfect carnitas taco, jumping in the ocean under the light of a full moon or exploring the beautiful Florida wilderness and documenting her adventures in her blog, www.localtravelgal.wordpress.com.