In Europe, many ancient cities come from a far past. But what are actually the oldest cities? Which cities existed well before the year 0? Imagine: Europe as a large plain with mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, forests, marshes and other nature areas. And there … in a few places an area where people live … That was far from the time when there were only a few places where people lived. These are the top 10 oldest cities in Europe that still exist.
10. Lisbon (Portugal)
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal , has existed before Christ for 1200 years. A legend claims that the city was founded by the Greek hero Odysseus. He was on his way home and in the place where Lisbon is now, a Phoenician trade post was created. Later (around 200 BC) the city was conquered by the Romans. Then it fell into the hands of peoples from the north and fell into decline. As a result of the Muslims (around 700 AD), the city flourished again, becoming a trading center again. It got the name: al-Ushbuna. Of this ancient age, much more can not be seen in contemporary Lisbon, most buildings originate from many later centuries. However, there is an archaeological museum located in the Carmoklooster, where information and antiquity of course can be found.
9. Chalcis (Euboea, Greece)
About 1200 BC, there was civilization in the area where the city of Chalcis is located. Chalcis is located on a Greek island of Euboea, near the mainland (the city has been linked by a bridge since about 400 BC). The city was already mentioned by the Greek poet and singer Homer (who lived from about 800 to 750 BC). Chalcis was a trading state, which was important for Greek colonization. Arestoteles lived in Chalcis (and died there too). Now the city looks like a modern contemporary city. At the Chalcis Archaeological Museum you can look for the distant past.
8. Trikala (Greece)
GNantin / wikicommons
In north Greece, people have lived in the area now called Trikala since 1200 BC. The Greek poet and singer Homerus named this city (like Chalcis, the number 9 of this list) already in the 8th century BC.Trikala is known as the place where Asclepius, the Forensic Doctor, was born. There are still remains to be seen in Trikala: remnants in honor of this God of Medicine. Hippocrates also lived and worked here for a while. Only since the Middle Ages, Trikala got her original name.
7. Larnaca (Cyprus)
A.Savin / wikicommons
Larnaca had been there before Christ since 1400. It is a port city on the southeast coast of the island of Cyprus. Probably Larnaca was founded by Mycenen (an ancient culture in Greece). However, a (biblical) legend claims that Lanaca was founded by Kittim, the grandson of Noah. Later (in the 7th century BC) the city was destroyed by the Arabs. The Mosque, Hala Sultan Tekke, the third holiest mosque in the world, still reminds us of this time. Traditionally, Larnaca is called ‘Kition’ or ‘Citium’. Larnaca has an archaeological museum where of course everything can be found about the rich history of this city.
6. Thebe (Greece)
Somewhere between 1600 and 1240 BC, originated in central Greece Thebe. This prehistoric place is known as the decor of many Greek myths and sagas. It was founded by the Phoenician Cadmos, who settled here on the designation of the oracle of Delphi. He founded his dynasty here. Amongst others, eastern cylinder stamps have been excavated by archeologists from this era. The local Archaeological Museum of Thebe also has reminiscences at the farthest past of the city. Other ancient remnants are some of the fortresses in the city center, remains of a Mycenae Palace and the ancient Acropolis.
TOP 10 OLDEST CITIES IN EUROPE THAT STILL EXIST
5. Chania (Crete, Greece)
Doris Antony / Wikicommons
The city of Chania in Crete dates from 1700 to 1500 BC. It was then called ‘Kydonia’. After a conquest of the Arabs (in the year 828) it was destroyed. When the weather was built, the city got a new name, namely ‘al-Hannim’. The famous Barbarossa pirate attacked the city centuries later, after which the city had to be rebuilt. The most important museum in Chania is the Archaeological Museum, not crazy of course, as it has existed for so long.
4. Koetaisi (Georgia)
Kober / wikicommons
The town of Koetaisi is located in the country of Georgia (northeast of Turkey). It has been inhabited since about 2000 BC. In 2005 a house was found from this distant past. The city was called Aia at that time. Homer wrote a book about Jason and the Argonauts, in which Aia is called the end of a trip to the king. Koetaisi was the capital of the kingdom of Georgia from the 10th to 12th centuries after Christ.Although Koetaisi is now known as a student city and a city with many theaters, you can also go back in a long time. You will do that in the nearby Staplia nature reserve. There are limestone caves where dinosaur fossils were found. This is also the place where, according to Greek mythology, Prometheus was chained to the rocks. The eagle Ethon then went along every day to eat the grown liver of Prometheus. This he did as punishment, Prometheus had given the fire to the people.
3. Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
Ilia Markov / Flickr
From the year 3000 to 2000 BC, the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv originates. The city therefore carries the motto: ‘Antique and eternal’. The city was originally called ‘Eumolpia’. Later, they carried the names ‘Philippopel’, ‘Pulpudeva’, ‘Trimontium’, ‘Puldin’ and ‘Filibe’. The current name Plovdiv dates back to the 15th century. Plovdiv is more than 200 archeological sites rich, of which the oldest tribes of the 1st century (Roman Forum) and the 2nd century (the Ancient Stadium and the Ancient Theater), all located in the Roman City. There is also an Archaeological Museum in Plovdiv with a rich collection of artifacts.
2. Athens (Greece)
Steve Swayne / Flickr
The city of Athens , the capital of Greece, originates from the 5,000 to 6,000 BC. The first people were probably present in 11000 to 7000 BC. The very first democracy originated in this place. There are still remains in Athens from this distant past. The Acropolis of Athens (city hall or citadel located on the Acropolis hill) is still visible in the city. The ancient temple, the agora and the parthenon are part of this.Athens is named after the goddess Pallas Athena, which in the past was also the pattern of the city.
1. Argos (Greece)
Although you would expect Athens to be the oldest city in Europe, this is another city, namely: Argos.This city, however, is not much older than Athens. Argos is from 6000 to 5000 BC. The city still has remains from the 4th to the 2nd century BC (a city wall, theater, agora and temples). There are also buildings from Roman times (1st to 3rd century AD). These are the thermal baths and an aqueduct.Argos takes a very important position when it comes to Greek myths and sagas, such as those of King Danaus and his fifty daughters and those of the Danes. The Goddess Hera was the most important culture of the city. She had the sanctuary ‘Heraion’. There was a cult image of her for this temple, which is still there, at 8 kilometers outside the center.
TOP 10 OLDEST CITIES IN EUROPE THAT STILL EXIST