The world's 10 oldest cities with people still living in them

From Web Urbanist, a list of the world’s 10 oldest still-inhabited cities. You’ll recognise a few, such as Jerusalem, Jericho, and Damascus, but a few others might not have entered your head, like Lisbon:

Due to its exceptional harbor situated where the Tagus river empties into the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon has always been an ideal military and commercial location – incidentally attracting settlers to serve the soldiers and traders. Archaeologists have uncovered Phoenician objects at Lisbon dating back to 1200 BC; remnants of what was likely a Phoenician supply base for ships voyaging to and from the British Isles, an ancient source of tin.

Disaster struck Lisbon in 1755 when one of the most destructive earthquakes ever to strike Europe, accompanied by a massive tsunami and wildfires, leveled much of Lisbon and killed tens of thousands of residents.

Lisbon quickly bounced back from the disaster to regain her rank as one of Europe’s leading cities, a distinction she still holds today.

Ricardo Junqueira's Lisbon lobby photography

A photo of an old-style tiled lobby in Lisbon.

The Spaces interviewed Ricardo Junqueira, a man with a love for photography and Lisbon’s vibrant lobby areas:

Brazilian photographer Ricardo Junqueira relocated to Lisbon in 2012 and got his start shooting for Airbnb. ‘As tourism bloomed, I had the chance to capture more residential spaces – I photographed around 2000 Lisbon houses’, says Junqueira. ‘The variety I find at people’s homes is so spectacular and impressive – like a [built] “biodiversity manifesto”, so the entryways are like a chapter in this romance.’

[…]

What do you look for in a building or a shot?

I’m interested in diversity, and I am fascinated by the richness of ordinary things. I was born in Brasília, surrounded by great modern architecture, which has influenced how I appreciate architecture. Photographers and architects have something in common – the need to organise things in a limited space. I look at shapes and arrange them in a harmonious way inside the rectangle.

Portuguese tile and Lisbon related: Porto’s Banco de Materiais and its azulejos and a love letter to Lisbon

I hope I can visit this Lisbon rooftop bar this year

Photography: Agata Grzaba, Couplet Photography (via The Spaces)

Seasonal ingredients are served alongside sunset views at Lisbon’s Java, which is laid out to make sure every diner gets the best seat in the house.

Studio PIM oversaw the interiors for the Lisbon restaurant and bar, which occupies a harbourside spot in the capital. It’s been carefully arranged to make sure no one has table envy, with diners stationed either on the terrace or close to a window to maximise views.

Java on Google Maps and the main website.

Places I want to go when it's safe

A plane wing above clouds in the sky

COVID-19 has ruined a lot of things and while people are still travelling for their own reasons, holidays shouldn’t be one of them. And so I’m staying home until it’s safe to travel for that reason.

But when I can, I hope to visit these 5 cities at some point.

Lisbon, Portugal

I visited Lisbon for the first time in 2017 for my birthday and it was a revelation. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a new city in my life. The food was awesome, the architecture was breathtaking, and it cleansed my soul. I returned in 2018 but I’ve not been back since (I went to Nice to spend time with my parents for my 30th birthday).

It’s my mission to go back as soon as it’s safe and legal to fly.

Nice, France

It helps that my parents live there now but before that, I’d visited with my parents on holiday a few times, and my then-partner in 2015. Another Mediterranean city, it’s gorgeous in the summer, lovely food again, and more great architecture as well as a cool modern art museum featuring works by the likes of Yves Klein.

Leeds, UK

I was born in Bradford but never really spent time in Leeds besides the carnival as a kid. In my adult years, I’ve been a few times and it’s a really nice city. My last visit was last year for a solo Valentine’s vacay and my hotel was kind enough to do this:

Shout out Clayton Hotel. I will be back soon!

Chicago, USA

Last visit: July 2012. I went to see friends and, prior to Lisbon, it was my favourite city in the world. It still holds a place in my heart and I hope once it’s safe in all aspects of the word, I would like to go back and see my friends.

Tokyo, Japan

This is the only city on the list I’ve never visited but it’s on the proverbial bucket list. Besides experiencing the culture, trying the food, and taking lots of photos, I want all the Pokémon things and all the Game Boy things. And some vinyl. I’ll probably need £1000–£2000 spending money and an extra suitcase and I’m not joking.

Related: Photography by Liam Wong in Tokyo and Japan travel tips for first timers

A Love Letter to Lisbon

Breakwater Studios produced a short film in honour of Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. Sofia Domingues read the poem “Viajar” by Fernando Pessoa which was really fitting:

Viajar! Perder países!
Ser outro constantemente,
Por a alma não ter raízes
De viver de ver somente!

Não pertencer nem a mim!
Ir em frente, ir a seguir
A ausência de ter um fim,
E da ânsia de o conseguir!

Viajar assim é viagem.
Mas faço-o sem ter de meu
Mais que o sonho da passagem.
O resto é só terra e céu.

This left me feeling a bit emotional as I love Lisbon and I really want to go back this year, providing it’s safe to do so.