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10 MOST BEAUTIFUL ANCIENT RUINS IN THE WORLD

Updated on April 10, 2013

Ancient ruins

One of the few ways that modern man can come in contact with the wonders of ancient technology and art is to travel back into the past and visit some of the world's most beautiful ancient ruins. There are hundreds of them scattered around the world, and each one of them tells its story and represents their anicent civilization. These are just some of the most famous and most beautiful ancient ruins in the world. I will take you on a quick tour around the world. Enjoy!

Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) / Foter / CC BY-SA

10. PALENQUE (MEXICO)

Town of Santo Domingo de Palenque was founded in the seventeenth century (not counting the small church in 1573.) And would remain insignificant to the 1774 when in a nearby jungle were discovered remains of megalopolis from the period of Maya. Antonio del Rio was then rushed to the Royal Council in Guatemala to report his discovery. Since then the range of research expeditions are directed to this destination. The ruins of Palenque got a name from the nearby village.

Frans Blom in the 1920s began the most comprehensive work on the excavation and cleaning. Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz in 1952., after several years of removing tons of stone blocks, was finally able to put Palenque in world's archeological treasure by discovering the only Mayan tomb ever found : the ruler Pacani Votan's tomb.

9. BABYLON (IRAQ)

Historically important city of Babylon was inhabited around the 2500 years BC, 500 years later became the center of Mesopotamia. Babylon grew in size and splendor, and then was destroyed, first by the Assyrians, and the second time after the death of Alexander the Great. The ruins of Babylon conjures up images of biblical history - the big tower of Babel, the Hanging Gardens. Only the most persistent tourists visit the ruins of Babylon, which is located around 85 kilometers from Baghdad.

Babylon name comes from the Hebrew word Bebel (in greek Babylon) by Akkadian Bab or Babirush in Old Persian, which is actually a translation of the Sumerian name Ka-ra-dingir which means ''door of the gods''. Ancient Babylon used to lay in the midst of majestic palm plantation and was always stocked with water. It was located at the crossroads of major trade routes that led from Asia Minor and Transcaucasia to the Persian Gulf and the coast of Syria to the Iranian plateau.

Today, to the remains of Babylon leads a good asphalt road. The first thing a visitor arriving from the north can see is a tall mound of irregular shapes Tell Babil, which preserves the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's summer residence. The road then crosses the northernmost parts of the city walls, of which there are only something like coral in the form of dams, and brings passengers to the exterior of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon.

Today those ruins are endless pile of rubble, sand and bricks, whose dreary monotony is disrupted with palm dates and excavations. The only man who lives within the ancient city ruins is the keeper in a small museum managed by the Iraqi Department of Antiquities. His house is next to the museum, by the palace ruins.

Wanna know more about ancient ruins? - Check out these books on Amazon!

DO YOU TRAVEL A LOT?

Share your experience with us. I personally have never been to any of these amazing places, unfortunately. But I would love to see them all. Maybe, one day, who knows.

HAVE YOU EVER VISITED ANY OF THESE BEAUTIFUL PLACES?

8. AYUTTHAYA (THAILAND)

Ayuthaya is a small town about an hour and a half north of Bangkok.Ayutthaya was a very prosperous metropolis. The only leftovers of this amazing empire are in Ayutthaya Historical Park. Unlike Bangkok, Ayutthaya is a small town of some 60 thousand people and can be viewed in one day. It is a former capital of Thailand with beautiful ruins of Wats and market in the center of the western islands. The whole city is one big plain. In 1991 UNESCO declared the Ayutthaya Historical Park of World Heritage Site.

