1100 of 1121 WHS have been reviewed by our community.


Hubert Austria - 08-May-21


Salamanca is certainly the most elegant and glamorous of all the historic city centres on the Spanish World Heritage List. This is mainly due to its harmonious townscape. Almost all the historic buildings are made of the golden-yellow sandstone from the nearby village of Villamyor. And the Plateresque style of many buildings also contributes to the extravagant look of the city. Plateresque means the elaborate and detailed ornamentation that is applied to the façades, mostly to decorate the main portal. Salamanca is a hotspot of this late Gothic/early Renaissance style, you will find it everywhere in the historic centre. The façades of the University and the Catedral Nueva are two of the best examples.

Read On

Moravian Church Settlements (T)

Jay T USA - 05-May-21

Moravian Church Settlements (T)

Almost 300 years ago a group of German Protestant missionaries in North America were granted land in the wooded Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, west of New York City and north of Philadelphia; on Christmas Eve of 1741, these missionaries founded the Moravian community of Bethlehem. For approximately the next century, Bethlehem was a town run by the Moravian church, operating on principles espousing communal living, hard work, and missionary outreach to local Lenape native American groups (a relationship referenced in the novels of 19th century author James Fenimore Cooper).

Read On

Balaton Uplands Cultural Landscape (T)

Squiffy UK - 04-May-21

Balaton Uplands Cultural Landscape (T)

A cool September breeze riffled the branches of the fringing trees as I swam out into Lake Héviz. It was definitely better to be in the water than out on the manicured grass. 38 metres below the centre of the lake hot thermal water gushed forth from a fissure, meaning that the lake was roughly the temperature of a municipal swimming pool. And much like a swimming pool, I was not alone. Around me people swam, floated or just splashed in the shallows. And to my right, patients in white towelling robes sat out on the decking of the spire-roofed spa that projected out into the lake on piles like a British seaside pier. However no municipal pool I’ve ever visited has required me to periodically untangle my feet from water lilies or strings of algae.

Read On

The Olive Grove Landscapes of Andalusia (T)

Hubert Austria - 03-May-21

The Olive Grove Landscapes of Andalusia (T)

When you travel through Andalusia, you inevitably drive through olive groves. Actually, you do it all the time. The area around Jaen is called 'El mar de olivos' not without reason. But it's hard to say which of these countless olive trees would be included in a nomination and why. The monotonous olive landscape in Andalusia is more reminiscent of the mass product that fills the shelves of our supermarkets than of a cultural heritage of outstanding value. But the same could be said about vineyards, of course.The T-list entry from 2017 includes a list of 15 areas, but without detailed information and without coordinates

Read On

The Porticoes of Bologna (T)

Mauricebencivenni Switzerland - 30-Apr-21

Hallo everybody,

My name is Maurice,  I'am switzerland from Zurich but my parents are Italian from Bergamo area.

So a couple of years ago we decided to visit some different towns of Italy,  the one who knocked me among all was surely Bologna.

And I don't want to mean the wide middle-aged City center with the Two Towers or the oldest and well - known all around the world University but especially the huge, amazing and fascinating net of Porticoes who embraces all the utban agglomerate.

Read On

Blog WHS website

WHS Plaques and Certificates

Over the years, many reviewers have pointed out the location of the WHS Plaque or a framed Certificate of Inscription in describing their visits. Finding them is almost a niche within a niche hobby! There is even a Flickr group dedicated to the subject (it got a bit sidetracked but the earlier entries do have some good examples) and a stock photo collection. Personally I am not so obsessed by this – I notice them in passing but usually am more interested in finding the OUV or an angle that has not been reviewed on this website yet. I even had a hard time finding photos of the things for this blog post.

But due to the general interest I’d like to poll how we can incorporate these markers in the website.

The Story behind the Plaques and Certificates

A few years ago already, Solivagant has explained the background story on these markers in depth in this forum topic. The bottom line is:

  • There are no “official” plaques that are handed out to new WHS, a site should place one (“whenever possible”) after having been inscribed.

