Great women don’t always make the history books. For every formidable leader, intellectual rebel or genre-defining artist whose name echoes down the ages, countless others are forgotten or erased. But in some cities, renowned women have left an unmistakable imprint. Take a tour from ancient Egypt to 20th-century France and see the world through the eyes of seven mighty women.

Hatshepsut’s Memorial Temple in Luxor – backdrops don't come much more dramatic than this © Nick Brundle Photography / Getty Images

Centuries before Cleopatra commanded armies and charmed the rulers of the Roman Empire, Hatshepsut (approx 1508–1458 BC) rose to power. Appointed a regent when her husband Thutmose II died, Hatshepsut became the first woman to obtain the full powers of the pharaoh title. During her 20-year reign, she commissioned monumental temples, some of which stand today.

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