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World Heritage Site

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20 Most Recent Community Reviews

"Krzemionki", prehistoric flint mines (T) Solivagant

"Krzemionki", prehistoric flint mines (T) by Solivagant

Back in Aug 2015, our visit to Spiennes had been enhanced by a talk from a Polish academic who was assisting with the ongoing excavations there and just happened to lecturing on “Flint mines in Poland” to a gathering of specialists that afternoon in the lecture hall at the Visitor Centre. We were invited to attend and began to realise just how much there was to know about this subject! Mention was made of the flint mine at Krzemionki and I mentally “pencilled in” an intention to visit it if I ever found myself in that part of Poland…… thus it was that we were there just over 2 years later in mid Sep 2017 at opening time!

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Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Joel Baldwin

Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I visited Jungfrau in August 2017. We managed to luck out with our visit, with super clear skies and reasonable temperatures both in the valley and up top. Given the prices and the crowds, I would strongly recommend purchasing the "Good Morning" ticket, which offers a substantial discount (down to about 120 CHF per person). You need to be on one of the first two trains up in the morning (departing Grindelweld at 7:25 or 7:40), and then descend again from the mountain by around 1:30pm.

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Gorham's Cave Complex Clyde

Gorham's Cave Complex by Clyde

I visited this WHS in September 2017. I arrived at La Linea at sunrise and parked my car at the closest indoor car park to the border named Fo-cona. Just a quick look at your passport by the Gibraltar customs officials and I made it through to Gibraltar.

I visited on a Sunday because I had booked the Gorham's cave and dolphin tour and missed out on visiting the Gibraltar Museum. I was rather disappointed as the only difference from any other dolphin tour is a short cruising by the inscribed cave complex and the recorded commentary. There's nothing spectacular or anything which you can't see from the viewing platform or pavement at Europa Advance Road - just a slightly different angle.

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Úbeda and Baeza Clyde

Úbeda and Baeza by Clyde

I visited this WHS in September 2017. I allowed 2 half days for both towns and spent a night in Baeza.

Ubeda is the better ensemble of the pair with more interesting Renaissance buildings and more to see. Baeza is mostly famous for its neatly carved fountains and the still active old university with a facade which reminded me of the Lonja de la Seda in Valencia.

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Vézère Valley Monica Tasciotti

Vézère Valley by Monica Tasciotti

When I heard that France would have opened the new Lascaux International Center known as Lascaux IV, I immediately wanted to visit this new museum which seemed to be a great place to see. The tickets are easy to secure by online booking from the Lascaux’s website (which could be improved a lot) even if not all guided tours are on display, but since my visit happened last week (September), there were plenty of free slot of tour to choose. They cost 16€, a remarkable price I should say. The village of Montignac is easy to reach only by car though.

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Antequera Dolmens Site Clyde

Antequera Dolmens Site by Clyde

I visited this WHS in September 2017 en route to Ubeda and Baeza. It is only 45 minutes away from Malaga airport and for the time being is completely free of charge.

The tholos' architecture is very similar to the later ones in Mycenae, Greece and is the most iconic of the lot. Its location is in the middle of an industrial estate and dump but in a way these eyesores are now guarded by an enclosure of trees which reminded me of the idyllic landscape of Val d'Orcia, Italy.

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Silk Roads Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Silk Roads by Jarek Pokrzywnicki

As some others were described I will focus on less popular: Talgar (Kazakhstan) and Suyab - Ak Beshim (Kyrgyzstan), both visited in July, 2017.

Talgar can be easily visited from Almaty town as a half-day trip. There is a convenient public bus from Sayakhat Bus Terminal (Avtovokzal Sayakhat) that goes directly to Talgar town (last bus stop). From town center there are around 3 km to the archeological excavations. From bus station cross the bridge and take the first main street to the right and follow the main road up the river. The place should be at the end of the street. Mind that there are no road-signs but at least local people know it and can direct you provided you know some Russian.

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Strasbourg Joel Baldwin

Strasbourg by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I stayed for a week in Strasbourg in August 2017. It's an extremely beautiful city, not too touristy, much more affordable than other French cities (especially Paris), and there's quite a bit to see.

The area known as Petite-France with its picturesque houses, the lovely canal, the imposing Notre-Dame cathedral and of course the little alleyways running everywhere.

Recently, Strasbourg was extended as well to cover another area, the German-developed Neustadt or New Town, located across the river from the medieval city. It's striking just how different the planning, layout and architecture is over here, representing the development of new European ideas, particularly after the revolutions of 1848.

Check out the link below for my full video review!

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Novgorod Clyde

Novgorod by Clyde

I visited this WHS as a day trip from St Petersburg in September 2017. The old city of Veliky Novgorod lies some 200km away from St Petersburg and is quite easily reachable by train, bus or car.

Since I wanted to visit early before the very few Russian tourists and since I found a good chauffeur service offer, I opted for the latter and arrived at around 9am. The Kremlin opens at 6am but all the buildings are accessible as of 10am, apart from the main church where a lovely Sunday mass was being celebrated. There's just a small billboard stating Novgorod's inscription on the WH list but no plaque.

