Talk:Old towns

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Size of towns to be listed[edit]

Hi, everyone. What's the minimum size of towns that we should list? Is Vezelay big enough? If not, what about Cortona, Pienza, Monteriggioni - there are loads of small towns in Italy, France, and other countries that are in toto (within the walls or on the top of a hill) old towns. But if we're going to list those, we need to establish standards of either minimum population, minimum area, or/and notability/fame. Which brings me to San Gimignano - certainly a very notable old town, but if we list it, we should probably also list Volterra and decide which of the numerous picturesque old Tuscan towns not to list.

By the way, I deleted Ipoh and Petaling Jaya from the list and substituted Malacca. Ipoh has several pretty old buildings, but "old" in that context means mostly late 19th and early 20th century, which just isn't that old (the old mosque is an exception, as I seem to remember it was from the 18th century). Petaling Jaya is a teeming suburb of Kuala Lumpur, I don't think there are any really old buildings there, and there's lots of recent highrise construction (memory from 2003 - there must be much more now).

There have to be more old towns in Japan than just Kyoto and Kamakura. Nara comes to mind - I have yet to visit, but doesn't it qualify? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:52, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

There are hundreds of old towns in a country like Italy, so it's a good idea to draw the line somewhere. Sometimes it might be hard to decide whether an old town is "notable" or not. One good indicator is how much has been written about the old town in the destination's article. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:10, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia's page on old towns can be a good source to evaluate places which should be included in our article as old town and even though, if there're hundreds of old towns in Italy, WP mention about only one. Furthermore, I don't think we need sections (Get around, Get in, See, Do, Buy, Eat, Sleep, Stay safe) here. This is not an article about a destination anyway. --Saqib (talk) 14:28, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually, in southern Europe there are many towns and cities that are nothing but one big "old town". WP's list seems to need some major expansion, not even Rome is mentioned! ϒpsilon (talk) 14:53, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
If the list is to be limited, it should not be for population size, but for level of interest for a traveller and/or quality of the city's Wikivoyage article. The Vatican City should be on the list though having less than 1,000 inhabitants. /Yvwv (talk) 16:58, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure how much is written about the "old town" as such in the destination guide really tells us much. Perhaps the term "Centro Storico" might not be used in some articles about old towns, but as you said, there are a lot of places that are purely "old towns," at least within the walls or/and on top of a hill. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:04, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

[Unindent] I think we should reopen this discussion. Should this language be edited?

[quoted from lede:] An Old Town, or a historical district, is a preserved urban neighborhood

[quoted from "Famous Old Towns":] This incomplete list includes inhabited urban districts of decent size and population

As a matter of fact, the list includes small towns like San Gimignano that are not historical districts in big cities and, though probably considered walled cities in the Middle Ages (let alone Etruscan times), have a real small-town atmosphere, not an urban ambiance like Rome, Florence or even Siena. So should we edit these quoted passages accordingly, or should we exclude the types of old small towns discussed above? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:28, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any reason why an "old town" should be confined to city districts. That is a very narrow-minded (Eurocentric?) definition that I think actually excludes a lot of the best old towns. If you are really looking for an old town, preserved districts or entire towns are much more atmospheric than a single street swallowed by a sprawling metropolis. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:37, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I am also noticing that the descriptions of old towns appear to be overall very Eurocentric. They don't describe East Asian old towns at all, and I suspect not a lot of others, either. Cobblestones? Impossible to enter by automobile? Horse and carriage rides? No, very often not true, and no. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:56, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
The horse-drawn calèche is an expensive novelty to amuse tourists; basically a $50-100 tour of the city. Like hay wagon rides, heritage steam trains and other ephemera of yesteryear these are intended as entertainment, not practical transport. The "impossible to enter by motorcar" bit is a bit much; it is possible to drive in Quebec City if one has no objection to awkward, narrow streets which run vertically (the old town was built on a cliff for military/defence reasons). K7L (talk) 16:48, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
It may at some time be prudent to separate this article or rather its content by geographic area and/or era. e.g. Old towns in China or American colonial towns. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:14, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I know that some places have horse-drawn carriages, but the general description of what old towns are and what they are like cannot be all about Quebec City or any specific place. It has to be a sum of what a traveler can expect to experience in an old town in Canada, as well as in Romania, Ethiopia, China, etc. and the current descriptions don't represent the global nature of the topic. At some time it will probably be necessary to separate by country. Even in such cases though, this general page will still need to have a global perspective. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:47, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Please edit at will. If people disagree on the margins, they can always edit further. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:54, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I have been thinking of ways to edit to make it inclusive of Japanese old towns, but I suppose I need verification that we are including old towns that are not part of cities as was brought up here initially. There do not appear to be any objections to including places that are not located within cities but I'd like to make sure that we are indeed changing the definition that is currently on the page? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:18, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
No-one's expressed opposition so far, so unless someone does before you start editing, I think you should go ahead. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:31, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean by old towns "not within a city"? Do you mean a place that basically only consists of "old town"? Because we already have these, e.g. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where the non old town part of the city is negligible, but it still is a normal town where people live (as opposed to a ghost town) Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:59, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and San Gimignano. But the lede and "Famous Old Towns" have to be edited to reflect this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:36, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