There were lots of beautiful temples, palaces and religious sculptures, but most of them were destroyed during the Burmese 's invasion. Sacred and historic ruins, rich history and its splendor impress and attract most tourists. Famous temples of Ayutthaya are: Wat Pra Si Sanphet: one of the grandest temples in Ayutthaya; the older temple of Wat Phra Mahathat was built into the house of relics of the Buddha - the most interesting thing here is the stone head of Buddha, which is covered by the root of figs, this is very surprising;

7. TIKAL (GUATEMALA)

Tikal, the oldest and perhaps the most spectacular Mayan site.It is located in the middle of impassable and inhospitable jungle. Like prehistoric skyscrapers rising from the ground of jungle there are two pyramids with steep sides that are opposite to each other. At their peaks are temples with crowning upgrade decorated with mysterious religious symbols carved in stone. They are surrounded with about 350 small temples and palaces. Two temples, which are facing each other, are dating back to the 8th century. During the late classic period (600th to 800th) Tikal was one of the greatest Mayan centers. It was found that about 4 century there lived 5000-9000 people, as evidenced by a number of institutions (over 4000 in the round of 16 km). During this period arose five temples of which the highest one is fourth one (70 m). There were lots of palaces, ceremonial platforms, residences and structures for a hot bath (sauna types), and five stone roads. In the center there was a complex of palaces of the royal family and other nobles.

Pyramids of Tikal were built in the form of large steps or terraces, and the top of them was incomplete in order to build a temple on it. It is believed that it was used for observing the stars because the Mayans in that area showed unusual skill performing extremely accurate calculations, although they had no machines. Centers such as Tikal were architecturally constructed as observatory complexes for astronomical and religious celebrations and observances, which indicates the very close links between religion and science.

6. COLOSSEUM (ITALY)

Colosseum is one of the most famous buildings in Rome and this is the place where gladiator fights took place. Other brutal games and fights used to take place here in the period of Roman empire. There was a way to fill Colosseum with water, and then they would improvise ship fights. There was place for 50,000 people. Colosseum is the largest amphitheater built in the Roman Empire.

Initially, the Colosseum was called Flavian's amphitheater. Its name was changed later. During the years after it was built, Colosseum endured massive damages, modifications and repairs. Reasons were different - earthquakes, floods, fire ... Today, one third of this enormous amphitheater stands still there. Last fights that were held in the Colosseum were in the fifth and sixth century AD.

5. CHICHÃN ITZÃ (MEXICO)

Chichen Itza is one of the most visited sites of the pyramids in Mexico. Although the area where they once Maya lived has many ruins and buildings from ancient times, these are the best available because they are close to Merida, a city in the Yucatan. The buildings indicate that Toltecs had huge impact in this area. According to some ruins archeologists suggest that the builders of these ruins had advanced knowledge in mathematics and astronomy.

4. PARTHENON (GREECE)

Everyone, and everything, in Athens, in a fixed relation to the Acropolis, 156 meter high cliff of limestone, which crowns the city Parthenon, unreal in its simplicity of form, structure, which is known worldwide for its architectural beauty and harmony.It is a temple dedicated to the Virgin (parthena-virgin) Athens. Construction of the temple lasted 15 years (447-432 BC).

Parthenon was built of different kinds of stone. It had the poles which contained statues of the gods, as well as various other scenes carved in stone. Many pillars of the Parthenon over the centuries have been damaged or destroyed, but at the time when they were built were high about 10 meters.

3. COPAN (HONDURAS)

Mayan archaeological park is located approximately 400 km away from the Honduran capital city of Tegucigalpa. There are also the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copan, culture and civilization that once stretched south of Mexico, Guatemala, Belicea and part of El Salvador.

Pyramids, temples and sculptures are part of the national and priceless art treasures. Copan is very important because of comprehensive hieroglyphic records from these areas. Unfortunately this great cultural wealth is in danger of destruction if it doesn't get protection soon from natural disasters, sun, rain and temperature changes. Experts warn that the architectural structure could collapse within a century, while already within the next 50-odd years could disappear embossed outline of the sculptures and hieroglyphics.

2.PALMYRA (SYRIA)

This was a city of palm fruit and wonderful legend about little known, but yet very charismatic and powerful queen, Zenobia. Palmyra bloomed and became known around the world when the Romans enslave it. History has it that Emperor Adrian, when he visited Palmyra was so smitten by her beauty that he gave Palmyra independence. Out of gratitude, the citizens changed the name of the town in Palmyra Adriana, but the time of independence didn't last long. Roman Emperor Severus, who was born in Syria, he took Palmyra's autonomy, but citizens he treated very nicely. During the reign of Caracalla were built new streets, temples, domes, columns, square, amphitheater and other urban infrastructure, which made Palmyra one of the most beautiful cities in the vast Roman Empire.

