As the saying goes, history is never dead. In fact, every corner of the earth, city, town, and continent has a story to tell. The world’s overall historical value is immense because of the multi-hued culture that has evolved over the ages and is unique to its own. For any history lover, the world offers an unending variety of historical sites by way of numerous castles, ruins, ancient monasteries, towers, museums, mausoleums and palaces, each with its own original story. Be it Asia, Europe, Australia or the US, each continent has a number of unique historical sites to offer. Here’s a comprehensive list of top historical sites and places in the world.
- List of 22 Top Historical Sites and Places in the World
- 1. Colosseum
- 2. Petra
- 3. Machu Picchu
- 4. Giza’s Great Pyramid
- 5. Stonehenge
- 6. Persepolis
- 7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- 8. Acropolis
- 9. Potala Palace
- 10. Taj Mahal
- 11. Great Wall of China
- 12. Sistine Chapel, Rome
- 13. Versailles Palace, France
- 14. Learning Tower of Pisa, Italy
- 15. Statue of Liberty, New York
- 16. St.Peter’s Basilica
- 17. Forbidden City, China
- 18. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
- 19. Tower of London
- 20. Christ The Redeemer, Brazil
- 21. St. Petersburg, Russia
- 22. Warsaw, Poland
List of 22 Top Historical Sites and Places in the World
Undoubtedly Rome and Italy’s most renowned landmark. A 1st century AD structure, this stadium could host 45,000 spectators and came to be known as the world’s largest Roman amphitheater. Famous for its gladiatorial combats and persecution of Christians who were fed to wild animals, the Colosseum simply breathes history. No list of top historical sites and places in the world would be complete without mentioning the Colosseum.
The word means rock. Petra is situated at Ma’an in Jordan and famous for its architecture cut from rock as also water conduit systems. In existence since the 6th century BC, Petra attracts a huge amount of tourists every year. Petra became a World Heritage Site since 1985 which was declared by UNESCO.
3. Machu Picchu
These ruins were discovered in 1911 and are both enigmatic and beautiful. Machu Picchu means Old Peak and was considered sacred by the Incas who set up this city. Te utilization of its agricultural terraces and natural springs were far ahead of their times.
4. Giza’s Great Pyramid
Giza’s Great Pyramid is the only famous ancient structure that survives till now. This was the burial ground of the erstwhile pharaohs of Egypt. Created on principles of harmonic mathematics and known to have certain mystical qualities, the Great Pyramid of Giza is a must see for all lovers of historical monuments.
Located in England’s Wiltshire county, this prehistoric monument is always mentioned in any list of top historical sites and places in the world. Stonehenge comprises a series of large stones standing in a circular setting within earthworks. It’s a Bronze Age and Neolithic monument with hundreds of burial mounds. Dates back to 2400–2200 BC.
When you’re visiting Greece, the Persepolis, which always makes it to the list of top historical sites and places in the world is a must visit. These are the ruins of numerous monumental buildings built on a wide stone terrace measuring 1,480 ft by 1,000 ft. At the staircase head is the famous gatehouse, Gate of Xerxes, guarded by two enormous stone bulls.
7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Dedicated to Vishnu, the 12th century ancient temple, Angkor Wat was started to build during the reign of King Suryavarman II and was completed by King Jayavarman VII. This Hindu temple was built as the king’s state temple and the capital of Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat was declared as a World Heritage Site in the cultural type in 1992 as declared by UNESCO.
The word Acropolis in Greek means “high city.” It’s more of a citadel where new settlements were built as a matter of defense and it is believed that Greek cities like Athens, Thebes, Argos and Corinth were built around it.
9. Potala Palace
This palace in the Lhasa region of Tibet dates back to the 7th century. Built by Shuzhan Genpu, a Zhanpu King who established Tibet’s Tufen Kingdom, Potala Palace was constructed on the Red Hill with 1,000 rooms. After the old palace was destroyed, the new palace was built during the 17th century with 119 meters high and 13 floors. Famous for rare Tibetan art treasures displayed there.
10. Taj Mahal
One of the world’s existing seven wonders, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India is amazing mausoleum of pure white marble. Built in 1632 by Shah Jahan, the great Mughal emperor, it is the tomb of his most beloved spouse, Mumtaz Mahal. It stands proudly on the Yamuna river’s southern bank and is aptly titled Muslim art’s jewel; in India. It is not only a most celebrated structure in the world, but it is also a compulsory place in any list of top historical sites and places in the world.
