Collections

The Longest Continuously Inhabited Cities in Europe

By November 11, 2014 December 11th, 2018 No Comments

The second smallest continent in the world, Europe, is known as the birthplace of Western Culture. It played a great role in colonialism that it controlled most parts of Asia, Africa, the Americas and also Oceania between the 16th and 20th centuries. Great Britain’s Industrial Revolution even widen out the West’s influence to the rest of the world. This fact proved how Europe greatly contributed to what the world has become now.

And before these inventions and explorations started, of course there were small beginnings. Beginnings from the first cities that turned out to be the places that would leave a deep mark in the world’s history. Here are the longest continuously inhabited cities in Europe and some fun facts about them:

Amesbury

Location: UK (England)
Continuously Inhabited Since: 8th millennium BC
Cool Fact: Stonehenge is located just 2 miles (3 km) west of Amesbury.

Argos

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 5th millennium BC
Cool Fact: Argos was once a rival of Sparta during classical times.

Athens

Location: Attica, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 5th-4th millennium BC
Cool Fact: Athens is known as the birthplace of democracy.

Plovdiv

Location: Plovdiv Province, Bulgaria
Continuously Inhabited Since: 3000-4000 BC
Cool Fact: Plovdiv has been ruled by the Thracians, Greeks, Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.

Kutaisi

Location: Imereti Province, Georgia
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 2000 BC
Cool Fact: Kutaisi is believed to be the final destination of Jason and the Argonauts.

Chania

Location: Crete, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1400 BC
Cool Fact: Chania was occupied by German forces during World War II.

Larnaca

Location: Cyprus
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1400 BC
Cool Fact: Lanarca International Airport is the main international entryway into Cyprus.

Thebes

Location: Boeotia, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1400 BC
Cool Fact: Many stories from Greek mythology are set in Thebes, including those of Oedipus and Dionysus.

Trikala

Location: Thessaly, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: before 1200 BC
Cool Fact: Trikala is said to have the oldest and most significant archaeological sites in Greece.

Chalcis

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: before 1200 BC
Cool Fact: Chalcis was mentioned in Homer’s Iliad.

Lisbon

Location: Portugal
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1200 BC
Cool Fact: Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, and also Portugal’s largest city.

Cádiz

Location: Andalusia, Spain
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1100 BC
Cool Fact: Christopher Columbus departed on his second and fourth voyages from Cádiz.

Patras

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1100 BC
Cool Fact: The annual Patras Carnival in January—which includes events like balls, parades, and treasure hunts—is one of the biggest carnivals in Europe.

Mtskheta

Location: Georgia
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1000 BC
Cool Fact: Mtskheta is the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Mytilene

Location: North Aegean, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 10th century BC
Cool Fact: Located on the island of Lesbos, Mytilene was the home of Greek poet Sappho. The word “lesbian” originates from here, as her poems often involved love between females.

Chios

Location: North Aegean, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 1100 BC
Cool Fact: The old town is surrounded by the medieval Castle of Chios.

Yerevan

Location: Armenia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 782 BC
Cool Fact: Yerevan has an abundance of Armenian art and history museums and libraries.

Seville

Location: Andalusia, Spain
Continuously Inhabited Since: 8th century BC
Cool Fact: The Feria de Abril de Sevilla (Sevilla April Fair) consists of a week of celebrations after Holy Week, including parades, marquees, eating, drinking, and traditional flamenco music and dance.

Málaga

Location: Andalusia, Spain
Continuously Inhabited Since: 8th century BC
Cool Fact: Málaga is the birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso and actor Antonio Banderas.

Cagliari

Location: Sardegna, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 8th century BC
Cool Fact: Cagliari is well-known for its many acres of parks and gardens.

Rome

Location: Lazio, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 753 BC
Cool Fact: Although located within the boundaries of Rome, Vatican City is actually a separate country entirely.

Messina

Location: Sicily, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 8th century BC
Cool Fact: The origins of the European Union can be traced back to the creation of the European Economic Community, which was a product of the Messina Conference in 1955.

Reggio di Calabria

Location: Calabria, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 743 BC
Cool Fact: This region is known for being the principal producer of bergamot, a type of citrus fruit.

