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World Heritage Site

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Recent Community Reviews

1033 of 1073 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Venetian Works of Defence Alexander Parsons, Australia 13.12.17

Venetian Works of Defence

The Fortress of St Nicholas outside Sibenik in Croatia is probably the most decrepit WHS I have visited. Not in the sense of simply being a ruin, but in that it feels entirely abandoned, with no significant attempts at developing it for ‘safe’ tourism. This will probably change over the next few years. The general area seems to be a reasonably popular picnic destination, with a newly constructed EU-funded walking trail along the coast allowing for an easy afternoon walk from the car park, but few bother to actually go inside. This is understandable, as there are two ways to manage this, neither of which are especially practical. Firstly, from the land-side, there is a long wooden plank leading up to a hole in the fortress’ upper walls. This plank is held in place by a rock, and only manages to get halfway up to the entrance.

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Mount Athos Alexander Parsons, Australia 13.12.17

Mount Athos

I visited Mount Athos in November 2017, staying three nights. While I certainly enjoyed my visit, it is also something of a cautionary tale, as I definitely did not get the most out of the experience as I could have.

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Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) (T) Solivagant, UK 12.12.17

Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (KKFC) (T)

Kaeng Kratchen Forest Compex (KKFC) consists of 5 contiguous parks and reserves (including Kaeng Kratchen NP) situated along Thailand’s border with Myanmar at the very top of the Malay Peninsula which, together, have been badged as a “complex” for this nomination. KKNP itself figures significantly in commercial birding and butterfly tours in Thailand. Such specialist tours, however, allocate several days to the park and the big question for us was whether we could gain value from a much shorter visit as part of a whistle-stop tour by self-drive car of Thailand’s inscribed and tentative list sites.

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Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver Mine Adrian Lakomy, Slovakia 11.12.17

Visited the Historic Silver Mine in December 2017 and I have to say it was worthwhile. If you plan to visit it, I would recommend you to make a reservation, it made our situation easier. I can confirm that the minimum number of people is 4, we were 3 but as I agreed to pay for 4 we were allowed to visit, for which I am very thankful to the personnel.

The tour start by watching a movie about history and the site in a small cinema. Later it continues in a multimedia museum with interesting details about history, tools and machinery. After that follows the visit of the site itself.

Our guide was a very good and her enthusiasm was a big part of the overall positive experience.

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Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca Jay T, USA 10.12.17

Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca

Although it was rainy during most of my visit, I found the city of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca to be the most charming of the cities I visited on the Ecuadorian mainland this past June. I arrived at night, but the room in the former monastery I stayed in had a magnificent view of the illuminated blue-hued domes of the New Cathedral. The next morning I ventured out in the rain to see both the New and Old Cathedrals and the Plaza Calderon, in the heart of the old city. The Old Cathedral is now a museum, and worth a visit, but I appreciated the architecture of the New Cathedral more. Later in the day, as the rain cleared, I embarked on a sightseeing tour via a double-decker bus departing from Plaza Calderon. I chose the southern tour route, which I highly recommend, as it includes the Mirador with its fine view of the city.

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Blog: WHS On Banknotes

While preparing for my upcoming trip to Namibia, I found out that South African Rands are as commonly used there as Namibian dollars. That meant that it would be worth sifting through my unorganized plastic box of leftover banknotes and coins in search for South African Rands from a previous trip.

Leftover banknotes and coins

As I had some time on my hands, I organized all banknotes into 28 envelopes: one envelope per country. I handled the dirty Indian rupees, wondered about the Ukrainian hryvnia and enjoyed the feeling of the polymer notes of Singapore, Malaysia and Canada. I counted the notes as well, hoping to find a small fortune but most of it is nearly worthless. Only the 7,700 Japanese Yen (about 59 EUR) can be a nice starter for a future trip to Japan. Maybe I should just save these random banknotes, they can become more sought after later.

The favourite in my personal banknote "collection" is the 250 Iraqi dinar note showing the Samarra spiralling minaret, that I brought home from my 2014 Iraqi Kurdistan trip. Currency showing WHS are extra special of course, although I do not have a lot of it.

Especially for this sentiment we’ve had the WHS On Banknotes connection for long. It has no less than 122 connected sites, so at least 8% of the WHS has been featured on a banknote. When I finished working on the actual banknotes, I went on to clean up the connection by adding or changing links to images of banknotes. It wasn’t difficult to find even more connected sites: lots of countries find inspiration among WHS, India for example has a number of them in its current series. The Scottish Clydesdale Bank even issued a full World Heritage series in 2009, showing St Kilda, Edinburgh Old and New Towns, New Lanark, the Antonine Wall and Neolithic Orkney.

Samarra mosque at 250 Iraqi dinar note

The 2016 issue of the new 5 pound (polymer!) note of the Bank of England even includes both Blenheim Palace (its maze as a hologram) and Westminster Palace. They have to share their space with the faces of the Queen and Winston Churchill however. So my vote for the best WHS banknote goes somewhere else: to my beloved Nepal, which features two of my favourite WHS on its 1000 rupee bank note. It shows Sagarmatha National Park (Mount Everest) and Kathmandu Valley (Swayambhunath Temple). Mount Everest by the way can be seen at every current Nepali rupee note.

Other notable WHS on banknotes include those depicting the Old City of Jerusalem: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel all show parts of it on their banknotes. The three Islamic countries choose the Dome of the Rock and/or the Al Aqsa Mosque. Israel went for a stylized Jerusalem skyline on the older 50 shekel bill, and an almost invisible Temple Mount at the current 50 shekel note. Other examples of countries displaying WHS located in other countries I have not been able to find.

Two WHS on 1000 Nepali rupee note

Oh and what about those South African banknotes? I did not find any, only a few coins. There will be no 'WHS On Banknotes' souvenirs from this trip: South Africa has Nelson Mandela (5x) and the Big Five (the wild mammals, one each) displayed on its banknotes. Namibia has chosen similar themes for its dollar notes, though it selected not one single national hero but two (Sam Nujoma and Hendrik Witbooi) and five species of antelope!

Published 16 December 2017

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