If we were to ask you “which cities you think are the most influential cities in history” which would you pick? More than likely we’d probably come to roughly the same conclusion seeing as these cities would influence all of us (or at least most of us). Influential cities such as Athens, Jerusalem, Rome, New York, Paris, and London, have always been a magnet for art and culture, wealth, and large populations. But to rank history’s most influential cities isn’t an easy task. In order to calculate a city’s global influence throughout history, you have to take into account a range of factors, which is why there are many cities listed below that have had and continue to have a unique impact on the world. As the great tragedian Euripides said, “The first requisite to happiness is that a man be born in a famous city,” OK maybe is not the first requirement for happiness…maybe is not a requirement at all, but it sure is cool to say you are from Rome, New York, Alexandria or any other city on this list. So if you’re ready to learn about some of the most influential cities humanity has ever seen, we present you with 25 Most Influential Cities In History That Have Shaped Our Current World.
If you liked learning about the most influential cities in history, maybe you’d like learning about the most powerful cities in the world.
Formerly known as Edo, Tokyo has been Japan’s most important city for nearly five hundred years. What’s even more impressive is that its incredible rise to an elite global metropolis was driven by its remarkable recovery from the ruins and ashes of World War II. Japanese companies and their famously hard-working staff were responsible for an “economic miracle” that by the end of the 1980s had turned Japan into one of the richest nations and Tokyo into the high-tech capital of the world.
Timbuktu, city of gold and an ancient center of learning, is unfortunately slowly turning to dust. The Sahara desert is stifling life, but residents know the blame lies not only with natural forces but because of human neglect, war, and greed. However, the city’s glorious past makes it one of the most important and influential ever in history.
Tenochtitlán was an Aztec city that flourished between 1325 and 1521. Built on an island on Lake Texcoco, it had a system of canals and causeways that supplied water and food to the hundreds of thousands of people who lived there. It was largely destroyed by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1521. Modern-day Mexico City now lies on top of much of its glorious remains.
In the western Peloponnese, in the “Valley of Gods,” is the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece, and the birthplace of the most important athletic event of all time: the Olympic Games. Olympia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, and one of the most powerful brand names worldwide, with billions of people focusing on the city during the ceremony of the lighting of the Olympic flame before each Olympics. With a population of about 13,500 Olympia is without doubt one of the most influential small places in the world.
Moscow gradually grew around the Kremlin, beginning in the fourteenth century. It was the capital of Great Russia from 1340 to 1547 and then the Tsardom of Russia until 1712, when the capital was moved to Saint Petersburg. It also became the capital of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, which then became the Soviet Union (1922–1991), and since 1991 has served as the capital of the Russian Federation.