9 Legendary Lost Cities That Have Actually Been Found

At this point we’ll probably never find the actual city of Atlantis from the ancient myths, or the City of Gold – El Dorado, but nobody can tell us not to look for them, right?

Sure, maybe all these places are just myths and legends, that some bright soul dreamed up and wrote a novel about. They were just flights of our imaginations, thoughts of what wonders the world could hold.

But there are real places poor soul made up to make their adventures in a faraway land seem more exciting, and that’s fine, but some of the stuff that the modern explorers have uncovered really makes you question if those were real locations. Some of those “lost cities” have been found!

So if they were real, it might mean that all other legends had at least some truth in them.

Let’s set out to explore 5 lost cities that have actually been found!

1. Helike

Could this be the legendary Atlantis? Sure looks like it is, but who said Atlantis was the only sunken city in the Greek mythos? The city of Helike went down under in a single night, and according to Greek myths, Helike was destroyed by the wrath of Poseidon – the god of the sea.

Helike was destroyed in 373 BC, and for hundreds of years it remained an old tale… until it was found in the late 1980s. According to the archaeologists, the disaster that destroyed it was a huge earthquake that liquefied the ground, turning the very earth into water. On second thought, that’s exactly what Poseidon would have done.

2. Xanadu

Xanadu (or Shangdu) was Kubla Khan’s pleasure dome where he spent those hot summers days. When Marco Polo visited in 1275, here’s what he said: “a very fine marble palace, the rooms of which are all gilt and painted with figures of men and beasts and birds…”

Sadly, today not much of that old shine remains. It was a real paradise on Earth… before the Ming army destroyed it in 1369.

3. Sigiriya

Way way back in 5th century Sri Lanka, King Kassapa thought of the best place to build his royal palace – just put it on top of a 200 meters tall boulder!

According to the legends, it was one of the most incredible castles in the world. As of today, UNESCO declared Sigiriya the Eighth Wonder of the world, but for quite some time, it was nothing more than the forgotten ruins of a deposed tyrant.


    • With all due respects, I don’t think that is a fair comparison. Do you consider Meteora an Ancient Wonder / lost City?

    • The danes did never really sail anywhere but the ancient norwegians did because they dared to navigate out on open sea

    • Use Wikipedia or the Saga. It has been proved that the Norwegians was there. Unfortunately we didn’t made the right decisions (the kings) and when the black plague came in a country with wide population the country collapsed and it took hundreds of years to recover. It is interesting to think how the world would be today if the Norwegian Wikings had succeeded. Definitely, we had no Trump 🙂

      • And then you hear “PERKELE”!

        “Finn f(i)-nn as a boy’s name is pronounced fin. It is of Irish, Gaelic and Old German origin, and the meaning of Finn is “fair; from Finland”. Mythology: Finn MacCumhail was a legendary Irish hero (third century) somewhat like the English Robin Hood. His warrior-followers were called Finians. See also Finian.

        Finn has 4 variant forms: Fin, Fionn, Fingal and Fingall.”

  • Sigiriya in Sri Lanka – The Palace on Top of a Rock, impossible to penetrate by the enemy. Apart from boulders positioned at strategic points, the King had massive Hornets Nests around the Rock. With one pebble the Hornets would attack. Even today the Hornets when disturbed, attack with sheer vengeance, killing humans. Another question is how water was transported to the Rock.

  • Sigiriya is indeed a spectacular place, however it has hardly been lost, you can’t miss the place. As for Unesco calling it the Eighth wonder of the world I can’t find any reference to this on the Unesco web site, nor would I expect to though lots of people seem to quote this without any reference.

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