The city, known as Waset to ancient Egyptians and as Luxor today, was the capital of Egypt during parts of the Middle Kingdom (2040 to 1750 B.C.) Baghdad did not become a major city until AD 762 , when the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Mansur made it his capital. Italy. Xi’an, now the capital of Shaanxi Province, is one of the most ancient capitals in the world. Angkor was the ancient capital of the Khmer empire, in western Cambodia and one of the world's greatest cultural treasures, today the national symbol of the country, Asia : Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece The Acropolis of Athens can be seen as a symbol for the Ancient Greek World, the classical period of the Hellenic civilization. The Eiffel Tower was originally built as the entrance arch for the World's Fair in 1889. In ancient times the pre-Columbian city Tenochtitlán, today the national capital of Mexico, the oldest capital in the New World, founded in 1525 by the Spaniards. Beijing is the capital of China and the world's second most populous city. The entire career of Pericles, the great general just 15 years your senior, would have played out before you. Some cities are important for their contributions to art, architecture, or political theory. It's impossible to stroll through modern Rome and not bump into reminders of its ancient past. The Minoans were consummate traders and artists, and their achievements in pottery and architecture soon spread to other regions in the Mediterranean. It rose to prominence due to its strategic location on the Silk Road, which began to see commerce around 2,000 years ago. They were the earliest civilization of this type in Europe, and it can be argued that Knossos was the birthplace of European “high culture.”. This may be a controversial choice for the number one slot, but who can deny the influence of Varanasi on the cultural and religious history of Asia? ), (Image credit: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Park, courtesy of State of Illinois, NPS photo), Archaeologists find vast network of Amazon villages laid out like the cosmos, How to watch the northern lights across far northern US tonight, Gold coin stash from time of Henry VIII found in English garden, The strange story of how nuns uncovered 'House of Jesus' in Nazareth, Sprawling 8-mile-long 'canvas' of ice age beasts discovered hidden in Amazon rainforest, Bees defeat 'murder hornet' relatives with poop. At 1,800 acres in breadth and the only one of its kind in Africa, the complex of Great Zimbabwe confounded early European colonialists, who couldn't believe that sub-Saharan peoples were capable of its creation. Indonesia. But when we strip Xanadu from its romantic allure, what are we left with? By 1400 BC the city was already prominent in the ancient world. Incidentally, it was in Alexandria that the Septuagint, the translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek, was produced. Others are important for their effect on the imagination or their place in literature. In some cases, cities had an enormous influence on their region for a time, but this influence is no longer felt today. Rome was the capital of the world at some when the Roman Empire ruled half of the world and the evidence is still there. They are the most recognizable images of the modern world and the most photographed. Four Great Ancient Capitals of China Beijing. These man-made landmarks and monuments are so well known because of their location or special architecture and of course are famous attractions which would be great to visit with your family. Criterion (ii): Damascus, as capital of the Umayyad caliphate - the first Islamic caliphate - was of key importance in the development of subsequent Arab cities. Take the Quiz: Ancient Capitals of the World. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree . The city’s enormous lighthouse, the Pharos of Alexandria, was more than 110 meters (360 ft) high and remained standing as recently as the 12th century. Teotihuacan. The empire reached its zenith in 117 AD, when the emperor Trajan ruled from Rome and months-long gladiator games were held to celebrate the city's glory. A city-state of the once-burgeoning ancient Greece , Athens played a critical role in shaping philosophy, drama, literature, and science. Download this stock image: World famous historic ancient Roman ruins in Rome (Roma), capital city of Italy and the region of Laslo: villa still standing] - DX10PY from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. Today I’ve combined 100 most famous landmarks all over the world in a simple list for you. Saturday’s announcement is the latest in a series of archaeological finds in Egypt. to its conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.—ancient Egypt was the preeminent civilization in the Mediterranean world. Another poet of the period called Bukhara “the anus of the world.”