Sketchfab is a treasure trove of historic locations to visit in VR. There are thousands of scans of culturally relevant sites, interiors, and artifacts. This group of scans focuses on rock. Rock churches, castles, and a natural canyon.
Click the model to load it, then you can use your mouse to move around it, or better still, open it from your headset and enter VR. Sadly, Sketchfab seems to have deprioritized the VR experience so you can’t change the scale if it comes up wrong, but these are impressive models even if they aren’t life-sized.
Learn more about world history and explore some first-rate locations without needing an airplane ticket! Here you’ll find ten more historical sites you can explore for free in VR.
Ten more historical sites to visit for free in VR
- Church of St. George (Lalibela, Ethiopia)
Ethiopia has a number of rock-hewn Christian churches dating back to the 12th or 13th century. The Church of St. George is located in Lalibela, a town in northern Ethiopia. It was constructed from the top down, into the ground, from out of the solid rock. Take a look around the outside in VR or visit in person and go inside.
- Neolithic House (Scotland)
Visit the home of stone age farmers. This stone structure in an ancient settlement was excavated in the 1850’s by a local laird. The walls are over two meters high and there’s still stone furniture in place. Take a look around and imagine life in a very different time.
- Lazzaretto di Verona (Verona, Italy)
Lazzaretto di Verona is a historical building in Verona, Italy. It’s not a famout spot that you’ve likely heard of, but it’s a cool shape and is scanned well. It was built in the second half of the 16th century and was used as a hospital for contagious diseases, especially the plague, and as a military depot and ammunition storehouse.
- Kapadokya Peri Bacalari (Cappadocia, Turkey)
Kapadokya Peri Bacaları are natural rock formations in the historical region of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Turkey. They’re shaped by volcanic eruptions, erosion and wind over millions of years and look other worldly. Their structures are conical and many of them have been carved out for homes, churches, or other spaces. They are also known as hoodoos or fairy chimneys.
- Peirene Fountain, Ancient Corinth (Greece)
The Peirene Fountain is a historical and mythical spring in the ancient city of Corinth, Greece. It was named after a nymph who cried so much for her son that she turned into a fountain. It was also the place where Pegasus, the winged horse, was said to drink and inspire the poets. I actually visited it several years ago while in Greece, and though it was pretty amazing, I didn’t see any evidence of nymphs or winged horses.
- Castle of Consuegra (Toledo, Spain)
The Castle of Consuegra is a medieval fortress in the province of Toledo, Spain built by the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in the 12th and 13th centuries, on the site of a former Moorish castle. It has great walls around it and four semicircular towers along with a central temple. This is a great scan done by Global Digital Heritage so very high-quality.
- Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa (Egypt)
The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa are ancient underground tombs in Alexandria, Egypt, that date back to the 2nd century AD. They are a remarkable example of the fusion of Roman, Greek and Egyptian art and culture. They were rediscovered in 1900 by a donkey that fell into the shaft, or more likely, by the owners of the donkey. The stonework is amazing and VR is the perfect way to visit it.
- Khertvisi Fortress (Republic of Georgia)
Khertvisi fortress (Georgian: ხერთვისის ციხე) is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia and was used in the Georgian feudal period. The church was built in 985, and the present walls were built in 1354. It’s some amazing stonework and a nice model to show it off, although since it’s a raw scan it hasn’t been processed for performance on standalone headsets like the Quest.
- Site de Commarque (Dordogne, France)
From prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, this castle tells the story of 15,000 years of human history in the heart of the Perigord Noir (Dordogne France). 18 clickable hotspots have been added to form a guided tour which makes this much more than a regular model!
- Tantallon Castle (Scotland)
Tantallon Castle is an old castle in Scotland that was built by the powerful Douglas family. It was designed to withstand sieges and attaches with a huge outer wall, three towers, and a gatehouse There’s an impressive amount left standing, and you can view it along with views of the sea in this scan.
Explore any of these in any web browser, or put on your headset for the full experience. Unfortunately, Sketchfab no longer supports VR as well so you may not be able to see it at scale, but it’s still impressive.
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