  • “It should be so placed that it can easily be seen by visitors, without disfiguring the property”

  • “the World Heritage Emblem should appear on the plaque”

  • “the text should mention the property's Outstanding Universal Value”

  • The Certificate of Inscription (aka “Framed Paper Version”) has no official status in the Operational Guidelines, but seems to be sent out on the occasion of inscription or of official inauguration by a dignitary. Possibly also in multiple copies when there are serial locations.

What kind of markers have we spotted?

182 WHS reviews currently contain the word “plaque” (including 57 written by Clyde!), and 172 of them refer to the kind we mean here. Most of the time the appearance of the plaque is not further described, but we have at least:

The Certificates of Inscription come in fewer appearances, most of the time it is the A4-sized paper in a simple frame. There is however a mixed form with the plaque: a bronze plaque with the inscription certificate engraved in it. Examples can be found in front of the Hoja Nasruddin statue in Bukhara and at Bahla Fort (see 3rd photo). 

There are also many haphazard signs, as the one below from Abu Simbel, that do show the official logo but have no reference to the OUV of the WHS.

Where are they found?

The guideline “It should be so placed that it can easily be seen by visitors, without disfiguring the property” seems to be followed well. The certificate-style marker is usually found in museums / visitor centers / gift shops (even outside the core zone). In the Charles Darwin Research Station for Galapagos for example.

The metal plaques often are at the entrances of sites, near the ticket offices. Or on the floor in front of the actual monuments if they are in city centers.

The Rhaetian Railway has a red square one at every train station.

If we are going to dedicate a fixed corner of this website to WHS Plaques and Certificates, how should we organize this? Should we:

a.    Create a connection where we log for each WHS: what kind of marker it is – where it is located. Adding a photo here would be hard, only a link would be possible.

b.    Add a text in the info section to the right of each WH page, again with what kind of marker it is – where it is located. Small photos could be added. Against it could be argued that the info section is for more formal information and this stays trivial and is based on submissions of individuals.

c.    Start our own Flickr group?

Or do you have another suggestion?

Els - 9 May 2021

Leave a comment


Esteban Cervantes Jiménez 10 May 2021

A Flickr album is the simplest option, for me.

Nan 9 May 2021

I would rather see this as a general issue: Where to put general information. Right now, it's often hidden in the reviews and I would say we should rather manage this type of information as a wiki.

Essentially site info would go to a separate tab/page. We can even make it so, that it is available offline at the same time.

For site info (apart from what we have so far) I would see the following sections.

1) Getting To
Directions. Bus/Train/Plane. Car if special. General Access Points and hubs.

2) Getting In
Ticket process, reservations etc.
Athos -> 20 Tickets for non orthodox male christians. Female visitors can only do a boat trip.
And core zone discussion (e.g. Manu).

3) What to do
Sian Kaan: Boat trip (Reserve at Native tourist office). Bird watching..

4) Where to stay
Either travel hub / city with hotels or special places directly tied to the WHS

5) Points of Interest incl. Unesco plaque
Note: I have been in favor in the past of having location maps with POIs for each site, e.g. Tour Eiffel in Paris.

Michael Novins 9 May 2021

It would be great if we could find a home for a plaque on each WHS’ page. I have hundreds.

Kyle Magnuson 9 May 2021

Flickr Album to share a variety of examples from around the world.

Quick Access

Getting started

Want to find out how many World Heritage Sites you have visited already?

Do your count Or register!

WHS in the News

45,000 Apply for the Chance to Kill 12 Bison in Grand Canyon National Park (11.05.21)

Kakadu site closure amid racism claims (07.05.21)

At the Colosseum, a High-Tech Refit Will Offer a Gladiator’s Perspective (05.05.21)

Wildlife returns to Angkor Archaeological Park (03.05.21)

Controversial Ġgantija apartment block application temporarily suspended (03.05.21)

Drugs and agriculture cause deforestation to skyrocket at Honduran UNESCO site (01.05.21)

'Plain of Jars', one of the most mysterious archaeological sites, reveals its true age (29.04.21)

Dozens of Angry Archaeologists Say a Planned Renovation of the Acropolis Will Degrade the World Heritage Site (29.04.21)

Sewage washes ashore at Alta (21.04.21)

'Out of control' fire breaks out in Cape Town's Table Mountain National Park (18.04.21)