1091 of 1121 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

New Lanark

Clyde Malta - 04-Sep-19

New Lanark

I visited this WHS in July 2019 as a very convenient stopover while driving from Lake District National Park towards Edinburgh. This WHS can be seen as one of a series of similar industrial sites in the UK, namely Derwent Valley Mills, Saltaire and New Lanark. All three WHS aren't wow destinations or top WHS but all offer an informative visit to how UK's industry and working conditions looked like during the last century or so.

Of the three I'd pick the Derwent Valley Mills as it is well presented and you can see [...]

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Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto (T)

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland - 30-Aug-19

Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto (T)

Site visited in November, 2013. Finally it has been added to tentative places. One of the best petroglyph site I have ever seen, can be compared only with Tamgaly in Kazakchstan. 

The best place to start exploration of the site is a small town of Corire, some 3 hours by bus from Arequipa (doable as a day trip if you stay in Arequipa). While in Corire you have 2 options to reach the site. One is walk - around 3 km from Corire center (mind that the last part of the road is barren lanscape with no shadow - in hot days it may be difficult. Other option is to take a taxi from central Corire. The taxi will take you there, wait for you and take you back to Corire, prices are negotiable.

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Silk Roads Sites in Tajikistan (T)

Walter Switzerland - 03-Sep-19

Silk Roads Sites in Tajikistan (T)

This serial nomination has 8 different proprieties, six of them having an additional specific entry as their own on the tentative list. I had a chance to visit four of them on my trip to Central Asia in June 2019. Ancient Penjikent and Ancient Town of Khulbuk are reviewed on their specific entries.

Two components are therefore reviewed: Yamchun Castle and Hissar Castle.

These two castles stand on two totally different extremes. Hissar is heavily reconstructed, extremely popular with Tadjik for wedding, and very close to Dushanbe. Yamchun is in the empty, isolated and magnificent Wakham valley, in the extreme south of Tadjikistan, about two days drive (on very very bad roads) from Dushanbe.

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The Galilee Journeys of Jesus & the Apostles (T)

GabLabCebu Philippines - 03-Sep-19

The Galilee Journeys of Jesus & the Apostles (T)

Oh Galilee! As a Christian, it is a wonder how all the steps of Jesus' early life are less than 2 hours' drive in this region. Back in 2018, I visited Nazareth, Cana, Mount Tabor, Zippori, Tiberias, Magdala, and the Mount of Beatitudes on a small-group private tour. Indeed, they are all holy sites, and it feels greatly spiritual to walk in Jesus' footsteps and be in the sites of great miracles and mysteries. However, I can't say that this is a site worth inscribing on the list. All the significance lies in religious intangible aspects, as in Nazareth, Cana, Mount Tabor, and the Mount of Beatitudes, where only modern churches stand, although Nazareth does have a few Roman-age remains including the alleged house of Mary on the lower level of the church

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Philipp Peterer Switzerland - 02-Sep-19


Visit: January 2019. Byblos is a good place to start a Lebanon WHS trip. I arrived at night, after an easy 45min drive from Beirut airport. Be aware that the same trip during the day can take 2-3 times longer due to heavy traffic in and around Beirut. To add another bonus, accommodation in Byblos was also cheaper and I could park my car in front of the hotel, close to the core zone.

The site opened at 8am and I must say I really liked it. As usual, I was the first visitor on site and enjoyed unspoiled views over the area. I can’t add much about what to see within the archeological zone. It’s a mix of remains from different cultures and times with the Crusader Castle as the dominant feature. It took me around 2 hours to see it all.

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Blog WHS Visits

WHS #719: Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad is an active monastery and one of the most important centres of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is a Lavra – originally a term for a cluster of hermit’s cells (now only visible here at the gate church), but also a sign that the monastery is high up in the orthodox church hierarchy. It has been the seat of the Moscow Patriarchate until 1983, although it was closed during the early communist years (1917-1946). It’s also an educational center for young priests.

I visited Sergiev Posad on a day trip from Moscow by interurban train. The slowest trains cost 360 ruble (4,60 EUR) for a return trip and are very frequent. Just as Clyde noticed in his review from 3 years ago, there’s a constant coming and going of salesmen and -women through the carriages: advertising such necessities as woolen socks, glue, children’s books, ‘leather’ wallets and plastic toys.  

From the Sergiev Posad railway station, exiting to the right and following the road for about 15 minutes, it is an easy walk to the monastic complex. Taking this route, you’ll be presented with an exquisite panorama of the whole complex with its turrets and towers (see photo 1). It’s a very pretty ensemble, especially when seen from a distance. Up and close it comes across as a bit Disneyesque. Lots of what you see nowadays stems from 18th century (after a fire in 1746), so the baroque style is heavily present.

Currently there are separate entrances for Russians and international tourists: the Russians (all believed to be pilgrims) can enter for free, while the foreigners have to buy a 500 ruble ticket. There’s no additional fee for taking photos anymore and you are free to do so at most places. Like I experienced the day before at Kolomenskoye, it was very busy especially with Chinese tourists. In addition to Russian and English, there is even signposting in Chinese. Staff even held up signs saying “Silence please” in Chinese only for them!

The monastic complex lies within fortifications. There’s a refectory that looks like a European baroque palace, however it ends in yet another gold glittering iconostasis. Holy water can be tasted from the festive ‘Chapel-over-the well’. And there are several churches of course. The most interesting one to visit is the oldest, the Trinity Cathedral. In a corner it holds the relics of St. Sergius. The grounds are also home to two souvenir shops (one of them inside the Bell Tower) and a bakery.

The complex is sometimes dubbed the “Russian Vatican”, but the religious aspect wasn’t very palpable to me – the very few worshippers that were present (I visited on a Monday) were massively outnumbered by the foreign tourists. I did see monks rushing by in their black cassocks though, both grey-bearded ones and younger ones attending the seminary. Recent media reports found out that church authorities are planning to transform Sergiev Posad into something more grand: an open-air temple should be built just outside the walls of the Lavra to accommodate outdoor masses just like at the ‘real’ Vatican. The goal is to “cleanse the town of its Soviet legacy” and transform it into “the spiritual capital of Orthodoxy.” The project (also looking at Mecca and Jerusalem as examples) would occupy one-third of the city center, according to the Moscow Times.

Els - 15 September 2019

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