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Old Towns

5,062 bytes added, 07:05, 22 September 2013
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{{traveltopic}}
An '''Old Town''', or a ''historical district'', is a preserved urban neighborhood of significant age, built before the emergence of rail travel, large-scale urban planning and high-rise construction in the mid-19th century. The oldest towns have existed since before the beginning of the common era. Several Old Towns are recognized on the [[UNESCO World Heritage List]].
==Understand==An '''Old Town''', or a ''historical district'', is a preserved urban neighborhood of significant age, built before the mid-19th century, as rail travelinhabited, large-scale urban planning and high-rise construction emerged. The oldest towns already existed at the birth of Christin contrast to an [[archaeological site]].
The Old Towns usually that exist today, are not necessarily the first settlements built at the location; many of them have narrow streets been destroyed and even narrower alleys, where pedestrians move easier than automobiles. As buildings were constructed by hand, [[architecture]] is much different from modern town centersrebuilt several times. Some Old Towns are usually dominated by city walls or other fortifications, together with palaces and religious buildings (such as [[churchDüsseldorf]]es, [[mosque]]s etc)have been restored to its former appearance in recent times.
Several Foreign-language terms for Old Towns are recognized on :* Arabic: '''Medina''' (not to be confused with the [[UNESCO World Heritage List]]. An Old Town is inhabited, in contrast to an [[archaeological siteMedina|Saudi Arabian city of the same name]]).* Czech: '''Staré město'''* German: '''Altstadt'''* Italian: '''Centro Storico'''* Portuguese: '''Cidade Velha'''* Serbo-Croatian: '''Stari Grad'''* Norwegian: '''Gamleby'''
==Get around==Since the very purpose of Old Towns was to collect buildings with walking distance, Old Towns usually have narrow streets and even narrower alleys, where pedestrians move easier than automobiles. Pre-modern cities typically had less than 100,000 inhabitants (with a few exceptions, such as [[Rome]], [[Istanbul]] and [[Beijing]]) and were densely populated, so they are not necessarily the first settlements usually less than a kilometer across. Due to grade separation, staircases and cobblestone, travellers with disabilities might have difficulties to get through some points. Wheeled suitcases, strollers and bicycles can also be hard to get through. Entering an Old Town by automobile can be physically impossible, illegal, or at least very difficult. ==See==[[Architecture]] in Old Towns can be totally unique. Old Towns are usually dominated by city walls or other fortifications, together with palaces and religious buildings ([[Christian sites and events|churches]], [[Muslim sites and events|mosques]] etc). Non-government profane buildings can be prominent in merchant cities, such as [[Venice]]. ==Do==Several Old Towns are served by '''horse-carriage rides''', in old-style carriages. These are often costly, far from genuine, and should primarily be considered if a guided tour is included. Several Old Towns have traditional festivals, connecting to their past heritage. Whether carried on since old times (such as ''Sechseläuten'' in [[Zürich]]), or made up by posterity (such as the location; Medieval Week in [[Visby]]), they can provide an experience beyond the neighborhoods usual, as well as overcrowded venues. ==Buy==Old Towns usually contain different kinds of shopping: traditional arts and crafts, as well as mass-produced souvenirs and mundane shopping. ==Eat==As Old Towns are frequented by travellers, meals can be overpriced, and hygiene might be deficient. ==Sleep==The accommodation inside the Old Towns is usually limited in size and comfort, compared to the [[Grand Old Hotel]]s of the late-19th century. As rooms are rarely standardized, you should have been destroyed and rebuilt several timesa look at the room, or at least have a description, before you make the deal. This article includes inhabited districts open to common  ==Stay safe==As Old Towns are often packed with travellers, that have remained largely intact since around 1850be aware of [[common scams]]. Street lighting might be deficient in Old Towns.
==Famous Old Towns==
This list includes inhabited urban districts of decent size and population, open to the public, that have remained largely intact since around 1850, or have been faithfully restored to that state.
