The Ruins of Nan Madol
June 25, 2013 9:38 PM   Subscribe

On the other side of the world from Venice, there exists the ruins of another mediaeval maritime city, built upon dozens of small islands divided by canals, that was home to a political dynasty that lasted for centuries. Unlike the world-renowned Adriatic city, however, the Micronesian city of Nan Madol faded away into history, leaving behind an overgrown archipelago of artificially-constructed rectilinear islands for modern eyes to marvel at centuries later.
posted by Chrysostom (6 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
God, I want to go there so bad. I have a certain colleague who has been there and they're always more than happy to tell me "Oh, barnacles, it's even better in person! Have you been? You must go. The photos don't do it justice -- it's amazing."

And then I make a big sadface of jealousy and they rub it in a bit more.
posted by barnacles at 9:51 PM on June 25, 2013 [5 favorites]

Agreed - this is driving me mad with envy. I've been overjoyed at seeing far less impressive ancient sites. (sign)

Halfway through the video we see a guy slowly lower himself through a keyhole slit into a room below and I felt like handing him a bullwhip.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:34 PM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Amazing place. Not sure about the bullwhip, but I'd insist on the guy carrying a nice sturdy Elder Sign before going down there.
posted by Iosephus at 3:01 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

This really makes me nostalgic. I was there as a kid, which I don't really remember, and then again several years ago. The whole island is a tropical paradise, the structures at Nan Madol are stunning when you try to imagine building the things out of those basalt Lincoln Logs, you get to travel the canals like the roads of a village, and when you look down in the water there are all kinds of colorful tropical fish. All this and you don't have hundreds of other tourists jostling you. Probably just the handful who came on your boat with you. I'm honestly not trying to brag, but I'm reminded how lucky I've been to have visited twice.

Even cooler in a way were ruins on nearby Kosrae - unexcavated, you hike to them on a jungle path, wading through rivers, and they're overgrown with moss and trees like a truly lost city.
posted by univac at 3:03 AM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

I graduated from high school in Micronesia (Kwajalein Island), yet had never heard of this place until now. Thanks for sharing.
posted by COD at 6:00 AM on June 26, 2013

Fascinating. Thanks, OP!
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:55 AM on June 26, 2013

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