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15 Amazingly Beautiful Lost Cities Of The World

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Travel Attractions – Lost Cities of the World

Although it’s difficult to imagine how a whole city could get lost, that’s exactly what happened to these lost cities. There are many reasons why a city should be abandoned, including war, natural disasters and climate change. 

One day, perhaps in the distant future, one our descendants might look at the Statue Of Liberty or Taj Mahal ruins and wonder about all the other settlements. It wouldn’t surprise if many of the cities today would be submerged by then. History is full of stories about lost cities that have been abandoned or drowned in the wilderness.

Many of these forgotten cities were lost to time, and many of them were never discovered or discovered by historians or wanderers. These people helped us to discover these beautiful hidden places around the globe.

There are many lost cities in the ancient world. We have listed some of these lost cities. Take a look at these!

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1. Persepolis, Iran

Persepolis, a magnificent city that Darius I founded in 518 BC was the ceremonial capital and center of the powerful Persian Empire. It was a magnificent city that featured precious artworks, but unfortunately not much of it survives today. Alexander the Great burned Persepolis to the ground in 331 BC as part of his conquest of the Persian Empire. 


Persepolis, a province in the great Macedonian Empire, remained the capital city of Persia but declined over time. The delicate carvings, inscriptions, and places from Persepolis had been lost for centuries. They were finally discovered in the 20th Century.

2. Thebes, Egypt

The ruins of Thebes were once one of the most important cities in Ancient Egyptian culture. They now reside in Luxor, making them one of the country’s most iconic and important touristic destinations. The capital of both the Middle Kingdom’s and New Kingdoms, Thebes was founded in 3200 BC. It was home to around 40,000 people at its peak in approximately 2,000 BC.


This made it one of the largest cities in the world. Its splendor remains unsurpassed today: The Temple of Luxor and Karnak Complex, as well as the Temple of Ramesses II, remain among the most outstanding architectural achievements in the world. The tomb of Tutankhamun can also be found here.

3. Skara Brae, Scotland

Skara Brae, a Neolithic settlement constructed of stone, is located at the Bay of Skaill, west coast of Mainland. It is the largest island in Scotland’s Orkney archipelago. It was occupied between 3180 BC and 2500 BC. The settlement was abandoned by its inhabitants after the climate changed and became more colder and wetter.

Skara Brae, which is older than Stonehenge or Great Pyramids is also known as the Sottish Pompeii. It is extremely well preserved. It was discovered after severe storms between 1850 and mid-1920s.

Skara Brae

It is one of Europe’s best-preserved Stone Age villages. The site was covered by sand dunes for hundreds of years until an 1850 storm exposed it. Because the dwellings were almost immediately filled with sand, the stone walls are quite well preserved. Furniture had to be made from stone because there were no trees.

Take a step back in time 5,000 years and discover one of Europe’s most well-preserved prehistoric settlements. Skara Brae was once an inland village that overlooked a freshwater lake. It now overlooks a large, sandy beach. A visit to Skara Brae is a visual treat, as it is surrounded by stunning wildflowers and birdlife.

4. Palenque, Mexico

Palenque, Mexico is smaller than other Mayan lost cities. However, it has some of most beautiful architecture and sculptures that the Maya have ever created. Palenque’s structures date back to between 600 AD and 800 AD.


The 8th century saw the city decline. After a few generations of agricultural life, the city was abandoned by its inhabitants and slowly re-established by the forest.

5. Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor, a large temple city in Cambodia is home to many capitals of Khmer Empire from the 9th through the 15th centuries AD. These include the Angkor Thom temple with its many massive stone faces and the Angkor Wat temple. Angkor has experienced many religious changes over its long history, converting from Hinduism to Buddhism multiple times.


The year 1431 marks the end of the Angkorian era. This was the year that Ayutthaya invaders sacked and looted Angkor, despite the fact that the civilization was already in decline. Nearly all of Angkor was destroyed, with the exception of Angkor Wat which remained a Buddhist shrine.

6. Tikal, Guatemala

Between ca. Between 200 and 900 AD, Tikal became the largest Mayan city. It had a population of between 100,000 to 200,000 people. The area surrounding Tikal experienced rapid erosion and deforestation as the city reached its peak population.


Tikal saw a rapid decline in its population between 830 and 950. The central authority appears to have also collapsed quickly. Tikal was almost deserted by 950. However, a few people may have survived in the ruins. These people left Tikal in the 10th and 11th centuries. The Guatemalan rainforest took over the ruins for the next 1000 years.

7. Leptis Magna, Libya

Leptis Magna, or Lepcis Magna, was a prominent Roman city located in modern-day Libya. The city’s natural harbor allowed it to grow as a major Mediterranean and Saharan trading center. It also became an agricultural market in the fertile coastland area. 

Leptis Magna

Septimius Severus, the Roman emperor (193-211), was born in Leptis and became a major patron of the city. His leadership saw the start of an ambitious building programme. Leptis fell in decline over the next centuries due to the growing difficulties of the Roman Empire. The Arab conquest of 642 left the city in ruin. It was then buried under sand for many centuries.

8. Mesa Verde, Colorado

Mesa Verde is located in southwest Colorado and is home to the famed cliff dwellings built by the Anasazi people. The Anasazi began building homes in caves and under rocks overhangs on canyon walls around the 12th century. These houses could have up to 150 rooms. 

