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Old January 24th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #1
travelworld123
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Ancient Palaces, structures & cities that are now gone

Hi, heres a thread I thought of starting about ancient magnificent palaces, buildings and city centres that use to exist and are now today either completely gone, in ruins or built over.

Many of these were so amazing and it's sad to think that they are no longer here.

Here are a few in list form that I can start of with. Scroll down for more details and pictures of each one.

In ruins/still standing with general structure:
Ayutthaya (Thailand)
Sukhothai (Thailand)
Bagan (Burma)
Angkor (Cambodia)
Hue Imperial Palace (Vietnam)

Built over:
Tenochitlan (Mexico)


Virtually nothing left (maybe some ruins but most of the general structure gone):
Xanadu (China)
Mirador (Guatemala)
Babylon (Iraq)
Daming Palace (China)
Cahokia (USA)
Chengdu Imperial Palace (China)
Hangzhou Palace (China)
Weiyang Palace (China)
Karakorum (Mongolia)

Detailed:

In ruins:

Ayutthaya (Thailand) - Was the old capital of Thailand and consists of many temples and structures.







Sukhothai (Thailand) - similar to above

Bagan - Located in Burma/Myanmar, this is an incredible ancient place that not many people know about.









Angkor (Cambodia) - most people know about the ancient capital of Angkor, the centre of the Khmer empire and once was one of the biggest cities of the world in its time.







Hue Imperial Palace (Vietnam) - The palace is similar to the Forbidden City in Beijing but today not much remains. If you look on Google Earth you can see the general rectangular outline of the place.



image hosted on flickr



Built Over:

Tenochitlan (Mexico) - was the main city of the Aztec empire and had a complex of pyamids and other structures. One of the main buildings was the Templo Mayor and today it is gone and is actually located in the centre of Mexico City where various buildings have been built over it. The historical downtown of Mexico City is over it. Recent construction work has uncovered some ruins of the site underneath the current Spanish built buildings.







where the main central plaza of Mexico City's downtown is and where the ruins lay underneath:


recently uncovered ruins:
[IMG]http://www.************/TemMayor3/Dsc00043.jpg[/IMG]



Virtually nothing left:

Xanadu (China) - was the Summer Capital of the Yuan Dynasties ruler Kublai Khan. It's located in today's Chinese province, Inner Mongolia. Today, only ruins remain on a grassy field.





can't find many pictures of what Xanadu looked like but i saw this book in an airport all about Xanadu which had great photos and paintings of this palace

Mirador (Guatemala) - was a large Mayan settlement, located in today's Guatemala.





Babylon (Iraq) - the ancient city state of Babylon, Mesopotamia, today lies just some mounds and mud structures. One symbol of this place you might recognise is the Ishtar gate.





ishtar gate:


Daming Palace (China) - this use to be one of the largest palaces in the world and was even bigger than the Forbidden City in Beijing. Daming Palace is located in today's Xi'an in China. Today it lies in ruins but there has been reconstruction already there to try to bring the place back into the knowledge of people and try to educate and give tourists an insight into this incredible ancient palace of the Tang.











I will continue more later
feel free to contribute!

Last edited by travelworld123; February 11th, 2011 at 07:56 AM.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #2
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ah, Bagan is amazing two thousand 7-900 year old stone and gold temples left, the wooden buildings having rotted away. Angkor, possibly the greatest ever ancient city (some people say up to 2 million in population), once again the wooden buildings have disappeared but the stone temples remain, including the largest religious buildings in the world.

Also Alexandria, the first city to reach 1 million (200 years before the earliest estimates for Rome) - when the Great Library was lost it's estimated humanity lost 200 years worth of progress (in other words we may have been living with technology today that would be 200 years in the future).


Edo (Tokyo), Seoul, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Beijing, Chang'An (Xian), Kaifeng, Baghdad, Rome, Alexandria, Delhi, and Ayutthaya are all ancient cities (now destroyed) that were over 1 million in population.

