Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where to stay near top architectural wonders

Every year travelers flock to big cities and admire modern architectural masterpieces. Interestingly enough, many will also travel great distances to see ancient and deteriorating architectural wonders.  Our ancestors built some magnificent structures that even after thousands of years are still drawing crowds and inspiring millions. 

All over the world there are historic sites that beckon us, the most popular by far is The Great Wall located in China.  With about 10 million annual visitors, this time worn classic is on most people’s bucket list.  The most stunning section of the wall just happens to be the most accessible, about 70 miles from Beijing.  The Great Wall was built by prisoners and slaves starting as far back as 770 B.C.  China is also home to number 4 on the list of most visited ancient sites, Xi’an and the Terracotta Army.  The life-size statues were discovered in 1974, and more are thought to still be buried.  The statues include 700 generals, warriors, infantrymen, and chariot drivers along with 400 horses and 100 chariots.  All of the statues have unique faces and expressions and are adorned with different clothing and hairstyles.  Built for Emperor Qin Shi Huang as a necropolis, they are arranged in rows in covered pits.  With so much individuality, it is not hard to see why yearly 3.6-4.5 million people visit these magnificent carvings. 

Italy is a country so full of wonder that it is a dream destination for so many.  This country is home to 3 of the most visited ancient ruins.  The Colosseum in Rome is seen every year by around 7 million people.  The Colosseum was completed in A.D. 80 to entertain the public with dramatic theatrical performances.  Sadly it has a darker side.  It drew large crowds to experience the grisly slaughter of animals and humans.  This stunning architectural masterpiece is haunting to many visitors as a reminder of the cruelty of the time.  Also inside the fabulous city of Rome is the Roman Forum.  This 5th century B.C. structure was a piazza, marketplace and government center.  Yearly 5.1 million people flock to see this sacred site and to get a feel for what the Roman people believed and worshiped many years ago.  The third most popular location to visit in Italy is the city of Pompeii.  Seen by 2.5 million every year, this somber place lets its visitors get a peak at life in the first century.  This coastal town was wiped out with the sudden eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79.  What is left behind is a gloomy reminder of the lives lost when the town was covered in ash. 

Located near Cairo, The Pyramids of Giza are named one of the Seven Wonders of the World and rank number 5 for annual visitors.  4 million people travel yearly to see these stunning symbols of Egypt.  These pyramids are not only ancient, they are mysterious.  The Egyptians built the structures but it is unknown how that was accomplished or when exactly they were built, thus adding to the puzzle.  The simple looking structures are intricate and mind boggling. 

Ancient Athens is named after the goddess Athena and is home to Acropolis.  It’s most well known monument is the Parthenon and is often seen as a representation of the country of Greece.  Built in the 5th century B.C., the landmark seems in great shape for its age, but unfortunately that's not the case.  Many of its friezes and sculptures were taken to museums around Europe.  Although the country is attempting to return them to the site, the structure itself is still magnificent.  Even in its partial state, Acropolis is a stunning reminder of classical Greece and is seen by 2 million explorers each year.

Traveling to see the ancient sites is bound to be a magnificent experience, connecting us with our past.  We can offer a collection of the top luxury hotels in the world.  Stay in comfort and elegance and be inspired by our ancestors

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