Recent Community Reviews

1012 of the 1052 WHS have been reviewed by visitors of this website

Baptism Site "Bethany Beyond the Jordan" (Jay T)

The Baptism Site at Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Al-Maghtas in Arabic), where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, has quite an extensive biblical history. Tradition has held this location as the site where the Israelites first crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land, as well as the site where the prophet Elijah was taken into heaven in a chariot of fire (commemorated in the song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot")

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Zollverein (Kbecq)

The Zollverein site as such can be visited free of charge. Some buildings are currently used as museum, restaurant, ... and can be visited in this capacity. However, if you want access to (some of) the old production buildings, a guided tour is the only way

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Churches and Convents of Goa (Das Experiences)

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of “Churches and Convents of Goa” comprises of seven constituent sites. They are:

- Basilica of Bom Jesus

- Se Cathedral

- Church of St. Francis of Assisi

- Chapel of Santa Catarina/Chapel of St. Catherine

- Ruins of the Church of St

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Yaroslavl (Wojciech Fedoruk)

Yaroslavl is the biggest city of Golden Ring, easily reachable from Moscow. I came there after reading other, not very enthusiastic, reviews on this site and again it seems that during last couple of years Russia changed a lot. This time I did not focus on ticking inscribed churches, but instead took a couple of hours to walk in the beautiful streets of Yaroslav's Old Town

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Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (Juha Sjoeblom)

Site visited April 2014. The grandiose Timurid era mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is the highlight of Kazakhstan and also one of the highlights in Central Asia.

I flew from Almaty to Shymkent which is the usual hub for visiting the town of Turkestan

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Blog: WHS #614: Nesvizh

Nesvizh until 1939 was the family estate of the most prominent noble family from Belarus: the Radziwill. The WHS consists of a palace with landscape gardens and a church. I visited it right after Mir Castle: it lies just about half an hour away, a bit deeper into the countryside. With only 33 recorded visits on this website, it ranks a very low 442th among 500 European/North American WHS. On the day itself it was also much less crowded than Mir.

The palace in all its glory

I started with a quick lunch in Nesvizh town because I wanted to try out the Belarussian specialty ‘machanka’ (something creative with the regional staples of pork and potato – not recommended). On to the palace then, which lies at the end of a very long driveway on the outskirts of town. It has been reconstructed since 2001, was hit by a fire in 2002 but the works seem to be all finished now. You can compare my pictures with those in the other Nesvizh reviews on this website for a ‘before and after’.

They obviously are very careful with the interior of the palace, as everybody is requested to wear plastic shoe covers. What awaits inside is a series of European-style palace rooms. The founding Radziwill got inspired by French and German castles during his travels, and wanted to recreate such a thing for his family in Belarus. Like in Mir, there is not much original in here but the audio guide diligently explained per room what is 'real' and what from a later date.

After many dining rooms, bedrooms and a ballroom I came to the most surprising place: a room full of hunting trophies. I counted two stuffed bears and dozens of grouse. Star object in this room however is an American billiard table from 1896. This was too heavy for the Germans to take during World War II. In subsequent years, the palace was used as a sanatorium and the pool table came in handy in the recreation room.

The billiard cum hunting room

Once outside again, I walked along the palace’s moat. The adjoining landscape garden did not look very appealing, so I returned to the main gate. Next to this gate lies the Corpus Christi Church: a major component of the nomination, maybe the one that embodies the “transition of western (architectural) concepts to Central Europe”‘ value the best.

Its exterior is under scaffolding at the moment, but inside everything is still in place. A woman of about 60 stood guard at the entrance. She started a long talk in Belarussian, but luckily there were some visitors in front of me so I learned that it is first necessary to give a donation to the church. Only after that the lady removed the rope that separates the entrance from the rest of the church.

She gave me a booklet with explanations in English and immediately sent me to the crypt. Here most of the Radziwill dynasty lies buried. I found several wooden boxes covered in dust – somehow I had expected more grandeur. The church itself would not be out of place in Italy. It was modelled after the Jesuit church in Rome, and has many baroque frescoes and other features.

Dynastic burial place

Unfortunately I did not have enough time to explore more of Belarus than Minsk, Mir and Nesvizh. I’d like to see Brest and the Khatyn memorial, major historic playgrounds that suffered a lot in various battles. And Polotsk, a TWHS and supposedly the best preserved medieval Belarussian city. The Bialowieza Forest WHS is also still waiting. It’s about time to turn the tide in Belarussian tourism and relieve them from national worries such as Why Do So Few Tourists Visit Belarus?.

Published 17 Sept 2016 Leave a Comment

Responses to WHS #614: Nesvizh:

wojtek (17 September 2016):
Hopefully it is going for the better. Belarus recently extended visa free zone to Grodno and there are rumours that visit through Minsk airport will be without visa for tourists.


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