Last edited by the spliff fairy; January 24th, 2011 at 01:52 PM.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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Tenochtitlan
image hosted on flickr

Image scanned from this book. http://cgi.ebay.com/Mexico-guia-siti...-/180452337758
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #4
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Arg-e-Bam







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Old January 24th, 2011, 11:23 PM   #5
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oh Bam, such a loss. I hate how it was destroyed by the earthquake, are they rebuilding?
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Old January 24th, 2011, 11:40 PM   #6
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Old January 25th, 2011, 01:33 PM   #7
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yea, its a shame how many ancient asian cities were made of wood and so susceptible to fire damage.
Lucky the Forbidden City in Beijing is still standing, i think it's mainly wood last time i visited?

Bam looks incredible! I've never heard of this place before too!

Really sad that many Pre-Columbian buildings and cities are completely razed, especially Tenochitlan. The whole story behind it and the location and everything seem so magical. Now today, you can't see a single trace of the Aztec architecture in the Mexico plaza (i don't think).
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Old January 25th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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Bam was entirely destroyed in 2003 by an earthquake that killed 26,000 inhabitants

before





after:



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Old January 25th, 2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
Also Alexandria, the first city to reach 1 million (200 years before the earliest estimates for Rome) - when the Great Library was lost it's estimated humanity lost 200 years worth of progress (in other words we may have been living with technology today that would be 200 years in the future).
Indeed, obscurantism at its best.
The invaders assumed that these books would either agree with the Qur'an/Coran, in this case they would be useless, or disagree with it, thus be heretic. Both cases would require their destruction.

It is said it took them several months to burn them all, considering the amount of books that was stored there.

Ah, religions...
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Old January 25th, 2011, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
oh Bam, such a loss. I hate how it was destroyed by the earthquake, are they rebuilding?
New buildings have been built in the modern city of Bam and people live there but it is said reconstruction of the ancient Arg of Bam needs at least 25 years of work, these are some pics from some months ago (after 7 years):





























A general view: http://hamshahrimags.com/NewsMags/Im...am-dakheli.jpg
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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #11
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Amazing. Iran does a great job of conserving heritage.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:20 PM   #12
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Some other pics from 8 months ago:



Ancient bazaar of arg which had 42 shops:



One of Jewish mansions:



A Zoroastrian fire temple:



A Madrasah (early Islamic school):



A Parthian castle:

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Old January 25th, 2011, 11:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
Indeed, obscurantism at its best.
The invaders assumed that these books would either agree with the Qur'an/Coran, in this case they would be useless, or disagree with it, thus be heretic. Both cases would require their destruction.

It is said it took them several months to burn them all, considering the amount of books that was stored there.

Ah, religions...
Yep the library was destroyed in three stages - the Roman Conquest in 48BC when Alexandria was entirely sacked, then the Christian conquest in 391AD as ordered by the newly Christian emperor (this was the greatest loss as the library and all its teachings was considered pagan and ungodly), then the Arab Conquest in 792AD.

'Agora' follows the fate of the philosopher Hipatia, the Jewish community and the library under the rise of the new Christian powers - basically she was executed for being a woman teaching men, and the library destroyed for being pagan and ungodly:


Last edited by the spliff fairy; January 26th, 2011 at 05:42 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 12:48 AM   #14
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The architecture of the Mayans and Aztec is really interesting to me. What a shame.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
Indeed, obscurantism at its best.
The invaders assumed that these books would either agree with the Qur'an/Coran, in this case they would be useless, or disagree with it, thus be heretic. Both cases would require their destruction.

It is said it took them several months to burn them all, considering the amount of books that was stored there.

Ah, religions...
I thought the Coptic Christians were responsible for it's destruction, not the Muslims. Wasn't the conflict in Alexandria between Paganism and Christianity? What does the Qur'an have to do with this? Also, Arabs, Persians and other people in the "Muslim World" re-introduced Europeans to Classical works that were "lost" after the rise of Christianity.

People in Europe were burning Averroes's books and not the other way around.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 01:17 PM   #16
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oh, one I forgot!

I recently was on a trip and at the airport got a copy of the National Geographic and one article that was very interesting - Cahokia, USA.

Yep - USA. Not China or Peru or Persia etc... but USA.

I've never heard of this either and this was a very interesting read!

