Quick Access

1180 of 1199 WHS have been reviewed by our community.


Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

Ralf Rotheimer Germany - 11-Feb-24

As the previous reviews already cover the most relevant facts about visiting the Hypogeum, I would like to focus on the experience of buying the Last Minute tickets and share some tips and observations that might be beneficial to other visitors.

We were visiting Malta over New Year's Eve and as we were not sure yet on which date we could visit the Hypogeum, all of the online tickets were already gone. Worthwhile to note: In the less busy winter season the urge to book weeks or even months in advance did not seem to be that bad. Whenever I was looking up if by chance a ticket slot might open online, you could normally buy entry tickets 2-3 weeks in advance. This timeframe was unfortunately not working for us, as we were staying only slightly more than a week.

Read On

Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town

J_neveryes Canada - 07-Feb-24

Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town

If you spend some time to explore Hebron, you will find a city where its resident do their best to live a life of normalcy despite Israeli military control and restriction on freedom of movement and economic activities.

We visited the city of Hebron by public bus from Jerusalem - you can find the buses that go to the West Bank at a bus station near [...]

Read On

Aksum

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 25-Jan-24

Aksum

Site visited in January 2024. Aksum is well covered by the previous reviewers, but since 8 years have passed since the latest review, I decided to add a new one.

Aksum is treated as the true cradle of Ethiopia, both in terms of state and religious power. State, because it was the first great kingdom in these areas, stretching from today's eastern Sudan to the footholds on the Arabian Peninsula. Religious, because Aksum in the 4th century adopted Christianity, which is still the dominant religion in Ethiopia. Aksum is home to the most important church in Ethiopia - the Church of Our Lady of Zion. In fact, there are two churches of this name - the old one, from the 17th century, and the new one, built on the orders of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1965. The old one is located within the monastery, so only men can enter it. The new one is available for women and men

Read On

Kilifi Caves (Panga Ya Saidi, Mawe Meru and Chasimba Caves) (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 18-Jan-24

Kilifi Caves (Panga Ya Saidi, Mawe Meru and Chasimba Caves) (T)

I visited all three components although Mawe Meru appears to be just the black rocks on top of Chasimba Caves which is even marked so on the map. Also I don't see ANY cave. Maybe 70,000 years ago this was a cave system and has now been eroded to just have rocks. Both cave sites are taken care of by the local family (unofficially?) and they'll be happy to take you on a small tour. By tour it means you walk over sharp karst and maybe fall if you aren't careful - honestly this is so not recommended to visit. My advice is to save you some money (not that it cost a lot to tip them) and just take a picture of the wall rock as you drive past it

Read On

Shirakami-Sanchi

Svein Elias Norway - 04-Feb-24

Shirakami-Sanchi

Our first “mainland” Japanese whs in our Japanese quest July '23 was Shirakami-Sanchi. The shinkansen took us from Hokkaido to Aomori Honshu and a local train further on to Hirosaki where we picked up a rental car and then spent the night. The next morning, we drove the 40-50 min to Shirakami-Sanchi Information Centre near Aqua Village Anmon. The map shows that road 28 could take us somehow into the core zone if we just went far enough, but we assumed correctly that driving was impossible. Road 28 has been totally closed since 2020 – probably due to avalanches and broken-down bridges. The remaining option was the hike to Anmon Falls.

Read On

Blog TWHS Visits

The Underwater City of Port Royal

We saw confirmation in December 2023 that Jamaica planned to submit The Underwater City of Port Royal as its 2025 nomination; whether they did so in time I could not verify. It will be their fourth attempt to get this site inscribed. It was rejected in 1988 (only the terrestrial area, deemed of national importance only), deferred in 2019 (more focus on the 17th century needed and worries about a cruise ship pier) and had an incomplete dossier last year. In 2019 ICOMOS did find some potential OUV though (“a possibly unrivalled illustration of an English colonial town in the 17th century”) and Jamaica may now have taken the right path of approach that will lead to an inscription. It will consist of a terrestrial and a marine part (comprising an underwater archaeological site). My review will only cover the terrestrial part, which I visited earlier this week.

