The Biggest Cities in the World from the Beginning Until Today
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The Biggest Cities in the World from the Beginning Until Today


Hands down, the largest city in the world today is Tokyo, with its population of 33 million, although just 10 years ago Mexico City and New York competed for the very same crown. Nothing lasts forever. The dynamic events in human history have also proven this to be true.

If we take a look back in history, we'll see that 100 years ago the population capital of the world was London, before that Paris, Constantinople and so on. Here are the biggest cities in the world in the different historical periods.



Beijing has always been a vast city. With its population of 22 million, it is still among the top cities even today. But in about 1500, the city was the largest in the world with its 1.5 million people.


Kaifeng was one of the 7 ancient capitals of China. In the year 1150 it became the biggest city in the world, while its beauty and wealth became famous far beyond China's borders. This was also inevitably one of the main reasons for its fall from grace and cruel destruction by the Mongolians.


Baghdad, with its 7.5 million residents, is the 2nd largest city in the Arab World after Cairo. But in 900, as capital of the boundless Arab caliphate, the city was at the height of its power with its population of 1 million and unseen wealth.


In various periods throughout history, Constantinople was the capital of the world with its size and cultural achievements. For nearly a millennium, numerous armies had tried to conquer the wealthy metropolis but after the Ottoman Turks it was unable to restore its former glory.

Tell Brak

Tell Brak no longer exists as a city but its ruins can be seen in Syria. Around 5000 BC, with its 5000 residents, this was the biggest and most notable city in the ancient world.


Before the rise of Rome, Cartagena was the largest and most powerful city in the world. At around 300 BC, about 800 000 people lived within its confines - something that had never been seen at the time.



Babylon was considered the pearl of Mesopotamia. Even though it lies in ruins today, the city continues to inspire wonder. At the height of its greatness in 700 BC, about 250 000 people lived in it, making it the largest in the world then.


Ur was one of the first cities built by humans. In 2100 BC it also became the largest in the world with its 100 000 inhabitants.


Up until its discovery in 1933, no one had even suspected the existence of the city of Mari in present-day Syria. But excavations revealed that at around 3100 BC, with its 50 000 people, it was the biggest city at the time.


No tourist that ever visits Jericho today, with its 20 000 residents, would be able to believe that it was once the largest city in the world. Researchers are convinced that the Palestinian city was the 1st city built by humans about 11 000 years ago. At around 7000 BC, with 3000 residents, it was the largest city at a time.