Syracuse

Location: Sicily, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 734 BC
Cool Fact: Syracuse was the birthplace of Ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, and engineer Archimedes.

Volterra

Location: Tuscany, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 725 BC
Cool Fact: Volterra is featured in the Twilight series as home to the Volturi, a family of powerful vampires.

Crotone

Location: Magna Graecia, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 710 BC
Cool Fact: Many ancient Olympic victors hailed from Crotone.

Taranto

Location: Puglia, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 706 BC
Cool Fact: The word “tarantula” comes from Taranto. The name was originally given to a native species of wolf spider, and later was used to describe any large spider.

Corfu

Location: Ionian Islands, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 700 BC
Cool Fact: The old town of Corfu is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Naples

Location: Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 680 BC
Cool Fact: Naples faced heavy destruction during World War II, being Italy’s most-bombed city during the war.

Istanbul

Location: Turkey
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 675 BC
Cool Fact: Istanbul has a staggering population of 14.1 million, making it the most-populated city in Europe.

Durrës

Location: Albania
Continuously Inhabited Since: 627 BC
Cool Fact: In ancient times, Aristotle was impressed by the city’s advanced political system.

Kerch

Location: Ukraine
Continuously Inhabited Since: 7th century BC
Cool Fact: In 1971, Russian astronomer Tamara Mikhailovna Smirnova discovered an asteroid, which was named 2216 Kerch after Kerch, Ukraine.

Feodosiya

Location: Ukraine
Continuously Inhabited Since: 7th century BC
Cool Fact: Although significant in the region, Feodosiya is a small resort city with a population of only about 85,000 people.

Edessa

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: before the 6th century BC
Cool Fact: Edessa was the first capital of ancient Macedon.

Marseilles

Location: France
Continuously Inhabited Since: 600 BC
Cool Fact: In 2013, Marseilles won the title of “European Capital of Culture.”

Varna

Location: Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria
Continuously Inhabited Since: 585 BC – 570 BC
Cool Fact: The oldest golden treasure in the world was discovered at the Varna Necropolis, a burial site and significant archaeological site located in Varna.

Kavala

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 6th century BC
Cool Fact: Kavala has many famous, pristine beaches that draw thousands of tourists each year.

Mangalia

Location: Romania
Continuously Inhabited Since: 6th century BC
Cool Fact: There are many resorts in Mangalia that use the natural air, water, and minerals for their therapeutic effects.

Constanţa

Location: Romania
Continuously Inhabited Since: 6th century BC
Cool Fact: The Port of Constanţa is the largest port on the Black Sea.

Mantua

Location: Lombardy, Italy
Continuously Inhabited Since: 6th century BC
Cool Fact: The first opera to still be regularly performed today, L’Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi, originates from Mantua.

Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi

Location: Ukraine
Continuously Inhabited Since: 6th century BC
Cool Fact: A mouthful to say, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi has been known by at least ten different names since it was founded.

Serres

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 5th century BC
Cool Fact: Serres, as well as the surrounding region, is known for the gourmet candy akanes, which has been made since the early 20th century using a secret recipe known only to the inventor and his family.

Lamia

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: before the 5th century BC
Cool Fact: The city is said to be named after Lamia, daughter of Poseidon.

Veria

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 432 BC
Cool Fact: Veria is located on a plateau at the foot of the Vermio Mountains.

Rhodes

Location: Dodecanese, Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 408 BC
Cool Fact: The Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Greek sun god Helios, is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Sofia

Location: Sofia Valley, Bulgaria
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4th century BC
Cool Fact: Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, was founded by a Celtic tribe called the Serdi.

Metz

Location: France
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4th century BC
Cool Fact: The Gregorian chant rose out of Metz.

Roses

Location: Catalonia, Spain
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4th century BC
Cool Fact: One of the world’s best restaurants, elBulli, was located in Roses until it closed in 2011. It had three Michelin stars, the highest Michelin ranking.

Qabala

Location: Azerbaijan
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4th century BC
Cool Fact: Qabala has an abundance of chestnut and hazelnut trees.

