1062 of 1092 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

Anatolian Seljuks Madrasahs (T)

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 14-Jun-19

Anatolian Seljuks Madrasahs (T)

Out of all proposed properties we visited only one – Yakutiye Madrasah in Erzurum. I did not read a description on UNESCO site so I did not realize there was another one in Eurzurum - Çifte Minareli Madrasah, very close to Yakutiye.

Yakutiye Madrasah is located in the very center of Erzurum, one of the biggest cities in the East of Turkey

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Joel Baldwin Australia - 13-Jun-19

This is a fantastic, hidden gem of India. Stepwells are large, flat wells that were once quite common in this part of India, and the Queen's Stepwell here is one of the largest and most ornate. It's surprisingly large in area: about 60x20 metres in area, and 27 metres deep. On the inside, every inch of the walls is covered in carving, mostly of Hindu gods but there are some secular figures in there as well. The carvings are extremely beautiful and in fantastic condition as well, as the site was completely silted over until its discovery in the 1980s. The surrounding area is well manicured as well, though there isn't anything to see at the site other than the stepwell, which unless you're super into photography, probably won't take longer than an hour to thoroughly inspect.

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Ensemble du site naturel de la Vallee du Nahr Ibrahim (T)

Christravelblog Netherlands - 13-Jun-19

Ensemble du site naturel de la Vallee du Nahr Ibrahim (T)

If you want to go off the beaten track in Lebanon the Nahr Ibrahim Valley is a good start. If you come from Beirut it will take you a full day but if you're staying in Byblos it will shave of a bit of the time. Take lunch for a picknick! I researched all UNESCO documents and besides the natural valley I visited all the cultural sites except the caves.

If you're a WHS collector including the tentative make sure to FIRST go to the Roman Ruins in Faqra which are actually part of the Nahr el Kelb inscription BUT will save you hours driving. The ruins are relatively small and do need restauration. Hope this will be done with the small entrance fee.

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Joel Baldwin Australia - 13-Jun-19

As other reviewers have noted, Ahmedabad is very much not a tourist city. It's hot, dusty and chaotic - even by Indian standards. We spent three days here in February 2019 as a base for visiting the three Gujarat WH sites (here, Rani-ki-Vav and Champaner-Pavagadh), and honestly it's difficult to really appreciate the World Heritage aspects of the city. 

To try and fully understand the place, we opted for the Heritage Walk Ahmedabad, a semi-official endeavour supported by the local government and a bargain at only 125rs. The tour went for a couple of hours from the Swaminarayan Mandir, through various pol districts and ended at the Jama Masjid. It was a nice way to see the various aspects of what makes the city: Hindu culture, Muslim culture, along with the unique pol houses, and our young local guide was quite enthusiastic. That said, most of the pol houses are crumbling and poorly maintained - maybe that makes them more authentic? But at quite a few points it was hard to distinguish which were the historic houses and which were far more modern

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Bradyseism in the Flegrea Area (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 13-Jun-19

Bradyseism in the Flegrea Area (T)

This proposed entry has nothing to do with worshipping Tom Brady but that might have a higher chance to get inscribed.

Just outside Naples, far enough to be away from the crazy driving, narrow roads and honking vespas, is the Archeological Park of Pausilypon. You need to make a reservation to visit the park and I stood in front of the gate not knowing how to continue to my actual destination: Gaiola.

I found a small alley without any sign that looked like it was going the right way and surely after 10min I stood at the seaside. A dirty beach greeted me in the heat. Walk around it and there is a guarded entrance to the islands. If you want to go swimming here you need to pay a small fee and present an ID

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Blog WHS Visits

WHS #702: Zamość

Zamość, located in the Far East of Poland near the border with Ukraine, was one of the two WHS goals of my recent Pentecost trip. This year especially I am trying very hard to cover isolated sites like these in my quest to visit all European WHS. In January 2017 I calculated that I had 98 to do  - now, in June 2019, I have only 24 to go (after excluding Turkey, Russia and Israel which are a bit too far and complex for weekend trips). I might be confronted however with an additional 4 to 9 after the 2019 WHC meeting that takes place early July.

I arrived in Zamość on Saturday around dinner time after a long day of driving and had looked forward to eating a meal at the famous Rynek square. But, lo and behold, a full stage had been set up there and a classical concert was about to start. Everyone who had managed to secure a spot at one of the terraces obviously stayed put to listen in.

Some time ago in our Whatsapp group we discussed what spoils a WHS visit (or a photo thereof): a parked car in front of the object, a person wearing too bright coloured clothing. But a full-size concert stage obscuring parts of the famous colourful ‘Armenian’ houses certainly was a low point for me.

The next morning I started my town visit with a full loop outside of the fortifications. These are mostly reconstructions from a later date than the early 17th century origins. A footpath has been created along most of them and it was a pleasant walk. There are information panels along the way to read as well. Some mentioned the similarities with Naarden-Vesting (part of the TWHS Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie). But it reminded me of Visby as well.

It took me only 45 minutes to complete the full circle. This demonstrates how small the historical center of Zamosc actually is. When you have seen the Rynek, the central square, you’ve seen most of it. The Town Hall with its 52m high tower is the major point of attraction, plus the row of 5 colourful houses next to it with façade reliefs. In the surrounding streets you’ll find the restored synagogue and a number of churches. The latter were fully in use as it was Sunday morning when I visited: at some of them people even had to stay outside to follow the sermons as the church was full. This is a common sight in Poland, something I had noticed before on a tour along the Wooden Tserkvas (they either build churches that are too small or the population grows more than the number of churches).

I had to think hard about my final ‘verdict’ on Zamość. It surely is special to find such a well-designed urban center in what is now a remote corner of Poland. And the restorations have been done very well. But it is a bit museumish and I couldn’t stop thinking about vibrant L’viv, just 130km away on the other side of the border. Part of the same trade route, but with a more obvious cultural mix of Armenian, Jewish, Hungarian and German heritage.

Els - 16 June 2019

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