. Country and Capital City columns can also be switched: Rhodes, with an area of 1,400 km², is the largest island in the Greek Dodecanese group located in the south-eastern Aegean.The island was an important protagonist in wider Greek and Mediterranean affairs throughout the Bronze Age, Archaic, and Classical periods and was particularly prosperous in Hellenistic times. Enjoy the […] Leaning Tower of Pisa Facts: Tower of Pisa stands at 60 metres and until 1990 was leaning at about a 10 degree angle. Incredibly grand and ornately ... 2. Please refresh the page and try again. Aleppo is one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities with some estimates putting it at over 8000 years old. Fun fact: Cairo is the only one out of all the capital cities in the world to boast an ancient wonder of the world (the pyramids there are actually the only still remaining ancient wonders on Earth). Ancient Greek texts were translated into Arabic, ensuring the preservation of works by Aristotle, Galen, and many others. Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire. The Forum, the... Athens. Ancient Greeks considered the center of the world to be in Delphi. There was a problem. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world (though some recent research actually places the gardens at nearby Niniveh). Knossos was also the location of several important milestones in the history of writing. Athens was just as important as Rome, but it deserves a higher place on this list because many of Rome’s achievements depended on what the Romans learned from the Athenians. Statues have been created by man since the prehistory for all kinds of reasons and in all sizes. Its most impressive remnant is the fortress of Sacsahuaman: It contains stones that weigh as much as 300 tons, and it took 20,000 laborers around 80 years to complete. Are you ready for a wonderful virtual trip around the world? The ancient capital of Sukhothai, Thailand - Buy this stock photo and explore similar images at Adobe Stock Famous Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Considering that some of the stones used to make up this fortress weigh as much 200 tons, it’s mind-boggling to think this structure was built even before the Inca Empire, around 900 A.D. to 1200 A.D. Democracy, math, philosophy, the Olympics-what didn't come out of Athens, the ethereal capital of ancient Greece? The Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery are the two World Heritage Sites enlisted by UNESCO. –That’s why taking a superior point and shoot camera can be a great idea! Thank you for signing up to Live Science. Founded with the name Palmyra in the third millennium B.C., Damascus’ location at the crossroads of Asia and Africa made it an important, and highly coveted, trading outpost. During the Chinese Civil War, Taiwan broke away from mainland China and established its own capital, Taipei. It is named after Gustave Eiffel, … Enjoy the […] Located in northern Ethiopia, Axum was the original capital of the eponymous kingdom of Axum. Luoyang has not been a capital city since around 900A.D, but that looking back in history, Luoyang is just as important of an ancient capital as Beijing, considering it’s long run in ancient times! Today it's shared by two continents as the Turkish city of Istanbul, but ancient Constantinople never once had to share the spotlight after Rome fell from grace in the 4th century AD. At this time, Babylon was the largest city in the world. The capital of Antigua and Barbuda is Saint John’s, where you’ll apparently find epic Carnival festivities during the summer from the end of July til the first Tuesday of August, when there’s a biiiig parade to celebrate. . Linear A (a writing system) was invented by the Minoans. Under the Samanids, Bukhara became a center of Arabic learning, rivaled only by Baghdad. The Most Important Capitals of Ancient Egypt: The History of Memphis, Thebes, and Alexandria eBook: Charles River Editors: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of … Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Amarna was the capital city conjured out of the desert sands in roughly 1350 B.C. Chengdu was the capital city of various regional kingdoms in ancient China: The Mamertine Prison is located on the northeastern slope of the Capitoline Hill. No list of architectural wonders of the ancient world would be complete without a mention of the famous Pyramids in Egypt. The Kaaba (Masjid al-Haram) is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam, oldest and top the most Famous Cultural monuments in the world. Bukhara, along with nearby cities Samarkand and Tashkent, was a major staging point on this trade route. Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis, made Shangdu his capital toward the end of the 13th century. As the only remaining city of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been a political center for over eight centuries. Image of assyrian, east, background - 129390454 King Nebuchadnezzar II, creator of the gardens, led the city during its splendid architectural heyday around 600 BC. Jains consider Varanasi to be a pilgrimage site, and the city also played an important role in the development of Sikhism. Athens fought long and hard, in conflicts on the sea and on land, to become leader of all Aegean city-states by the early 5th century BC. Xi'an was the east start of Ancient Silk Road between China, Asian and European countries. Ancient monuments sometimes with Roman and Byzantine influences and artwork and architectures like the colonnaded Temple of Athena, fluted columns of the Parthenon and the Nike and Hadrian’s Arch etc epitomizes the cultural heritage. Changchun was the capital of Japanese puppet state Manchukuo during the Japanese occupation in WWII, then named Hsinking (新京; Japanese: Shinkyō, Mandarin: Xīnjīng, literally "New Capital"). They are the most recognizable images of the modern world and the most photographed. XI'an-One of the Four Ancient Capitals in the World Paperback – January 1, 2002 by Luo Xiaofei (Author), Wei Mingdao (Editor), Ma Lingyun (Photographer) & 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating. An observatory established by the caliph Ma’mun was “probably the world’s first state-funded large-scale science project.”. The Saqqara site includes more than a dozen pyramids, ancient monasteries as well as ancient animal burial sites. Cuzco, now a city in Peru, was once the capital of the Inca Empire, which reached its apex during the 15th... 9 Xanadu. The original Seven Wonders of the World included two statues: The Colossus of Rh Its ruins are well- preserved and a good way to learn about ancient Sri Lanka civilization. Tourists flocking to see the city's Terra Cotta Army, 6,000 unique and life-size statues buried to protect the tomb of the great Zhou emperor Qin Shi Huang, has made Xi'an famous in modern times. From the mural painting at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. You will receive a verification email shortly. The Eiffel Tower Located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, the capital city of France, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most well known structures in the world. Some of the ancient buildings tell a history of how people in a particular area lived in the past. In a single lifetime, you would have witnessed the entire golden age of the city and the development of Western civilization as we know it. Once the capital of an ancient republic and empire, the spiritual and physical seat of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Question: Which of these national capitals was previously known as Christiania or Kristiania? Art World An Art Historian Discovered a Cheeky Self-Portrait That a Stonemason Left as an Easter Egg Inside a Famous Spanish Cathedral 800 Years Ago ... hanging on to the middle of the capital … This world of ours is divided into countries. ... a land of cultivated cornfields, small villages and ancient towers. Beijing, which is the current capital of China, has a long history that dates back more than 3,000 years. The ‘Abbasids controlled a vast empire that stretched from modern-day Morocco in the west to Afghanistan in the east, and Baghdad quickly became the richest city in the world. Beijing is one of the oldest cities in Asia, and its history dates back to over 3 millennia. Though its history can be traced back to at least 2000 BC, Babylon didn’t become a truly important cultural center until the rule of Nebuchadrezzar II (605–561 BC). An overview of the most famous towers in the world: 14. As the most celebrated capital with over 3000 years and history of more than 850 as ancient capital, Beijing (previous name: Peking) is a world famous historical and cultural city and one of the seven ancient Chinese capitals. Angkor Wat. “Cultural importance” is a difficult quality to measure. New World sites are not treated. The famed city, once known as Londinium, was founded after Claudius invaded the island in the 40s A.D. Milan (Milano, Mailand) North Italian City, the capital of the Lombardy (Lombardia) region and so-called the economic capital of Italy , famous for fashion Italian style. Many times in history the major economic or religious center of a region became its capital. This city was founded around 782BC by King Argishti I of Urartu. Finally, in your old age, you would have seen Athens defeated by Sparta and its allies and Socrates put to death by his fellow citizens. It celebrated its victories by building great temples like the Parthenon, the iconic symbol of art and architecture in ancient Greece. With its Great Mosque at the heart of an urban plan deriving from the Graeco-Roman grid, the city provided the exemplary model for the Arab Muslim world. Painted in 1930 by Dr Atl. One of the most famous prisons of the ancient world, the Mamertine Prison, can be found in Rome. Great Wall of China We didn't