Stara Zagora

Location: Bulgaria
Continuously Inhabited Since: 342 BC
Cool Fact: The Opera House is a popular tourist attraction in Stara Zagora, the birthplace of a few famous opera singers.

Thessaloniki

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 315 BC
Cool Fact: Thessaloniki, along with Constantinople, was a co-capital of the Byzantine Empire.

Berat

Location: Albania
Continuously Inhabited Since: 314 BC
Cool Fact: A local legend says that two major mountains in Berat, Tomorr Mountain and Mount Shpirag, were originally giants.

Vukovar

Location: Croatia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 3500 BC
Cool Fact: Vukovar is a port located right on the Danube River.

Zagreb

Location: Croatia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1st century
Cool Fact: Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is conveniently located at the meeting point of Western Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean, making it Croatia’s transportation, media, and scientific center.

Belgrade

Location: Serbia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 279 BC
Cool Fact: Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia until it broke up in 2006, and is currently the capital of Serbia.

Niš

Location: Serbia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 279 BC
Cool Fact: Niš, the birthplace of Constantine the Great, is known as a gateway between the East and the West.

Cartagena

Location: Spain
Continuously Inhabited Since: 228 BC
Cool Fact: Cartagena is an important naval port in Spain, and has been for hundreds of years.

Barcelona

Location: Catalonia, Spain
Continuously Inhabited Since: 3rd century BC
Cool Fact: One of the most popular attractions in Barcelona is Park Güell, an architectural and garden complex designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.

Tarragona

Location: Catalonia, Spain
Continuously Inhabited Since: 218 BC
Cool Fact: There are many ancient Roman ruins in Tarragona that have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stobi

Location: Republic of Macedonia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 217 BC
Cool Fact: Stobi is known as the most famous archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia.

Sremska Mitrovica

Location: Serbia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1st century BC
Cool Fact: Sremska Mitrovica was once a capital of the Roman Empire.

Smederevo

Location: Serbia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1st century BC
Cool Fact: Smederevo has Serbia’s only operating steel mill.

Évora

Location: Portugal
Continuously Inhabited Since: 53 BC
Cool Fact: The old town of Évora is still partially surrounded by ancient walls.

Paris

Location: France
Continuously Inhabited Since: 52 BC
Cool Fact: The Louvre in Paris is the most visited art museum in the world.

Zürich

Location: Switzerland
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 50 BC
Cool Fact: Zürich is a world leader in green energy.

Trier

Location: Germany
Continuously Inhabited Since: 30 BC
Cool Fact: The Christmas street festival is one of the biggest annual events held in Trier.

Nijmegen

Location: Netherlands
Continuously Inhabited Since: 19 BC
Cool Fact: The government of Nijmegen is comprised almost completely of left-wing parties.

Chur

Location: Grisons, Switzerland
Continuously Inhabited Since: 15 BC
Cool Fact: Located in the Eastern Alps, Chur is almost 2,000 feet above sea level.

Worms

Location: Germany
Continuously Inhabited Since: 14 BC
Cool Fact: Worms was a key location during the Protestant Reformation. The Edict of Worms declared Martin Luther a heretic and called for his punishment.

Tongeren

Location: Belgium
Continuously Inhabited Since: 10 BC
Cool Fact: Tongeren hosts a popular antiques fair every Sunday.

Solothurn

Location: Switzerland
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 20 AD
Cool Fact: Women weren’t allowed to vote in Solothurn until 1970.

London

Location: UK (England)
Continuously Inhabited Since: 43 AD
Cool Fact: London has the world’s busiest airport system, based on amount of passengers.

Bath

Location: UK (England)
Continuously Inhabited Since: 43 AD
Cool Fact: Many authors and poets, including Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, lived in Bath.

Cologne

Location: Germany
Continuously Inhabited Since: 50 AD
Cool Fact: More than 95% of the city center was destroyed during World War II. Reconstruction lasted into the 1990s.

Winchester

Location: UK (England)
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 70 AD
Cool Fact: Winchester College is the oldest public school in the UK.

York

Location: UK (England)
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 72 AD
Cool Fact: York Minster is an enormous Gothic cathedral and York’s most popular tourist attraction.

