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Visited Sites Joyce van Soest

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Recent Reviews Joyce van Soest

Masjed-e Jâme' Joyce van Soest

The Jameh Mosque is the third World Heritage Site in the beautiful city of Esfahan (Meidan Emam en Sotun Palace (part of the The Persian Garden World Heritage Site) are the other ones).

The mosque is one of the oldest in Iran, with architecture from the last 12 ages. Walking through the enormous complex you can see a lot of different styles. You can find old brick halls but also beautiful fine mosaics. This is definitely a mosque where you can explore for a long time.

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Persian Garden Joyce van Soest

Persian Garden by Joyce van Soest

All over Iran you can find beautiful gardens. Nine of them are inscribed on the list and I visited six of them.

To fully appreciate it, you should visit the gardens not in wintertime, which unfortunately I did. Most of the fountains in the gardens won't have water in it and the trees are mostly without leaves and there will barely be any flowers.

I did enjoy them nonetheless.

I first visited Bagh-e Eram in Shiraz. There was no water in the canals but the turquoise pond in front of the beautiful Eram palace and the surrounding palm trees from the Canary Islands were lovely.

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Dengfeng Joyce van Soest

Dengfeng by Joyce van Soest

I visited Dengfeng in 2009 and I didn't know it was going to be a WHS at that time. The reason I came here was the famous Shaolin monastery. Besides Chinese tourist groups, there was little tourist infrastructure for the individual tourist (it was hard finding a hotel and restaurant) so I didn't know about the other important places in the area. Visiting the Shaolin temple was impressive though. The complex is large and I especially liked the large wall with frescos (see picture). There's also a large pagoda forest and some other temples. Going up the mountain you will get to the cave where Boddhidarma meditated for nine years and where apparently zen Buddhism started and also Shaolin boxing

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Tiwanaku Joyce van Soest

Tiwanaku by Joyce

Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) is a complex of buildings, temples and a pyramid from pre-Inca times and is therefore Bolivia's most important archeological site.

The site consists of two museums and the archeological grounds with the buildings. One museum hosts mostly ceramic artifacts and the other one only hosted one sculpture by the time I visited it (June 2008). More artifacts and sculptures will be brought from the archeological site to the museums in the near future for preservation.

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Arequipa Joyce van Soest

Arequipa by Joyce

Ah, beautiful Arequipa, the colonial city surrounded by snowy volcanoes. The city has some beautiful churches and buildings with very ornate facades, there’s a nice vibe on the Plaza de Armas but the highlight of the city is the Santa Catalina Convent. Built from the white local Sillar stone, and often painted red or blue, this convent is an oasis in the busy city. It’s pretty much a small city within the city with it’s little charming streets, houses with ovens, squares with religious paintings and staircases.

The entrance fee is quite steep (you can easily buy two meals for it) but it’s definitely a place not to be missed.

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Profile data

Name: Joyce van Soest

Country: The Netherlands

Visited WHS: 382

Most Impressive: Decani Monastery, Kosovo (it is not only a beautiful monastery, but going to the monastry protected by armed soldiers is an experience by itself)

Proposal New WHS: Old city of Utrecht with the canals and wharfs, The Netherlands

