The more you spend on traveling, the richer you become. This world is filled with the most amazing of things and places. If you go to explore them, you’ll be dazzled, and probably would not believe your sight. It’s difficult to comprehend that such wonders exist. There are destinations which have been built so precisely in a historic era that when you are among them, they’ll take you to ancient times. Below are some of such historic destinations which, if explored, will leave you awestruck.
10. Stonehenge – England
This 3,000 years old pre-historic monument is located in Wiltshire, England and its stones come all the way from Wales. It is one of the most famous sites in the world. It is a center of myths and assumptions. The major myths or theories surrounding this monument are that it was either built as an astronomical observatory or a religious site, while others believe that the blue stones were thought to have healing powers. When Stonehenge was first opened to the public, it was possible to walk among and even climb on the stones, but the stones were roped off in 1977 as a result of serious erosion. Visitors are no longer permitted to touch the stones, but are able to walk around the monument from a short distance away.
9. Easter Island – Chile
Easter Island, the world’s most mysterious historical destination, is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the south-eastern-most point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for its 887 monumental statues, called Moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. The statues appear to have been carved out of the top edge of the walls of a volcano on the island. No one has a definite answer to who built these statues and how did they get there. It has often been suggested that space aliens may have played a role.
8. Khujraho – India
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India. It was the principal seat of authority of the Chandella rulers who adorned it with numerous tanks, scores of lofty temples of sculptural grace and architectural splendor. The local tradition lists eighty-five temples but now only twenty-five are standing examples in various stages of preservation. The Khajuraho temples feature a variety of artwork, of which 10% is sexual or erotic art outside and inside the temples. Some scholars suggest these to be tantric sexual practices. Other scholars state that the erotic arts are part of Hindu tradition of treating kama as an essential and proper part of human life, and its symbolic or explicit display is common in Hindu temples.
7. Colosseum – Itlay
The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and is the world’s biggest amphitheater. It is a symbol of the imperial might and architectural ingenuity of the Roman Empire that dominated the ancient Mediterranean world for centuries. The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.[i] The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. In 2007, it was included among the New Seven Wonders of the World. Performers who have played at the Colosseum in recent years have included Ray Charles (May 2002), Paul McCartney (May 2003), Elton John (September 2005) and Billy Joel (July 2006).
6. Angkor Wat – Cambodia
Built during the early years of the 12th century by Suryavaram II, honors the Hindu god Vishnu and is a symbolic representation of Hindu cosmology. It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the order of Hindu funereal ritual, support this function. Built it Cambodia, this temple is the epitome of architectural achievement. Even though Angkor Wat is the most photographed Khmer monument, nothing approaches the actual experience of seeing this temple.
5. Sistine Chapel – Vatican City
The Sistine Chapel is a large and renowned chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It was originally known as Cappella Magna. Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling, a masterpiece without precedent that was to change the course of Western art.[ii] The major attraction of the Sistine Chapel, along with the chapel ceiling, is the painting called “The Last Judgment” painted by Michelangelo over the altar between 1535 and 1541. Painting the Sistine Chapel was so unpleasant for Michelangelo for reasons that the ceilings were high, he considered himself a sculptor than a painter and he was dong frescoes for the first time that he wrote a poem complaining that his “stomach’s squashed under my chin”, that his “face makes a fine flooring for droppings,” and that his “spines all knotted from folding myself over.” He ended this poem saying “I am not in the right place-I am not a painter.”[iii] Johann Wolfgang von Goe [iv] has described it rightly saying “Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.”
4. Machu Picchu – Peru
Located in Peru, this historical destination was the most important cultural center of the Inca civilization. Located at 2,430 meters above sea level, the history of this historical destination is as fascinating as the destination itself. Although it was built in the 1400s, it was hardly known outside the region until 1911. While the Spanish were responsible for plundering many other Incan sites, this most sacred site remained a secret. An American professor named Hiram Bingham found the site when he was led to the destination by an eleven-year-old boy. It was only after this that a wealth of information started flowing about this place. After its rediscovery, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and visitors have not stopped arriving since, as the iconic peaks of Machu Picchu are among the most important archaeological sites worldwide.
There were 135 skeletons were found at the site, and more than 100 were women. Popularly known as “The Lost City”, the three primary structures of this captivating place are – the Temple of the Sun, the Room of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana Stone, an astronomical clock or calendar that has been dubbed “The Hitching Point of the Sun”. When you visit Machu Picchu, be prepared to climb steps that reveal astounding views of the whole valley.
3. The Taj Mahal – India
The Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal art and a testament to undying love. It was built in the 1600s by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.” In 1983, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. This monument made of white marble is so breathtaking that it you will get lost in its splendor and keep staring wondering if such a thing can exist in the real world. It is included in the new Seven Wonders of the World.
2. Great Wall of China – China
The Great Wall of China is the greatest tourist attraction in the world. The Great Wall, a series of fortifications made of stones, bricks, tamped earth and other such material, was built to protect the Empire of China from Xiongnu attacks. It is one of the largest building construction projects ever completed. The Great Wall can be seen from Earth’s orbit, but, contrary to legend, is not visible from the moon, according to astronauts Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Jim Irwin. One interesting fact about this great wall is that during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), many bricks of the Great Wall were taken away to use in building homes, farms or reservoirs.
1. The Great Pyramid of Giza – Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest pyramids in Giza. It is the oldest monument included in the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World and the only one to remain intact till the present time. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for Fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu and was constructed over a 20-year period. The Egyptians believed that if the pharaoh’s body could be mummified after death the pharaoh would live forever. These pyramids were designed to protect the buried Pharaoh’s body and his belongings. The Sphinx, having the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh, stands in front of all the pyramids to protect them.
This world has been a melting pot of different religions, cultures, empires and civilizations. These are some of the most captivating historical sights that are the world has to offer, most of which has no scientific explanations. They still manage to amaze us with their sheer magnanimity.