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World Heritage Site

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Recent Community Reviews

1032 of 1073 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Gorham's Cave Complex Clyde, Malta 22.09.17

Gorham

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, Malta 20.09.17

Úbeda and Baeza

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, Italy 19.09.17

Vézère Valley

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, Malta 19.09.17

Antequera Dolmens Site

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, Poland 19.09.17

Silk Roads

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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Blog: Ingapirca

The Inca road network Qhapaq Nan consists of many sections. One of these is called “Achupallas-Ingapirca”, and it lies in the provinces of Chimborazo and Cañar in the southeast of Ecuador. Like all other inscribed sections, it comprises a stretch of road and associated sites. Parts of the original path are still accessible: there is a 3-day / 40km long trail that can be arranged to cover it. I just visited one of the associated sites, Ingapirca.

Temple of the Sun

The Inca started to expand their empire northwards into Ecuador from Peru only from 1463. They met with a lot of resistance, notably from the Cañari people who were local to the area around Cuenca. The interesting feature of Ingapirca is that it is a mixed Cañari – Inca site. The Inca Túpac Yupanqui ended up marrying a Cañari princess, and the two groups reputedly lived together peacefully afterwards although they kept their own customs.

The guides that accompany visitors to the archaeological site identify themselves as indigenous Cañari, and they are happy to point out especially these remains. The Cañari worshipped the moon, and the remains of their Temple of the Moon cover the first plateau at the site. There’s an interesting communal tomb in front of it, with a vertical monolith on top. Here a woman of high social class was buried together with 10 other men and women who – according to the guide – were sacrificed alive. A bit further into the complex a rock with holes in it represents a Cañari “lunar calender”. The different holes were filled with water to catch the reflections of the moon for each moon-month of the year.

Cañari lunar calendar

Ingapirca is also the largest known Inca ruin site in Ecuador. The most significant remain of that period is the Temple of the Sun, an elliptically shaped building constructed around a large rock. The typical Inca construction style, that can be seen in the many sites around Peru, is also clearly distinguishable here at Ingapirca. Because of the type of local stones that they used, the temple has an attractive greenish hue.

There’s a stretch of Inca road next to the Temples of the Moon and the Sun that was identified by our guide as ‘Qhapaq Nan’ and part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It is maybe 50 meters long and does not seem to go anywhere in particular. The Inca incorporated their newly won territories in their road network often as much as a symbol of their strength, as well as a means for communication and transportation.

The Spanish arrived before Ingapirca was completed. They ruined it, and the site was only restored in the 1970s by the Ecuadorean government. Many stones that were stolen from the site and used elsewhere were returned. They still lay about at the site, waiting for a new purpose.

Inca Road

Ingapirca is an easy day trip from Cuenca. The Transportes Cañar bus company offers a daily bus at 9 a.m. that goes directly to the site (well, including numerous stops to let on or off locals of course). The ride takes 2 hours. The bus waits at the site and returns at 1.15 p.m. For me this was sufficient time at the site, but I did not wander around much because the rain was pouring and the small on-site museum was closed. If you want to stay longer, you can take a bus back to Cuenca via Cañar from the village just below the ruins. There are also a few basic lunch restaurants near the entrance.

Published 22 September 2017

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Responses to Ingapirca
Jay T (22 September 2017)

I'm sorry to hear it rained during your visit. I really enjoyed Ingapirca, and it makes me look forward to some day visiting Incan sites in Peru.


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