7 Walled Cities You Should Not Miss

Walled cities has always kind of fascinate me and attract me to them….

Did you know, centuries ago, almost all cities were surrounded by fortifications for better security. The defensive walls were massive structures skirting the whole city or at least a good part of it.  Many of these walled cities actually still exist and can be found in different parts of the world. If you’re interested in medieval cities, then you really have to visit one of the following cities with your loved one. Click here if you need some dating tips as well!

Dubrovnik, Croatia              

Besides a spectacular seafront location, Dubrovnik boasts old city walls that reach 6 meters in height and about six meters thick. They were definitely good security for the city during the medieval eras. Today, these walls are a popular tourist attraction. One can take a walk and enjoy stunning views both over the Adriatic and the city center.

Toledo, Spain

There are many beautiful cities in Spain, including walled ones. Sadly, Toledo is often overlooked. The former Spanish capital city, Toledo has a history dating back to Roman times. Over the centuries, it has been influenced by many cultures and now it beautifully combines the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic features. Because of its advantageous location – atop a hill washed by the River Tagus – the city needed a wall only on one side. These walls are very well preserved and can be visited for free.

Mdina, Malta

Do you want to enjoy silence? If so, head to Mdina, the “silent city” as it’s nicknamed for almost empty streets and very few tourists. It has a population of just under 300 people. The city is very old – having been founded about 4000 years ago. It’s situated right in the middle of the island on the high hill. The city was walled by Phoenicians 1000 years before Common Era. From the fortified walls, there is a breathtaking view over the island and the adjacent city of Rabat. Take a walk down the narrow winding streets that seem to have no ending. There are five restaurants and only one hotel, but there are 9 churches and many various museums.

Harar, Ethiopia

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this walled city is known for being an Islamic center of Africa for centuries. There are 82 mosques and more than 100 shrines. For centuries, the city walls protected the city from adherents of different faiths. As a result, this policy of isolation preserved its authentic culture and unique lifestyle of its citizens. The center of the city consists of narrow, curved streets. The façades of the buildings have that special Harar style.

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picture credit to https://upload.wikimedia.org

Shibam, Yemen

Being dubbed as the “city of mud-brick skyscrapers” or the “Manhattan of the Middle East”, Shibam is famous for its outstanding architecture. Particularly for its unusual buildings, it was listed a UNESCO World Heritage site. Houses are made out of mud bricks and most of them are about 5 to 11 storeys high. The city is surrounded by walls built in the 3rd century.

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pic credit to http://www.cheapflightslab.com

Xi’an, China

This is one of the oldest cities in China. The city wall was built in 770 BCE and reinforced in the 14th century stands 12 meters tall, 12-14 meters wide at the top, and 15-18 meters thick at the bottom. It’s said to be the best-preserved city wall in China. There 18 city gates but not all of them are open for visitors, so you should choose the right one and take a bike ride on the top of the wall.

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pic credit to https://upload.wikimedia.org

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne is the largest walled city in Europe. There are two outer walls, towers, and barbicans. The oldest parts date back to the Roman period. In the 13th century, the walls were enlarged to look the way it is now. If you take a walk along the walkway, you’ll be able to go through every of the 52 towers. One of the towers housed the Catholic Inquisition, and therefore it is known as the ‘The Inquisition Tower’. Some of the scenes of the 1991 film ‘Robin Hood’ were filmed within the city and in the neighborhood.

So which of these walled cities do you think you would like to visit next…..

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