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World Heritage Site

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Recent Community Reviews

1049 of 1092 WHS have been reviewed by our community.

The Ipolytartnóc Fossils (T) Zoe Sheng, 12-Jul-18

The Ipolytartnóc Fossils (T)

Giant petrified trees! This site apparently doesn't have much chance of becoming WHS but I nevertheless found it interesting, enjoyable and something special to visit. It is probably not the most unique place in the world where traces of ancient forest can be seen by just stepping a few hundred meters off the "ordinary track".

The site is easy enough to find by car and had a few visitors, especially one big school group enjoying the large playground.Going into the special area is only by guided tour which requires 4 guests minimum and would go every hour and a half. To pass the time you can go to the rock park which was aimed at really young kids, and if you have enough time to hike in the forests nearby and you don't mind peaks then you can easily spend a whole day here.

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Robben Island Bodil Ankerly, 12-Jul-18

Robben Island

I visited this WHS in March 2018. It started with a very pleasant and beautiful 50 minuts boattrip from V&A Waterfront, then in a bus with a guide (who actually was living on the island with his family) around the island to the prison where Nelson Mandela had been kept for 18 years. Our guide here was also a former ANC prisoner - and it was very interesting but also very sad to hear him speak about his time in jail. At the end of the tour we saw Mandelas prison cell.

The whole island is a museum now - a very interesting WHS and it is very important that we don't forget the history.

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Ancient Greek Theatres (T) Thibault Magnien, 11-Jul-18

Ancient Greek Theatres (T)

The “Ancient Greek Theatres” proposed site encompasses 15 theatres across Greece including three that are already World heritage sites (Epidaure, Delphi, Delos) and one, the Dionysos theatre, located on the slopes of the Acropolis, in the buffer zone.

The Greek theatres definitively possess an objective OUV for the world’s culture and history. It embodies the level of advancement reached by ancient Greece. Moreover, this serial site puts the light on several major ancient Greece sites but also on more remote ancient greek cities and ruins that help acquiring a broader view and understanding on Greek antiquity.

On top of those of Epidaure, Delphi and Athens, I have also visited the theatre of Argos which is quite impressive and surrounded by large ruins.

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The natural and architectural ensemble of Stolac (T) Thibault Magnien, 11-Jul-18

The natural and architectural ensemble of Stolac (T)

Stolac is already placed on the World Heritage map thanks to the Stecci. Indeed, the city possesses several Stecci and especially the Radimjla necropolis which is one of the greatest and most representative examples of these medieval tombstones. The town in itself is not very tourist-friendly as there are no infrastructures and sights are badly indicated. The city seems to be stuck in the post-Yougoslavian war state.

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Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland Clyde, 11-Jul-18

Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland

I visited this WHS in June 2018. The Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland are one of those great WHS which I would have never visited were it not for their inscription on the WH list. Even more so, since their beauty lies mostly in their decorated interior. There are more than 400 of these decorated farmhouses (some you can sleep over in) and the vast majority are very similar with falun red painting. Since inscription, street signs with the UNESCO symbol have been placed near the inscribed farmhouses.

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Blog: Tbilisi Historic District

The Tbilisi Historic District is part of the Tentative list of Georgia. It’s a small neighbourhood in Georgia’s capital that can be explored on foot. The rest of the city is of course much bigger: over a million people live there and one moves around the easiest with the subway that still dates from Soviet times. I went several times to Didube metro station for example, to take buses to Mtskheta and Gori from the eponymous bus station. A ticket costs a mere 0.5 lari (0,17 EUR).

View of the Historic District

I first explored the Historic District by the 3-hour 'free' walking tour of Tiblisi Hack Free Tours. This was under the guidance of Russian(!) Anya and together with about 15 other tourists from all corners of the world: Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Canada, United States, Jordan. Her key question was "Do you think Tbilisi is more Asian or more European?" This befits one of the two key elements in Tbilisi’s claim to OUV: the location of Georgia (and especially Tbilisi) on the cross-roads of Europe and Asia with all consequent historical conditions. I think the Historic District is more oriental, to a certain extent it resembles Istanbul or Sarajevo. The traditional sulphur bath houses and their domes also contribute to that image.

The Historic District also has many dilapidated and vacant houses. These were abandoned by their owners in the 80’s and 90’s, when the economic situation in Georgia was very bad. There are no clear plans what to do with them. It has made the area especially attractive for artistically minded photographers.

Great Synagogue

The other claim for OUV is “always multi-national, free and tolerant in the respect of religious confession”. Church visits in general are a main pastime for tourists in Georgia anyway, and the Historic District of Tbilisi is one big mix of religious expressions. We had a look at the interior of an austere Catholic church, walked past 2 synagogues and a mosque, and visited 2 Georgian Orthodox churches. One of the latter (Sioni Cathedral) is home to 'Saint Nino's Cross' - an important relic of the original wooden cross that Saint Nino made on her way to Mtskheta. It was homemade, of two tree branches tied together with her hair - hence the peculiar drooping horizontal arms of the Georgian cross.

Also typical for Tbilisi are the many stray dogs. They lie down on the pavement, or are out with friends. They usually look in pretty good condition, they are fed by local people. Many also wear a yellow label in their ear: a sign that they have been vaccinated against rabies. On foot you are not bothered by them, but I saw them chasing cyclists a few times.

Core of the Historic District; the Uzbek-style building is a bath house

Outside of the Historic District, the main boulevard Rustaveli Avenue is also worth visiting. This is the street with all the Important Buildings. It includes the Opera, the Theatre, the National Museum, the former Parliament and the Academy of Sciences. At this street the Soviet era, which lasted for Georgia from 1921-1991, is still the most touchable. The National Museum is unmissable: the absolute highlight is in the basement, in the Treasury. Here hundreds of small gold objects from Colchis are exhibited. Colchis was the name under which this region in Classical Antiquity was known for its gold mining. The objects are up to 6000 years old.

Published 14 July 2018

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Responses to Tbilisi Historic District
Els Slots (14 July 2018)

Hi Aleksandr! I find it really hard to say about Tblisi. It certainly is a city worth visiting for a day or 2, and there are many good day trips to be done from there. However, it does lack outstanding individual sights or monuments. In case of a nomination they'd go more for a 'crossroads of cultures' theme, which still would need a lot of explanation and openness to non-Georgian elements to make it convincing.

Aleksandr (14 July 2018)

Dear Els, so what is your overall opinion, whether Tbilisi Historical Centre deserves to be inscribed? Much work is to be done, especially for those vacant houses and modern non-fitting buildings being constructed, but I found this city very beautiful and worth being inscribed if careful preparatory work is done for this.
P.S. Try to found Usakhelauri wine there. It very rare and quite expensive semi-sweet wine, beleived to be the favorite of Stalin. I liked it very much.


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