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Recent Community Reviews

1035 of 1073 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

The Murge of Altamura (T) Tsunami, 21-Feb-18

The Murge of Altamura (T)

I arrived in Altamura (which seems to mean High Wall) at about 14:30 on a Monday by bus from Gioia del Colle, as I was coming from Taranto, but Altamura can easily be visited from Bari TWHS or Matera WHS by train, as it is located on the rail line between these 2 cities. 

First, even though I only became aware of Altamura because of its TWHS status, the walled old town was quite pleasant with a marvelous cathedral, museums, and many cafes / restaurants populated by who appeared to be Italian tourists.  

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Heritage of Mercury Tsunami, 19-Feb-18

Heritage of Mercury

I took a bus from Logatec to Idrija, but the bus stop was not at the Logatec train station, and the closest bus stop to the train station was here: 45°55'01.8"N 14°13'26.9"E

I spent about 22 hours in Idrija, from 13:30 on Monday to 11:45 on Tuesday in February.  It was a busy 22 hours, which made the visit more fun for me. 

When I got off the bus one stop before the Idrija bus station, the driver asked me where I'm going.  I said "To the museum," and he said "The (Castle) Museum is at the next stop."  I had meant the Smelting Plant Museum, which the driver was not aware of.  

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Willandra Lakes Clyde, 19-Feb-18

Willandra Lakes

I visited this WHS in January 2018. Since I had read positive reviews on Harry Nanya Tours and reading that a 4WD is more suitable to visit Mungo National Park, I booked way ahead to secure a spot on the afternoon and sunset tour. Communication was swift and I received a booking confirmation shortly after. A few months after I double checked and was told not to worry but to simply confirm my arrival at Mildura the day before or on the day.

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Plitvice Lakes Tsunami, 19-Feb-18

Plitvice Lakes

So impressed when I visited Plitvice Lakes in spring 2010 that I went back there with my then-girlfriend in summer the following year.  Upon my first visit, I said if the US had Grand Canyon, Europe had Plitvice Lakes.  But after seeing amazing photos of the park covered in snow in Google Images, I had been seeking a chance to go back there in winter, and the chance finally came this winter.

Upon hearing that the park could be closed due to snow in winter, I decided to stay overnight at the park to increase my chance of entering the park and booked an inn about 2 km south of Entrance 2.  I thought I could easily walk for 2 km.

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Australian Fossil Mammal Sites Clyde, 19-Feb-18

Australian Fossil Mammal Sites

I visited this WHS in January 2018, focusing on South Australia's only WHS - Naracoorte Caves National Park. I had prebooked online (32 dollars) to secure a place for the Victoria Fossil Cave guided tour at 14:15 (it takes roughly 1 hr). If there are any palaeontologist geeks who would like to invest more time (and money!) there's also a WH tour to Victoria Fossil Cave and Blanche Cave to also visit research areas not usually seen by the general public.

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Blog: WHC 2019: Plečnik in Ljubljana

Slovenia’s Tentative List features The timeless, humanistic architecture of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana and Prague. As the title already implies, this was meant to be a serial transnational nomination by Slovenia and Czechia. Last December however, after consulting ICOMOS, Slovenia decided to continue with the efforts alone: “the transnational bid was assessed as having little chance of success”. It is unclear yet whether they made the 1 February 2018 deadline for submitting the dossiers to be nominated for the WHC 2019, but we can safely assume that Slovenia will put this site forward within the next couple of years.

Ljubljanica River riverfront

Jože Plečnik was a Slovene architect who made his most important works in the first half of the 20th century. He is nicknamed “the Gaudí of Ljubljana” for this architectural imprint on the city. I visited Ljubljana in 2014 after a few days checking out (T)WHS by rental car around Slovenia. This site wasn’t on the Tentative List at the time, so I had to revisit my photo archive of the day to see if I had visited (photographed) any of his buildings anyway. The city is strong on Art Nouveau as well, and examples of that style stood out more to me in the streets of the Slovenian capital than the works of Plečnik.

I spent most of my time at the embankment of the Ljubljanica River, an area in the city centre with lots of cafés and restaurants. This is already Plečnik Central. He was responsible for the masterplan to redesign the riverfront. It resulted for example in a total makeover of two existing bridges and the addition of a colonnaded market building.

Congress Square, renovated by Plecnik

The nomination will be a serial site of (at least) 4 locations across Ljubljana. Most iconic is the Slovene National and University Library building. It’s huge, with a square ground plan “modelled in the manner of the Italian palazzo”. Entrance for tourists is limited, but you can visit it on the twice-weekly “Walking Tour of Plečnik's Ljubljana” organized by the Ljubljana Tourism Organisation.

To me, the story of Plečnik and Ljubljana parallels that of Ödön Lechner’s Budapest, which I visited and reviewed a few months ago. These architects have had a large impact on country level, but lack the international exposure and following that for example Le Corbusier or Frank Lloyd Wright have had. Neither have they designed single buildings that are so iconic that they could compete in the league of the Sydney Opera House.

Part of the Three Bridges, designed by Plecnik

The Czechs were dismissed by the Slovenians and will withdraw their tentative site. At the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in Vinohrady, the single location that was proposed in Czechia, they were actually grateful for the outcome. The commitments resulting from a UNESCO listing would be a burden for the parish: "The church, ..., must first remain a church, a sacred space ..., and almost all the profane tourism of today is not very good".

Published 17 February 2018

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Responses to WHC 2019: Plečnik in Ljubljana
Ian Cade (18 January 2038)

Thanks for flagging this up Els, I hadn't realised the Czech location had been dropped.

The church in Vinohrady is a rather peculiar building, worth a quick view if you happen to be in direct area, but not one I would go out of my way to see.

It seemed odd that they didn't include Prague Castle in the proposal as well, as he was the key planner in refurbishing the site, and much of the more subtle aspects of the tourist route through are based on Plečnik's work.

Oh well it removes a potential preemptive tick for me, if it does get inscribed I guess I have more of a reason to finally get to Ljubljana.


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