10. Luoyang, China
While most old cities are located in the Mediterranean, Luoyang stands out as the oldest continually inhabited city in Asia. The city is also considered to be geographical center of China and the cradle of Chinese culture and history. There is no other city in China that has lived out so many dynasties and emperors like Luoyang. The city has been inhabited for more than 4,000 years and nowadays it is populated by nearly 7,000,000 people.
With such a long and exciting history, Luoyang has really a lot to offer. The Longmen Grottoes, which was included to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2000, and numerous historic Buddhist temples are real attractions for tourists from all over the world. Luoyang is also famed for the White Horse Temple, the first temple established in China.
9. Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Plovdiv’s history goes back to the 4,000 BC, which is proved by many Neolithic excavations. Over the centuries Plovdiv has been ruled by many empires, though originally it was a Thracian city. Later it was conquered by the Romans. In the Middle Ages Plovdiv was an alluring territory for the Bulgarian, Byzantine, and the Ottoman Empires. Only in 1885 the city became the part of Bulgaria. Nowadays it’s the second largest city in Bulgaria and it’s a significant economic, educational and cultural center.
The Old Town is definitely worth seeing. It is overwhelmed with restaurants, workshops and museums that were previously famous houses. Archeological sites, churches and temples are also must-see places in Plovdiv.
8. Aleppo, Syria
The city of Aleppo is the largest in Syria as it is inhabited by more than 2 million residents. Aleppo has an incredibly advantageous geographical location; it is situated in the center of the Silk Road that connected Asia and the Mediterranean world. The territory of the city has been inhabited for more than 8,000 years but the archeological digs have found the evidence of habitation that dates back to nearly 13,000 years ago. At various epochs Aleppo was controlled by the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, as a result it has mixed architectural styles.
The old city is overfilled with caravanserais, schools, hammams and churches of 13th and 14th centuries. The old city is also defined by narrow alleys and big estates; while the modern part of Aleppo is characterized by broad roads and large squares. The interesting fact is that the old city of Aleppo consists of cell-like segments, which are socially and economically independent. Aleppo had been subjected to permanent invasions and instability, and the residents were compelled to fortify the city. Aleppo is often called "the soul of Syria".
7. Jericho, Palestine
Archeological digs have attested to the evidence of the human habitation dating back almost 11,000 years ago with at least 20 following settlements. But nowadays Jericho is a small town with the population of 20,000 people. In the Hebrew Bible it is called the City of Palm Trees.
Jericho is located in the center of Palestine, which means it’s an ideal place for routes and trade. Moreover, Jericho’s natural beauty and resources became the cause of numerous invasions to an ancient Palestine. In the first century it was destroyed by the Romans, rebuilt by the Byzantines and destroyed again. Jericho had been deserted for centuries. Over the 20th century the territory of Jericho has been occupied by Jordan and Israel. In 1994 the territory became the part of Palestine. Jericho’s most famous sites include Tell es-Sultan, Hisham’s Palace and Shalom al Yisrael Synagogue Mosaic Floor.
6. Cholula, Mexico
Over 2,500 years ago the city of Cholula developed from numerous scattered villages and it had been a residence of various Latin-American cultures like the Olmecs, Toltecs, and the Aztecs. The name of the town means "place of flight" in Nahuatl and it was former called Acholollan. When the town was conquered by Spaniards, it began flourishing. Cortez once called Cholula "the most beautiful city outside Spain."
Nowadays it’s a small colonial town with the population of 60,000 residents. The most prominent attraction of the city is the Great Pyramid of Cholula with the sanctuary on the top, which is known to be the largest man-made monument ever. The pyramid of Cholula is highly underestimated. It consists of multiple tunnels and caves with the total length of 8 kilometers. However, only 800 meters of these tunnels are transformed into passages and open to the public.