Do you know which are Europe’s oldest cities? We love history and visiting ancient sites, and started discussing which are Europe’s oldest cities. This is a question that is not entirely obvious to answer, but here is a list of 10 European cities that have many years on their necks. Have you visited any of them?
EUROPE’S OLDEST CITIES
According to Countryaah, Europe is full of history and ancient cities, founded many thousands of years ago. We became curious to find out which are Europe’s, still inhabited, oldest cities.
WHAT ARE EUROPE’S OLDEST CITIES… REALLY?
It is difficult to determine which of Europe’s cities is the oldest. Firstly, one does not always have all the historical facts, and secondly, it is difficult to determine what should be counted as “city” or as “still inhabited”.
For these reasons, listings look a little different, and we have chosen to follow the English-language Wikipedia’s list of oldest inhabited cities. According to this, for example, the Spanish city of Cádiz ends up at number ten, although in some cases it has been described as Europe’s oldest city. The exact order can thus be taken with a pinch of salt, but all these cities have a long history.
EUROPE’S OLDEST CITIES, FROM 10 TO 1
We list Europe’s oldest still inhabited cities, from 10 and down to number 1, which is thus the very oldest city. Source: Abbreviationfinder
10. CÁDIZ, SPAIN
Cádiz is a port city in Andalusia in southern Spain and has around 120,000 residents, or about 650,000 residents if you count suburbs. The city was founded around the year 1100 BC by Phoenicians, who traded with the city-state of Tartessos. Cádiz later fell to Carthage and then to Rome, before being conquered by the Moors in 711. In 1262, the city became Spanish.
9. LISBON, PORTUGAL
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and has around half a million residents in the central parts and around 2.8 million residents in the entire metropolitan area. The city was founded 1200 years before Christ by Phoenicians and was called Ulissipo. Later, the city was conquered by Greeks and then by Carthaginians before the Romans took over 205 BC. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was ruled by Moors before Alfonso II took over in 789.
8. CHALKIS, GREECE
Chalkis is a town on the island of Euboia in Greece with around 75,000 residents. The city has been inhabited since about 1200 years before Christ. In ancient times, there was a flourishing trade here, and emigrants from Chalkis also participated in the founding of the city of Naxos in Sicily around the year 735 BC. In 506 BC, the city was forced to submit to Athens.
7. TRIKALA, GREECE
Trikala is one of Europe’s oldest cities and is located in northwestern Thessaly in Greece. The city has around 81,000 residents, or 131,000 if you count the entire region. Trikala has been inhabited since about 1200 BC, but there are also caves in the area that show that people lived in the area much earlier than that. The ancient city was founded as Tram after the nymph Tram.
6. LARNACA, CYPRUS
Larnaca is today the third largest city in Cyprus with around 77,000 residents, or 144,000 if you count the entire metropolitan area. People have lived here since about 1400 BC, and at that time the area and the kingdom were called Kition. The city was an important trading port during Roman times, but was plundered by the Arabs in the 6th century.
5. THEBES, GREECE
Thebe is located northwest of Athens and is today a small town with just over 23,000 residents. The area has been inhabited since about 1600 – 1250 BC. During the early Mycenaean period, the city was given a ring wall with seven gates, and the city was therefore called the “seven-port city”. Otherwise, not much is known more than that the city was owned by a land-owning aristocracy.
4. CHANIA IN CRETE, GREECE
Chania is the second largest island on the Greek island of Crete and today has a population of about 54,000 residents, or 108,000 if you count the entire municipality. Archaeological excavations indicate that this is one of Europe’s oldest cities, with a population since 1700 BC. During the Minoan period, there was a large settlement here, which may have corresponded to the ancient city of Kydonia.
3. ATHENS, GREECE
Athens is the capital of Greece and today has around 753,000 residents, or four million if you count the suburbs. The city has been continuously inhabited for at least 7000 years, and thus dates from around 6000 – 5000 BC. The first settlements were built on the cliff of the Acropolis. According to Greek mythology, the city was named by Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
2. ARGOS, GREECE
Argos is a small town on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, with around 22,000 residents. There are indications that the area has been inhabited continuously since 6000 – 5000 years before Christ. Argos was, among other things, a stronghold during the Mycenaean period, around the years 1500 – 1000 BC.
1. PLOVDIV, BULGARIA
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria with a population of about 347,000 people, or 675,000 if you count the entire metropolitan region. The city’s history spans more than 8000 years, and several different empires have left their mark on the city’s 12 meters deep.
The first traces of settlements date from 6000 BC, and Nebet Tebe, one of the hills of Plovdiv, has been inhabited ever since. The city was fortified around 1200 BC and then changed its name to Evmolpia, after King Evmolp. Around 342 BC, the city was conquered by Phillip II and changed its name to Philippopolis. Today’s name Plovdiv is probably a linguistic transformation of this name.
European Defense and Foreign Policy by Country
- Andover, Maine (2/27/2023)
- Acme, Washington (2/20/2023)
- Things to Do in Zagreb, Croatia (2/13/2023)
- Kalutara and Kandy, Sri Lanka (2/6/2023)
- Copenhagen, Denmark (12/26/2022)