(indent) I attempted to rewrite the lede to reflect what I feel constitutes as an Old Town. Feel free to adjust it or discuss further here if you think it could be said differently (or neglects something). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:42, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Our Definition vs Country's Definition[edit]

Kamakura is not an "Old Town" by Japanese standards. It's a town with historic sites, but using that definition, we would need to list practically every city/town in Japan. Japan's designated Old Town historic districts are places like Kurashiki, Kawagoe, Hagi, Shirakawa-go etc. Kyoto itself is not an "Old Town", but it contains some "Old Towns", such as Gion. Shouldn't we use the local definition? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:18, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Probably - where there is a local definition. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:42, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
The Japanese equivalent of "Old Town" is machinami (街並み/町並み). I will add this to the list of foreign-language definitions. There are many of these, some rather small and others quite large. They designate specific districts rather than entire cities (hence why Kyoto's Gion area is one of them but Kyoto as a city is not). There are many lists of these (depending on how thorough/knowledgable the list-maker is), but for our purposes I think it would likely be most helpful to use this list of those chosen to also be preservation sites [1]. At least for the Japanese sites, using this will prevent the list from becoming too long should someone take interest. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:43, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
By analogy, what would you suggest we do with articles about cities in France and Italy, where the vieux ville/centro storico is usually only part of a city, vs. villages that are all medieval (et al.) in character? For example, by any standard that makes sense, Florence belongs in this kind of list, but not all of the city consists of the centro storico. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:53, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not familiar with how historic districts are dealt with in France or Italy. In cases where references to the city are definitely or very likely to be references to the historic area, I think just writing the city name is fine. That is what I did with Hagi. Hagi technically has 4 listings on my reference, but it is most likely that those planning a trip to Hagi are planning to visit the designated 'Horiuchi area'. Although they probably won't visit all 4, the historic areas are large and the predominant draw of the city, so I left it at 'Hagi'. With cities/towns where the historic districts are not necessarily the main draw and those in which many visitors can plan trips there without visiting the historic districts, such as Kyoto, I would probably list it with what the specific districts are called, so that would be something like: Kyoto (Gion, Kamigamo, Sanneizaka, Saga-Toriimoto)
If someone wanted to do the same with Hagi, I would write it: Hagi (Horiuchi, Hiyako, Hamasaki, Sasanamiichi)
With this said, though, I am not familiar with how France or Italy deal with this subject, so if they deal with it in a specific way, the list for those countries should reflect that if it makes sense. If the lists are "Wikivoyage originals" with no rules regarding what does/doesn't belong then it will probably need to be discussed for any countries that have more than what is reasonable for the article or whose lists are brought to question. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:19, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Indian Subcontinent[edit]