The most famous ruler of Palmyra was Queen Zenobia. Zenobia was known for her incredible strength of character and beauty, and ruled Palmyra in a way that surprised the East and West. She had a gift for languages, she knew Greek and Egyptian. She had a broad knowledge about political issues, and her main ambition was to get rid of the Roman government.

Palmyra is protected by UNESCO.

1.MACHU PICCHU (PERU)

Machu Picchu, the ruins of the Incas in the Andes in central Peru, at an altitude of 2400 meters, were discovered in 1911 by American Hiram A. Bingham (1875-1956). The town is built on terraces and is surrounded by a double wall. The walls of the temple, residential buildings and wall are made of cyclopean blocks of granite without the binder. One of the few surviving cities before Columbus; 1983rd added to the Unesco World Heritage list.

The city has about two hundred buildings located on terraces and arranged around a large central square. There is also a terrace outside the inhabited part with irrigation canals, and was used for growing crops. In an urban area, which is located on four levels, is the Sun Temple, Mausoleum, baths, shops and crafts. On a hill in the center of town there is a granite monolith, perhaps an altar, characteristic of the Incas, and perhaps the observatory.

Today, archaeologists claim that Machu Picchu wasn't a city in the classical sense because they haven't found the remains of bureaucratic administration, commerce and military fortifications. Most likely it was built as an imperial possession and religious retreat or as a secret ceremonial city.

Leave your comments! - Share your experience. Thank you for visit!

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    • SimonJay profile image

      SimonJay 3 years ago

      I haven't been to ayutthaya in Thailand but i have always been fascinated by it hopefully i can go see it one day.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Very educational lens! My dream is to see Rome someday. - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

    • Thomo85 profile image

      Thomo85 4 years ago

      I haven't been to any but I so want to. I love ancient history and thinking about how different society would have been back then. Being able to walk the same steps or corridors that people first walked hundreds if not thousands of years ago.

    • Carashops profile image

      Cara 4 years ago

      Great lens. I've visited one or two of these special places, but I would love to visit more!

    • worldwidesouven profile image

      worldwidesouven 4 years ago

      For me Machu Picchu is the most beautiful ruins. Wonderful mysterious place, worth to visit!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I would like to visit all of these places!

    • Art-Aspirations profile image

      Art-Aspirations 4 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens. Well done!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Wow! What a fantastic tour. Thank you for publishing this lens. It's marvelous.

    • profile image

      DDLewis 4 years ago

      Now I want to visit all these places! The pictures are fantastic!!

    • CraftyandClever profile image

      CraftyandClever 4 years ago from everywhere but mostly Cali

      I love this lens I want to go to all of these places especially travel through Europe.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow - Awesome ruins of ancient civilizations that were a marvel in itself. Wonderful places worth visiting.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      A wonderful set of places to visit. They say so much about our antecedents

    • JohnCumbow profile image

      JohnCumbow 4 years ago

      Nice list. I can see I've got to get to a few more of these wonderful places while they're still accessible.

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      Looking at these makes me wonder what they were like in their heyday. Very nice lens.

    • James1978 profile image

      James1978 4 years ago

      Excellent list. I've been to one of those (Ayutthaya), but would love to see more, particularly Machu Picchu. I also think Stonehenge, which is quite near me, should be included on this list.

    • iwrite100 profile image

      Maribel Forayo 4 years ago from Philippines

      wow! really nice places.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      How about Stonehenge and Scara Brae? I liked your choices anyway. Maybe you should make it a top 12.

    • justramblin profile image

      justramblin 4 years ago

      You have excited the travel bug within me. Great photos and interesting lens. thanks very much

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great lens. I need to add a few places to my travel list now!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I love antiquities and history. I had the joy of seeing the Coliseum last year and the Parthenon many years ago. Would like to go to a few more of your list.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Interesting topic! Well done.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      Fascinated with ancient history. Awesome lense!

