There are cities that are known to all. We talk about Paris, London, Barcelona, New York or Tokyo, among others. International tourism centers for the large number of options they offer: culture, history, gastronomy, landscapes, etc.
But, today we are not going to talk about these places. No, we will know some of the most unknown and mysterious cities that there have been in time. Many of them may not sound to the majority, but they hide behind a great story.
El dorado or the city bathed in gold
The legend about this city full of this coveted material dates back to the 16th century, when America had barely been discovered. Among the explorers of the time, a rumor began to circulate that spoke about a city where gold occupied every inch of land.
It is possible to say that until today there is no evidence that really certifies its existence, although this has not prevented the more adventurous from launching in their search. The first investigations placed the city in Honduras and Colombia, but recently satellite images placed “El Dorado” in a jungle almost inaccessible in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Information that is supported by the writings of a Portuguese explorer from 1753. In them, the Portuguese claimed to have found a walled city in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, which “remembers” much of ancient Greece.
With all this, it was decided to start an excavation that has not yet begun. This is a complex investigation, not only for the land, but also for the cannibal tribes that inhabit the area. They are responsible for the death of explorer Sir Percy Fawcett and his team in 1925.
Hashima Island, Japan
This spooky-looking island, now empty, was once one of the most populous in the world. It is located a few kilometers from the port of Nagasaki and is characterized by the great concrete fortress that surrounds the entire island with the intention of protecting it against the strong waves in the area.
About 5,000 people lived and worked in Hashima during the first half of the 20th century, until 1974. During those years the island came to have hospitals, schools, shops and various leisure centers, to try to make the stay of its workers more enjoyable. .
It was developed by the Mitsubishi corporation to take advantage of a submarine coal mine below. The arrival of oil as the main source of fuel meant leaving behind the coal and, with it, the abandonment of the buildings in which life was developed on this island. Thus, it was left with a gloomy and grayish air that has given Hashima the name of a ghost island.
UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 2015 and is visited by dozens of tourists every day. However, tourism is limited to one hour and only in three observation areas away from the homes where the miners were staying. For its part, only four companies are authorized to enter the area, so it is somewhat tedious to go.
As a curious fact is that James Bond: Skyfall of 2012 was shot in the place.
The great Zimbabwe
In the Middle Ages, Europe was constantly in wars, diseases and hunger that made the “Old Continent” a place not recommended. At the same time, and although it is hard to believe today, the southern tip of Africa was the opposite. There, there was a rich and modern kingdom, an expert in metallurgy and crowned by large buildings. Stresses, for example, the royal palace, built with stones and without cement. In fact, according to archaeologist Peter Garlake, the architecture that showed the city has no equal comparison either in Egypt or around the world.
We talked about the Great Zimbabwe, where up to 20,000 people came to live, and that extended to Mozambique. Its impressive gold reserves made this territory one of the most prosperous in the world. It would be the arrival of Portuguese missionaries towards the 16th century, internal confrontations and overpopulation the reasons that would eventually bring down the kingdom.
Chan Chan, Peru
Six hundred years ago, Chan Chan was the largest city in America. Located to the north of the Andean country, five kilometers from Trujillo, the metropolis was the capital of the Chimú civilization, which lasted between 850 A.D. until the year 1470. That year the Incas defeated King Minchancaman, conquered the kingdom and divided the territory.
Chan Chan was built in adobe, the largest in America, and was made up of ten small walled cities. There was only one entrance, thus facilitating the control of those entering and leaving. Chan Chan’s organization reflects that there was a strong stratification, that is, families occupied one place or another within the city based on their social class.
Today the remains are disappearing due to heavy rains, a consequence of climate change.
Surely the best known city on the list, basically because it is the fashion destination among those who want to know more than the classic and repeated cities of tourism. In addition, a year ago the series “Chernobyl” was released that broke audience records and made this place more famous.
Located in Ukraine it was once the place where scientists and workers from the Chernobyl plant resided, along with their families. Before the 1986 incident, the city came to house 50,000 people. In it there were schools, hospitals and everything you can expect from any city.
But 1986 came and, with it, the Chernobyl accident, the largest nuclear accident in history. In just a few days, Pripyat was completely evicted, leaving behind a ghost town. Many of the families did not have time to collect their most personal items. Overnight, time stopped.
Now there are only buildings eaten by nature and objects of the time that could not be collected. The animals are at ease and the passage is prohibited unless you go with an authorized travel agency. In any case, the radiation is still in the air and will not go away in the next 40,000 years, so if you travel to the place it should be done with caution.
An Indian viceroy wrote about these ruins in 1881, “the greatness of its walls, towers, walls and domes, which extend in disconcerting confusion to the horizon, reminds us that we are at the center of past greatness.
It was once one of the largest cities in the world, although destroyed in 1221 by the son of Genghis Khan during a gigantic battle in which almost one million people died. Despite this, the place resisted and today the ruins can still be seen.