Forbidden City, China
The Forbidden City is the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. Situated in the heart of Beijing, it is one of the five most important palaces in the world.
Home to 24 emperors of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, the historical monument is the best-preserved imperial palace in China.
The palace was nominated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987 and its a treasure house of Chinese cultural and historical relics. The ancient palace was off limits for 500 years- reason for its name, now its simply called the Palace Museum or Gu Gong (ancient palace) by the Chinese people.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Pyramids of Giza remains the major tourist site in Egypt. Three main Pyramids can be found on this ancient site. Built as tombs for Kings and Queens, Pyramids of Ancient Egypt were an exclusive privilege for the royalty.
Egypt boasts of over 90 pyramids but the ones at Giza are the most famous. The site is open for tourists to discover the ancient masterpieces of Egypt.
The Pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in Giza, it is truly an astonishing work of engineering. Its the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, Israel
Home to Jews, Christians and Muslims, the holy city of Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Infact, you do not need to be a member of the aforementioned religion to be overwhelmed.
Once you enter the city, you will be absolutely absorbed by the tremendous weight of human civilization that can be found in every part of the city. The Old City is divided into four defined quarters: Christian, Armenian, Jewish and Muslim.
Everywhere you turn to you just marvel at the sights and sounds of the city. It is said that the city is one of the most fought over cities in human history.
The monuments that are a must-see for tourists in the Old City are; Church of the Holy Sepulchre, The Dome of the Rock, The Pools of Bethesda, The Western Wall, King David’s Tomb, Mosque of Ascension and many more.
The holy city is a great place for lovers of religious art, history as well as architecture.
Great Wall of China
Believed to be visible from space (not with the naked eye), the Great Wall of China is the world’s longest wall and biggest ancient architecture. More than 2,300 years old, tourists troupe in to view the stunning array of scenery that this ancient monument has to offer, from the beaches of Qinhuangdo to rugged mountains, around Beijing to a desert corridor between tall mountain ranges at Jiayu pass.
Measuring 21,196.18 km in length, the Great Wall of China got on the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 1987. The most famous and most visited section is the Badaling.
In 2001, the section received 63,000,000 visitors. In the first week of May and October, the visitor flow can be up to 70,000 per day. The Great Wall of China is a must-visit attraction to all travellers to China.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal is the only one out of the Seven Wonders of the World that is a symbol of love. The mausoleum was built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife.
Located on the banks of the right bank of the Yamuna River, the monument is widely admired and considered the jewel of Muslim art in India. With construction starting in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD, visitors to the Taj Mahal will be held spell-bound by her beauty and splendour.
The Taj has as many shades as any kind of beauty can ever have! The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, golden when the moon shines.
A legendary city in the West African country of Mali, Timbuktu came into prominence in the 13th and 14th centuries due to trade in salt, gold, ivory and other things.
By the 15th and 16th century, Timbuktu became a fertile ground for different religions, arts, math and sciences for its 100,000 inhabitants and the world.
Timbuktu hosts one of the first universities ever built in the world- University of Sankore (also known as Sankore Mosque).
Superior to the other Islamic centres throughout the world, the university facilitated thousands of students making it the largest in the world at that time.
The story of the famous Mansa Musa (arguably the richest man in world history) cannot be complete without mentioning the fascinating city of Timbuktu.
Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove
A spiritual reference point for the Yorubas, a south-western tribe in Nigeria, this dense forest is located along the banks of the Osun River. It is one of the last remnants of sacred groves in Nigeria.
The grove is home to many sanctuaries, shrines, sculptures and art works in honour of the river goddess- Osun. The grove is believed to be the abode of the goddess of fertility.
Worshippers from all around the world often visit the grove every year to pay tribute in the form of offerings and prayers. The Grove has been able to stay protected due to the secrecy attached to it, although it’s now been threatened by urbanization.