Awesome Historical Landmarks to See Around the World

17 Historical Landmarks to See Around the World | Travel

At these historical landmarks, history buffs and world travellers alike will get an authentic look into local culture.

Many tourists typically add at least one historical landmark to their vacation itineraries. Such sites have become iconic symbols that represent the heritage of various destinations.
On your next trip, take time to experience the authentic landmarks that make each place unique.

Stonehenge: Salisbury, U.K.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, two miles west of Amesbury.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, two miles west of Amesbury.
Mysterious Stonehenge, Europe’s best-known prehistoric site, likely originated as a sculpted earthwork 5,000 years ago. Around 2150 B.C., more than 80 bluestones weighing up to 4 metric tons each were transported about 240 miles by raft, sleds and rollers to the site.
The circles of huge stones seen today were added and rearranged over the next 500 years, likely by multiple tribes using the site for burials, religious ceremonies or ancestor worship.
Stonehenge sits less than 90 miles southwest of London; trains to Salisbury connect with daily bus tours that include Salisbury Cathedral, Old Sarum (an Iron Age fort) and the Stonehenge visitor center.

At these historical landmarks, history buffs and world travellers alike will get an authentic look into local culture.

Many tourists typically add at least one historical landmark to their vacation itineraries. Such sites have become iconic symbols that represent the heritage of various destinations.
Major landmarks generate income for local residents and are a source of pride, especially when they are recognized by organizations like UNESCO. On your next trip, take time to experience the authentic landmarks that make each place unique.

Colosseum: Rome

Construction, inauguration, and Roman renovations — The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome
Construction, inauguration, and Roman renovations — The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome

 

Book a tour in advance to experience the magnificent Colosseum, the first-century amphitheatre with 50,000 seats built by Emperor Vespasian to entertain the Roman people. An unknown architect designed the harmonious symmetry of repeating arches, vaults and statuary niches.
Follow your guide to the arena floor to explore the hypogeum (the site’s underground ruins), where archaeologists believe sophisticated pulleys and elevators were used to lift gladiators, contestants and caged animals into view.
Don’t miss the nearby Roman Forum and nobles’ villas on Palatine Hill for an excellent overview of ancient Rome.

Independence Hall: Philadelphia

The Independence Hall is the building where both the <a href=
United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. ” width=”932″ height=”524″ /> The Independence Hall is the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted.

 

Stand in Independence Hall, the Pennsylvania State House completed in 1753, and relive America’s founding in the heart of historic Philadelphia. This is where the Declaration of Independence was forged and where, in the summer of 1787, the Constitution was debated behind closed doors.
With your free, timed-entry ticket to Independence National Historical Park, visit the Benjamin Franklin Museum, watch park rangers demonstrate an early printing press, see the Liberty Bell from outside (join a separate line to enter the Liberty Bell Center) and follow the footsteps of Ona Judge, a Mount Vernon slave who escaped from former President George Washington’s Philadelphia residence.

Petra: Jordan

Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.
Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert. Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.

Experience Petra, an ancient city located 77 miles northeast of the town of Aqaba near the Red Sea, to understand why the setting of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Hike through a narrow, 250-foot-tall slot canyon to see the towering treasury of the Nabataean Kingdom carved into pink sandstone cliffs. Archaeologists, who’ve uncovered 15% of the site, believe Petra flourished between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106, then fell into ruin.

Stay in modern Petra to check out the site’s stunning theatre, royal tombs, market street and other monuments before exploring more of Jordan or nearby Israel.

Moai: Easter Island, Chile

The island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, which were created by the early Rapa Nui people.
The island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, which were created by the early Rapa Nui people.

Easter Island’s moai, larger-than-life ancestral figures carved between the 10th and 16th centuries, have intrigued historians since 1722 when a Dutch explorer stumbled upon them while visiting the island. The approximately 900 moai statues and 300-plus ahu (stone ceremonial platforms) carved of lava tuff are awe-inspiring. Each moai stands up to 72 feet tall; the unfinished El Gigante megalith weighs 160 to 182 metric tons. Although you’ll likely spend the bulk of your visit admiring Easter Island’s impressive moai statues, be sure to also check out the mysterious ceremonial village of Orongo and various caves decorated with rock art, pictographs and petroglyphs.

Great Pyramid: Giza, Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt.
Experience the Great Pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, on a self-guided, private or group day trip from Cairo that also includes the famous Great Sphinx. The 481-foot-tall monument is composed of an estimated 2.3 million stone blocks that each weigh up to 15 tons, a feat that still baffles engineers today. Built around 2550 B.C. by Pharaoh Khufu for his afterlife, it was soon joined by two other major pyramids built by Pharaohs Khafre and Menkaure within a burial complex at Giza that includes other temples and a palace.