11. Great Wall of China
China’s Shanhaiguan District is where the Great Wall of China is. Yet another existing wonder of the world, this is the earth’s only structure that is visible from the moon. It’s over 13,000 miles long and is basically a fortification constructed with stone, tamped earth, brick and wood. It stretches along an east-to-west direction across China’s northern borders and was built to protect the country from invasions by nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe. The construction began as early as 7th century BC.
12. Sistine Chapel, Rome
Visiting Rome and not seeing the Sistine Chapel amounts to sacrilege. This chapel is a part of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope’s official residence in the Vatican. Early it was called Cappella Magna and was restored between 1477 and 1480. Michelangelo’s frescos on its ceilings have already become legend and makes the chapel truly stand out in the list of top historical sites and places in the world.
13. Versailles Palace, France
The Versailles Palace is a true symbol of the grandeur of French history, architecture and art. Versailles Palace or Château de Versailles along with its splendid gardens has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. People who tours in France never leave this place behind.
14. Learning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Learning Tower of Pisa has a worldwide reputation for its tilt which began while it was being built in the 12th century. The tilt was caused by inadequate ground foundation support. The tower’s height is 183.27 feet and it now leans at around 3.99 degrees.
15. Statue of Liberty, New York
No one can think of New York without the Statue of Liberty. This neoclassical copper sculpture dominates Liberty Island and was gifted by the French to the Americans. Built by the legendary designer, Gustave Eiffel, the Statue of Liberty is a world recognized freedom icon.
16. St.Peter’s Basilica
This church dates back to the late Renaissance period and locates within the Vatican in Rome. A product of brilliant minds like Michelangelo, Donato Bramante, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Carlo Maderno, St. Peter’s Basilica happens to be the world’s most renowned sample of Renaissance period architecture and is also one of the largest churches worldwide.
17. Forbidden City, China
Yet another compulsory item on the list of top historical sites and places in the world, Beijing’s Forbidden City housed the imperial palace from 1420 — 1912. It was the conventional home of all Ming and Qing emperors, as well as the political and ceremonial center of the Chinese government for over five centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it houses the world’s largest collection of ancient wood structures.
18. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
This 19th century, Neuschwanstein Castle was created on Romanesque Revival architecture and commissioned by Bavaria’s king, Ludwig II as his personal retreat and homage to the great composer, Richard Wagner. A fairy tale like castle, millions of people visits it annually, and a number of world famous films took place in this castle, too.
19. Tower of London
This historic castle, Tower of London on the River Thames’ north bank was built in 1066 as a symbol of the Norman Conquest. This structure symbolizes oppression, and primarily used as a prison from 1100 to 1952. It houses the English Crown Jewels and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
20. Christ The Redeemer, Brazil
Known as Cristo Redentor in Portugese, this soapstone and reinforced concrete statue of Jesus Christ in the city of Rio de Janeiro, is the world’s largest Art Deco statue. It measures 130 ft in length and is 98 ft wide. Perched the top of Corcovado mountain, it overlooks the entire city, so no one would missed visiting it.
21. St. Petersburg, Russia
Situated by the Baltic Sea at the eastern tip of the River Neva, St. Petersburg was earlier called Petrograd and renamed Leningrad subsequently. Steeped I history, this great Russina city is famous for its Hermitage Museum, Winter Palace, Stroganov & Marble Palaces, Mikhailovskiy Palace, Fortress of Peter & Paul, Mikhailovskiy Castle, Museum of Artillery, Signal Troops & Combat Engineers, the Admiralty, Alexander Nevskiy Monastery, Ethnographic Museum, Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, Tikhvin Cemetery, Saint Isaac’s & the Kazan Cathedrals, Peter the Great’s Cabin as also Kirov’s museum.
22. Warsaw, Poland
This historic city is Poland’s capital and locates by the River Vistula. A great seat of East European culture, Warsaw has on offer its Wilanów Royal Palace, the Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej, the Plakatu Muzeum, Faras Gallery, National Museum, the Niebo Kopernika and Panstwowe Muzeum Etnograficzne w Warszawie.
The list above is just a basic guide to the lovers of history of all ages, and will give them a fair idea of what needs to be definitely seen to be able to cover it all within a short span of time.