Visiting new places is an excellent way to learn more about the past and broaden our horizons. From Angers, France, to Machu Picchu, Peru, our world is full of beautiful places with rich history and many attractions. However, the most important fact is that you can visit most of these places in a matter of hours.
If you are a history buff and love traveling, you came to the right place. Here, we list eight travel destinations that offer impressive architecture and exciting stories just waiting to be explored. When the coronavirus pandemic is over, make sure to visit these charming places:
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, and it was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II. It is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, but it also has Hindu and Jain elements incorporated in it.
The highlight of this place is the beautiful carvings on the walls and towers. The walls are decorated with bas-reliefs, and they represent scenes from Hindu mythology and daily life. These scenes are partially damaged, so you will need some time to grasp their meaning.
Uluru is a large sandstone rock that looks like an enormous monolith. It is located in Australia, in the middle of the desert, but it attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Native Australians call Uluru “Ayers Rock,” and they consider it sacred as well. The rock is believed to be a spiritual center of the Aboriginal culture, and many legends are related to it. It is also called “the heart of Australia.”
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca city in the mountains of Peru. The Inca people inhabited it for about 100 years before it was abandoned. It was rediscovered in 1911 during a mining expedition, and today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South America.
It is known for its many impressive features, such as water fountains or terraces with growing crops. The city has several narrow streets, and its buildings are carved into the mountainside. The most important facilities are located at the top of the mountain, where they were thought to be protected from potential invaders. The ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
The Colosseum is probably the most famous amphitheater in Italy and maybe even in the whole world. It was built by Emperor Vespasian between 72 and 80 AD and could seat more than 50,000 spectators. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock naval battles or animal hunts (although historians disagree on this point).
The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, and around 4 million people visit it each year. Today, it still retains much of its original structure (despite some damage caused by earthquakes), including its outer wall and three tiers of arches.
Petra is an ancient Nabataean city carved into rose-colored rock cliffs in Jordan. For centuries, it remained unknown until it was discovered by a Swiss explorer named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. It lies on Mount Hor’s slope in a basin among the mountains that form the eastern flank of Arabah valley.
Its buildings are almost entirely carved out of sandstone. Since antiquity, they have been remarkably preserved thanks to the self-contained water system that provided water for drinking and irrigation for agriculture. Petra doesn’t have any high buildings or monuments, but it impresses with its complex architecture and rich history.
Chichen Itza Pyramid Complex, Mexico
Chichen Itza (“At the mouth of the well of the Itza”) is an ancient city built by the Maya civilization sometime between the 8th and 11th centuries CE when this civilization was at its cultural peak. Chichen Itza contains many notable structures, such as El Castillo (which has five levels and a height of 66 m) and the Temple of Kukulcan (which is the largest pyramid at Chichen Itza and one of the most visited monuments in Mexico).
The site also contains many smaller temple structures, such as the Temple of the Owls and the Temple of the Jaguars, but the real highlight is the El Castillo. This structure was built by laying stones on top of each other. Each stone was carved to fit perfectly onto the next stone below it and above it.
Alnwick Castle, England
Alnwick Castle is located in Northumberland, England. It was built between 1150 and 1174 by William de Vesci, who King Henry II granted the barony of Alnwick. The castle had been built at a strategic location between Newcastle and Edinburgh, which allowed it control over the Scottish Borders.
In 1190, during the reign of King Richard I of England, Alnwick Castle was besieged by William I of Scotland. The siege was unsuccessful and, after a fierce battle with their king, William’s troops retreated to Glasgow. In 1404 during the Wars of Scottish Independence, Alnwick Castle was again besieged, this time by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. The months-long siege resulted in the surrender of Alnwick Castle when English reinforcements arrived. Today, Alnwick Castle is a popular tourist attraction and houses a museum about its history.
Taj Mahal, India
Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built it in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. She died giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Construction of the Taj Mahal started in 1632 and took 22 years to complete. It is considered one of the most beautiful buildings globally and an outstanding example of Mughal architecture. It is listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites since 1983.
The world is full of outstanding destinations for history lovers. Every country has something unique to offer, which makes planning your next summer vacation much more challenging. With that in mind, we recommend you narrow your options down using our list.
Of course, before you set off for an adventure of a lifetime, make sure you understand all the safety regulations. Each country has its own restrictions to battle the coronavirus pandemic, so check them out when planning your retreat.