Machu Picchu: Peru

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley.
Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley.
Whether you spend four days hiking the Inca Trail or four hours travelling by train to Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes), this 15th-century Inca citadel will take your breath away. Perched nearly 8,000 feet above the Sacred Valley, what’s thought to be the estate of Inca Emperor Pachacuti is located about 45 miles northwest of Cusco in Urubamba Province. As the Inca peoples’ greatest aesthetic and architectural achievement, Machu Picchu includes more than 200 stone structures in upper and lower cities with terraces, ramps and giant walls that blend naturally with the lush rainforest of the upper Amazon basin.

Ephesus: Selçuk, Turkey

Ephesus is an ancient city in Turkey’s Central Aegean region, near modern-day Selçuk.
Ephesus is an ancient city in Turkey’s Central Aegean region, near modern-day Selçuk.

Put ancient Ephesus on your bucket list. A site that once housed civilizations from 6,000 B.C. to the early Christian period, the city is just 12 miles northeast of the Turkish port of Kuşadasi in Selçuk. Ephesus was once a vital port city with a strategic trading position between the River Kaystros and the Aegean Sea. The impressive Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is now gone, so guides highlight the striking Roman-era Library of Celsus, the House of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John, as well as the nearby 14th-century Mosque of Isa Bey.

Chichén Itzá: Yucatán, Mexico

Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of Yucatán state in Mexico.
Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of Yucatán state in Mexico.
Visit the Mayan archaeological site of Chichén Itzá during the spring or fall equinox, when thousands of tourists watch the setting sun cast a moving, serpentlike shadow across the Pyramid of Kukulcan (or El Castillo).
The structure’s intricate design serves as a clock, a Mayan calendar and a temple. Its 365 steps honour the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. Originally settled during the sixth century, the Toltec people added sophisticated monuments such as El Castillo, the Great Ball Court and the observatory during the 10th century.
Chichén Itzá voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, is a must-see site located about 125 miles southwest of Cancun.

Acropolis: Athens, Greece

Even if you’ve seen the Parthenon replica in Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll never forget a trip to the original hilltop fortress in Athens, Greece.
Athens’ Acropolis encompasses the real Parthenon and other masterpieces of Greece’s Golden Age, including the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike (all dedicated to the goddess Athena). Past travelers recommend wearing sturdy shoes, hiring a guide and using the south entry near the Theatre of Dionysus to avoid long lines.
Don’t miss the life-size Parthenon frieze with casts and original sculptures at the spectacular New Acropolis Museum.

Angkor Wat: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is the <a href=
largest religious structure in the world by land area, measuring 162.6 hectares, located in Cambodia.” width=”1200″ height=”899″ /> Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world by land area, measuring 162.6 hectares, located in Cambodia.

If you’re planning a trip to Cambodia, chances are you’re visiting to see the enormous Angkor Wat temple. Constructed by 300,000 workers using 6,000 elephants, the roughly 500-acre complex dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu was the centrepiece of 12th-century Khmer Empire life during King Suryavarman II’s reign. The main wat (or temple) is a 213-foot-tall tower surrounded by four smaller towers, terraces and a moat. The structure mimics Mount Meru, a mythological abode of the Hindu gods. Base yourself in Siem Reap between May and October to avoid crowds, as long as you’re willing to endure the rainy season’s showers.

Lalibela: Ethiopia

Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia.
Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia.

Nearly 200,000 worshippers attend Christmas Eve services at Lalibela’s 11 medieval rock churches, the spiritual center of Ethiopian Orthodoxy. Historians say King Lalibela built these extraordinary underground temples spanning both sides of the River Jordan in the 12th century to offer Coptic Christian pilgrims a safe place of worship.

Each column, window, door and drainage gutter was hand-chiselled into enormous monoliths excavated more than 30 feet below ground. Book a guide and flight from Addis Ababa and plan two days to fully experience their splendor before controversy over UNESCO-funded preservation projects disrupts this holy site.

Taj Mahal: Agra, India

The Taj Mahal, originally the Rauza-i-munawwara is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra.
The Taj Mahal, originally the Rauza-i-munawwara is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra.
Historically significant as a masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture, the Taj Mahal is considered the world’s finest monument to love. Commissioned in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it took 20,000 artisans 22 years to erect and sculpt this towering white marble mausoleum and decorate it with inlaid flowers made of semiprecious stones and calligraphy writings from the Quran.
The Agra landmark’s elaborate gardens, representing the Muslim vision of paradise, feature canals and pools that offer spectacular reflections during full-moon evening viewings.