Recently Visited WHS

Update 08.08.17


  1. Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan
  2. Xidi and Hongcun
  3. Longmen Grottoes
  4. Imperial Tombs
  5. Major Town Houses
  6. Cape Floral Region
  7. Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai
  8. Arequipa
  9. Villa d'Este
  10. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  11. Yungang Grottoes
  12. Aranjuez
  13. Wooden Churches of Southern Malopolska
  14. Churches of Peace
  15. Kenya Lake System
  16. Tokaji Wine Region
  17. Upper Middle Rhine Valley
  18. Stralsund and Wismar
  19. Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
  20. Trebic
  21. Three parallel rivers of Yunnan
  22. Kew Gardens
  23. Town Hall and Roland, Bremen
  24. Monte San Giorgio
  25. Novodevichy Convent
  26. Pasargadae
  27. Macao
  28. Kaiping Diaolou
  29. Muskauer Park
  30. Primeval Beech Forests
  31. Persepolis
  32. Kii Mountain Range
  33. Meidan Emam, Esfahan
  34. Regensburg
  35. Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
  36. Centennial Hall
  37. Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona
  38. Le Havre
  39. Plantin-Moretus Museum
  40. Bali Subak system
  41. West Norwegian Fjords
  42. Cienfuegos
  43. Central Highlands
  44. Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries
  45. Vizcaya Bridge
  46. Rideau Canal
  47. Melaka and George Town
  48. Crac des Chevaliers
  49. Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
  50. Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces
  51. South China Karst
  52. Kotor
  53. Bordeaux
  54. Teide National Park
  55. Jeju
  56. Camagüey
  57. Rhaetian Railway
  58. Fortifications of Vauban
  59. Stoclet House
  60. Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
  61. La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle
  62. Dengfeng
  63. Valletta
  64. Tower of Hercules
  65. Wadden Sea
  66. Longobards in Italy
  67. Royal Joseon Tombs
  68. Megalithic Temples of Malta
  69. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
  70. Hahoe and Yangdong
  71. Jantar Mantar
  72. Al Ain
  73. Mining Sites of Wallonia
  74. Amsterdam Canal Ring
  75. Citadel of the Ho Dynasty
  76. Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin
  77. Prehistoric Pile Dwellings
  78. Selimiye Mosque
  79. Elvas
  80. Fagus Factory
  81. Persian Garden
  82. Wadi Rum
  83. Masjed-e Jâme'
  84. Rabat
  85. Golestan Palace
  86. Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region
  87. Namib Sand Sea
  88. Okavango Delta
  89. Trang An
  90. Namhansanseong
  91. Van Nellefabriek
  92. Silk Roads
  93. Tomioka Silk Mill
  94. Qhapaq Ñan
  95. Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District
  96. Christiansfeld
  97. Baekje Historic Areas
  98. Mammoth Cave
  99. Antequera Dolmens Site
  100. The Persian Qanat
  101. Olympic National Park
  102. Venetian Works of Defence
  103. Yazd
  104. Serengeti
  105. Fontainebleau
  106. Amiens Cathedral
  107. Orange
  108. Arles
  109. Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay
  110. Speyer Cathedral
  111. Würzburg Residence
  112. Medina of Fez
  113. Stone Town of Zanzibar
  114. Florence
  115. Hildesheim Cathedral and Church
  116. Damascus
  117. Anuradhapura
  118. Polonnaruva
  119. Sigiriya
  120. Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans
  121. Old Havana
  122. Angra do Heroismo
  123. Aleppo
  124. Rila Monastery
  125. Nessebar
  126. Srebarna Nature Reserve
  127. Bosra
  128. Pirin National Park
  129. Avignon
  130. Nancy
  131. Palmyra
  132. Red Fort
  133. Humayun's Tomb
  134. Qutb Minar
  135. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  136. Agra Fort
  137. Taj Mahal
  138. Fatehpur Sikri
  139. Belem
  140. Monastery of Batalha
  141. Convent of Christ in Tomar
  142. Old City of Berne
  143. Abbey of St Gall
  144. Benedictine Convent of St. John
  145. Pilgrimage Church of Wies
  146. Lübeck
  147. Cuzco
  148. Machu Picchu
  149. Vatican City
  150. Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust
  151. Cracow
  152. Cologne Cathedral
  153. Aachen Cathedral
  154. Warsaw
  155. Québec
  156. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
  157. Statue of Liberty
  158. Auschwitz Birkenau
  159. Altamira Cave
  160. Segovia
  161. Cordoba
  162. Granada
  163. Burgos Cathedral
  164. El Escurial
  165. Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
  166. Works of Antoni Gaudí
  167. Petra
  168. Quseir Amra
  169. Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest
  170. Medina of Marrakesh
  171. Keoladeo National Park
  172. Pont du Gard
  173. Santiago de Compostela
  174. Avila
  175. Painted Churches in the Troödos Region
  176. Istanbul
  177. Thracian tomb of Sveshtari
  178. Medina of Tunis
  179. Evora
  180. Trier
  181. Durham Castle and Cathedral
  182. Toledo
  183. Amphitheater of El Jem
  184. Garajonay
  185. Salamanca
  186. Seville
  187. Ngorongoro
  188. Skocjan Caves
  189. Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
  190. Archaeological Site of Delphi
  191. Venice and its Lagoon
  192. Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)
  193. Budapest
  194. Hollókö
  195. Acropolis
  196. Sinharaja Forest
  197. Boyana Church
  198. Westminster
  199. Madara Rider
  200. Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  201. Mount Taishan
  202. Great Wall
  203. Imperial Palace
  204. Thracian tomb of Kazanlak
