Chichen Itza
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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Ilya Burlak Profile

Ilya Burlak

I only started prioritizing visiting World Heritage sites a few years ago and with my limited US-based corporate-warrior time-off allocation and family obligations I can only add a handful to a dozen in any given year. Looking forward to visiting them all after I am able to retire...

Visited Sites Ilya Burlak

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Recent Reviews Ilya Burlak

Works of Antoni Gaudí Ilya Burlak

Works of Antoni Gaudí by Ilya Burlak

I have made multiple visits to the five accessible Gaudí properties in Barcelona over the course of the last 15 years. They are all worth visiting. My personal ranking order is Sagrada Familia, Parque Güell, Casa Mila, Casa Batlló, Palacio Güell.

Only the Nativity façade and the crypt of Sagrada Familia are part of the WH designation, being the only components of the church largely completed during Gaudí's lifetime. You can actually admire the façade from the sidewalk of Carrer de la Marina. But the church is so unique and incomparable both in its exterior and its interior that no visit to Barcelona can be considered complete without stepping inside for an extended look.

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Canal du Midi Ilya Burlak

Canal du Midi by Ilya Burlak

One could argue that you can do Canal du Midi justice only by renting a boat to navigate a portion of it. On the other hand, the canal itself is uniformly the same narrow strip of water at any point of its stretch, only the surrounding scenery may vary. Finding myself in Toulouse and having only a couple of hours to spare in August of 2017, I figured I'd stop at a few random points along the canal and call it a reasonable visit.

The first stop was in the center of Toulouse, between Boulevard des Minimes and Boulevard Matabiau. The canal there looks like any stream in an urban setting, nothing too exceptional.

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Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France Ilya Burlak

Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France by Ilya Burlak

I visited two properties that are part of this serial site in August of 2017.

In an otherwise nondescript Rabastens, Notre-Dame-du-Bourg may end up as the first impression that is impossible to beat. The exterior is stately enough, but the interior is simply dazzling. Most vivid colorful frescoes, brilliant stained glass, every little detail is just impossible to take your eyes off. Some parts of the walls are in need of restoration; there was a local conservation worker examining those throughout my visit. The out-of-the-way nature of this church was underscored by the fact that the custodian and I were the only people inside the church for over half an hour. The place was definitely worth the time.

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Albi Ilya Burlak

Albi by Ilya Burlak

Albi is an attractive town that does not exactly rise to exceptional, but it is entirely worth a visit just for its cathedral. The huge church (it claims the title of the largest brick building in the world, but I believe that to be suspect) majestically towers above town. Inside, it is most incredibly painted every inch of its surface. Well-structured audioguide (€5 or €7, depending on whether you want to see the treasury or not) suggests that the frescoes never required restoration in centuries since they had been painted.

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Rock-Art of the Mediterranean Basin Ilya Burlak

Rock-Art of the Mediterranean Basin by Ilya Burlak

I only have a sample size of one, but I suspect that only a small portion of the locations that comprise this WHS offer any rock art that is worth the effort to see. The easy rule of thumb should be that if searching the internet does not yield explicit mention or photos of discernible rock art in a given location, it probably has little-to-none.

I went to see Pedra de les Orenetes because it is located not far from my recent base on Costa Brava. It turned out to be quite accessible: If you park in a dead end at the edge of Urb. La Pineda in El Bosc de Ruscalleda, it will take you only 15-20 minutes of walking on the relatively flat Ruta Prehistorica to reach Pedra.

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Profile data

Name: Ilya Burlak

Country: USA

Visited WHS: 107

Most Impressive:

Proposal New WHS:

Recently Visited WHS

Update 14.08.17


  1. Major Town Houses
  2. Villa d'Este
  3. Val d'Orcia
  4. Vienna
  5. Upper Middle Rhine Valley
  6. Kew Gardens
  7. Novodevichy Convent
  8. Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
  9. West Norwegian Fjords
  10. San Marino and Mount Titano
  11. Fortifications of Vauban
  12. Mantua and Sabbioneta
  13. Stoclet House
  14. Wadden Sea
  15. Albi
  16. Amsterdam Canal Ring
  17. Van Nellefabriek
  18. Arles
  19. Florence
  20. Medici Villas and Gardens
  21. Avignon
  22. La Fortaleza
  23. Old City of Berne
  24. Vatican City
  25. Cracow
  26. Cologne Cathedral
  27. Québec
  28. Statue of Liberty
  29. Segovia
  30. Cordoba
  31. Granada
  32. El Escurial
  33. Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
  34. Works of Antoni Gaudí
  35. Pont du Gard
  36. Fortified City of Carcassonne
  37. Giant's Causeway
  38. Stonehenge
  39. Gwynedd Castles
  40. Toledo
  41. Seville
  42. Venice and its Lagoon
  43. Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)
  44. Budapest
  45. Westminster
  46. City of Bath
  47. New Lanark
  48. Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  49. Chichen-Itza
  50. Tower of London
  51. Strasbourg
  52. Canterbury
  53. Poblet Monastery
  54. Kiev
  55. Potsdam
  56. St. Petersburg
  57. Kremlin and Red Square
  58. San Gimignano
  59. Skogskyrkogarden
  60. Drottningholm
  61. Bryggen
  62. Paris, Banks of the Seine
  63. Reims
  64. Prague
  65. Trinity Sergius Lavra
  66. Brú na Bóinne
  67. Roskilde Cathedral
  68. Kronborg Castle
  69. Vicenza
  70. Siena
  71. Edinburgh
  72. Ferrara
  73. Schokland
  74. Defence Line of Amsterdam
  75. Canal du Midi
  76. Independence Hall
  77. Semmering Railway
  78. Schönbrunn
  79. Ravenna
  80. Pienza
  81. Maritime Greenwich
  82. Verona
  83. Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau
  84. Chartres Cathedral
  85. Kinderdijk
  86. Botanical Garden, Padua
  87. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands
  88. Modena
  89. Urbino
  90. Pompei
  91. Versailles
  92. Costiera Amalfitana
  93. Grand Place, Brussels
  94. L'viv
  95. Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal
  96. Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  97. Rock-Art of the Mediterranean Basin
  98. Tarraco
  99. Alcala de Henares
  100. Beemster Polder
  101. Rome
  102. Graz
  103. Loire Valley
  104. Belfries
  105. Rietveld Schröderhuis
  106. Assisi
  107. Brugge