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St. Petersburg Clyde

St. Petersburg by Clyde

I visited Saint Petersburg for 4 days in September 2017. Having visited Moscow last year it was quite easy for me to compare both cities and both are interesting cities to visit. Both cities are in my top 200 WHS and they didn't disappoint.

It's easier to cover the historic centre of Saint Petersburg on foot and overall I felt it has a much more European feel with several churches, palaces, monasteries and cathedrals with European architecture and just a handful of onion-domed ones.

The baroque exterior of the hermitage/winter palace (photo) is as striking as it's never-ending interior and its location in the palace square and on the Neva river bank is exquisite. The canal, fairway and drawbridge boat tour is a very pleasant way to explore the historic centre and beyond.

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Medina of Tétouan Nan

Medina of Tétouan by Nan

On my first trip to Andalucia I had also ventured for a day trip to Tangiers. I am not sure if it had occurred to me at the time that Tetouan had been within reach from Algeciras. Or if I had known but was too afraid to venture off the beaten path. For years since I had considered Tetouan as one of my stupid near misses. So when Ian proposed this year’s meetup in Gibraltar, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: Cross into Morocco and tick off Tetouan. 

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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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Petra History Fangirl

Petra by History Fangirl

I visited Pera at the end of March, and spent a day and a half exploring the site.

Some tips:

-wear closed toed shoes! So many little pebbles got in my shoes.

-it's much larger than it seems from the outside. Give yourself all day.

-Petra at night isn't super exciting, but it is beautiful

-Bring water!

Here's the post on my website with an interview from Jane Taylor, author of "Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans:"

Discovering the Lost City of Petra

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Gorham's Cave Complex Nan

Gorham's Cave Complex by Nan

Nearly five years ago on what I nowadays call my first true world heritage trip I ventured to Andalucia. Out of curiosity I decided to also go to Gibraltar and look across the straights to Africa. Having been at Europa Point at the very tip of the island I must have been within 500m of the site, but didn’t know. As such this was a tragic near miss for me.

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Petra Jay T

Petra by Jay T

Like many of my age, I suspect, my introduction to Petra was via "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", which used the iconic façade of the Treasury to represent a temple housing the legendary Holy Grail. Petra is easily the most recognizable site in Jordan, and was, not surprisingly, the first Jordanian World Heritage Site in 1985. The rock passage through the Siq to this ancient Nabatean city is memorable by day, but even more magnificent during Petra by Night, when the canyon and Treasury are lit up by candles. The ancient music left a bit to be desired for me, but I enjoyed the atmosphere and the shadowy reflections flickering on the rock faces. There is a lot to see in Petra, and long walks are almost guaranteed, unless you take up one of the many offers for camel or donkey rides. I particularly enjoyed the hike to the Monastery at the back of the city, as well as the climb to the High Place of Sacrifice, which offers amazing views of the ancient city below (bring water).

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Mycenae and Tiryns History Fangirl

Mycenae and Tiryns by History Fangirl

I visited Mycenae in October of 2016. I went on a day tour from Athens that went to Epidaurus in the morning and Mycenae in the afternoon. I don't think this was enough time for the site, as I had to skip the museum and didn't get to see Tiryns. I would recommend giving Mycenae and Tiryns a full day if you have the time.

My favorite part of the visit was climbing to the top of the Citadel and seeing out across the countryside.

I recently did an interview with John Bennet from the British School at Athens. He works on Mycenae and has a lot of interesting information about how they choose to do future archeological digs and how it was rediscovered as an archaeological site in the 19th century. The interview is here:

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Bali Subak system Frederik Dawson

Bali Subak system by Frederik Dawson

Despite having been to Indonesia for quite several times and already visited 3 World Heritage Sites of this country, Bali which is the most famous and popular tourist attraction and possibly the “first” and “must visit” place to visit for every itineraries was logically omitted from my travel plans for many occasions. The reason was I was afraid that one day I would have a chance to attend seminar on this island, so I decided to skip this island and use my times to explore somewhere else. Unfortunately Bali already lost its status of Southeast Asian premier seminar destination to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, as a result, my expectation to have seminar in Bali has become uncertain. During my recent business trip to Singapore, I added few extra days to visit Bali and its World Heritage Site.

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Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes Joel Baldwin

Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes by Joel Baldwin

My wife and I visited Spiennes in August 2017. Contrary to the experience of other reviewers, we showed up randomly and managed to grab a free spot on the tour! It had just started so I missed the first few minutes, but it was in French and my grasp on that language is tenuous at best, so I didn't really miss anything. The guide was kind enough to give me the gist of what she was saying too.

The mines were surprisingly large underground, and I really enjoyed seeing the pits. Also very startled to find that in the hundred or so acres of the site, there are thousands of mines but only a handful have actually been excavated! Makes you really wonder what else is yet to be discovered.

See below for my full video review!

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Nemrut Dag joan Stribling de Launay

I drove to eastern Turkey in 1977 and was taken by jeep up Nemrod Dag. An incredible overnight journey [given chai by our hosts,half way up the mountain]

We reached the summit as dawn broke and wirnessed the amazing mountain range;Nemrod Dag's large stone structures.On returning I was invited to a Kurdish village.An experience never to forget.

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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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