The Mesa Verde area was abandoned by all Anasazi around 1300. However, the ruins are almost perfect. Their sudden departure is still unknown. There are many theories, ranging from crop failures caused by drought to the intrusion of foreign tribes from North.

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde is a National Park and a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. It protects some the most well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the US. The Cliff Palace is the most famous part of the park. It is the largest cliff dwelling in North America.

9. Timgad, Algeria

Timgad, was once an a flourishing Roman colony in Algeria. It was established by Emperor Trajan around 100 AD. The original design was for around 15,000 people. However, it quickly outgrew its original requirements and spread beyond the orthogonal grid in an unorganized manner.


The Vandals sacked the city in the 5th century, and the Berbers two centuries later. It was one of the Roman Empire’s lost cities, and it disappeared from history until its discovery in 1881. It is a fine example of Roman grid system urban planning. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1982.

10. Taxila, Pakistan

Taxila, located in northwest Pakistan, is an ancient city annexed in 518 BC by the Persian King Darius The Great. Alexander the Great conquered the city in 326 BC. The city was ruled by many conquerors and became an important Buddhist center. 


According to legend, Thomas the apostle visited Taxila during the first century AD. Its location at the intersection of three great trade routes was the key to Taxila’s ancient prosperity. The city declined and fell into insignificance. In the 5th century, the Huns destroyed it.

Alexander Cunningham discovered the city in the middle of 19th century. According to some, Taxila was the home of one of the first universities anywhere in the world.

11. Sukhothai, Thailand

Sukhothai is Thailand’s oldest and most significant historical city. Originally a small town in the Angkor-based Khmer Empire, Sukhothai was established as the capital and first independent Tai state. According to some reports, the ancient city had around 80,000 residents.


Sukhothai’s influence started to diminish after 1351 when Ayutthaya became the capital of the Tai dynasty. In 1438, the town was conquered by the Ayutthaya kingdom. In the 15th and early 16th centuries, Sukhothai died.

12. Ani, Turkey

Ani was first a prominent town in the 5th Century AD. In the 10th century, it had grown to be the capital of Armenia. It was home to many beautiful examples of medieval architecture, earning it the nickname “City of 1001 Churches” due to its numerous churches. Ani was home to 100,000-200,000 people at its peak. 


A devastating earthquake in 1319 and shifting trade routes led to its irreversible decline. The city was eventually abandoned and left to rot for many centuries. Turkey now has the ruins.

12. Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan

Mohenjo-daro, which was built in Pakistan around 2600 BC, is one of the earliest urban settlements. Sometimes it is called “An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis”. It has a planned layout based on a grid of streets, which were laid out in perfect patterns.

It was notable for its buildings, which were constructed from identical-sized sun dried bricks made of baked mud and burnt wood. At its height the city probably had around 35,000 residents. It was notable for its buildings, which were constructed from identical-sized sun dried bricks made of baked mud and burnt wood.


Excavations revealed it to be one of the largest cities of Indus Valley Civilization and one of the earliest urban settlements in the world. The use of fire-burnt bricks to make organized structures and the marvelous planning are what make the city so famous. And of all the buildings & ruins unearthed, the structure of the Great Bath is the most famous.

Mohenjo-daro, and the Indus Valley Civilization disappeared without a trace between 1800 BC and 1920, until discovered in the 1920s. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 80.

13. Babylon, Iraq

Babylonia was an ancient Mesopotamian empire. It was located on the Euphrates River. After the fall of Babylonia, the city became anarchy in 1180 BC. However, it was reborn as a subsidiary state under the Assyrian Empire in the 9th century BC. 

Babylon’s brilliant colors and luxurious lifestyle became famous during the time of Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 BC), who is also credited with the creation of the famous Hanging Gardens. 


Today, all that remains of this famous city is a mound made of mud-brick buildings and nd debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq. The site was controversially re-built under Saddam Hussein. Large chunks of the city’s Ishtar Gate can be seen at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

14. Hattusa, Turkey

In the 17th century BC, Hattusa was made the capital of Hittite Empire. As part of the Bronze Age fall, the city and the Hittite state were destroyed. The site was then abandoned. 


The timber- and mud-brick-built dwellings have disappeared from the site. Only the remains of stone-built temples and palaces remain. A German archeological team discovered the lost city in central Turkey at the beginning of the 20th Century. 

Clay tablets, which include legal codes, procedures, and literature from the ancient Near East, are one of the most significant discoveries at the site.

15. Troy, Turkey

Although the city was once thought to be imaginary, excavations in Turkey in 1871 proved it existed. Troy, a mythical city located in northwestern Turkey is made famous by Homer’s epic poem the Iliad. 

This is the location of the Trojan War, according to Iliad, during which the Greeks hid themselves in a giant wooden horse to gain entry to the city.


Troy’s archaeological site contains many layers of ruins that have been built on top of each other and date back approximately 5,000 years.

FAQs About The Lost Cities In The World

How do cities become lost?

There are many reasons why a city should be abandoned. There are many reasons why a city should be abandoned, including war, natural disasters and climate change. These cities disappeared, no matter what the reason, until centuries later they were discovered again.

Why do cities get abandoned?

There are many factors that can lead to towns being abandoned, including depletion of natural resources, shifting economic activity elsewhere, railroads and roads bypassing or not longer accessing the town and human intervention, catastrophes, wars, or the shifting of power or the fall of empires.

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