7 Fascinating Walled Cities to Explore

There are thousands of ancient cities to visit around the world, but there aren’t too many walled ones. There’s something special about exploring walled cities as they all have so many stories to tell.

These are 7 of the most interesting of the world’s walled cities.

 

1. Taroudant, Morocco, Africa

This historic fortified city is located in the south of Morocco. It was a key stop on the caravan route from the Sahara Desert to Marrakech. It’s also been a wealthy place ever since the 11th century due to thesilver and gold mines that are located nearby. The snow-capped mountains from the Atlas range can be seen from the city and the mud walls that surround it were erected back in the 16th century. It’s still a bustling trade center where you can find a variety of jewelry, carpets and local arts and crafts.

2. Rhodes, Greece

The medieval city of Rhodes is a wonderful puzzle of alleys and roads that are surrounded by fortified walls that were built in the 14th century. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the wall divides the town into two sections. The northern area features the Grand Master’s Palace while the southern section is where most of the workers resided. Another popular site is the Acropolis of Rhodes.

3. Avila, Spain

The walled city of Avila is about 70 miles to the northwest of magnificent. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sits close to 4,000 feet above sea level. Avila is completely surrounded by granite walls that were constructed way back in 1090. There are a total of nine gates and 88 towers on the walls.

Inside of the city you’ll find several religious sites, such as the Basilica de San Vicente and Cathedral de Avila. This is the birthplace of St. Teresa of Avila, who was born in 1515. There’s a festival held in her honor every October.

4. York, England

The lovely English town of York has four defensive gatehouses around it. These were used as entrances to the walled area. You can still climb the walls for a good view of the town and surrounding area, which includes the Ouse and Foss Rivers. The walls surrounding York were put up in 71 A.D. Some of theoriginal Roman structures and wall still remains including the Multangular Tower. Most of the city inside the walls is car-free, making it a great place to explore the cobblestone streets.

5. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is one of the most charming cities in Europe and it’s only about 50 miles from Brussels. There is a lot of natural beauty inside the city walls, which were built around the time of Julius Caesar. The city has a rich history as it has been occupied by many people including the Vikings and Romans. It’s a wonderful location to explore due to the canals, cafes, restaurants, museums, chocolate shops, churches and beautiful architecture.

6. Xi’an, China

The city of Xi’an lies on the east end of the ancient Silk Road trade route, making it one of China’s oldest cities with about 3,000 years of rich history. However, the 40-foot high stone walls were built in the late 1300s around the time of the Ming Dynasty. There were originally about seven miles of wall and some of the base work was as wide as 60 feet. There are plenty of historical attractions to visit here.

7. Dubrovnik, Croatia

The gorgeous city of Dubrovnik has been walled for many centuries. In some places the walls reached 80 feet in height and 20 feet in thickness. The city lies on the Adriatic Sea and the forts, walls, towers, and bastions helped protect it from intruders ever since the seventh century. The city comes alive each year with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival which features traditional music and theater. It’s easy to see why this unique city is called the Pearl of the Adriatic.

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