Fun Fact: Rumour has it that the Gospel of John was written here. Visitors to Athens will no doubt be visiting its famous and historic ruins. The buildings cling to the hillside and are topped by the ruins of a once spectacular castle, The Château des Baux. Long known as the symbol of democracy, perhaps the most famous building here is the Parthenon, completed in 438 BCE. We wandered through this beautiful ruin last spring on our road trip around Ireland. What makes the castle unique, is that according to some, the castle is haunted by the “Black Dog of Ogrodzieniec”, that has burning eyes and wanders the grounds at night, dragging a heavy chain. Or visit the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni, the only known underground temple from prehistoric times, and Mnajdra Temple, a larger complex overlooking the ocean. Quin Abbey is a site that lends itself well to Black and White photography. The abbey has a turbulent history. We share our the ten best ruins and ancient historical sites we’ve visited in Europe from castles to aqueducts to a classical theatre. I may have yelled “Stop the car!” a little too suddenly for Andrew’s taste, but he complied nonetheless. Ancient ruins destinations in Europe. I studied Greek drama in university and was always blown away by stories of the perfect acoustics and magnitude of the productions. The Roman Forum Looking Towards the Colosseum – Photo via FlickrCC Robert Lowe. I wasn't able to capture ruins for every country or all types of ruins there are. 5. Poland Ancient Ruins: See reviews and photos of ancient ruins in Poland, Europe on Tripadvisor. Known as the “Little Rome of Gaul”, Arles was a large, strategically important city in the Roman era. The city … ( (strlen( 'https://t.co/7inMjaWVKA' ) >= ? Give a shout out for ones in … With the wealth of nuraghi and other megalithic structures scattered about the Italian island of Sardinia, it’s hard to pick just one ancient site. One of the reasons it is so striking is its location. There is very little vegetation, and the tallest thing you can see over the landscape is the Poulnabrone Dolmen. We’ve been to see this Roman aqueduct three times, and it never ceases to amaze us. There is archaeological evidence (flint tools) that suggests that the site was first used around 6000 BCE by ancient hunters. Day tours are available from Istanbul which include flights and transfers, so you can go there and back on the same day. Best Athens Ruins to visit. Other sites include the Old Temple of Athena, the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Flashback: What you should Bring when you Move to Belgium, Exploring the STAM Museum in Ghent, Belgium. 10 of the best ancient ruins ... it flourished for over 400 years and at its peak was larger than any contemporary European city, ... and the best-preserved ancient monument in Croatia. Echoes of Roman domination remain throughout this vast area and one of the best examples of Roman architecture and engineering is at Pont Du Gard. We were surprised to find that a lot of the ruins we visited were older than the pyramids! We believe every destination has a story to tell and that the journey truly is the destination. The theatre is so well preserved that it is still used for drama festivals today! It was ruined and restored repeatedly from its construction in the early 1400s to 1820 with the death of the last Friar. Baalbek (Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon) Home to some of Lebanon’s best-preserved Roman ruins, Baalbek can be found in the Beqaa Valley. The main sites here are the Library of Celsus (pictured), the small remains of the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), and the largest outdoor theatre of the ancient world. Ireland is another country littered with interesting ancient sites. Built as a pagan temple to the gods, the Pantheon is Rome’s best-preserved ancient site, perhaps because it was later consecrated as … Both of us enjoy the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of thousands of people before us and imagine how these ruins would have looked during their heydays. Most people think of the sad and troubled history of the late 20th century when they think of Northern Ireland, but its medieval history is just as rich as its southern neighbour and the rest of the British Isles. Today, there are the ruins of several of the structures that once held huge importance, including the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, and the Curia Julia (at one point the seat of the Roman Senate), and many more. One of the most striking is the Poulnabrone Dolmen. We still get a kick out of the age of so many of the sites we’ve visited in Europe. Visitors to Athens will no doubt be visiting its famous and historic ruins. Pantheon. If you clamber to the top of the rather perilous stairs, you have a view over the Alpilles Mountains and olive groves as far as the eye can see. I settled on Pottu Codinu for a couple of reasons. The stones have carvings of various animals on them, and perhaps one of the most puzzling aspects of Göbekli Tepe is that is seems to have been deliberately buried…. Many of the well-known structures are perched atop the so-called Acropolis and … Empires have come and gone, societies have risen and fallen, and many even left something behind for us to enjoy today. The abbey’s graveyard is still in use, and the site is maintained by a caretaker although it is free to enter and explore the ruin. Although the Parthenon is