1092 of 1121 WHS have been reviewed by our community.
The Episcopal See of Egara and its pictorial decoration (5th-8th centuries) (T)
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 12-Nov-19
This site was added to the tentative a short time before I was supposed to be in Barcelona. I drove to Terrassa before heading into town (yes, I drove into Barcelona and even parked free and safely outside my apartment ;) I did actually book a place to park nearby which I still highly recommend, parking in general looks like a *****). I arrived a bit early not knowing the opening hours and had to wait around, but eventually the ticket office sold me a ticket and I was allowed to go inside ten minutes early. First you see the "museum" part with glass walks. Nothing is really great here. The main attraction is outside.Read On
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19
July 2019 - I am not a bit fan of Viking Culture and we had already visited Haithabu in our trip. But of course we wanted to Tick of Denmarks First whs as well. It was perfect weather so we enjoyed the Sun whilst laying on the grass around the Church.
The hills are mediocre, the runestones quite impressive and the church a typical danish one, as you find them on Seeland and Møn.
The Museum is quite interesting and you have a good view from the roof overseeing the whole WHS. The historic flair is imparted a bit by the high amount of planes arriving in nearby Billund.Read On
Talayotic Culture of Minorca (T)
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 11-Nov-19
Minorca/Menorca is riddled with sites to enjoy the Talayotic culture. There is even one AT the airport road so you could basically fly in, walk 10 minutes or less and "tick" this off. I actually did not check this one out because I had a car and was recommended a lot better things from the lady at the car rental. It is also a massive change in tourist numbers from the nearby islands, so calm and relaxed.
I drove to 3 places. Two "rubble", not that interesting, and tough to park, free of entry like most sites on the islands (if not all?). It really only takes a few minutes to walk around these and the grass wasn't cut so not much fun. The third place, much more interesting, was the Cales Coves Necropolis. You can park and walk down with some shades paths and mostly flat, enjoy a sit at the playa, see some of the necropolis on the way and in the bay. Yes, they are just caves now and you cannot even go up there but it gives you an idea that the culture was present everywhere on this island. The area was an anchorage for trading boats and then re-used in Roman times as a sanctuaryRead On
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19
July 2019 - after visiting family in Hamburg, we decided to travel through Jütland to see the 2 mainland Whs in Denmark. We had visited Herrnhut, and we do have a Herrnhuter Star hanging in our flat around Christmas. But we did not know about the significance of the religious group.Arriving in Christiansfeld you see an old, cozy village with timberframed houses and Malves blooming in front. Very nice but we were here a bit too early so all we could do is get some famous cake from the local bakery and wander around the few streets, Visit the cemetary and enjoy the weather. Definitely worth a Stop, however a Joined whs with other Moravian settlements would make more sense.Read On
Tikal National Park
Frédéric M Canada - 10-Nov-19
Tikal was the last major prehispanic archeological site I visited on my Mexico-Guatemala-Belize trip last winter. And it was the best one!
The size of the site (gigantic), the number of pyramids and structure (numerous), the quality of the pyramids (amazing) and the wildlife (abundant) cannot be compared with other sites (even with Palenque). Me and my friend visited on a tour book at our hostel in Flores. We didn't took the sunrise tour, but rather the early bird one arriving in Tikal for opening. I think it's the best time to visit as it is not a ridiculously early wake-up, the crowds are still manageable and the wildlife is active. Our tour last half a day, and we head back to Flores at noon.Read On
Blog WHS Visits
Val di Noto - Catania
During my Sicily trip of 2006 I had already ticked off the Val di Noto WHS by visiting the towns of Modica, Ragusa, Scicli and Noto. It comprises 4 more locations however, including specific urban areas of the city of Catania. Catania is also home to the busiest international airport on Sicily, so I walked around there for a few hours before my return flight to the Netherlands after my Etna hike in October 2019.
It takes a 20-minute walk from the station to Cathedral square, the historic heart of the city. The city has a bad reputation, but on this sunny Sunday even the railway station area did look OK. Catania’s excuse for looking gloomy is that it was built from grey-black lava stone. The excess of (badly done) graffiti sprayed on the walls and the many vacant buildings do not help either.
Yet there is also beautiful art and architecture to be found here. Just like the rest of the Val di Noto, Catania was hit by a major earthquake in 1693. The city was rebuilt in the same location making ample use of the fashionable Sicilian baroque style. Typical of the Sicilian baroque is the depiction of masks, putti and “and a particular flamboyance”. Wiki lists 10 characteristics, such as the grotesque masks (shown in Photo 2, taken at the entrance of Palazzo Biscari) and the use of columns and balconies (seen at the San Nicola l'Arena church, in Photo 3).
In Catania the historic buildings are scattered throughout the city center. Cathedral square is the largest tourist magnet, with the Cathedral and the Saint Agatha Abbey as its major monuments. A remarkably high number of tourists were milling around in this area when I visited on Sunday morning - Catania is a port of call on numerous Mediterranean cruises. I somehow felt sorry for the people that were dumped here and looked bewildered at their surroundings.
Somewhat away from the main street lies the Palazzo Biscari. This is a former palace, now in private ownership. Both its façade and the back wall are worth seeing for their rich baroque decorations. The gate was open when I visited: it showed a large courtyard and the entrance to the palace via a large double staircase. Normally you can only visit the palace by appointment – today it seemed to be an Open Day of some sorts.
North of Cathedral square is a neighborhood with even more Sicilian baroque, especially showing in churches with exuberant facades. The strangest of those is connected to the Benedictine monastery: the San Nicola l'Arena church has never been fully completed. In its interior you'll find a huge, white-washed hall with a meter-long sundial on the floor.
Els - 10 November 2019