in , , ,

10 of the Oldest Places From Around the World

Oldest Places

New fancy places could be fascinating but they are hardly as rich as the oldest of the landmarks. There is no possible way to recreate historic places. The structures could be designed similarly but to create such ancient wisdom is unimaginable. These places are enriched with stories, myths, and legends; certain things bring real glory to them. Following is a list of 10 of the oldest places from around the world.   

1. The same family has been operating the oldest hotel in the world named “Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan” for over 1,300 years. The hotel is located in Hayakawa, Japan, and has been taken care of by 52 generations of descendants.

Nishiyama
Outside picture, taken in 2020, of Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan a hot spring hotel in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Image credit: Boltor via Wikimedia.org

Since the inn has been operating for thousands of years, it has served the oldest of the people such as ancient samurai and continues to serve modern tourists as well.

The hot spring and hotel business was established in 705 CE by the son of the reigning emperor. Patrons of the place included a number of samurai and famed shoguns. It soon became a relaxing place for tired visitors, military men, etc. 

The traditional-styled hotel had gone through a lot of changes as it was taken care of by 52 generations. Modification and modernization run parallel to inheritance by every new generation.

The hotel is much larger than it was a thousand years ago. but its beautiful and calming ambiance is unchanged. Being located in the middle of the Hot Spring Mountains, the place gives a perfect peaceful feeling. 

Onsen Keiunkan is already recognized as the oldest hotel in the world and now it’s aiming to become the world’s most productive hot spring. (Source)

Advertisements

2. The ancient Tower of Hercules in Galicia, Spain is the best-preserved lighthouse that was established in the classical Roman Age. The lighthouse is the oldest and the only one still in use. The myth claims that the place is also the one that witnessed one of Hercule’s greatest conquest.

Brigantia Lighthouse
Hercules tower, A Coruna, Galicia, Spain. Image credit: Shutterstock

The tower is originally known as “Farum Brigantium” or “Brigantia Lighthouse.” It was built around the second century, but it appears as if the tower was built just decades ago.

Brigantia Lighthouse
Image credit: Shutterstock

The lighthouse stands on top of a small hill and gives a scenic sea view.

The myth says that Hercules killed a giant named Gerylon with an arrow and buried him at the site. The myth continues to state that then Hercules ordered a city to be built atop the burial site.

No records of the city or people have been found in the archaeological records of the place. However, a city named Coruna still has been developed near the tower over the millennia.

The myth is so strongly believed that the image of the lighthouse atop a skull and bones is displayed in many places in the city. (1, 2)

Advertisements

3. The oldest continuously operating and degree-granting university in the world is the University of Al-Karaouine. The construction of the university was started in the year 859 in Fez, Morocco. The place contains a number of treasured manuscripts including the historic copies of the Quran.

Al-Quaraouyinine
Aerial view of the famous University of al-Qarawiyyin and Zawiya of Moulay Idris II in the Fez el Bali Medina. Image credits: Alexey Pevnev/Shutterstock

The name of the ancient university is also written as “al-Quaraouyinine” and “al-Qarawiyyin.” It is situated in one of the world’s most ancient living cities called Fes el-Bali.

Al-Quaraouyinine
View at the courtyard University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fez. Image credit: milosk50/Shutterstock

The design of the structure is fairly simple but admirable. It features border decoration in Andalusian art style.

It was Fatima al-Fihri who used her inheritance to fund the construction of the mosque along with an associated school known as a madrasa.

The place is the largest mosque in Africa allowing 22,000 worshipers to pray at the same time. It is a huge misconception that only men can attend the university, and it offers education to both genders.

For centuries, Al-Karaouine was a spiritual and educational center for the Muslim world before it was finally integrated into the state education system in 1947.

Also, simply “Al-Karaouine” only became “University of Al-Karaouine” in 1965.

The prominent educational structure is a reminder that learning didn’t start in already established universities but in a mosque’s madrasa. (Source)

4. The first Egyptian pyramid and the oldest confirmed pyramid in the world is the Pyramid of Djoser. The structure can be found in Saqqara Necropolis in the ancient city of Memphis. It is just 30 kilometers away from Cairo and 17 kilometers from the Pyramid of Giza. This step pyramid was built in the 27th century BCE.

Zoser
View of the Pyramid of Djoser (commonly known as the Step Pyramid) in Saqqara, south of Cairo, Egypt. Image credit: Shutterstock

The Pyramid of Djoser, also spelled “Zoser,” was built for the ruler Djoser. The monument is a product of famous architect Imhotep. The oldest-known step pyramid is made up of stones and arranged in layers that create platforms in the exterior.

Zoser
Hypostyle Hall at the Pyramid of Zoser – Saqqara, Egypt. Image credit: Shutterstock

Imhotep, the genius, used mastabas as the foundation of the rich monument. Mastabas were small brick monuments in which Egyptian royalties were buried. The architect called for stacking up several mastabas on top of each other as the base of the pyramid.

Surely, the 481-foot-tall Pyramid of Giza is much more attractive than the 204-foot-tall Pyramid of Djoser. However, the latter carries the rich legacies of the Egyptian royalties.

Even the construction of the famous Pyramid of Giza, built for King Khufu, was started roughly 70 years later to that of the Pyramid of Djoser.

The royal Pyramid of Djoser was under restoration for 14 years and is now finally open for public viewing. (Source)

Advertisements

5. The old Ashmolean Building in Oxford is the oldest purpose-built museum building in the world. It was constructed in 1683 to display the extraordinary collection of an English politician, Elias Ashmolean. The museum contains approximately 20,000 objects that illustrate the history of science including a not-yet-erased Einstein chalkboard.

Ashmolean Museum
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. Image credit: Ron Ellis/Shutterstock

Elias Ashmole, along with being a politician, was an antiquary and one of the founding members of the Royal Society. The museum is a house to the collections of Ashmole.

Elias Ashmole
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford was the world’s first University Museum. Image credit: Travellight/Shutterstock

The building became solely dedicated to the history of science in 1924. Therefore, it contains a huge variety of science antiques like astronomical and navigational instruments. Some of them are sundials, globes, quadrants, astrolabes, telescopes, microscopes, etc.

Besides instruments, the libraries and archives contain manuscripts, incunabula, printed ephemera, and photographs related to the same subject of the history of science.

The collection at the museum is so huge that only one-fifth of its items are on display at a time. (Source)

Also read: 10 of the Creepiest Places From Around the World

Advertisements

Crimes Inspired by Films and TV Shows

10 Real-Life Crimes Inspired by Films and TV Shows

Strategies and Tactics Used in the History of Warfare

10 Strategies and Tactics Used in the History of Warfare