spectacular, my favourite part of our visit to the Acropolis was sitting in the Theatre of Dionysus. Like Rome’s they lie right in the centre of the ancient city. This photo shows the famous “fat lady” statue, thought to represent the Mother Goddess and used as a fertility charm. Malta is yet another country filled with ancient temples and ruins. What that means today is that Pompeii offers a great example of how life was in a Roman city. You can pick up an audio guide and wander through the ruins. Grasburg, Switzerland To most tourists doing the rounds of Europe’s ancient ruins, Switzerland doesn’t figure prominently on the map. The iconic Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike make up the Acropolis of ancient Athens. They show the exact positions that many of the city’s citizens were in during the eruption and serve as a sombre reminder of the power of nature. It is still a working, and lived in village, although a very touristy one during the summer months. According to the legends of ancient Greek and Latin literature, Troy was the city center and setting for the Trojan War, one of the most notable stories from the Greek myths. Natural disasters, wars, depopulation and also lack of maintenance causes fallen of many important sites and completely get deserted over time. The Acropolis of Athens – Photo via FlickrCC Jorge Láscar. What makes it even more special though, are the plaster casts made as the ash was being removed. The Top 4 Accessible Ancient Ruins In Europe 1. Sep 14, 2020 - Comprehensive guide to the best 25 Ancient Ruins in Greece. Built in the 1st century, the Pont du Gard, in the Occitanie region of France, was one of the first ancient sites we visited when we first moved to Europe. Remains of a cairn circle can be found up near the ruins of the tin mine and Ballowall Barrow is a short walk south, past the remains of the early … Whatever it is, it is one of the most famous structures on the planet and a fun place to visit and wonder what the inhabitants of the area were doing in 3000 BCE. Fun Fact: Money from the sale of the wreckage of a ship from the Spanish Armada helped to pay for castle restorations in the 16th century. We have put together a list of what – in our opinion – are the 8 most interesting ancient ruins in Turkey. The Best Music Festivals in Germany: Part 2, New York’s Top Neighborhoods Part 1: Manhattan. It is speculated that it was used as a place of worship (surprise, surprise), and has changed our understanding of hunter-gatherer societies, proving that they were capable of building monumental complexes. Dating back to the early 1500s, Dunluce Castle is perched on a rocky outcropping overlooking the ocean. Mnajdra Temple – Photo via FlickrCC Chris Brown. Pont du Gard – Photo via FlickrCC Karol Lorentey. At its height, Bagan was home to over 10,000 Buddhist temples, shrines, and pagodas.While this number has declined over the last millennium, roughly 2,000 of these glistening gold structures still remain today, making Bagan one of the continent's must-see marvels. You can’t walk too far in central Athens, Greece, without tripping over something ancient, and we visited many incredible locations around the city. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. Like Rome’s they lie right in the centre of the ancient city. It is truly breath-taking. Unique insights into a very special part of the world. An hour’s drive outside of beautiful the Polish city of Krakow lies Ogrodzieniec Castle, a medieval castle dating from the 14th century. It is an hour and a half’s drive from Montpellier. The Forum was a central meeting point for citizens and politicians alike from the time of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. Standing on the bridge, above the first row of arches, you can only marvel at the sheer size of the construction (48.8 m or 160 ft high to be exact). Stroll along the nearby leafy landscaped expanse that fronts the Guadiana River and you’ll come upon a half-mile long Roman bridge, the longest suc… Turkey is full of history, from the Roman empire, to the Ottomans, to gaining its independence as its own country in 1923! 15. Follow me as I introduce you to the Roman ruins of Seville and Malaga and many more! In its time, it is said to have been the entertainment center of the nobles of Burgundy. You can explore this castle, which still has some visible medieval frescoes and its crumbling facade has been capturing the imagination of visitors for years. Do you know any great ones we need to visit? The castle has been featured in movies, on album covers and has even been the subject of a popular song. 250 kilometres south of Rome and just 25 kilometres south of Naples are the tragic ruins of Pompeii. It's a five-story, 20-room structure was built into a cave 70 feet up the cliff-face by the Ancestral Puebloan people 800 years ago. The theatre was founded and built by soldiers of the Second Legion in 40 BC during Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul and used for several hundred years until it was closed by official edict in the fourth century. While I was doing so, I noticed that many of the houses are carved directly out of the rock itself. The following sites come from a variety of periods. The Acropolis in Athens One of the most iconic ruins in Europe, the Greek Acropolis, towers over the city of Athens. Here are some of my favourite temples and ruins in Asia, including Angkor Wat, the erotic temples of Khajuraho and the ancient city of