If you love history, you must visit the Middle East. Spanning from the coast of Israel to Saudi Arabia deserts, the Middle East is a host to some of the extraordinary cities and landscapes in the world. Whether you love unique nature’s development or the awe-inspiring man’s work, Middle East hosts exquisite historical sites in the world reflecting the heritage and culture of the ancient people. Some of the unique historical places in the Middle East that you must visit include:
The Lost City of Petra
Formerly the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, the Lost City of Petra in Jordan is known for its vibrant color of its sandstone that gives it the name rose-red city. Before the city was abandoned, Petra was an important cultural and trade center for several centuries. While in the city, you will see the exquisite temples, tombs and streets. You will also get to see and admire the wonder of the early engineering. What is more amazing is the fact that the rock-cut site of Petra remained anonymous to the world until Johann Ludwig, the Swiss explorer found it in 1812.
The Old City of Jerusalem
Currently being claimed by three major religions, the Old City of Jerusalem is considered the holiest place on earth. The Christians treasure the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jews treasure the only remains of the first Jewish Temple, the Western Wall and the Muslims treasure the Dome of the Rock. In fact, the politics and religion are closely intertwined in Jerusalem as the treasured places are almost a top of one another. The Dome of the Rock was built in the 7th century and features a magnificent golden dome, an octagonal structure and spectacular tile work inspired by the Byzantine style.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is one of the most saline water bodies in the world. Bordered by Palestine, Israel and Jordan, the saltwater lake shores are filled with amazing mineral formations and salt deposits that magnificently contrast the soft sands and the clear water tranquility. In addition to being the lowest point on Earth’s surface at 1,312 feet below sea level, the saltwater body also stands out as the deepest hypersaline lake in the world at 1,063 feet. Its high salt content prevents any marine life from thriving. Historically, the Dead Sea had a health resort for King Herod the Great. It was also a refuge for King David.
Hegra is in the modern day Saudi Arabia. It was the second largest city only to Petra in Jordan in the Nabatean Kingdom. The place was considered to be cursed by locals for a long time, which explains its extraordinary preservation. Built in the 1st century AD, the city acted as a residential area and a necropolis of which 131 colossal remain featuring remarkably detailed tombs that are cut into the rock faces.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Known in the ancient times as the Constantinople, Istanbul acted as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Built in the 6th century as a basilica, the Hagia Sophia later changed into a Mosque and later into a museum. For almost 1000 years, the basilica was the largest cathedral in the world.