===Europe===
A few South European cities date back to the Roman Empire, while most were founded during the Middle Ages (AD 500-1500). Some of them bear scars from warfare. Several Old Towns (not least in Germany and Italy) were once independent city-states. Today, just a few of them fly their own flag ([[Monaco]], [[San Marino]] etc). * Albania: [[Berat]], [[Gjirokastër]]* Andorra: [[Andorra la Vella]]* Austria: [[Salzburg]], [[Vienna/Innere Stadt]]* Azerbaijan: [[Baku]]* Belgium: [[Antwerp]], [[Bruges]], [[Ghent]], [[Courtray]], [[Leuven]], [[Mechelen]]* Bosnia and Herzegovina: [[Mostar]]* Bulgaria: [[Sofia]]* Croatia: [[Dubrovnik]], [[Split]]* Czech Republic: [[Prague]], [[Cesky Krumlov]], [[Telc]]* Denmark: [[Copenhagen/Indre By]], [[Copenhagen/Christianshavn]], [[Odense]], [[Aarhus]]
* Estonia: [[Tallinn]]
* Finland: [[Rauma]]
* France: [[Avignon]], [[Bordeaux]], [[Carcassonne]], [[Mulhouse]], [[Nice]], [[Strasbourg]]
* Georgia: [[Tbilisi]]
* Germany: [[Bamberg]], [[Cologne]], [[Düsseldorf]], [[Erfurt]], [[Göttingen]], [[Goslar]], [[Heidelberg]], [[Lübeck]], [[Munich/City Center]], [[Quedlinburg]], [[Stralsund]], [[Trier]], [[Wismar]]* Greece: [[Athens/Plaka]], [[Corfu]]* Hungary: [[Budapest/Castle Hill]]* Italy: [[Bari]], [[Bologna]], [[Florence]], [[Genoa]], [[Lucca]], [[Naples]] [[Perugia]], [[Pisa]], [[Rome/Old Rome]], [[Rome/Trastevere]], [[San Gimignano]], [[Siena]], [[Syracuse (Italy)|Syracuse]], [[Urbino]], [[Venice]]
* [[Monaco]]: Monaco-Ville
* Latvia: [[Riga]]
* Liechtenstein: [[Vaduz]]* Lithuania: [[Vilnius]]* Luxemburg: [[Luxembourg]]* Netherlands: [[Amsterdam/Old Centre]], [[Amsterdam/Canal Ring]], [[The Hague]], [[Nijmegen]]* Norway: [[Bergen]]
* Poland: [[Gdansk]], [[Krakow]], [[Warsaw]], [[Poznan]], [[Torun]]
* ItalyPortugal: [[FlorenceÉvora]], [[GenoaGuimarães]], [[VenicePorto]]* Romania: [[Sighisoara]]* Russia: [[Novgorod]], [[RomeSaint Petersburg]], [[Yaroslavl]]* Serbia: [[Belgrade]], [[Novi Sad]]* [[San Marino]]* Spain: [[Toledo (Spain)|Toledo]], [[Salamanca]], [[Santiago de Compostela]], [[Barcelona/Old RomeCiutat Vella]], [[Segovia]]* Sweden: [[Stockholm/Gamla Stan]], [[Lund]], [[Visby]], [[Uppsala]], [[Sigtuna]], [[Karlskrona]], [[Söderköping]], [[Ystad]]* Switzerland: [[Berne]], [[Geneva]], [[Zürich]]* Ukraine: [[Lviv]]* United Kingdom: [[Bath]], [[Hastings]], [[Southampton]], [[Edinburgh]], [[York]]
===Middle East===
The Middle East contains many of the world's oldest cities, many some of them inhabited for several millennia BCthousand years.
