In the history of human civilization, there are many abandoned cities where residents do not return. In these places, everything is immobilized, the buildings live out their days alone.
There may be many reasons for this - migration, war, natural disasters. After all, the spirit of the people who once lived, age-old secrets is kept here.
Cities seem to be waiting in the wings when they can tell their story to the whole world. Some of the cities will forever remain unknown, and some in general - so far only a legend.
Nevertheless, we will tell you about such cities that are of interest to historians, tourists and archaeologists. We invite you to determine for yourself what is true and what is myth.
Machu Picchu. This distant abandoned city can rightfully be considered the most unexplored of all the mysterious ones that humans have ever explored. Machu Picchu is lonely located near the Urubamba Valley in Peru, it was not found, studied or touched until 1911, when the historian Giram Bingham visited it. It was then that the whole world learned about the abandoned city. It is now known that Machu Picchu was divided into districts, there were more than 140 different stone buildings in it. According to rumors, the city appeared here in the 15th century thanks to the Incas. However, a century later, Machu Picchu was abandoned, probably thanks to the terrible smallpox epidemic brought from Europe. Historians debate why the Incas built the city in such a strange place. Someone claims that this is a sacred land, and someone claims that the buildings served as a giant prison. However, recent studies have shown that the mysterious city was built here by order of the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Machu Picchu was specially built near the mountains, as it corresponded to the ancient astrological mythology of the Inca tribe.
Atlantis. Everyone has heard the story of a sunken island with a city-country on it. Now the legends about Atlantis are considered to be a myth invented by Plato in 360 BC. The philosopher described an island with a developed civilization that possessed a powerful sea power. Plato argued that Atlantis occupied most of European territory until it sank under water due to natural disasters. Although Plato's story is considered fiction, his description of a powerful and ancient civilization was so vivid and impressive that many writers and travelers are still looking for the lost island. It is not even clear where to look for the lost country, because the thickness of the sea or ocean is splashing over it. According to some sources, it was located just west of Gibraltar, and according to others, generally on the site of the present Mediterranean Sea.
Pompeii. The Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed in 79 AD. due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Then the city was home to about 20,000 people. After the eruption of the volcano, the townspeople hastily left their homes, leaving all their property in panic. As a result, not only all buildings were buried under a layer of ash, but also about 2000 citizens. The city remained hidden until 1748, when it was discovered by workers building a palace for the king of Naples. Since then, Pompeii has become the subject of archaeologists and historians from around the world. And it is not surprising, because thanks to the volcano, the architecture of the city remained intact. On the territory of Pompeii, a huge number of sculptures and frescoes have been found, which enable modern people to learn more about how Ancient Rome lived. Today, this place near Naples is very popular among tourists.
Angkor. In one of the regions of Cambodia is the area of Angkor, which was the seat of the Khmer Empire from 800 BC. before 1400 A.D. When the Thai army invaded in 1431, the city was on the brink of destruction. People left here, and the once mighty capital of the empire was abandoned and overgrown with jungle. The existence of Angkor was forgotten for a long time, until in 1800 a group of French archaeologists found it. It was then that people began to study and restore the abandoned city. It turned out that the area around Angkor is not inferior to the current Los Angeles. As a result, this ancient city became known as the largest ancient city in the world. The local temple of Angkor Wat is generally considered the largest architectural monument that has ever existed.
Memphis. The first mentions of this city appeared 2500 years ago, although the city existed from 3100 BC. Memphis was once considered the capital of Ancient Egypt. The city had a strategic location between Upper and Lower Egypt. For hundreds of years, it was here that civilization developed, but with the advent of Alexandria the city fell into decay. During its heyday, the population of Memphis was more than 30 thousand people, which made it the largest city of antiquity. Sand, silt and time hid the abandoned city. The city was discovered only in 1800 during the Napoleonic expedition. Over time, a detailed study of the sphinxes, statues and tombs located here began. Today Memphis is an open-air museum, but excavations are proceeding slowly due to the high level of groundwater and private property in the area. As a result, some parts of the city remained unexplored by archaeologists and historians.