I'm still really unsure what criteria we should use for listings of "Famous Old Towns" (as mentioned above, hundreds could be listed in Italy and France, for example), but an area of the world that has very old civilizations like the Indian Subcontinent needs to have more old towns listed. Any suggestions? Perhaps some of the cities in Rajasthan, for example? And perhaps Madurai? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:12, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm not an expert, though I've been to 3 of those places (Varanasi, Sarnath and Khajuraho, though in Khajuraho, I stayed near the largest temple complex and don't remember seeing any old city, just old, great temples). I started the Wikivoyage:India Expedition because I was interested, not out of any great expertise, so I appreciate input from you and anyone else who knows the country better than I do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:09, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Never been there :) just read a lot about it :) and take Khajuraho and Jaipur back, having reckoned a little better the article's scope; further suggesting Ujjain, Rajgir, Nalanda, and Peshawar in Pakistan. 200.252.135.74 19:18, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. Any other input, everyone? Also, I think there have to be more old towns in Iran than just Shiraz. I haven't been to Iran (changing planes in Teheran Airport in 1977 doesn't count), but I'm guessing that likely places for old cities could include Qom, Isfahan and Mashhad, but I don't really know. Anyone know? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:27, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Old Delhi is the first Indian place that leaps to my mind. Also Lahore across the border.
Does it have to be a distinct old town area for mention here? Almost any city with a long history will naturally have some districts with many old buildings but I am not sure that merits a place here. Pashley (talk) 00:12, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I think the point of this article would be to list discrete old quarters of cities, plus towns that are all old or made to look all old (e.g., Carcasonne, San Gimignano), so those are the guidelines to keep in mind. I don't know even the names of some of the Indian cities User:200.252.135.74 mentioned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:40, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
  • for their merits, Ayodhya and Allahabad should be on the list (they also deserve the honor much more than Mumbai) but their articles need A LOT of copyediting. 200.252.135.74 11:31, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
A lot of articles on places in India need copy editing, which is why I started the India Expedition. I'll add Old Delhi (why is that a red link? I guess it has to redirect to Delhi for now?), Ayodhya, Allahabad and Varanasi and also Peshawar and Lahore, but I don't know some of the other places you mentioned. I remember Sarnath being a small town (this was back in 1977), with ancient Buddhist temples and the "original Bo tree," but I think it also had a little modern centre - is there really an old city or just old temples? Same question for Bodh Gaya, which I haven't been to, though it seems to me from the article that it really is primarily an old town, so I'll provisionally list it. I'm unfamiliar with Ujjain, Rajgir and Nalanda. Do they have living old cities or are those parts of town just archeological sites or old temples, with people living in non-ancient-looking dwellings in the area or elsewhere in town? I think we need to exclude places like Pompeii from this article, because they have a modern city and a big archeological zone where people don't live. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:00, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The original Bodhi tree is supposed to be the one at Bodh Gaya, or more exactly, the currently living one is an offshoot of the older tree, that lived at this same site in Sidarta's time.

It would be really nice to have objective conclusive evidence whether Nalanda/Sarnath/Sanchi/Ujjain/Rajgir qualify as "old town", "ghost town" or "archaeological". Let's also consider Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Hampi, Mathura and Calicut, whose current name escapes me. 200.252.135.74 19:08, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

  • It may or may not be helpful, but looking it up in Japanese, some of the most commonly listed "Old Towns" of India were Jodhpur (Blue City), Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Jaipur, and Delhi Old Town. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:04, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much, User:200.252.135.74 and ChubbyWimbus. From the places discussed above, I think we should exclude Fatehpur. Sikri is a modern town, though when I visited in 1977, it was also made of the red sandstone of the upper city, Fatehpur, we were told by government regulation, but the interest for tourist was all due to Fatepur - which, however, was not inhabited for hundreds of years and stood as a very well-preserved Royal ghost town. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:46, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, on Calicut - it's Kozhikode, and its article is pretty terrible right now, but that's not a consideration on whether to link it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:58, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I did web searches and I'm finding references to the Old City of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Mathura, Rajgir, Sanchi, Udaipur and Ujjain but not Calicut/Kozhikode, for whatever reason, and I think Hampi has an archeological zone rather than an old city, but I haven't been there and would stand to be corrected. For Nalanda, I get the result "is an old city," but that's not conclusive for the purposes of this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:20, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I've been to Bodhgaya and do not think of it as an old town. Some old stuff including as someone said above a descendant of the original Bo tree supposedly on the original site, but mostly just an Indian town. Many temples or monastries — Japanese, Sri Lankan, Tibetan, ... — but those are all relatively new. I am not sure about the nearby larger town of Gaya which we only passed through; it might have more of an old city area.Pashley (talk) 06:41, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

More than just a list of towns[edit]

IMHO we should make this article more than "just" a list of old towns and at least mention some local features much like the "cities" listings in region articles do. e.g. Rome the historic center of the Roman empire, the Catholic Church as well as the capital of Italy this city's historic center offers sights from two and a half millenia. Or : Dresden While much of the original old town was destroyed in the second world war it has been rebuilt very much in the old style and most of the landmarks are where they once were again. Or: Rothenburg ob der Tauber: almost untouched by the thirty years war and not majorly affected by any war since this is one of the few European cities with a totally intact city wall as well as a major draw for Japanese and American tour groups.

