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  • 5 fascinating historic sites from around the world



    Traveling to a foreign country is like a field trip for the amateur historian, or even for a regular traveler who likes to hear stories about other countries and other people.

    The remnants of ancient civilizations, monuments erected in honor of heroes, or museums showcasing the best of a country’s historical relics are the types of places where you will learn something without feeling like you’re back in school. These 5 fascinating historic sites from around the world are so interesting that they attract travelers from even the remotest corners of the planet.

    Potala Palace, Tibet

    The magnificent Potala Palace in Lhasa was the home of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama had to flee to India in 1959, due to a rebellion. The palace was built in the 17th century over the foundation of a much older structure, called the Red Palace, which is thought to have been built in the 7th century.

    The thirteen storied building has over a thousand rooms, ten thousand shrines and hundreds of thousands of statues. Taking a tour of the museum will take you on a tour de force of Tibetan spirituality and art.

    Persepolis, Iran

    Persepolis, photo by Arian Zwegers

    Parsa, the City of Persian, dates back to the 6th century B, and in ancient times it was one of the riches, most resplendent and most powerful cities in the Middle East, and the capital of the Archaemenid Empire.

    The ruins of the city include several buildings built of dark grey marble, the impressive Apadana Palace built by Darius the Great, a beautiful Throne Room, and the tombs of many famous kings of Persia.

    Alhambra, Spain

    One of the most breath-taking historical sites in Spain is one of the last heritages of the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada. The castle was built in the 14th century, and it looms over the city of Granada from the top of Assabica hill.

    The palaces were called a “pearl set in emeralds” by poets, thanks to the pastel color of the buildings, and the surrounding landscape made of of dense woods and delicate gardens planted with English elms, roses, myrtles and orange trees.

    Alcatraz Island, San Fransisco, California

    A-Bomb Dome, photo by Spiegel on Flickr

    One of the most infamous prisons in the world is today a rather controversial but very interesting historical site in San Francisco Bay. But the island’s past as the first maximum security prison in the US (whose inmate include ‘starts’ of the likes of Al Capone, Alvin “Creepy Karpis” Karpowicz) is only one part of the story.

    The prison was closed down in ’63, and in 1969 it was occupied for 19 months by theĀ  United Indians of All Tribes organization. The occupation is now one of the key moments of the Native American rights movement.

    A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima, Japan

    The A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima is the kind of haunting historical site that leaves you with an unpleasant feeling, but it is an incredibly powerful reminder of the horrors of WWII. The dome is one of the buildings destroyed by the nuclear bombing that reduced Hiroshima to rubble, and it was intentionally left in ruin. At night, the monument looks particularly striking,


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