  205. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
  206. Ksar of Aït Ben Haddou
  207. Peking Man Site
  208. Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo
  209. Kandy
  210. Old Town of Galle
  211. Meteora
  212. Thessalonika
  213. Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios
  214. Hortobágy
  215. Tower of London
  216. Epidaurus
  217. Medina of Sousse
  218. Kairouan
  219. Monastery of Alcobaça
  220. Victoria Falls
  221. Mystras
  222. Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch
  223. Olympia
  224. Potsdam
  225. Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
  226. Quedlinburg
  227. Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios
  228. St. Petersburg
  229. Kremlin and Red Square
  230. Maulbronn Monastery
  231. Huangshan
  232. San Gimignano
  233. Golden Temple of Dambulla
  234. Zamosc
  235. Tiwanaku
  236. Sukhothai
  237. Ban Chiang
  238. Ayutthaya
  239. Bryggen
  240. Dong Phayayen
  241. Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng
  242. Borobudur
  243. Sangiran Early Man Site
  244. Villages with Fortified Churches
  245. Monastery of Horezu
  246. Churches of Moldavia
  247. Paris, Banks of the Seine
  248. Reims
  249. Komodo National Park
  250. Prague
  251. Cesky Krumlov
  252. Banska Stiavnica
  253. Spissky Hrad and Levoca
  254. Telc
  255. Vlkolinec
  256. Rammelsberg and Goslar
  257. Bamberg
  258. Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye
  259. Bourges Cathedral
  260. Wulingyuan
  261. Prambanan
  262. Trinity Sergius Lavra
  263. Horyu-ji Area
  264. Himeji-jo
  265. Route of Santiago de Compostela
  266. Ha Long Bay
  267. Hué
  268. Ancient Kyoto
  269. Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk
  270. Roskilde Cathedral
  271. Kronborg Castle
  272. Jelling
  273. City of Luxembourg
  274. Nasca Lines
  275. Mountain Resort, Chengde
  276. Temple, Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius
  277. Dinosaur Provincial Park
  278. Glacier parks
  279. Messel Pit
  280. Sintra
  281. Medieval Monuments in Kosovo
  282. Bauhaus Sites
  283. Crespi d'Adda
  284. Kutna Hora
  285. Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
  286. Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
  287. Jongmyo Shrine
  288. Schokland
  289. Lake Baikal
  290. Pannonhalma
  291. Defence Line of Amsterdam
  292. Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape
  293. Fertö/Neusiedlersee
  294. Lushan National Park
  295. Mount Emei, including Leshan Giant Buddha
  296. Cuenca
  297. La Lonja de la Seda
  298. Luther Memorials
  299. Salzburg
  300. Ravenna
  301. Pienza
  302. Paphos
  303. Meknes
  304. Maritime Greenwich
  305. Mont-Saint-Michel
  306. Mount Kenya
  307. Las Medulas
  308. Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau
  309. Yuso and Suso Monasteries
  310. Hallstatt-Dachstein
  311. Euphrasian Basilica in Porec
  312. Chartres Cathedral
  313. Trogir
  314. Old Town of Lijiang
  315. Classical Gardens of Suzhou
  316. Changdeokgung Palace Complex
  317. Hwaseong Fortress
  318. Kinderdijk
  319. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands
  320. Modena
  321. Urbino
  322. Versailles
  323. Torun
  324. Volubilis
  325. Vézelay
  326. Viñales Valley
  327. Classical Weimar
  328. Malbork Castle
  329. Choirokoitia
  330. Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs
  331. Flemish Béguinages
  332. The Four Lifts
  333. Grand Place, Brussels
  334. Holy Trinity Column
  335. Gardens and Castle at Kromeríz
  336. Holasovice
  337. Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal
  338. Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  339. Ancient Thebes
  340. Ancient Nara
  341. Lyon
  342. Provins
  343. Alcala de Henares
  344. Summer Palace
  345. Temple of Heaven
  346. Bellinzone
  347. Desembarco del Granma National Park
  348. Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
  349. Wartburg Castle
  350. Beemster Polder
  351. Sighisoara
  352. Wooden Churches of Maramures
  353. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
  354. Dacian Fortresses
  355. Rome
  356. Nikko
  357. iSimangaliso Wetland Park
  358. Fossil Hominid Sites
  359. Robben Island
  360. San Cristobal de La Laguna
  361. Santa Maria delle Grazie
  362. Graz
  363. Saint-Emilion
  364. Mycenae and Tiryns
  365. Belfries
  366. Mostar
  367. Hoi An
  368. My Son
  369. Dubrovnik
  370. Phong Nha - Ke Bang
  371. Rietveld Schröderhuis
  372. Split
  373. Bardejov Town
  374. Zollverein
  375. Gyeongju
  376. Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Dolmen
  377. Maloti Drakensberg
  378. Roman Walls of Lugo
  379. Vall de Boi
  380. Atapuerca
  381. Assisi
  382. Brugge
  1. Bagan
  2. Concordia
  3. Cultural Landscape of Santorini
  4. Death Valley National Park
  5. Dzongs of Bhutan
  6. Great Gobi Desert
  7. Historic University Towns of Oxford and Cambridge
  8. Jericho
  9. Klondike and the Gold Rush Trails
  10. Mecca, Kaaba
  11. Mount Gerizim: the holiest Samaritan site near Nablus
  12. Okavango Delta
  13. Panama Canal
  14. Pharaonic Temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu
  15. Silk Roads
  16. Torres del Paine National Park
  17. Transiberian Railway
  18. Varanasi
  19. Vers une architecture: Major Buildings of Le Corbusier
  20. Wooden Monasteries of Konbaung Period: Ohn Don, Sala, Pakhangyi, Pakhannge, Legaing, Sagu, Shwe Kyau