El Dorado. The legends about this place are based on the story of how King Zipa used to decorate his body with golden sand, then washing it off in the sacred Lake Guatavita. Such an ancient tradition existed in the ancient Muisca civilization of South America. Despite its legendary status, the empire of El Dorado (or El Dorado) is most likely a myth. Rumors have a mysterious wealthy city in the jungle of South America. The very same word translated from Spanish means "gold". They say that the city was ruled by a king who possessed fabulous reserves of gold and diamonds. Precious metals here lay underfoot like cobblestones. Over time, the city was captured by neighboring hostile tribes, and it became depopulated, disappearing into the green sea of the jungle. In their midst, several expeditions tried to find traces of the mysterious city, the most famous of which was carried out back in 1541 under the leadership of Gonzalo Pizarro. Traces of the legendary country were never found, as well as jewelry. Adventurers have been actively interested in Eldorado for over 250 years. Today this country remains only a symbol of unattainable wealth.
Peter. The most beautiful city on our list is this one. It is located in Jordan, near the Dead Sea, in the narrow Siq canyon. It is believed that this was once the center of trade of the ancient Nabatian kingdom, because trade routes from the Red Sea to Damascus and from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean intersected here. The guests of the city are most impressed by the exquisite stone architecture, which was hollowed out of the surrounding rocks by local residents a long time ago. This also served as a reliable fortification for the ancient city. It is still not clear with the help of which technologies it was possible to create such a masterpiece. Petra prospered for several centuries until it was gradually destroyed by the Romans and nature. As a result, the area was swallowed up for a long time by the desert. In 1812 the city was found by the Swiss Burkhard, since then tourists from all over the world come here every year. Particular attention is drawn to the Treasury - a majestic building with a facade carved right into the rock.
Lost City Z. The location of the legendary city is known only approximately - the very middle of the Brazilian jungle. It is believed that it was quite developed - there were bridges, temples and roads. The beginning of conversations about the mysterious city was laid by the document "Manuscript 512", found by the Portuguese. Some researchers claimed that they saw this place in 1753 when searching for gold mines. It is indicated that the dead city had signs of a Greco-Roman civilization. However, no subsequent expeditions yielded results. The lost area also became famous thanks to the disappearance of the famous English traveler Percy Fawcett, who disappeared in 1925 while trying to find the lost city of Z. A book was written about the legendary place, a movie was made and even a computer game was created.
Troy. This Greek city became famous thanks to the epics of Homer. It was Troy that became the first legendary city located on the territory of today's Turkey. In general, people have lived in this place since 3000 BC. Scientists have discovered 9 layers of the ancient city, which either died or resurrected. According to legend, the famous Trojan War once thundered here, these events belong to the 7th layer. In those days, Troy was an excellently fortified and defended place, the city was located on a hill near the Scamander River. A short distance from the sea made it possible to avoid sea attacks, and the nearby plains contributed to the development of agriculture. Excavations have shown that in the Homeric era the population of the city was 6-10 thousand, which was quite a lot for that time. For a long time, the very existence of Troy was considered a myth, but in 1870 the German archaeologist Henry Schliemann discovered traces of a settlement. Now the area has become unattractive - excavations are constantly conducted here, and tourists are subjected to robberies. Most of Schliemann's finds from different layers are today in Russia, in the Pushkin Museum and the Hermitage.
City of Caesars. And this city is just a myth. The city of the Caesars, also called the Wandering City or the City of Patagonia, was once located in the southernmost part of South America. An abandoned city in Patagonia was found, which is why it is considered to be a legend. According to rumors, the city was once found by the Spaniards, who were shipwrecked nearby. In the City of the Caesars, a huge amount of diamonds and gold were discovered. Adventure seekers were not deterred by the legend that 10 meter giants and ghosts lived in the city. But the researchers, not finding traces of the city, did a lot to explore these hitherto unexplored places.
Teotihuacan. 50 kilometers from Mexico City is an abandoned ancient city, the first of the largest in the western hemisphere. Teotihuacan is almost 2 thousand years old, but it became a large center only in the 2nd century. After 5 centuries, the city was abandoned, although during its heyday more than 150 thousand people lived in the city. The Aztecs came here much later, finding only ruins. The city was built according to a clear plan - the streets intersected at right angles. All houses were one-story, without windows. There was a clear order in the city, tough rulers were helped by priests who knew astronomy well and followed social life. It is not known for certain what destroyed this ancient metropolis during its greatest prosperity. According to one version, this happened due to the invasion of warlike neighbors, and according to another, there was an uprising of slaves, who destroyed Teotihuacan almost to the ground. Only now, no traces of violence were found, which makes this city even more mysterious.