Get to know America’s oldest cities

The oldest cities in the United States were built by Native American tribes, Spanish conquerors, or British immigrants, and provide interesting information about the American past.

Although the United States is an emerging country compared to the ancient lands of the world, the formation of civilization and the history of urban life on its soil go back to the distant past.
Many of America’s oldest cities date back to the founding of the United States.

If you travel around the United States, you will rarely see a building in its cities and villages that is more than a century old; However, this land has an ancient history.

Thousands of years ago, many cities were founded by Native Americans that have survived to this day. Old American cities can now be visited.

Although most of these cities have been halved and some have been forgotten, there are cities that continue to play a significant role in America today.

Kahokia, Illinois

Cahokia is located in Illinois, 13 miles from St. Louis, Missouri.

Founded around 700 AD, it was once one of the largest cities in North America and North Mexico.

Kahukia was founded by the Mississippi, a group of Native Americans who once lived in southeastern North America.

By 1050, Kahukia is thought to have had a population equal to that of present-day London and, like London, was a metropolis. Archaeological evidence shows that different indigenous groups lived side by side in this land.

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Many of the buildings that made up the city of Kahukia are now gone. These buildings were destroyed until about 1350 for unknown reasons.

Nevertheless, the people of Kahukia left a magnificent relic of their community: 80 earthen mounds. The largest hill is called Monks Mound and with a height of 30 meters, it covers an area of ​​6 hectares.

It is still the largest hill in North America. In the past, there was a building on top of it that served as a meeting place for Kahukia’s religious and political leaders.

Uraybi, Arizona

While some believe that Oraibi was founded in 1150, evidence suggests that the city dates back to before 1100.

Uraybi is located in the state of Arizona in the territory of the American Indians. It is perhaps the oldest city in the United States ever inhabited. The city of Uraybi was founded by the Hopi tribe, who still live here today.

The population of this city seems to have increased dramatically in the thirteenth century and soon became one of the most important settlements of the Hopi tribe.

In fact, by the end of the nineteenth century, half of the Hopi population had settled in Uraybi. You can visit this area today, but its private community lives in the traditional Hopi way, and photography of the village and the lifestyle of these people is forbidden.

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Uraybi was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in the United States in 1964 and is also listed as a National Historic Landmark Bureau.

Acuma Pueblo, New Mexico

Native American Acoma has lived in the village of Acoma Pueblo for 2,000 years.

Archaeological evidence shows that the village has been inhabited since at least 1200, but oral history points to an older date.

The Akuma tribe once owned 2 million hectares of land. Acuma Pueblo is located 97 km west of the present-day city of Albuquerque in New Mexico.

Every year, tens of thousands of tourists visit Pueblo (a term used to describe North American Indian settlements in the American Southwest).

This village is one of the national monuments of the United States. There are still about 300 buildings here, most of which are made of mud bricks.

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Taos Pueblo is located one mile north of the city of Taos in New Mexico and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city dates back to 1450, although some estimates indicate that the buildings in this area date back to 1000 AD.

Descendants of the Native American tribe of Taos, who settled in the area centuries ago, claim that the brick houses here have never been deserted for 1,000 years.

The multi-storey building complex made of clay with red clay color and blue doors and windows, has created the most important building in the city. In the background of this building there is a beautiful view of the Sangre de Cristo mountain.

While the city is open to visitors, about 150 Taos residents who are permanent residents here have a highly isolated and private life.

Zoni Pueblo, New Mexico

Zuni Pueblo is located along the Ancients Scenic Byway, or the scenic ancient sidewalk in New Mexico.

This route passes through the southwestern states and passes through areas with geological and archaeological monuments. The population of this Pueblo is made up of Zone people who are native to the Zone River Valley.

The people of the Zoni tribe contacted Native Americans in 1539. This happened when a Spanish slave of Moroccan descent named Estéban (known as Stevanico) accidentally came across Hawikku, a village in the area.

Legend has it that the Zoni people killed Esteban, but there is disagreement. There are currently approximately 6,000 people living in this Pueblo.

Zoni Pueblo is located in a beautiful valley and spectacular hills soar around the traditional brick houses of this village.

Childersberg, Alabama

Childersburg describes itself as “America’s oldest ever-inhabited city.” At the entrance to the city, there is clearly a large sign that hangs from the railway bridge, introducing the historical heritage of Childersberg.

