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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Recent Community Reviews

1033 of 1073 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Rome Michael Turtle, Australia 20.10.17

Rome

I'm not sure what I can say you you wouldn't already know about Rome. It's an incredible city full of history and heritage. The struggle here, I imagine, was choosing what to leave out of the WHS listing.

I have been to Rome a few times but on my most recent trip, made the effort to see parts of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill that I hadn't seen before. I found it really interesting to go deeper into the history and concentrate on just one or two of the important sites in the city. I think if you rush through Rome then you don't do it justice.

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Stevns Klint Alexander Barabanov, Russia 20.10.17

Stevns Klint

Visited Stevns Klint in September 2017. The place is very popular among locals, who seemingly spent the whole day there walking along the coastline and some attraction points like COld War Museum.

Also spent around 30 minutes trying to find any fossil on the beach below Stevns Klint but without success.

Information leaflets provide indication of where very thin K/T layer is located.

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Christiansfeld Alexander Barabanov, Russia 20.10.17

Christiansfeld

Visited Christiansfeld during weekend tour from Copenhagen in September 2017. I liked this quit unusual city and the whole story behind Moravian church.

The most imppressive site for me was also cemetery with the funeral plates that haven't changed in the last 200 years.

Also central church with minimum decorations and white benches looks like discussion hall rather then ritual place.

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Rhodes Chrysoula, Greece 19.10.17

We spent a full day exploring The Medieval City of Rhodes and we really liked it. We chose to explore on our own and visited the Palace of the Grand Master, the Hospital of the Knights that houses the Archaeological Museum, the beautiful Mandraki Harbour, and many more sights. There are many things to do in Rhodes town and I will definitely come back to explore the whole island. It was a hot day as it was the end of July but still, we enjoyed it. Next time I would probably visit in June or September to avoid the crowds and the heat wave. You can read more about what you can see in Rhodes town here.

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Jodrell Bank Observatory (T) Hubert, Austria 17.10.17

Jodrell Bank Observatory (T)

When we planned our trip through Wales and Central England in May and June 2017 we were not aware of the fact that the Jodrell Bank Observatory would be the next UK nomination, aiming for inscription in 2019. In hindsight, it was a good idea when that spontaneously decided to make a detour to the Cheshire East district, a few miles south of Manchester.

Although I have a soft spot for technical and scientific sites, I did not know much about the observatory prior to our visit. Except of the entry on the tentative list, I knew Jodrell Bank only because it is mentioned in the novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams (the telescope is also shown in the film adaption).

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Blog: Hoge Kempen Transition Landscape

Belgium is currently preparing the 2019 nomination for Hoge Kempen Rural - Industrial Transition Landscape. This is going to be proposed as a mixed site ánd evolutionary cultural landscape. It covers the Hoge Kempen National Park plus .. more. To me it’s unclear which locations will comprise the core zone, but additionally to the park the garden cities of Winterslag, Waterschei, Zwartberg and Eisden seem to be included.

Hoge Kempen and its industrial left-overs in the distance

The core zone will be centred around Maasmechelen, a municipality of 37,000 inhabitants known for its coalmining history. Maasmechelen nowadays also is well-known even across the border in the Netherlands for its Outlet Shopping Center (attracting over 2 million people a year): ‘Maasmechelen Village’ was constructed on the grounds of the former mine of Eisden.

I did not come to shop obviously, but to get a grasp of this potential WHS. For its natural values I prepared a visit to Hoge Kempen National Park. The park only exists since 2006, and commercial exploitation seems to be a big issue here too. There are 6 designated access points to the park, but most have been spiced up to include attractions such as dog parks, miniature golf courts or a planetarium. I eventually choose the ‘Mechelse Heide’. This is mostly heathland, where a few easy hiking trails have been laid out. I walked the 5.5km long blue route, which has distant views on a former sand and gravel quarry.

Sand and gravel quarry

The site’s natural value is geological: here you can find river sediments of the last Ice Ages – sand, gravel, pebbles. This is said to be the best-kept example of glacial formation effects from that period in Europe. I cannot really say that my hike brought me closer to seeing, let alone understanding, this. There’s no interpretation along the trail, and most of it goes through a rather nondescript forest. I was even less successful at another access point, Station As. Here I followed a short trail that should reach the wall of a former gravel quarry where you can see the different deposits since the Ice Age. No “wall” was found by me however!

It’s a long story getting from the natural circumstances to the cultural landscape, which is the other pillar of this proposed WHS. Due to the sand and gravel, the agricultural value of this area was poor and it was mostly used for keeping cows and sheep. However, coal was discovered in the ground and the area was quickly turned around into an industrial economic system. This system came with changes in the landscape (slag heaps etc), migration from other parts of Europe and specific facilities such as housing for the miners. It even became the subject of 19th-century, Western European landscape painting (a favourite spot for plein air painting). This broad scope is reflected in the proposed criteria for inscription, and I can already see IUCN and ICOMOS lamenting about the lack of focus.

Former Parish House in the garden city of Eisden

On my way back home I drove via the garden quarter of Eisden, considered to be the most beautiful example of the Garden City concept on the European continent. This is not exactly a neighbourhood with homes for poor miners’ families. Spacious villas and public buildings were constructed in a leafy suburb. They’re now often converted into restaurants (and even a casino), or are in private use so that it felt a bit awkward to stop the car and take photos. There are a number of pretty buildings though, such as the huge ‘mining cathedral’, the parish house, the school and the house of a mining engineer.

Published 21 October 2017

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