1093 of 1121 WHS have been reviewed by our community.


Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19


September 2018 - my wife and me had spent a few hours in Verona coming back from Tuscany in May 2016. But this time I was going to a conference and spent 3 nights in Verona. My room was just next to Castelveccio and I needed 5 min to the Arena. I already arrived on sunday. so I had 1/2 day and 2 evenings to stroll around the streets surrounding Piazze del Erbe.

It is a beautiful city with Renaissance Houses and a completely intact city center. Highlites were the Arena, Piazzas, Ponti and views to the other side of the Etsch. You could also visit the whole city within 1 day. But that way I could enjoy food, drinks and the atmosphere of the city.

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Lauren USA - 19-Nov-19


Grand Bassam is a beach town about 45 minutes away from Abidjan.  Its UNESCO status comes from the fact that it was a French colonial capital for a few years in the late 1800s.  The capital was moved inland soon after it was established due to an outbreak of yellow fever, leaving behind a cluster of French colonial buildings that still remain today.  Most of the site is on a barrier island.  There was significant flooding in Grand Bassam in October 2019.  When I visited in mid-November, the water levels were still high on the inland side, but water had cleared from the streets and there were few signs of damage.

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Virgilio Barco Library (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 16-Nov-19

Virgilio Barco Library (T)

The library is situated at what looks like the only empty road in Bogota. Entrance is free but you have to put your stuff into a locker to enter the inside rooms, with guards posted to ensure it. Odd. The main attraction is the entrance fountain though, which seems flawed as it doesn't flow entirely center, and the parks around the area make for a nice visit. Inside are modern corridors and spiral staircases which aren't too special. I think this should come on the "nice to see but not WHS" list.

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Grobiņa archaeological ensemble (T)

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 12-Nov-19

Grobiņa archaeological ensemble (T)

August 2017 - actually we planned a trip through the baltic states with our old campervan. Halfway on the way to the ferry, the Engin started striking, eventually we had to be brought back to Berlin and leave the car in front of the car repair, it would take some weeks. Luckily we could rebook the ferry so we started the trip with a small car and tent a day later. After 28 hours on the baltic sea we arrived in Liepaja. We found a nice campground just north and visited the town next morning. That day we wanted to arrive in Jurmala going through Kuldiga. Grobina is just a few km east of Liepaja so we decided to stop here. Nice idea to make a joint Viking sites nomination, but as a Stand alone, it doesnt seem to be very significant

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Nasca Lines

Michael Novins United States - 18-Nov-19

Nasca Lines

In November 2019, I made the eight-hour bus ride from Lima to Nasca on a Wednesday, spent 30 minutes flying over the lines on Thursday morning, and made the eight-hour trip by bus back to Lima that afternoon.  So, nearly a full day of travel for a brief flight over one of the world's most amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites (securely nestled in my Top 10). The flight over the Nasca desert makes it abundantly clear that so many recent sights lack not only universal, but even national or regional, value.

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Blog WHS Visits

WHS #725: Augsburg

I wasn’t terribly interested in the Water Management System of Augsburg, but I did feel an urgent need to make my German WHS score ‘complete’ again! So last Saturday I ventured out to this Bavarian city on a day trip from my home – flying Amsterdam-Munich and then taking a train to Augsburg. Even for an experienced traveler and German speaker, buying a train ticket from a vending machine proved to be like finishing a moderately difficult exam, having to answer question after question – resulting in a final bill of 50.90 EUR for the return trip Munich Airport - Augsburg. Ouch!

So this day consisted of a lot of sitting in planes and trains. The stay was to be so short that I did not even bring a bag and only kept my iPhone in a coat pocket. No passport as well; since a few months I am using only a creditcard sized ID card for travels within the EU (which feels a bit like having a second passport, so the real one can be safely sent to some embassy for a visa). The iPhone fortunately gave me access to some good podcasts. I recently started listening to the Counting Countries series, so while I was physically in Germany my mind wandered off to Tajikistan and Niger.

From Augsburg railway station you can walk to the historic city center in 15 minutes. You pass through shopping streets, where it was pleasantly busy and perhaps only the cheap level of the shops and restaurants stood out (such as the many Dönerkebab and McDonalds restaurants). Augsburg however was a very rich city in the 17th century. The most important buildings in the center date from that time. Fortunately I had memorized the names of some of the 22 inscribed components, a casual visitor would just walk past by them. Nowhere I found an indication that there is a WHS hiding in here.

My first stop was at the Stadtmetzg , the beautiful gray building shown in photo #1. This was the central place in the city where meat was carved, stored and sold. It is linked to the water management system because it functioned in an especially hygienic way for its time. Channels ran underneath that provided the supply of clean water for use and the removal of waste water.

Augsburg's city center is especially known for three monumental fountains. They were constructed (from 1585 on) in connection with the anniversary of the foundation of the city 1600 years before and represented the abundance of water in the city. They did look a little strange now, in November, as they were shielded with wooden covers to protect them from freezing in the upcoming winter. Only the statues at the top of the fountain still protruded.

The Red Tower lies a bit outside of the central area. It is a remnant of a gate in the old city wall. Next to this gate lies a set of buildings that are said to be the oldest remaining waterworks in Central Europe. From 1416 onwards, they provided drinking water to the city for over 400 years. Visible are two high water towers, the house of the Brunnenmeister (the master well digger?) and something that now looks like an insignificant canal.

It is very unfortunate that the city of Augsburg has done little about the interpretation of the WHS components. Yes, there a signs next to the components with a short accompanying text. But most parts are not accessible at all (historic interiors often not having been preserved), or only with a special tour that is not conducted in the winter months. What remains is a typical southern German city with narrow canals that cannot stand in the shadow of those in Amsterdam or Bruges.

I further fully agree with Matejicek’s review that this is a WHS that may have looked good on paper and convinced the ‘judges’ that way. The reality on the ground is much different. The core zone is questionable as well – looking at the map it covers a huge area (the flow of the canals, partly underground), while it easily could have been limited to the 22 named components as a serial nomination. 

Els - 17 November 2019

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Jay T 17 November 2019

Ah, yes — boarded up fountains; I saw plenty of those across Germany when I visited last March. That’s a downside to visiting in the off-season. I’ll have to be sure to see Augsburg in the summer when I visit some day. Thanks for the review!

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