Childersberg dates back to 1540, when a Spaniard named Hernando de Soto stumbled upon the village of Coosa.

The Kosa Native American tribe lived in the village at the time, but since different indigenous tribes have lived in the area for thousands of years, the village is likely to be even older.

Historical documents show that large populations have lived here for centuries, and the people of Abihka were the largest population in the area in the 1700s.

However, today only a small indigenous population lives in Alabama, and gradually a diverse population of explorers, merchants, and pioneers have settled in the city.

Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola is thought to be the first Spanish settlement in the United States. In 1539, the ship Diego Maldonado anchored in the Gulf of Pensacola.

Shortly afterwards, in 1559, Tristán de Luna y Arellano brought more than 1,000 people with him to the United States and established a colony on the shores of Pensacola Bay.

The village was soon abandoned because of the storm and disease that threatened the lives of the inhabitants of the colony. By the time the Spaniards arrived, the people of Pensacola were living in this area and the western part of the Florida Panhandle.

Although Native American villages in the area had survived for a long time, by 1963 Pensacola was extinct.

The Spaniards returned many years later and founded a new community in 1698. Since then, a city has emerged here with a current population of 50,000.

In all, there are about half a million people living across the Pensacola metropolitan area, including prominent musicians, athletes, and politicians.

St. Augustine, Florida

St Augustine may not be the first European settlement (San Miguel de Gualdapé on the coast of Georgia was the first European settlement to last only four months) in the United States, but it is the oldest inhabited American city built by Europeans.

The city was founded in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. St. Augustine was the Spanish capital of Florida for more than 200 years, even after the British occupation of Florida in 1763.

The city is popular with visitors to Florida thanks to its historic and European architecture. The most important buildings of St. Augustine include the seventeenth-century fortress of Castillo de San Marco, a lighthouse in addition to a nineteenth-century prison.

St. Marys, Georgia

The second oldest European settlement was established exactly one year after the construction of St. Augustine. This residence is located on the banks of the St. Marys River in present-day Georgia.

There are now a number of 19th-century buildings in the city of St. Maris.

One of them is the first Presbyterian church, which dates back to 1808, and the other is the oldest building in the city, built in 1801, and the unusual name of the house Jackson-Clark-Bessent-McDonnell-Nesbit (Jackson-Clark- Bessent-MacDonell-Nesbitt House).

Espanyola, New Mexico

San Juan de los Caballeros was founded in 1598 by a Spaniard named Don Juan de Oñate.

The city was to become the capital of what is now New Mexico. At that time, the descendants of the Anasazi tribe lived in this area, which was called Yunque-Yunque.

Located at the confluence of the Chama and Rio Grande rivers, the area was ideal for agriculture.

In 1880, the Denver and Rio Grande railways were built through the city, opening the door for British traders and other immigrants.

At the same time, the name of the city was changed to Española. George and Frank Bond (two immigrant brothers) started a business that later became the city’s multimillion-dollar wool-producing empire.

The railway was closed in 1940 and many residents moved out of the city. Many historic buildings were demolished in the 1980s, but there are still a number of them that are reminiscent of the city’s past.

James Town, Virginia

Jamestown was the first permanent British colony in the United States. The Virginia Company, which reached the James River in 1607, originally named the area James Fort.

Although many immigrants died of disease, the city became the English center of the region between 1616 and 1699.

Jamestown did not have a good future; In 1676 following a revolt on fire; It was rebuilt after a while, but was finally abandoned when the English moved their center to Williamsburg in 1699.

Today, James Town is a historic site, and visitors can visit the archeological site of the historic town of James Town, the Jamestown Settlement, and the Museum of Historic Living, which depicts life in Old Jamestown.

Santa Fe, ‌ New Mexico

Santa Fe ‌ is still a major city in the United States and the fourth largest city in the state of New Mexico.

The city was founded in 1610 as Santa Fe de Nuevo México and replaced Espanyola as the center of New Mexico.

It was soon renamed “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco” (La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco) and is still the full and official name of the city.

However, the Santa Fe area has a longer history, and the villages built by the Tanoan people along the Rio Grande River date back to 900 AD.

It is still an important city in the United States, and the Santa Fe River, which has been providing food and water to the people of this area for thousands of years, was named the most dangerous river in the United States in 2007 and is one of the most important rivers in the country.