expect to be impressed by the Great Wall, we even went to the site expecting to be disappointed. Rhodes (/ r oʊ d z / (); Greek: Ρόδος, romanized: Ródos) is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is also the island group's historical capital. This urban center of the Mississippi culture had organized leadership, commerce and a penchant for mound-building. . Anuradhapura is the capital fo the North Central Province, but also the capital of the ancient cities of Sri Lanka. Among them were Euclid (the father of geometry), Ptolemy (the famous geographer), Plotinus (the philosopher), and Archimedes, the man known for screaming, “Eureka!” (which he probably didn’t). Click the table headings to sort the capital cities or countries alphabetically. What are the most popular ancient cities to visit? It was built by the King Suryavarman the Second (Shield of the Sun) of the Khmer Empire sometime between 1100 and 1150 CE, and its name means ‘The City of the Temples’. Knossos was established before 2,000 BC by the Minoans, who eventually formed a unified civilization on the island of Crete. This list would hardly be complete without Rome, which was undeniably a huge part of Western cultural development. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world (dating from at least 2,000 BC), Varanasi is the religious capital of Hinduism. Lets see if you can correctly identify some ancient capital cities! Scholars such as Razi and al-Kindi made significant leaps in medicine, philosophy, and astronomy. Angkor was the ancient capital of the Khmer empire, in western Cambodia and one of the world's greatest cultural treasures, today the national symbol of the country, Asia : Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece The Acropolis of Athens can be seen as a symbol for the Ancient Greek World, the classical period of the Hellenic civilization. Famous for its "wondrous" hanging gardens, the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon had as turbulent a history as its location in present-day Iraq suggests. Top 10 Ancient Capitals Rome. Well resourced, the city sat on an alluvial fan (a large area of river sediment) suited to irrigation. Some of the world’s famous buildings are a source of inspiration and attract tourists from around the world. Democracy, math, philosophy, the Olympics -what didn't come out of Athens, the ethereal capital of ancient... Constantinople. Had it not been for Baghdad, it’s possible that the link between the ancient world and the present day would be much more tenuous. The city was built in … Photo about The ancient ruins of the Persepolis complex, famous ceremonial capital of Ancient Persia, Iran.UNESCO World Heritage. Beijing has many historical monuments and the humanities landscape. Some of the ancient buildings tell a history of how people in a particular area lived in the past. Axum Stelae. In 1918 Yerevan became the 13th city to become the official capital of Armenia. Despite being built atop a lake according to the wishes of an important Aztec deity, ancient engineers made Tenochtitlan as efficient as any city in Europe with a complex system of causeways and canals. –That’s why taking a superior point and shoot camera can be a great idea! https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/cities-of-the-ancient-world.html Coleridge’s poem, and Marco Polo’s lengthy description of the city after visiting in 1275, made it a byword for opulence. Monk's Mound, the largest at 100 feet tall, dominates the site and was probably a mighty foundation for the home of the resident spiritual leader. Shangdu, China. Founded at the Nile Delta by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria was also the largest city in the world for a time. So begin the immortal lines by Coleridge, composed, like all good things,... 8 Bukhara. The Chinese city of Xi'an was the central stronghold for all of the country's most important ancient dynasties going back 3,000 years. Located along the River Hrazdan, Yerevan is the largest city and capital of Armenia, as well as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Machu Picchu. Since then, he has produced more than 20 replicas of local and foreign famous monuments, by means of merely matchsticks, white glue and a cutter blade. In adulthood, you would have met the younger playwrights Sophocles and Euripides. What I love about visiting Sri Lanka is how modern civilization lives in harmony with its ancient past. One of the best known ancient cities of the world, and a staple of many tours of ancient cities, Machu Picchu is one of the best preserved Inca sites, located in modern Peru. ), (Image credit: Terracotta Warriors inside the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum, 3rd century BC. Luoyang was a capital of various Chinese dynasties going all the way back to 500 B.C. 7. From that date through the Middle Ages, Constantinople was the world's largest and richest city, becoming