Skopje

Location: Republic of Macedonia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 81-96 AD
Cool Fact: Skopje, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia, is located in the center of the Balkans.

Novi Sad

Location: Serbia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1st century AD
Cool Fact: “Novi Sad” means “New Garden” in Serbian.

Baku

Location: Absheron Peninsula, Azerbaijan
Continuously Inhabited Since: 1st century AD
Cool Fact: At 92 feet below sea level, Baku is the national capital with the lowest altitude in the world.

Verdun

Location: France
Continuously Inhabited Since: 4th century AD
Cool Fact: The Battle of Verdun was one of the costliest battles of World War I.

Kiev

Location: Ukraine
Continuously Inhabited Since: 482 AD
Cool Fact: Kiev is known as the pro-democracy region of Ukraine.

Tbilisi

Location: Kartli province, Georgia
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 500
Cool Fact: The first official rock festival in the USSR was held in Tbilisi in 1980.

Aberdeen

Location: UK (Scotland)
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 580
Cool Fact: Aberdeen is nicknamed the Granite City, due to the abundance of granite in the area. Granite was used in the construction of many buildings in Aberdeen.

Edinburgh

Location: UK (Scotland)
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 580
Cool Fact: Edinburgh is the hometown of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling. She began writing the series in an Edinburgh coffee shop.

Prague

Location: Czech Republic
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 6th century
Cool Fact: A popular tourist destination and cultural center, Prague is the sixth-most-visited city in Europe.

Inverness

Location: UK (Scotland)
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 6th century
Cool Fact: Inverness translates to “Mouth of the River Ness.”

Glasgow

Location: UK (Scotland)
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 6th century
Cool Fact: This city has produced dozens of successful musical artists, including Simple Minds, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, The Fratellis, Biffy Clyro, and Chvrches.

Ioannina

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 527 – 565
Cool Fact: Ioannina was an important center of the Greek Enlightenment.

Kraków

Location: Poland
Continuously Inhabited Since: 7th century
Cool Fact: Because it’s such an old city, Kraków displays many different styles of architecture, from Renaissance, to Gothic, to Baroque, to modern styles.

Århus

Location: Denmark
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 770
Cool Fact: Århus is a major center of Danish research and education.

Ribe

Location: Denmark
Continuously Inhabited Since: 704 – 710
Cool Fact: The first Scandinavian church was built in Ribe.

Staraya Ladoga

Location: Russia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 753
Cool Fact: Staraya Ladoga became an important trading center in the years after it was founded.

Heraklion

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: 824
Cool Fact: It is rumored that the famous painter El Greco was born in Heraklion.

Dublin

Location: Ireland
Continuously Inhabited Since: 841
Cool Fact: Dublin was founded by the Vikings, who retained control of the city for about 300 years.

Veliky Novgorod

Location: Russia
Continuously Inhabited Since: 859
Cool Fact: The large amount of medieval monuments is one of the many historical features that draw visitors to Veliky Novgorod.

Polatsk

Location: Belarus
Continuously Inhabited Since: 862
Cool Fact: The Borovitsy air base in Polatsk was important during the Cold War.

Reykjavík

Location: Iceland
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 871
Cool Fact: The city experiences much volcanic activity, which actually provides most of the energy for its heating systems.

Xanthi

Location: Greece
Continuously Inhabited Since: before 879
Cool Fact: Xanthi is famous for its annual spring carnival, which is one of the most popular carnivals in Greece.

Vitebsk

Location: Belarus
Continuously Inhabited Since: 947
Cool Fact: The Annunciation Church in Vitebsk is one of the oldest buildings in Belarus.

Skara

Location: Sweden
Continuously Inhabited Since: 988
Cool Fact: Skara is home to a popular amusement park called Skara Sommarland.

Lund

Location: Sweden
Continuously Inhabited Since: c. 990
Cool Fact: Lund University is the largest in Sweden, and an important education and research center.

Trondheim

Location: Norway
Continuously Inhabited Since: 997
Cool Fact: Trondheim was the capital of Norway during the Viking Age.

Leave a Reply