Port Royal, a small fishing town at the end of a tombolo known as Palisadoes, is easily reached by bus from Downtown Kingston. The ride on bus 98 takes 45 minutes and costs 70 JD (0,40 EUR). This bus also stops at the airport, so you could theoretically combine a trip to Port Royal with your departure or arrival. Be aware though that it is a very hot area and you won’t want to carry any luggage. It’s a relaxed place to roam around for a bit, a random guy yelling out to me in the street “Hey! Do you wanna buy a crab?” exemplifies the laid-back atmosphere.

The main touristic focus of Port Royal nowadays is Fort Charles (photo 2). It has been restored in 2021 and is fully equipped to receive visitors. The entrance fee for foreigners is 15 USD and includes a well-conducted guided tour of the grounds. This fort was one of a row of five that protected the harbour of Kingston – the other four disappeared underwater during the deadly earthquake and tsunami of 1692 that gave Port Royal the nickname of ‘Sunken City’. It shares the tip of the peninsula with the coast guard and we heard them conducting shooting practice during the tour.

What we now see at Fort Charles mostly is its 19th-century incarnation, but built on the 17th-century vestiges that were designed in the shape of a ship. The fort was reused after the city fell into ruins, but it had to change its outlook as it was no longer surrounded by water. It got an impressive new long-distance canon at the Victoria and Albert Battery.

The terrestrial part of the nomination also probably includes a significant part of Port Royal town. This can be explored on foot via a short self-guided walking trail provided by the tourism board. All stops have information boards. Two areas of major importance in the 17th-century narrative are now surreal ‘sights’: there’s a paved parking lot that was built on top of Chocolata Hole (where the ships were cleaned) and a football field (photo 1) that covers the remains of Lime Street, the pre-1692 commercial center which was partly submerged. The terrestrial remains have been excavated but were covered up again for their preservation.

The only visible remains from the 17th century are “believed” to be parts of the walls of the former women’s gaol (photo 3) – a building that survived “14 hurricanes, 6 earthquakes and 2 disastrous fires” since 1710. Another notable historic building in town is the Naval Hospital – it was built in the 19th century from prefabricated cast iron parts shipped from England. It looks impressive but cannot be entered, a sign says they are working on its restoration.

So overall, the site is something like the Pile Dwellings meets Valongo Warf. On the positive side, by upgrading Fort Charles this has become the visitor center for the potential WHS and it saves a visit from being a total disappointment. Its chances for inscription should mostly rely on the underwater archaeological remains. Besides found objects such as tobacco pipes, Chinese porcelain, drinking glasses and pewter (tin) spoons, the main features are five houses that were part of Lime Street whose construction details have been preserved underwater.

Els - 18 February 2024

Leave a comment

Comments

Kyle Magnuson 18 February 2024

There seems to be more confirmation via Twitter that it was submitted by the end of January.

The updated name should be "Archaeological Landscape of 17th Century Port Royal"


Getting started

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

Do your count Or register!

WHS in the News

New museum and visitor centre planned for Jurassic Coast World Heritage site (2024.02.15)

The Buildings of Hollókő Restored (2024.02.14)

Archaeologists call for halt to defacement of Lumbini heritage sites (2024.02.13)

Cambodian government takes over management of three Angkor archaeological sites from World Monuments Fund (2024.02.02)

Fears grow that dam across Mekong River in Laos could harm World Heritage site of Luang Prabang (2024.02.02)

Work at Egypt's Menkaure pyramid at Giza shown in a video of the renovation has triggered a wave of criticism (2024.01.30)

Mexico confirms some Mayan ruin sites are unreachable because of gang violence and land conflicts (Yaxchilan) (2024.01.28)

New 7km road to bring UNESCO site Valley of Flowers closer (2024.01.28)

Firefighters battle 'out of control' blaze in Los Alerces National Park (2024.01.27)

Machu Picchu Protesters Block Tourist Train Tracks against privatizing ticket sales at the Inca citadel. (2024.01.26)