Most Beautiful Places...

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Most Beautiful Places Most Beautiful Ancient Cities...
Most Beautiful Ancient Cities



The ruins at Ephesus are the best preserved of any Roman site in the Mediterranean. Although only 1 0 per cent of the city has been excavated, the wealth of surviving detail makes it easy to imagine the lives of the people who lived there: the latrines in the public baths are communal and packed close together; the brothel is across the street from the library of Celsus; the agora, or market area, is vast, showing the importance of trade to the city; temples occur at frequent intervals; and a cemetery for gladiators has provided much information about their lives.

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Machu Picchu


Everything about Machu Picchu makes you marvel that it ever came to exist. The lost city of the Incas is built on a saddle-shaped ridge slung between two giant peaks. Near-vertical slopes drop away on either side, down to a massive bend in the Urubamba River. What could have motivated the Incas to undertake such a construction at this remote location in the Andean cordillera? Machu Picchu, built over 700 years ago and hidden by jungle since the 16th century, was rediscovered in 1911. It consists of about 200 buildings, which include dwellings and temples, a central plaza and a royal palace, all flanked by terraces for farming.

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The city of Petra was carved from red sandstone in the 3rd century BC by nomadic Arabs known as Nabataeans. The only entrance is through a siq - a long, narrow gorge. This channel, eroded by thousands of years of floods, forms a twisting and convoluted pathway through solid rock that looms up to 100 metres on either side.

At some points along its 1.2-km length the siq is wide enough for the sunlight to flood in and lift the dark and oppressive atmosphere, but at others it is no wider than a couple of metres, and the walls appear to close above your head. An early morning visit can be an eerie experience, with just the wind whistling through the gorge and the strangely tinny echo of your own footsteps.

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Most Beautiful Places Most Beautiful Ancient Cities...