Opinions? Suggestions? Reasons why we shouldn't? Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:23, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

I agree. At least including 1-liner listings for every listed town is important. By all means, plunge forward and let's get started on the task. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:25, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

How old is "old"?[edit]

I deleted Ipoh from this list some time ago, but it's back. Its "old town" has some late 19th- and early 20th-century buildings, and not exclusively at that. I don't consider that remotely old enough, if we're being consistent. I think that consistency with the definitions of old towns in other parts of the world would dictate that to be on this list, a city has to have an area where a majority of buildings date back from the late 18th century, at the latest.

Our alternative would be to adopt the local definitions of "old" in all cases, but the result will be bizarre inconsistencies, in that large areas of Paris that are not considered "old town" at all have a majority of housing stock from the 19th (and perhaps early 20th) century. My feeling is that in Malaysia, the only real "old town" by the standards of old towns in countries like India or Italy, where that means a Renaissance or Medieval (or earlier) character, is Malacca, whose earliest buildings date to the Renaissance. I'd be willing to accept Georgetown (Malaysia), whose "old town" is really no older than Ipoh's but is bigger and in fact famous in Malaysia, but I think that we should at least include some explanatory notes.

I guess part of the issue with this article is that it's a long list, effectively an internal link farm, but without many descriptions, and if we add descriptions, I think it will get too long and need to be divided into separate articles by continent - which may be the real solution.

What do you all think? Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:20, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Yeah given what I wrote just above about a year ago, it should be clear that a mere "laundry list" of old towns is not the solution. Splitting up by continent (or even sub-continental section) is a good idea and including "local" definitions in those continent articles should also be done. Also, we should include one liner listings about the listed cities at the very least. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:03, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
Look at the current list for Malaysia: Georgetown, Ipoh, Kuching, Malacca. If we decide that any town that has a neighborhood with some buildings built between the 1880s and the 1940s is an "old town", wouldn't almost every small town in large parts of Upstate New York and New England qualify? Does it make any sense to have a definition of "old town" that embraces both Ipoh and San Gimignano? Should we, then, list Troy (New York)? (I don't think so.) Anyone from a country that has genuinely old cities will not recognize any such thing in any Malaysian city but Malacca. So don't we risk making this article nonsensical by continuing to allow not-very-old cities to crop up on this list? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:56, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
I think at the very least the adoption of the automobile should be a definitive cutoff point. Probably even the industrial revolution. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:14, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Mid or late 19th century. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:05, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
In that case, we should list almost every small town in New England and parts of Upstate New York, and certainly Troy. I don't agree. 19th-century buildings are no big deal in European countries. Is Paris an "old town"? I say no. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:23, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
See this edit. However, my above points stand. Also, note this edit. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:38, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I would assume that the age that makes a city old is its age in comparison to the country it belongs to (not the actual country, but the time that it has been inhabited for). If we take the Netherlands for example: The country was united and formally founded as the Burgundian Netherlands in 1384. If we use this as a reference and set the norm to 50% of the country's age, then we get the following:
The Netherlands is 2016 - 1384 = 632 years old, which would make a norm based on founding of the country 316 years (so the settlement must have been founded in 2016 - 316 = 1700 or earlier).
Let's use the table found on nl.wikipedia.org as reference.
Stad = City; (Huidige) provincie = Current province; Jaar = Year
If we sort by year, then we get an immense list of cities that got their city rights before 1700
If however, we'd use the time that the region was permanently inhabited, then the norm would be:
Netherlands below the Rhine: ~200 (Roman times), which makes the norm ~1100 or later.
Netherlands above the Rhine: ~750, which makes the norm ~1250 or later.
This cleans out the list, but it would remove Amsterdam, which got city rights in 1306. Amsterdam is quite an iconic old city, but it wouldn't be old enough. Instead you'd be left with some bigger cities and loads of towns, but not with Amsterdam and The Hague (1806), and make the status of old town disputable for almost all current listings, which got city rights in the late 13th century. I have no clue on what the best way of tackling this is though, this is just my best guess.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 08:17, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I am not entirely convinced by your formula, to say the least. Also an old town is not merely a city that has a lot of history, but buildings that date to several centuries ago. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:40, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I am more than aware that the historical content that the destination has to offer matters most. The calculation or whatever it can be considered to be above is about the definition of old, and no much more.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 18:04, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
[This is the edit I was making this morning before I had to hurriedly close my computer:] I'd point out that we can't have the date of independence as an overall guideline for what's old. What would we do, in that case, with most of Africa, the Caribbean, and a lot of Asian countries? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:15, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I get the problem you're posing here, Ikan. I can't answer your question, since I am not that educated about non-western cities. I can however, pose a simple solution. We could check List of (x)'s oldest cities Wikipedia articles to indicate what we should see as old. If the top 50 is founded around the same time, then we can assume that the country/region doesn't have old cities. If there are 5 - ~20 cities or towns that can be considered historical, then we can list them. I may just be underestimating this though - I am not sure.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 19:14, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am not entirely sure we are on the same page. To me this clearly about parts of cities mostly or wholly composed of old/historic buildings, no matter the overall age of the city. Not cities that happen to be old. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:24, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

It's partly the feel of the city or neighborhood. Not every building in Siena inside the walls is actually Gothic, but those that are not are neo-Gothic or otherwise in harmony with the Gothic buildings. I agree that the fact that a city is old is immaterial if the old buildings were all or virtually all destroyed and not rebuilt to old specifications. But how old do you expect the historic buildings to be? Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:50, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
It's kind of like the Supreme Court definition of obscenity; "I know it when I see it". But to give a rough ballpark figure, in Germany it would certainly exclude Gründerzeit (~1870-1900) even though those buildings are pretty in their own right and legally classified as "Altbauten". In Central America, I'd say style and substance have to be pre-Independece, so everything after 1821 is out. Hobbitschuster (talk) 03:38, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

[unindent] What about New York City as an "Old town", as it's currently listed? I disagree. Much of it is not old at all. The older (mostly early 19th-early 20th-century buildings, though sometimes 18th-century ones) parts of town are scattered, but include parts of the Financial District, Greenwich Village, Harlem, the East Village, Chinatown and Soho in Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and maybe Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, but boy oh boy will people be disappointed if we direct them to the entire city as an old town. Paris qualifies much more and yet most of it is not in any way considered an "Old town" in France. So what do we do? In my view, probably not include New York, but if we must, "parts of New York City including much of the West Village, Financial District, Brooklyn Heights and parts of [list neighborhoods]", and then specify the era of most of the "old" buildings. And if we're listing New York, shouldn't Troy and the centers of most towns in Upstate New York and New England be listed? I'm asking this question yet again. I really don't like the arbitrariness of what's included in this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:32, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

  • This is a relevant point indeed. I reckon the listing of Saint Petersburg as equally polemic, as the city was founded from scratch no sooner than 1704, and therefore is very new for Russian or European standards. As the historic center's pristine preservation, for Russian or European standards again, is a valid argument for its inclusion, the city stays on the list, but if we were to overhaul this article, I would vote to delete, and keep Vladimir and Suzdal and Novgorod the Great and Pskov and so on; these are very old indeed. As for NYC, how does it compare to Baltimore or Alexandria or Santa Fe? I cannot comment as I've never been to these places and have no idea about how these feel from the traveller's perspective as I can about St Pete. Ibaman (talk) 11:17, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
The idea of the article is TCF; that travellers should be able to find urban environments which stand out from the large-scale planning and cosmopolitan architecture which arose in the 19th century, and became ubiquitous during the 20th century. The exact construction year is less important; to be listed, a town or a district should have some degree of authenticity and unique character. /Yvwv (talk) 11:51, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
What is "TCF"? Anyway, the classic era of New York skyscrapers doesn't start until 1907, so no, New York is not an "old town". Santa Fe has a 17th-century core, if I remember correctly, so it qualifies. I don't know about Baltimore or Alexandria, VA. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:17, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I think it’s probably an odd way of saying, or a misspelling of, ttcf. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 04:46, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
Is there something I can do to focus and resolve this discussion? I want the U.S. cities and neighborhoods listed to clearly feature pre-Civil War buildings, and even then, I think that might encompass most small towns in parts of Upstate New York and New England. I suppose Cohoes should be mentioned? Really, we have to figure out what we're talking about. New York City as a whole doesn't belong, and I'll bet some of the other listed cities don't belong. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:07, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, TCF is short for Wikivoyage:The traveller comes first. Sorry for being too lazy to spell it out. /Yvwv (talk) 13:51, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
No, it's ttcf. But do you have any other comments about my points? Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:42, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Maybe it is time to break this article up by continet(al section)?[edit]

Judging by the debate above on what really qualifies as "old", maybe it would make more sense to have for example an article on Old towns in Europe one on Old towns in East Asia and so on. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:48, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

I totally agree, though I want to add that the current list for just Europe is long - very long. Perhaps it may be better if we split it up into Old towns in the Benelux, Old towns in the Northern Mediterranean, Old towns in central Europe, et cetera.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 15:54, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, isn't there a risk that we instead of one long list (this article) would only end up with several equally long lists? ϒpsilon (talk) 16:10, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
That risk exists, but the more fine grained we are the more non obvious stuff can be said about old towns in a certain region. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:39, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
The risk exists for sure, but what if we'd list most of the history of the country, as well as the history of the destination. I don't know if we have at least one user speaking every European language, but the history of obscure cities not many tourists would visit such as Doetinchem is well-documented on the Dutch WP. I'd assume the same goes for other countries.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 18:08, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I think the most important things are: (1) to get away from lists and provide some clear information about why a visitor would want to visit x, y or z old town and what nice old things they'd most want to see there; (2) to have some kind of consistency in the definition of "old town". Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:19, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
We could work out a sandbox article on Old towns in the Netherlands. If so, I'd encourage anyone to contribute to that, just so we can find out what the better choices are when forming such an article.
Currently I'm thinking of listing the following:
  1. General history of the country.
  2. A section for every old settlement explaining their history into more detail than their own articles, as well as why this settlement should be visited.
  3. Anything that the traveller should know when going to these places (For example: Assume that Giethoorn is a historical city - A problem it has is that tourists enter people's gardens assuming that the whole town is one big open air museum and that they are free to go wherever they please. In this section we'd dis-encourage the tourist to enter gardens and private property in general).
  4. Perhaps list of countries X with other old towns that the traveller that would visit country Y might want to visit?
    -- Wauteurz (talk) 19:23, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
General history of the country seems to me to be for Countryname:Understand/History. I'd omit that section, although a few specific remarks relating to old towns in Countryname in particular could be helpful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:27, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I'll explain my thinking here, may it not be obvious. I'm assuming that an Old towns article would be an Old towns in [x]-article. If we have a general region such as Southeast Asia, then yes, history on all of the countries is unnecessary. Instead we could also list a general history of the region, mostly listing what they have in common. If we have an article such as Old towns in the Netherlands, then we can afford to list the country's history, whether that is a history that only touches the surface or one that dives into the depth of the country is something I'm not too sure of. The thing is: The history of the country may explain why something happened in town Y. If we can't list that, then, well, the article may become vague or incomprehensible.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 07:03, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
The point would be to give sufficient summary descriptions for each town to indicate to the reader what's interesting, beautiful or important about it. How to do that most effectively is worth discussing anytime. I'm not so sure the point that the main "history of Country X" section has to be in the "Country X" article is really open to serious debate, though as on any question, I stand to be corrected, and anyone can and should offer any opinion they hold and would like to debate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:50, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

This name is misleading?[edit]

Is it referring to "old towns" as a generic term (as in, medium sized settlements that have a long history) or referring to the old part of a larger city? I think the article should be renamed "Historic districts" for clarity. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 03:27, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Please read through the discussion above. The towns listed, such as some of the Italian ones (San Gimignano and Pienza among them) are in some cases solely old towns. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:21, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I see. Sorry about that. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 18:45, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Middle East is not a continent[edit]

Moreover, now that I moved Cyprus destinations to the section on Europe, which is where we place Cyprus on this site, everything remaining is on the Asian continent. Is there a good reason why, uniquely among the world's regions, the Middle East should be treated like a continent in the list of old cities? Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:08, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

The heading just says "Famous old towns" so there doesn't appear to be any requirement that the subheadings be continents ("Europe & the Caucuses"and "Americas" aren't continents either). The region is unique among the other world regions with a rather distinct culture including architecture, so it may serve the traveler to keep it separate. I could see someone with an interest in the Middle East who wants to know which country might have the "best" or "most interesting/beautiful/authentic/etc" old towns finding this separation convenient. It is much less likely that someone will be wantonly interested in both the Middle East and East Asia/Southeast Asia (for example). At that point, there probably isn't any difference in separating the Middle East from Europe, North America, or anywhere else aside from geography. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 03:33, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I pretty much agree with Chubby. Plus there is a certain amount of commonality among medinas across the Arab and Persian world (including in Spain and North Africa to be fair, so "Middle East" is not a perfect subdivision), from the use of Islamic geometric architecture to the presence of gardens and water features, which doesn't hold in either Europe or, to my knowledge, further east into Asia.
Furthermore, since the Europe list is already that much longer than all the others, it would make good sense to split it further by region.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 07:30, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm OK with splitting further by region; it's just odd to single out only one region. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:50, 14 October 2019 (UTC)