5 least famous wonders of the ancient world
While famous historical sites attract millions of travelers every year, the ancient wonders we are talking about are remote from popular tourist destinations. Today’s collection contains impressive buildings by unknown ancient architects that have survived to this day.
The prehistoric group of islands of Micronesia, the underground city of Anatolia, the Lebanese temple of stone blocks, so huge that it remains a mystery how they were moved – read about these and other miracles further.
Underground Kingdom of Derinkuyu (Turkey)
750 km from Istanbul is the ancient multi-tiered city of Derinkuyu. This is the largest cave system ever built by hand, left on the face of the earth. The city of ancient Anatolia (modern Turkey) impresses with its developed infrastructure. Schools, stables, churches – and all this is carved from soft volcanic stone at 60 m, and in some places at 85 m below the surface of the earth.
Tours to Turkey
Built between the 7th and 8th centuries BC, the underground complex served as a fortress from attacks by marauding armies. Although Derinkuyu was conceived as a temporary refuge, its layout is impressive: about 600 ground doors for entry, 15,000 ventilation ducts to provide fresh air, a complex network of passages, tunnels, corridors, as well as a winery and cellar. The total territory of the ancient city is designed so that 20,000 people with livestock and food can be accommodated here.
The underground city is in excellent condition and can be seen during tourist excursions. Travelers should take note that many steps will need to be overcome to study it.
Prehistoric Nan Madol (Federated States of Micronesia)
The mysterious floating city of Nan Madol includes 92 artificial islands separated by a network of canals. It is located in the center of the Pacific Ocean, 3,600 km from the Philippines near Pohnpei Island. Not surprisingly, it is hard for tourists to get to the city.
Nan Madol originated between 1285 and 1485, during the reign of the Saudeler dynasty. In all likelihood, it served as the residence of the elite, and each islet had its purpose. There is a platform for the construction of canoes, a kitchen, an infirmary for the sick. All this, according to Terry Newman, who visited the unusual city twice, was covered with a canopy of palm trees and straw. The traveler compared the Micronesian city with the temple of Angkor Wat, calling Nan Madol a primitive example of a shrine in the overgrown jungle, but no less impressive in its architecture and mysterious past.
Religious city of Baalbek (Lebanon)
Located in the east of the Bekaa Valley, Baalbek was inhabited 9,000 years ago. At different times, he attracted the attention of the Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks. Baalbek was used as a religious site, where most of the buildings have been preserved. Monumental temples dedicated to the gods – Bacchus (Dionysus), Venus and Jupiter were erected here. Traveler Ella Ryan comments that the temple of Bacchus exceeds the size of the Parthenon in Greece.
In the neighboring sanctuary of Jupiter, 5 of the 54 Corinthian columns survived – 22 meters high and 2 meters wide. The foundation of the temple is laid out of megaliths – huge individual building blocks. How each block was cut and moved to this place remains a mystery. According to Ryan’s assumptions, builders of that time could use Roman cranes consisting of a winch, rope and a block with pulleys.
Newgrange Dome, County Meath (Ireland)
Newgrange is a gigantic dome towering over a plain in County Meath in Ireland. It was erected during the Neolithic period, approximately in 3200 BC. e. The ancient building occupies a special place in Irish folklore and is considered one of the most important megalithic buildings in Europe.
Grass mound is an alternating layer of earth and stone. Decorated with a white quartz façade, added during the 1970s reconstruction period, Newgrange is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The dimensions of the dome are impressive – 76 m in diameter and 12 m in height. A passage has been laid inside the building, which stretches for 19 m and ends with three small chambers with ancient burials.
Rock architecture – Ajanta and Ellora (India)
Located near the city of Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra, the buildings of Ellora are recognized as the pinnacle of Indian rock architecture. Their story begins between the VI and IX centuries – 34 caves were carved in front of the stone on the hills of Charanandri. These places are primarily valued for the presence of ancient paintings and sculptures, which are recognized as masterpieces of Buddhist and Indian art. Ellora is home to Kailasa, a temple carved from solid stone.
About 100 km northeast are Ajanta caves, which historian William Dalrymple calls one of the great wonders of the ancient world. Huge caves were created in the rocks between the 2nd and 7th centuries as a monastery of Buddhist temples.