Ayutthaya. The details remaining in the theatre of Dionysus were amazing; from the checkerboard floor to the carved front row seats reserved for the gods. Bagan is an ancient city in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the Background – Photo via Flickr CC Young Living Essential Oils. We travel slow – because everywhere is somewhere. The third is because, well, they reminded us of Hobbit houses. Read National Geographic's picks for the best ancient ruins & archeological sites around the world. That puts Göbekli Tepe almost twice as old as the ruins on Malta and to date very little is known about who built it and what it was used for. 1. These are the ancient Greek and Roman ruins that hold intrigue; a story of it’s past. Even the Sardinians refer to them as domus de janas (homes of the fairies). If you’re going to be making a stop in Malta on your travels, you will no doubt come face to face with a number of striking and incredibly old structures. One of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world is the Roman Theatre of Orange, in Vaucluse, France. I love being surrounded by historic places I read about while growing up. We will take you from the coast of Northern Ireland to the ancient Greek settlements in Turkey. Of course, Rome and Italy are the Holy Grail when it comes to Roman ruins in Europe, but I found a few not to miss treasures in southern Spain too! Our Belgian entry, Montaigle Castle, falls under the ruin category. Many of the well-known structures are perched atop the so-called Acropolis and are visible from much of the city. Explore Ġgantija on the island of Gozo, a 5,500 year old temple. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1985. Ancient Europe Ruins. The Roman city of Timgad, on the edge of the Sahara, is one of the best places to visit. We are Canadians, Alison & Andrew, and we are slow travelling the world – with our cats. Built in the 1st century, the Pont du Gard, in the Occitanie region of France, was one of the first ancient sites we visited when we first moved to Europe. Let’s get started. The ruins in the world are of great important to historians and archaeologists. Nothing says Northern Ireland like a moody Medieval castle, crumbling on the side of a cliff, overlooking a blustery ocean. Pottu Codinu subterranean burial ground – Sardinia, Italy. We were happily making our way across central Spain when we came upon this little city. The monument structures found at the ruins of Les Fouaillages in Guernsey date back to around 4500 BCE, making it one of the oldest stone monuments in Europe. Some are in city centres, and some require a trip to the countryside, but all are well worth the visit. Arènes d’Arles, France The Provencal town of Arles is home to some of France’s most impressive Roman ruins, most notably this amphitheatre which dates back to the 1st century AD. Rome BEST FOR: Ruin, Fountain, Nightlife Paris BEST FOR: Art Museum, Architectural Building, Historic Site Vatican City BEST FOR: Art Museum, Historic … In fact, the stunning scenery is worth the trip alone and at just over an hour’s drive from Belfast, it is easy to get to. I hope you enjoyed our favourite ancient sites and ruins. Located in western Turkey and known today as Efes, Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the Ionian Coast. For me, one of the highlights of travelling in Asia is seeing history embodied in elaborate ancient temples and ruins. We’ve been to see this Roman aqueduct three times, and it never ceases to amaze us. The nearby Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora, and Temple of Hephaestus is the best of the rest of Athens’s ancient Greek ruins.Kerameikos and the Acropolis Museum are not to be missed for anyone fascinated by ancient history and ancient Greece. There is over 4 km of wall here, including several decidedly non-ruined parts such as the Puerta Baja. The Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren, Ireland. Discover the most impressive archaeological sites of the ancient Greek world. This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, ... Ollantaytambo’s namesake archaeological site is one of the best examples of Incan architecture in the region. These range from its purported use as a healing site, a burial ground, and a place of rituals, with the stones aligning with sun on the winter and summer solstice. Situated in northwestern Anatolia, Turkey, is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, the ruins of Troy. There are still many more to see, but I think we've checked off a good chunk of ancient ruins in Europe. It’s located in County Antrim, not too far from the famous Giant’s Causeway and is well worth a visit. Well, that’s our list of some of the more well-known and not so well-known ruins that you can explore in Europe. I visited Northern Ireland in 2006, and I’ve been itching to return to this lovely part of the country ever since. At its height, the Roman Empire surrounded the Mediterranean Sea and stretched north, encompassing the Balkan peninsula and all of southern and far western Europe, including France, Spain, and even Britain. So, without further ado, here are our 10 favourite ruins and ancient sites in photos. Pompeii, unlike other ruins, maintains a sombre and unusually human aspect. Europe has a very long history. With that said, it is completely safe to assume that if you are looking for the best Roman ruins in Italy, Rome is the right place to go. 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