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @TACTCI LM: Much appreciated.

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      If I had all the money in the world I'd visit all of these!

    • TACTCI LM profile image

      TACTCI LM 4 years ago

      Great job, Pinned!

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @myspace9: Thank you very much.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @cmadden: Thanks!

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @squidoopets: I would love to visit every of these ruins :))

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @Jo-Jackson: I agree with you.Thanks for your visit.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @juditpaton: I would love to visit them too :))

    • profile image

      myspace9 4 years ago

      Interesting lens, and valuable information. Have a nice day.

    • profile image

      cmadden 4 years ago

      Nice virtual tour!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I've always wanted to visit Macchu Picchu is Peru

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      I would love to visit Machu Picchu. The others are wonderful too.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @TheLittleCardShop: Thank you very much. Lucky you for visiting so many places.

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 4 years ago from Ozun

      i would like visit these ruins, great lens with great topic.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 4 years ago

      This article is beautiful. I answered your poll before finishing I visited other ruins you mentioned below like the Parthenon, Chichen Itza and The Colosseum.. I would love to travel the world and visit the others and many more. For now I am OK visitng them through interesting pages like yours :)

    • LisaNowatzki profile image

      LisaNowatzki 4 years ago

      I love this lens. Great information.

    • audrey07 profile image

      audrey07 4 years ago

      I would like to visit some of the places. I have been to Thailand but Greece and Italy are certainly on my list of places to go as well.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you very much - I should open a travel agency LOL!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Lovely lens - you make me want to book a trip now!

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @MemoryMistress: They fascinate me too, thank you for your visit!

    • profile image

      MemoryMistress 4 years ago

      Ancient ruins fascinate me even though I've never visited one. Thank you for the information on them.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @amytrumpeter: Thank you,maybe one day you will visit some of these places.

    • amytrumpeter profile image

      Amy Trumpeter 4 years ago from Oxford

      Wonderful lens! I have never been to any of these ancient sites, but I surely would love to.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @LiteraryMind: Thank you for your visit, glad you like it!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Love these. Visited one -- nine on bucket list. Thanks for letting me take a peek.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @infoprogirl: Thank you!

    • profile image

      infoprogirl 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens and very informative.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @crstnblue: Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      crstnblue 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens! Glad to see people still interested in the wonders and beauty of the world! : )

      Blessed the idea!

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @kabbalah lm: My mother was there also when she was young. I envy you ;)

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      I've been to Petra in Jordan and it is amazing. A city carved from stone

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @Tonto Murray: Thank you.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @anonymous: That sounds great.

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 4 years ago

      Outstanding lens and nice choices

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      In Turkey ==> Ephesus, Hagia Sophia, Hierapolis, Troja, Xanthos and letoon, Aspendos Theatre, Cappadocia, Temple of Apollo. And Many more. Why? Because Anatolia is the place where civilization was born.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @Thomo85: That sounds so great, I would love to visit England one day.

    • Thomo85 profile image

      Thomo85 4 years ago

      I would love to go and see some of these. When I was 19 I went on a trip on my own to england for the purpose of seeing all the old castles and stonehenge and well I could go on and on. I love history.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @Accounting-firm: Thanks!

    • profile image

      Accounting-firm 4 years ago

      Great lens.love it

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @OrganicMom247: Me too :))

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 4 years ago

      amazing photos, would love to visit some of those places.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @beaworkathomemom: I totally agree, i am glad you enjoyed.

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 4 years ago

      Beautiful places and lovely photos. It is fascinating that these ruins are still here after so many years.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @oztoo lm: It would be wonderful. thank you for your visit and I am glad you enjoyed.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 4 years ago

      Wouldn't it be wonderful to visit these fabulous ancient ruins. Thanks for sharing this information and lovely photos.

    • pumpum profile image
      Author

      pumpum 4 years ago

      @poutine: Thank you!

    • profile image

      poutine 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos.