The 50 Oldest Things in the World

Source: Khonsali / Wikimedia Commons

11. University
> Oldest: University of Al Quaraouiyine
> Approximate Date: 859 A.D.
> Location: Fez, Morocco

Originally founded as a mosque, the University of Al Qaraouyine opened in 859. The mosque was established by Fatima Al-Fihri, daughter of a wealthy merchant who used her inheritance to found the institution. It drew leading Muslim scholars to speak there. The building fell into disrepair, but Morocco’s culture ministry had it restored starting in 2012.


12. Restaurant
> Oldest: Stiftskeller St. Peter
> Approximate Date: 803 A.D.
> Location: Salzburg, Austria

After more than 1,000 years, Stiftskeller, the world’s oldest restaurant, is still operating in St. Peter’s Abbey, in the same building it was founded. Some of the restaurant is actually carved into the stone cliffs near the original abbey. The historic restaurant claims that it has hosted numerous celebrities and royals. Stiftskeller also happens to reside in the same town where Mozart was born, so it hosts Mozart nights. Patrons can listen to professional renditions of the master composer’s works while dining.

Source: Photo by Fox Photos / Getty Images

13. School
> Oldest: The King’s School
> Approximate Date: 597 A.D.
> Location: Canterbury

The King’s School in Canterbury, England — a town also famous for Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” — is believed to be the oldest school in the world. The school’s website says the institution was probably established by St. Augustine after he came to England in 597. Among the school’s alumni are playwright Christopher Marlowe and scientist William Harvey.

Source: そらみみ / Wikimedia Commons

14. Company
> Oldest: Kongo Gumi
> Approximate Date: 578 A.D.
> Location: Japan

Kongo Gumi of Japan has been in the building business since 578 A.D. and is the oldest construction company in the world. It became a subsidiary of the Japanese construction business Takamatsu in 2006. Kongo Gumi is one of many very old Japanese companies. Japan is home to several of the oldest hotels in the world founded in the eighth century.

Source: Immanuel Giel / Wikimedia Commons

15. Wine Bottle
> Oldest: The Speyer Bottle
> Approximate Date: 325-350 A.D.
> Location: Speyer, Germany

People have enjoyed drinking wine for millennia, but it appears that no bottle has lasted as long as The Speyer Bottle in Germany. The bottle was buried in the tomb of a Roman noble around 325-350 A.D. and discovered, sealed with wax, in Speyer, Germany in 1867. Experts are unsure if the wine could stand the shock of being exposed to the air, though it may technically still be drinkable. Monika Christmann, a wine professor, said the contents of the bottle are “probably not spoiled, but it would not bring joy to the palate.”

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