Some ancient cities were regarded as holy or sacred cities. Some of these cities still remain as such. Here’s a list of ancient cities of the world considered holy.
The ancient city of Rome, which is believed to have been founded by Remus and Romulus, is a holy city for the Ancient Roman polytheistic religion. Numerous temples and statues were built in Rome to honor their gods and goddesses.
Constantinople, a city established by Constantine the Great, is regarded a holy city during the Ancient and Medieval times. The city, which is now known as Istanbul, was the Roman Empire’s imperial capital. It was also the imperial capital of the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire. The city was one of the most significant centers of Christianity during the Medieval Period.
Abydos, Ancient Egypt
Abydos was a sacred city in Ancient Egypt. It is located in Upper Egypt and was called Abdju in the ancient Egyptian language which means “the hill of the symbol”. It was the site of many ancient temples which include Umm el-Qa’ab, a royal necropolis for earlier pharaohs. The city is regarded as holy for Ancient Egyptian religion.
Heliopolis, Ancient Egypt
Another city considered holy to Ancient Egyptian religion is Heliopolis – “City of the Sun”. It was one of the most ancient cities of Egypt and was the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome. It is also called the "City of Helios” and the "Eye of the Sun". Many temples have been built in this city during the Ancient times but were destroyed during the Medieval Period. These temples were built to honor and worship their gods and goddesses.
The City of Cusco in Peru was a holy city for the Ancient Incas of South America. It was the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Scores of temples have been built by Ancient Incas to honor their gods and goddesses. Presently, the city is the capital of Cusco Region and Cusco Province. It is the country’s most visited tourist attraction receiving around 1.5 million visitors annually. Designated as the Historical Capital of Peru by the nation’s constitution, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Nippur is a sacred city in Mesopotamia, now known as Iraq. In the Akkadian language, the city is known as Nibbur and in the Sumerian language, it is Nibru. Oftentimes, it is recorded as Enlil City. The city was one of the most ancient of all the Sumerian cities and was the special seat of the worship of the Sumerian god Enlil who is regarded as the “Lord Wind”. The city of Nippur is located in modern Nuffar in Afak, Al-Qadisiyyah Governorate in Iraq.