* Cyprus: [[Nicosia]], [[Famagusta]]
* Lebanon: [[Tyre]]* Syria: [[Aleppo]], [[Bosra]], [[Damascus]]* Iran: [[Shiraz]]* Iraq: [[Baghdad]]* Israel/Palestine: [[Akko]], [[Jerusalem/Old City]], [[Jaffa]], [[Jericho]], [[Tiberias]]* Jordan: [[Amman]]* Turkey: [[Edirne]], [[Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City]], [[Konya]]* Yemen: [[Sana'a]]
===Asia===
* Bangladesh: [[Dhaka]]
* China: [[Macao]], [[Pingyao]], [[Lijiang]]
* India: [[Delhi]], [[Tanjore]], [[Varanasi]], [[Chennai]], [[Srirangam]], [[Konark]], [[Vellore]]
* Japan: [[Kyoto]], [[Kamakura]]
* Malaysia: [[Georgetown (Malaysia)]], [[Malacca]], [[Ipoh]], [[Kuching]]
* Pakistan: [[Karachi]]
* South Korea: [[Jongno]] and [[Jung]]
* Uzbekistan: [[Bukhara]], [[Samarkand]], [[Shakhrizabz]]
* Vietnam: [[Hoi An]]
===Africa===
Most Old Towns in North Africa have an Arabic (or at least Islamic) heritage, but some have an even earlier history.
 
* Cape Verde: [[Cidade Velha]]
* Egypt: [[Cairo]], [[Alexandria]]
* Ethiopia: [[Aksum]], [[Harar]]* Kenya: [[Lamu]], [[Mombasa]]* Libya: [[Tripoli]]* Mali: [[Djenné]], [[Timbuktu]]* Morocco: [[Fez]], [[Marrakech]]* Tunisia: [[Tunis]]
===Americas===
There are just a few The Americas have some colonial Old Towns in the Americas from the time prior to between the European arrival in 1492, and the independence movement of the late 18th centuryand early 19th centuries. Most of these are in the Caribbean, or in the coastal areas of Latin America.
* Argentina: [[La Boca]]* Barbados: [[Bridgetown]]* Bolivia: [[Potosí]], [[Sucre]]* Brazil: [[Ouro Preto]], [[Olinda]], [[Salvador|Salvador da Bahia]]* Canada: [[Montreal/Old Montreal]], [[Quebec City]]* Chile: [[Valparaíso]]* Colombia: [[Bogotá]], [[Santa Cruz de Mompox]], [[Cartagena_(Colombia)|Cartagena]], [[Villa de Leyva]]* Cuba: [[HavannaHavana]]* Curaçao: [[Willemstad]]
* Dominican Republic: [[Santo Domingo]]
* Ecuador: [[Quito]], [[Cuenca_(Ecuador)|Cuenca]]
* Guatemala: [[Antigua Guatemala]]
* Mexico: [[Mexico City/Centro]], [[Xochimilco]], [[Morelia]], [[Oaxaca]], [[Monte Albán]], [[Puebla]], [[Zacatecas]], [[Campeche]], [[Guanajuato]], [[San Miguel de Allende]], [[Taxco]]
* Nicaragua: [[Granada_(Nicaragua)|Granada]], [[Leon_(Nicaragua)|Leon]]
* Peru: [[Arequipa]], [[Cuzco]], [[Lima]]
* Puerto Rico: [[San Juan/Old San Juan]]
* United States: [[Boston/Downtown]], [[New Orleans/French Quarter]], [[Philadelphia/Old City]], [[San Diego/Old Town-Mission Valley]], [[Washington, D.C./Georgetown]], [[St._Augustine|St Augustine]]
* Uruguay: [[Montevideo]]
 ==Get around==The very purpose of Old Towns was to collect buildings with walking distance. Because of this, Old Towns are usually less than a kilometer across. Due to slopes, staircases and cobblestone, travellers with disabilities, as well as wheeled suitcases, infant strollers and bicycles might be difficult to push through certain alleys. Entering an Old Town by automobile can be physically impossible, illegal, or at least very difficult. ==Do==Several Old Towns offer '''horse-carriage rides''', in old-style carriages. These are often costly, far from genuine, and should primarily be considered if a guided tour is included. ==Eat==As Old Towns are frequented by tourists, meals might be overpriced. ==Sleep==The accommodation inside the Old Towns is usually limited in size and comfort, compared to the * Venezuela: [[Grand Old HotelCoro]]s of the late-19th century. As rooms are rarely standardized, you should have a look at the room, or at least have a description, before you make the deal. ==Stay safe==As Old Towns are often packed with travellers, be aware of [[common scams]]. Street lighting might be deficient in Old Towns.
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