What is the oldest city to exist?

Every city in the world has a story to tell. Ancient cities have even more stories engulfed in rich cultural heritage to share. They have an intriguing history, beautiful architecture, and show the imprints of evolving human civilizations. Most of the ancient cities of the world have stood the test of time apart from human invasions and geographical calamities. So let’s take a look at the oldest cities in the world that are still thriving today.

Damascus, Syria – 11,000 years old

3-LUANG PRABANG, LAOS – 1,320 years old (from AD 698)

Luang Prabang is located in the northern part of Laos. It is an outstanding example of fusion and traditional urban Lao architecture with well-preserved cityscapes. The city was created with many legends, including Buddha’s prophecy of a rich and powerful city. The city is a mix of traditional architecture and one- and two-story French colonial houses. Its charming character and picturesque environment have made the city one of the most attractive tourist sites in Laos.

The 12 oldest cities in the world (with pictures)

Some of these cities are discovered through the discovery of archaeological ruins and once discovered, there may be discussions on the historical record of each city, but regardless of these arguments and strife, all these ancient cities have significant cultural value. The 10 oldest cities in the world are:

1. Damascus, Syria: Damascus is the oldest capital city in the world and is the capital of Syria, making it the oldest in the world, it is also the fourth holiest city in the Islamic religion. The city is also called the capital of Arab culture. As the oldest city in the world, it has seen many cities and civilizations come and go and many rise and fall. According to historical records and research studies, the first time Damascus was inhabited was around the second half of the seventh millennium BC.

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A typical modern neighborhood of Damascus, Credit: Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

Founded in: ~6,300 BC (~ 8,300 years) Today part of: Damascus Governorate, Syria Today’s population: 1.7 million

Did you know?

In addition to all its historical landmarks, Damascus is home to the largest restaurant in the world, the Damascus Gate Restaurant. According to Guinness World Records, the Damascus Gate Restaurant has a total of 6,014 seats and covers 215,277.4 square feet (20,000 square meters).

Year of foundation or first habitation: around 3200 BC. such as the ancient city of Thebes Current population: 1,328,429 (last count in 2020) Total area: 161 square miles (416 km²)

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