The next time you visit somewhere incredibly beautiful
you ought to stop for a moment and consider the history of the place.
Ask yourselves who once lived there, what locals would say about the place, and what stories you thought mere fiction could be attached to the place you’re standing.
To get you started,
here are five breathtaking places which have a surpassing legend behind them…
1. Knossos, Crete
Situated on the Greek island Crete, Knossos is considered to be Europe’s oldest city. While today it sits mostly in ruin, visitors can still look upon the beauty of the stonework, intricate works of art and can immerse themselves in culture as they walk the streets of Knossos.
In legend and popular culture, Knossos was once the home of the Minotaur, a half-man half-bull creature who was kept in the stone labyrinth which was laid out beneath the city.
Since the legend originated, minotaurs have seeped into myths and legends around the world, however Knossos will always be the place where it all began.
2. Troy, Turkey
Best known for being the setting of the Trojan war in which legendary heroes such as Achilles, Prince Hector and King Priam fought, the ruins of Troy, a once great city, can be found on the outskirts of Turkey.
The city and the war was documented in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, however up until recent years debate still raged as to whether or not the legendary site ever actually existed. and whether or not the ruins found were in fact Troy.
Today however the site is recognised as the same city that Homer once wrote about, however there is little at the site to confirm all that was claimed in his great works. Built on the site is also a replica wooden horse which, legend has it, the Greeks used to infiltrate the city, ultimately destroying it.
3. Sherwood Forest, England
Located in Nottinghamshire, England, Sherwood Forest is the setting for the legendary tales of Robin Hood, a heroic outlaw and highly skilled archer and swordsman.
Legend says that Robin Hood, along with his band of followers who are commonly known as his ‘Merry Men’, spent his days robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. While there are no historical records to prove the existence of this fabled outlaw, several variations of the name Robin Hood can be found in writings from the year 1228 onwards.
Today, visitors can look upon the Major Oak tree which is rumoured to have been Robin Hood’s principal hideout.
4. Arthur’s Seat, Scotland
Arthur’s Seat is the name of the main peak in a group of hills situated in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Despite being located in the middle of the city, the hill is a truly breathtaking sight which offers spectacular panoramic views of Edinburgh from its peak.
There are multiple legends attached to the hill however the most prominent is that it was once the location of Camelot, King Arthur’s castle. In legend, King Arthur was a Romano-British king who ruled the lands along with his beautiful Queen Guinevere (though she would later betray him) and his trusted friend and wizard Merlin.
While no archaeological evidence has been found to support this theory, the legend still holds sway in Scotland and whispers of the legendary king can still be heard all across the UK.
5. Mount Olympus, Greece
Located on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and while it is often referred to in the singular form it’s actually a collection of 52 peaks.
In myth, Mount Olympus was the home and stronghold of the Twelve Olympian gods (including Zeus, Aphrodite, Hades, Apollo and Poseidon) and was created after the Olympians defeated the Titans in the Titan War.
Today visitors can scale the the mountain and visit the caves and peaks where the gods were once said to reside.