When many of us go on vacation, we like to learn a little bit about the country we are visiting. Thankfully, there is a whole world of history just waiting to be discovered. While we can read and learn about times gone by, there is no substitute for going to these places and really feeling what the world was like often hundreds of years ago.
Italy – Rome, and Pompeii
The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most famous structures to have survived Ancient Roman times, and it is still largely intact. You can step into this colossal arena and imagine what it was like to have thousands of Romans baying for your blood as you took on the mighty gladiators. You can head to Pompeii on a day trip from Rome and uncover just how the Romans used to live. Pompeii was unfortunately at the base of a volcano that erupted and perfectly preserved much of the town as it was back in the Roman times. You can walk along the streets, entering the houses and imagine how the inhabitants used to live.
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Greece – Athens
Athens was the world’s center for the arts and philosophy between 508 – 322 BCE. You can visit the city that is widely regarded as the birthplace of democracy, and you can enter the ancient citadel of the Acropolis of Athens during your visit. Many of the great philosophers from history were born here, including Plato and Socrates and you can get close to the history through the many museums in the city.
Cambodia – Angkor Wat
Visitors to Cambodia must check out the temple of Angkor Wat. This temple has been preserved since the 12th century and is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world. There are faces carved from stone on the outside of the building that are so detailed it will leave you wondering how they were so capable of such skillful masonry 800 years ago. The inside walls are decorated with engravings and visitors are able to roam inside the temple walls to transport themselves back in time.
Egypt – Cairo
The pyramids in Egypt are some of the most iconic structures in human history. Their unusual shape and design really exhibit what you can achieve if you are a tyrannical empire forcing citizens into slave labor. These giant pyramids were built as a final resting place for some of the rulers of the time, where they would be mummified and buried with their treasures. Amazingly, visitors are allowed into these ancient structures to see what was buried within.
Poland – Auschwitz
One of the reasons many people study history is to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors. One of the worst atrocities the world has ever seen is the Holocaust that resulted in the deaths of millions of Jewish people at the hands of the evil German rule leading up to the Second World War and during the conflict. Auschwitz, in Poland, is home to a well-preserved concentration camp used to house and execute Jewish people. Visitors are allowed onto the sight, and it serves as a harrowing reminder of how awful people were treated in relatively recent times.
If you have an interest in human history then thankfully there are still some surviving ancient structures for you to go and check out. They are mostly in disrepair, but that doesn’t take away from the sense of awe you feel when stepping inside. Sometimes they are places of triumph and other times you cannot escape the feeling of deep sorrow.