the center of the new Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and finally the Ottoman Empire. Hardly a branch of knowledge exists that hasn’t felt the influence of Roman thinkers. With upwards of 30,000 inhabitants at its peak in about 1100 AD, Cahokia, Illinois remained the United States' first and biggest real city until the Northeast's population exploded in the late 18th century. Visit our corporate site. The Twin Temples at Abu Simbel The Abu Simbel temples had to be raised more than … The Twin Temples at Abu Simbel The Abu Simbel temples had to be raised more than … Using Cuzco as a base, the Inca conquered territory all the way from Quito to Santiago—making their empire the largest in the world at the time. It is the capital that has the longest history and greatest influence among the ancient capitals. 4. A mere 40,000 people came to control around ten million subjects, a form of overextension that the Spanish Conquistadors would later use to their advantage. This is a list of national capitals, including capitals of territories and dependencies, non-sovereign states including associated states and entities whose sovereignty is disputed.. Stock Photo - Image of christmas, cathedral: 125994524 Stock Photos Ancient Greeks considered the center of the world to be in Delphi. It has actually been inhabited for over 7000 years. Upon hearing this, the provincial governor, Suetonius, "marched amidst a … Varanasi’s cultural influence continues to this day. Art, architecture, law, politics, language—none of these would be the same if, say, Hannibal had sowed Latium with salt. Most of Egypt's holy rulers are also buried nearby in the famous Valley of the Kings. Deep into northwest Cambodia is the capital of the ancient Khmer Empire, a great site dedicated to the god Vishnu. Ephesus. For instance, the famous pyramids of Egypt or Mexico say a lot about the past civilizations. Socrates would have pestered you in the marketplace. The capital of the People's Republic of China since 1949. Kublai Khan soon moved his capital to Zhongdu, though for a time, Shangdu remained the summer capital of the Mongol emperors of China. Baelo Claudia The Roman town of Baelo Claudia in Spain is a well-preserved ancient city which sits on the Andalusian coast, providing a beautiful backdrop to these ancient remains. All roads in the Incan empire once lead to Cuzco, bustling capital in the Andes Mountains from the early 1400s until its discovery by European explorers in 1532. Scholars believe this prison was built during the 7th century BC by the legendary fourth king of Rome, Ancus Marcius. The Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest of the Pyramids, is estimated to … 5. The region around Bukhara, now the modern-day capital of Uzbekistan, has been inhabited for at least 5,000 years, and the city itself has existed for around half that time. World Capital Cities with their country in a sortable table. Art and learning flourished in its universities and cathedrals, including the spectacular Hagia Sophia. That will only multiply when the emperor's sprawling mausoleum, rumored to hold invaluable treasures and rivers of mercury, is finally opened by archaeologists. A marble bas relief of Mithras found in London. 3. © Cuzco, now a city in Peru, was once the capital of the Inca Empire, which reached its apex during the 15th century. We all know the story of the energetic Republic, its conquest of Europe, and its gradual sink into decadence under a series of (mostly) terrible emperors. Michel Fermor is an explorer, mountaineer, and history addict. This probably gives us an exaggerated sense of its historical importance. New York, Once the tallest building in the world, construction began on the Empire State building on St Patrick's Day 1930 and was completed just 410 days later. Abu Simbel. Its ruins are well- preserved and a good way to learn about ancient Sri Lanka civilization. 10 Cities That Once Ruled The Ancient World 10 Venice Top 10 Famous Landmarks in the World The most famous man-made monuments in the world. The narrative is enlivened by personal observation, the author having personally traveled to each of the sites treated. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region.The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. Some of these countries are renowned for their scenic beauty and have beautiful capital cities. After taking all of these factors into account, the following ten cities stand out as the most important cultural capitals of the ancient world. Today the Syrian capital is often touted as the world’s oldest inhabited city (with radio carbon dating suggesting some occupation as early as 8000 to 10000 B.C), but several other cities, including Jericho in the West Bank and Byblos in Lebanon, could challenge for that title. The Quran states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic), and his son Ishmael (Ismaeel in Arabic), after the latter had settled in Arabia. Either way, it is clear that the city was constructed in adherence to distinct urban planning. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland and the warmest major city in Europe. Many Hindus choose to die here, in the belief that meeting their end on the banks of the Ganges will free them from the cycle of rebirth. The work is a study of the ethnology, history, geography, and everyday life in such famous ancient capital cities as Thebes, Jerusalem, Nineveh, Tyre, Babylon, Memphis, Athens, Syracuse, Alexandria, Anuradhapura, Rome, Pataliputra, and Constantinople. by Akhenaten, husband to the famous Queen Nefertiti and likely father of King Tut. They were, in fact, and built the complicated structures sometime after 1200 AD, when a wide-reaching empire of about 20,000 Shona cattlemen ruled the area. Cuzco was brought to its knees by European diseases such as smallpox (which killed 65–90 percent of the population) before the Europeans themselves even arrived. Throughout its long history Balkh has been the capital of the ancient region of Bactria, a major city of Khorasan, and a prominent centre during the Abbasid period. Baghdad was also a hub of culture and science. Here are the Top 10 famous landmarks in the world. Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from around 400 BC to 1000 AD. 10 Cultural Capitals Of The Ancient World 10 Cuzco. Europe Download this stock image: World famous historic ancient Roman ruins in Rome (Roma), capital city of Italy and the region of Laslo: villa still standing] - DX10PY from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. . But, only a decade or so later, the British warrior queen Boudicca rose up against her Roman overlords in 60-61 A.D. 1. A stately pleasure-dome decree . After centuries under Aramaean, Assyrian, Israelite and Babylonian … Top 10 Fascinating Examples Of Cultural Body Modification, 10 Notable Poisonings From The Ancient World, 10 Unusual Art And Writing Discoveries From The…, 10 Surprisingly Gruesome Deaths In The Ancient World, 10 Shocking Pieces Of Erotic Art From The Ancient World, 10 Biological And Chemical Weapons From The Ancient World, 10 Stories From The Ancient World That Need A Movie, Top 10 Amazing Women Of The Ancient World, 10 Celebrities Who Believe In Crazy Conspiracy Theories, Top 10 Under-Appreciated TV Shows You Can Binge Right Now, Top 10 Disturbing Things Facebook Knows About You Right Now, Top 10 Fascinating Aspects Of The OJ Simpson Trial, Top 10 Bizarre Facts About Popular Christmas Movies, Top 10 Most Brutal Downfalls In Hollywood History, Top 10 Disturbing Films Featuring Sociopaths, 10 Misconceptions About the British Monarchy, 10 Brilliant Black Women You Didn’t Learn About In Black History Month, 10 Bizarre Sexual Facts From Ancient Egypt, 10 Daring Assassinations That Shocked Medieval Europe. Most people think of Cairo and the Great Pyramids when they think of ancient Egypt, but the heartbeat of the magical pharaonic dynasties actually beat much further up the Nile at Thebes. The Mouseion, which housed the famous Library of Alexandria, was frequented by some of the greatest scholars of the age. The Mycenaeans, who later invaded Crete, adapted this mode of writing into Linear B, the earliest attested form of Ancient Greek. Kalhu (also known as Caleh, Calah, and Nimrud, in modern-day northern Iraq) was a city in ancient Mesopotamia that became the capital of the Assyrian Empire under Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884-859 BCE) who moved the central government there from the traditional capital of Ashur.The city existed as an important trade center from at least the 1st millennium BCE. Answer: Oslo, the capital and largest city of Norway, was known as Christiania or Kristiania from the year 1877 to 1925. Varanasi also remains important as a center of art and music. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. We couldn't put together a list of world-famous buildings without including this grand Art Deco skyscraper. The capital of the great Aztec empire, which eventually morphed into today's Mexico City, had about 300,000 inhabitants when Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1521. Being as the capital for more than 1,000 years, Xi'an had been the capital for 13 dynasties such as … World Capital Cities - Sortable alphabetically by World Capitals or Countries. The Forum, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, just to name a few, are lasting testaments to the capital of an empire once made up of 2.5 million square miles, three continents and about 100 million people. One scholar who was alive at the time called the city “the meeting-place of the unique figures of the age, the rising-place of the stars of the literary men of the world, and the forum for the outstanding personages of the time.”, However, travelers’ tastes differed even 1,000 years ago.

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