THE OLDEST CITIES OF EUROPE

Alec Hills - May 23, 2011
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Many European cities boast several hundred years of history attracting tourists with their ages old squares, temples and houses. Yet, what cities can claim that they are the oldest? Tourism-Review.com brings a list of the oldest continuously inhabited European cities.

Athens (Greece)

Inhabited since: 4000-5000 BC

The birthplace of Classical Greece and the Western civilization Athens is packed with sights and monuments reminding the visitors of the city’s past. People were already living in the region between the 11th-7th millennium BC but recorded history begins in 1400 BC. Among the most popular places of interest is the Acropolis with its marble temples sacred to the city's goddess Athena. Roman ruins of the city are also one of the tourist highlights as well as the old Royal Palace at the Syntagma Square and numerous historic lanes, shops and restaurants.

Argos (Greece)

Inhabited since: 5000 BC

Continuously inhabited for the past 7,000 years Argos is without doubt one of the oldest cities in Greece as well as Europe. Its recorded history started in the second half of the 1st millennium BC. Thanks to its location on a fertile plain the city lives mainly from agriculture even today. However, Argos is also a popular destination for history loving tourists who come to explore a number of ancient monuments. The best known landmark is the Heraion of Argos which is a famous temple dedicated to Hera.

Plovdiv (Bulgaria)

Inhabited since: 3000-4000 BC

The earliest evidence of a settlement in the area dates back to 6000 BC. Today, Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria. Located in a large plain between two mountain ranges, the city hides traces of its long history. Romans as well as Ottoman Empire once ruled over the city leaving behind numerous architectural marvels including a large mosque in the center of Plovdiv. The Roman Amphitheater discovered in the old town center only in 1970s is a must-see for any visitor and so are charming lanes and cobbled streets with merchants selling art.

Chania (Crete, Greece)

Inhabited since: 1400 BC

With its Venetian atmosphere the port town of Chania is a popular holiday spot on the coast of Crete. Long stretches of beaches, picturesque shops and restaurants are also on offer to the travelers. No wonder, tourism is now a very important source of revenue for the city. The old town, which is considered the most beautiful urban district on Crete, reflects its history and especially the Turkish and Venetian influence. Visitors can explore the local maze of alleys and houses from different periods as well as the charming harbor.

Larnaca (Cyprus)

Inhabited since: 1400 BC

Larnaca is the oldest city in Cyprus with the evidence of habitation going back up to 6,000 years. It is a coastal town and a popular holiday destination for travelers. Among the most important landmarks are the ruins of Ancient Kitium from the 13th century BC. Very popular among visitors are also the remains of the Cyclopean Walls made of giant blocks and the Old Aqueduct known as "The Kamares" outside the town.

Brought to you by Tourism-Review.com, the tourism news provider for the travel trade community worldwide. Visit www.tourism-review.com.

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