Anyway, Cahokia was an ancient native american city that is now gone except for some hills and mounds now all covered in grass. It mentions about our usual assumptions that Native American civilizations are all campsite like tents and fireplaces with wooden and thatched buildings with no real 'city' like the southern Aztecs or Mayans, but Cahokia is not one that follows this case.

It is home of the Mississipian culture that was pretty large in North America.
In 1250, the population was larger than that of London.





(from national geographic site)

today it just looks like this:





(pics from google)


and with these pics of the mounds, this reminds me of yet another location that i forgot - the tombs/pyramids and surrounding palaces (i think from what i remember seeing on pictures) of Xi'an, China

Last edited by travelworld123; January 26th, 2011 at 05:34 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWT View Post
I thought the Coptic Christians were responsible for it's destruction, not the Muslims. Wasn't the conflict in Alexandria between Paganism and Christianity? What does the Qur'an have to do with this? Also, Arabs, Persians and other people in the "Muslim World" re-introduced Europeans to Classical works that were "lost" after the rise of Christianity.

People in Europe were burning Averroes's books and not the other way around.
The library was destroyed 3x over the centuries, by the Pagan Romans, Christians and Arabs. The Pagans and Arabs were invading conquerors who sacked the city, the Christians were fellow Alexandrites who deemed the library and its teachings to be ungodly. They also massacred the Jews, pagans and women in power, and tore down all non-Christian temples (under the newly Christian Roman Emperor). For his deeds the Patriarch of Alexandria was later made a saint.

Last edited by the spliff fairy; January 26th, 2011 at 05:49 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #18
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Nalanda University in Bihar, India. It was an important University and place of Buddhist scholarship from the 5th to 12th centuries. It declined and was finally burned to the ground in 1193 by Turkic invaders.

From Wiki:

The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the Mughals set fire to it, sacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site. In 2006, Singapore, China, India, Japan, and other nations, announced a proposed plan to restore and revive the ancient site as Nalanda International University.

__

Nalanda was one of the world's first residential universities, i.e., it had dormitories for students. It is also one of the most famous universities. In its heyday it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight separate compounds and ten temples, along with many other meditation halls and classrooms. On the grounds were lakes and parks. The library was located in a nine storied building where meticulous copies of texts were produced. The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning, and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. During the period of Harsha the monastery is reported to have owned 200 villages given as grants.

The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang left detailed accounts of the university in the 7th century. Xuanzang described how the regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples seemed to "soar above the mists in the sky" so that from their cells the monks "might witness the birth of the winds and clouds." Xuanzang states: "An azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with the full-blown cups of the blue lotus; the dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there, and outside groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their dense and protective shade."

The library of Nalanda, known as Dharma Gunj (Mountain of Truth) or Dharmaga˝ja (Treasury of Truth), was the most renowned repository of Buddhist knowledge in the world at the time. Its collection was said to comprise hundreds of thousands of volumes, so extensive that it burned for months when set aflame by Muslim invaders. The library had three main buildings as high as nine stories tall, Ratnasagara (Sea of Jewels), Ratnodadhi (Ocean of Jewels), and Ratnara˝jaka (Delighter of Jewels).


__




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Old January 27th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #19
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wow, i didn't know they had universities and buildings of such high organised learning institutions in those times!
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Old January 27th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
Also Alexandria, the first city to reach 1 million (200 years before the earliest estimates for Rome) - when the Great Library was lost it's estimated humanity lost 200 years worth of progress (in other words we may have been living with technology today that would be 200 years in the future).

Edo (Tokyo), Seoul, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Beijing, Chang'An (Xian), Kaifeng, Baghdad, Rome, Alexandria, Delhi, and Ayutthaya are all ancient cities (now destroyed) that were over 1 million in population.
Hmz. I'm curious to your sources for this. Alexandria - as far as I could find - was pop 300.000 before anexation by the Roman Empire. As far as I know Rome is considered the first city to reach 1 million (between 150 and 300 AD). Baghdad is considered second - (750 - 900 AD). Next is the age of China I think, in the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279), Kaifeng is believed to have been the world largest city (700.000 to some say 1.000.000), and Hangzhou (well over 1 million inhabitants)
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