1096 of 1121 WHS have been reviewed by our community.
Jakob Frenzel Germany - 28-May-20
July 2016 - What an adventure that we planned. My sister came back from a one year work-and travel in NZ and Australia with a prolonged stopover option in Bangkok. Good opportunity for us to finally visit Thailand. Coincidentally my best friend from school was also around and joined our travels for a bit. After arriving in Asia and having a relaxed day on the Chao Praya, we took the train to the Cambodian border the next day. The train ride was an awesome experience already. A tuktuk took us to the border (beware of fake visa offices) and it cost us maybe half an hour and some shine dollar bills at the customs, to get our Visa and resume travel.The 2 hour busride to Siem Riep was in a comfortable Vantaxi with 10 other tourists, including 2 potential rip-off stopovers on the wayRead On
Mountain-top Hotel and Television Transmitter Ještěd (T)
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 27-May-20
Don't even ask me how to pronounce Ještěd. I tried telling people on the trip about my stay there and they were like "what, where?" and when they finally figured it out the conversation had already shifted to something else.
I really like the towerRead On
Stari Ras and Sopocani
Juha Sjoeblom Finland - 27-May-20
Site visited July 2016. Stari Ras and Sopoćani is generally least known and visited among the six Yugoslavian sites which were inscribed in 1979. Although the name makes you think that there are two sites the inscription consists of four separate sites around the town of Novi Pazar. This group of medieval monuments of the first capital of Serbia gives you an interesting insight to the history of the country.
I travelled to Novi Pazar by bus from Belgrad and visited the Studenica Monastery during the tripRead On
Delhi - A Heritage City (T)
Clyde Malta - 26-May-20
I visited this tentative WHS in January 2012. In a way, India's capital, Delhi, is a bit like China's capital, Beijing. Several top notch WHS here and there, but no real 'historic centre'. This nomination tries to make up for this by highlighting Delhi's “surviving historic urbanscape” in a triangular patch of land with the River Yamuna on one side and the northern range of Aravalli hills on the other two sides.
This historic urbanscape comprises the four precincts of Mehrauli, Nizamuddin, Shahjahanabad and New Delhi. The first three precincts are already well covered in reviews of the already inscribed crown jewels of each precinct, namely Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb and the Red Fort. So in this review I will focus on the remaining precinct New Delhi.Read On
Rouen : ensemble urbain à pans de bois, cathédrale, église Saint-Ouen, église Saint Maclou (T)
Clyde Malta - 26-May-20
I visited this tentative WHS several times as a pleasant stopover city on my way to other WHS or tWHS such as Mont-St-Michel, Le Havre, Amiens, Carnac or Cordouan. However, back in June 2011, I had allowed a full weekend specifically for Rouen.
Rouen is the capital of Normandy, even though it is relatively close to Paris. In the past it was one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe and it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was also one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries. Rouen saw the tragic end of Saint Joan of Arc’s life, a legacy that continues to leave its mark in the city.Read On
Blog WHS Visits
My first visit to Aachen Cathedral was in 2001, really at the beginning of my WHS journey. It was my 74th visited WHS. I only had a basic compact digital camera then, I still know what it looks like. It made horrible photos, certainly compared to a smartphone from 2020 (let alone a proper camera). So at the start of this long Pentecost weekend I decided to driven to Aachen again to refresh my memory and to get better photos.
It was my first visit to Germany post-COVID. In preparation I stocked up on some disposable face masks (compulsory in public indoor places) and cash Euro’s. Although the crisis apparently has lead to increased card payments, Germany still is much more cash based than the Netherlands and I did not succeed in paying anything by card here. On the plus side, there’s no need to pre-book time slots at the Aachen museums or at the Cathedral – which is a more common measure in Holland to keep things under control.
I started my WH visit at the Cathedral Treasury. At 10 a.m. I was the first visitor of the day and I had the museum to myself. The Treasury made headlines in March as it announced the exhibition of the Corona Leopardus Shrine. It holds the mortal remains of the early Christian martyrs Corona and Leopardus. Corona was a legendary figure, whose relics were brought to Aachen around the year 1000. She is the patroness of causes involving money and it has been suggested to pray to her during the COVID-19 pandemic to support the world economy.
The Treasury as well as the interior of the adjacent Cathedral are true containers of religious relics. Those relics are the physical remains of a holy site or holy person, or objects with which they had contact. In the Middle Ages, it was good to collect as many interesting relics as possible as it would attract pilgrims to your Cathedral (adding prestige and boosting the local economy). The best relics of course are those associated with Jesus and Mary; Aachen keeps 4 uber-relics: the swaddling clothes and loin cloth of Jesus, the dress of Mary and the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist.
The entrance to the Cathedral is low-key. There were about 30 to 40 other tourists present: some Dutch, some German, some Asian. As a COVID measure, the benches in the central octagon have been replaced by a few chairs in order to keep distance between the churchgoers. Also, the stairs to the upper galleries were closed to visitors. Everything else was there as you would expect it – I especially liked the Ambon of Henry II (similar to a pulpit).
I found Aachen Cathedral not an easy site to photograph. The exterior is a hotchpotch of different styles, the original romanesque core (which is the most interesting part) is fully enclosed by gothic and even later additions. The best views are from the Town Hall side. The real treasures inside the Cathedral, such as the Shrine of Charlemagne or the reliquary Shrine of Mary, are located far into the Choir. The area is not accessible and the gold of those shrines reflects in the glass boxes they’re encaged in. Nevertheless, Aachen Cathedral just oozes medieval history and even in the 21st century is a very pleasant place to visit.
Els - 31 May 2020
Clyde 31 May 2020
Finally something interesting related to Corona!