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Oldest Cities in the World

January 2nd 2010 05:14
World's Oldest Still-Inhabited Cities

There are very few ancient cities that have survived the test of time. Factors like migration, war and even climate change led to most being abandoned and forgotten. However there are some cities around the world which despite being thousands of years old, still continue to thrive. Thanks to the WebUrbanist, here are some senior city-zens. Read the full article here.

Oldest cities in the world - Jerusalem
Holy to a number of the world’s leading religions, 5,000-year-old Jerusalem was already settled centuries before any of them had their tenets put to paper, papyrus or pre-fired clay. According to the entry on Jerusalem in Wikipedia, “In the course of its history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.” Sadly, these figures will probably continue to grow with time.

Ancient Athens in Greece
The capital of Greece is home to over 4 million today and is the 5th-most populous capital city in the EU. With its soaring Acropolis and majestic Parthenon symbolizing the golden age of Classical Greece and the foundation of Western civilization, Athens has been lived in for approximately 3,400 years.

Longest inhabited cities
Varanasi, India
The city of Varanasi, formerly known to English-speakers as Benares, has been a religious and cultural center for at least 3,000 years. Over one million pilgrims from across the Hindu world visit Varanasi each year to participate in ceremonies and swim in the sacred Ganges river.
Varanasi is as close to being a true “living city” as one could imagine. Every bit of space is utilized, every disused building is re-worked into a new purpose and over centuries of conflict and conquest, the city heals itself through the power of human conviction and devotion to a greater glory.

Old Cities - Jericho in the west bank
Jericho, West Bank
The ancient city of Jericho is the world’s oldest walled city, with evidence of stone fortifications dating back nearly 9,000 years; long before the “walls came tumblin’ down” events depicted in the Bible. Archaeological digs have turned up traces of habitation that are even older: up to 11,000 years ago!

Damascus History
Damascus, Syria
Damascus, the current capital of Syria, has a long and colourful history that stretches back nearly 12,000 years. Located in a fertile region well-watered by the Barada river, Damascus was a prime target of numerous kings and conquerors – and often wound up on the losing side.
Over 4 million people live in metropolitan Damascus today and, partly due to a skilfully constructed network of canals built nearly 3,500 years ago, boasts a multitude of parks and green spaces. Since 1979 Damascus has been UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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