Most 20 Lost Cities Of The World

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Since the 18th century, some lost cities were rediscovered around the world. The causes of their disappearance from history for a period of time are climate changes, massacres, and natural disasters. Today many of them are famous tourist spots. Here are such 20 cities for you.

Most 20 Lost Cities Of The World Photos And Information

1. Ani

Ani Lost Cities Of The World
Source: en.wikipedia.org

Ani was one of the most famous cities of the 5th century. During the 10th century, it was the capital of Armenia.

During this time many churches were built in the city. Some of them are the best example of medieval architecture.

In 1319 Ani was jolted by a devastating earthquake. As a result, the city was abandoned and forgotten by the world for centuries.

2. Calakmul

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Calakmul was a powerful and wealthy city of Mayan civilization. It was one of the largest city that refused the predominance of Tikal.

It was rediscovered in the jungles of Campeche. The city got involved in a battle with Tikal in 695 A.D. and the number of the population declined.

This incident led to the collapse of the Mayans.

3. Chan Chan

Chan Chan
Source: www.machupicchu.org

Chan Chan was the largest city in pre-Columbian America. This city’s buildings were decorated with patterned relief arabesques.

The city was named adobe city because its buildings were made with adobe bricks.

In 850 A.D. the Chimu built the city and in 1470 A.D. the Incas conquered it.

4. Ctesiphon

Source: www.iranchamber.com

Ctesiphon was one of the largest cities in the world. This city existed during the 6th century.

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As it was one of the most prominent cities of ancient Mesopotamia, the Romans and the Byzantine Empire wanted to seize the city.

At last, the Muslims captured it in 637 A.D. during the Islamic victory.

5. Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe
Source: exploringafrica.matrix.msu.edu

In the 11th century, the Bantu people built Great Zimbabwe. Once a beautiful structure is now ruins of stones.

During its peak time, about 18000 people lived here. But for some reason- may be political instability, dramatic climate changes, the people decided to leave the city.

6. Hatra

Hatra Lost Cities Of The World
Source: en.wikipedia.org

Hatra was a vast fortified ancient city situated in present-day Iraq. It is thought that the city was built by Assyrians. But it flourished under the Parthian Empire.

It was attacked by the Romans several times but it withstood because of its high and strong walls and towers.

At last, in 241 AD it fell to the Iranian Sassanid Empire and was completely destroyed.

7. Hattusa

Source: www.efenditravel.com

It is thought that Hattusa was the capital of the Hittite Empire during the 17th century.

The city was abandoned by 40,000 to 50,000 people as it was destroyed as a part of the collapse of the Bronze age. The city was rediscovered in the early 20th century.

8. Hvalsey

Source: www.britannica.com

It is one of the biggest Viking establishments in Greenland. Possibly it was built in 985 A.D. Basically it was a farmstead where Norse farmers used to settle.

Once inhabited by 4000 inhabitants the city was abandoned during the mid-fourteenth century after the demise of the Western settlements.

9. Leptis Magna

Leptis Magna
Source: goista.com

Leptis Magna was one of the most famous cities of the Roman Empire. It is located in present-day Libya.

The city played a vital role in the economy and it was the center of Mediterranean and Saharan trade.

The city started to decline during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus and it was completely ruined in 642 A.D.

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10. Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde Lost Cities Of The World
source: paradiseintheworld.com

The city Mesa Verde is situated in the southwestern part of Colorado. It was the home of the ancient Anasazi people who built their dwellings under rock overhangs and shallow caves.

In 1300 the inhabitants abandoned the city for some unknown reason but the remains have been preserved since then.

11. Mohenjo-Daro

Source: www.mitchellteachers.org

Mohenjodaro was built in 2600 B.C in the present day Pakistan. It was one of the most ancient urban settlements.

Today it is referred to as “Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis.” In 1700 B.C., the city was destroyed, maybe for some natural disasters and vanished from the page of the history until its rediscovery in the 1920s.

12. Palenque

Source: science.nationalgeographic.com

13. Palmyra

Source: www.atlastours.net

Once a wealthy city Palmyra was located between Persia and the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria.

After the Sassanids’ occupation in 212 A.D., Palmyra began to face a decline it its trade.

The Muslims captured the city in 634 A.D. and after that, the city turned into an oasis village.

14. Persepolis

Persepolis lost cities of the world photos
Source: tehran.stanford.edu

Persepolis was the ceremonial center and the capital of the Persian Empire. It was famous for its beauty as the city featured some of the most beautiful artwork.

In 331 A.D.  after conquering the city Alexander the Great burnt it to the ground.

15. Pompeii

Source: www.jenniferlynking.com

Once a prominent city Pompeii was completely destroyed on August 24, 79 A.D. when a nearby volcano began to erupt.

The city was completely covered with ash and soil. Recently in the 18th century, the city was rediscovered after a series of excavation.

16. Sanchi

Source: sanchi.org

The city was built after 1000 years of hard work. The construction started in the 3rd century and it was completed in the 13th century.

Sanchi began to decline following the decline of Buddhism in India. In 1818 the ancient city was rediscovered by an English officer.

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17. Timgad

Timgad lost cities of the world photos
Source: www.boomsbeat.com

Timgad is situated in present-day Algeria. Once a colonial town Timgad was established by Roman Emperor Trajan in 100 A.D.

Sacked by the vandals in the 5th century and then by the Berbers after two centuries the prosperous city disappeared from the page of the history until it was rediscovered following excavation in 1881.

18. Tiwanaku

Source: www.jqjacobs.net

Tiwanaku is located near the southeastern shore of the Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The city usually thrived between 300 B.C. and 300 A.D.

This prominent city was inhabited by almost 30,000 people. However, after a drastic change in climate, the inhabitants of the city gradually abandoned the city.

19. Urgench

Source: excellentworlds.com

This city used to be located on the Amu-Darya River in Uzbekistan. It was one of the greatest cities between the 12th and 13th centuries and even became the capital of Khwarezm, a Central Asian empire.

In 1221, Mongol soldiers turned young women and children into slaves and massacred the rest of the population.

Urgench is situated on the river Amu-Darya in Uzbekistan. One of the biggest cities between the 12th and 13th century Urgench became capital of Khwaream in 1221.

The city was destroyed by the Mongols. They turned the young women and children into slaves and killed the rest of the inhabitants.

20. Vijayanagara

Vijayanagara lost cities of the world photos
Source: ztopics.com

At its peak, this city had a population of around 500,000. It was one of the largest cities of the world between the 14th and 16th century, during the reign of the Vijayanagar Empire.

The city was destroyed following the victory of the Muslim armies who were in conflict with the empire.

One of the largest cities of the world between 14th and 16th century Vijayanagara had a population of about 500,000.

The city flourished during the Vijayanagar Empire. It was destroyed by the Muslim armies.

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I am from Chicago by birth and by choice, I am happy to be on the road exploring new destinations, especially in February, often the coldest of the winter months of the city. I have bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism, and I've spent much of my career in news working for The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune. Over the past decade, I have focused on exploring the world as a writer and independent travel photographer. Highlights include tracking and photographing wild animals in Kenya, documenting monarch butterflies hibernates on a mountain in Mexico and spending a night in a tent in the Sahara desert.

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