Echwel Profile

In 2010 I visited the Plitvice lakes and was stunned by its sheer beauty. It was like walking through a fairy tale landscape and it really felt like something special. Since this is a WHS and I agreed with my partner we should do this more often (instead of laying on the beach drinking beer) I started to study the list for more sites to visit. After all they claim to be of "outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity".

Over the years this "WHS-thing" grew upon me. It got so important it evolved into the quest most people here are suffering from. Unfortunately I can't say the same thing about my partner. She prefers the beach again. I often have to use lame excuses to drag her of it and join me at yet another WHS-visit.

I recently started to blog about my adventures. If anyone is interested:

Visited Sites Echwel

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  • Cultural
  • Natural
  • Mixed

Recent Reviews Echwel

Alto Douro

Echwel NL - 14-Oct-17

Alto Douro

It’s not always easy to convice my wife we need to go to yet another world heritage site but I had no problems when I announced Alto Douro to her. We both love the Porto wines they produce overthere and even she thougt a day of tasting and drinking is not something you skip while being in the area.

The prettiest part of the site lies between the small towns of Pinhao and Peso da Regua, an area full of quinta’s ( the name the Potugese gave their winehouses) and known tot he locals as Cima Corgo

Read On

San Gimignano

Echwel NL - 16-Mar-17

San Gimignano

If you’re serious about WHS-hunting make sure you pay a visit to Tuscany, Italy. In a relative small area you can find 7 top notch sites of which San Gimignano is one. Although most of you probably have seen your fair share of medieval towns this one really stands out, literally that is.

The unique thing about San Gimignano is its centuries old skyline. Back in medieval times there was a bit of trouble between the pope and the emperor who both wanted absolute power. They each had their own gang of supporters called Guelfi (popefans) and Ghibellini (emperorsupporters). The two rival sections were at eachother's throat and this let to the building of, in total, 72 defensive towers. Fourteen still stand.

Read On

Beemster Polder

Echwel NL - 13-Jan-17

Beemster Polder

“When will we be there?”, asked my wife when we were driving in the middle of the WHS Beemster. A question, I quess, which kind of sums up the outstanding universal value of the site; if you don’t know about it you will have a hard time seeing and appreciating it.

Because the Beemster just looks like any other “polder”, a green flat meadow, I couldn’t really blame her. However, when it was created in the 17th century the Dutch made an effort to create the most ideal landscape ever made. It was the time of the Renaissance and old ideals about order, symmetry and harmony were pumped in the new land as to give it a feeling of harmony and proportion. Everything what you see nowadays is actually the result of quite some thinking.

Read On

Aachen Cathedral

Echwel NL - 18-Nov-16

Aachen Cathedral

Everyone knows how popular cathedrals are in Unesco´s list. I know how some kind of a fatique can emerge ticking off yet another one. But do please forget about these kind of prejudice when visiting Aachen. This one is truly worthy of its worldheritage qualification.

Already when entering the church you’ll know this one is special. You will probably be impressed by its coulourful mosaics, not a sight very common with (gothic) cathedrals, and its overall appearance. But it gets way better than that. What I think makes it more interesting is the stroy behind the building, its hidden symbolism. This stuff fascinates me and Charlemagne didn’t disappoint me.

Read On

Vizcaya Bridge

Echwel NL - 29-Oct-16

Vizcaya Bridge

My wife does not share the same passion about Unesco´s list as I do. To me every site is worth a visit, to her only a few. I have visited some sites on my own but soon found out that sharing is a big part of the fun. So I had to think of something to get her accompanying me. She´s okay with visiting charming old cities but is less enthusiastic about industrial heritage and stuff like that.

I, for one, like the steel monsters such as Vizcaya bridge. My wife however couldn´t care less. What she does like is laying on the beach getting a tan. So when I told her that we `had` to see this hanging transporter bridge I made sure to tell her that sea and sand were around the corner

Read On

Profile Data

Most Impressive

Recently Visited WHS

Update 22.05.24

4 Countries Complete

Belgium . Holy See . Ireland . Luxembourg .

Rating Stats
Angkor 4.5
Arles 3.5
Atapuerca 1.5

Reviewed TWHS

Top 50 Missing Sites

  1. Alexandria, ancient remains and the new library
  2. Bagan
  3. Cenotes of the Yucatan
  4. City of Herat
  5. Cultural Landscape of Santorini
  6. Death Valley National Park
  7. El Nido Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area
  8. Ephesus
  9. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Frank Gehry
  10. Jericho
  11. Kuhikugu
  12. Lake Titicaca
  13. Mecca, Kaaba
  14. Silk Roads
  15. Sites Mégalithiques de Carnac
  16. Transiberian Railway
  17. Ur
  18. Vatnajökull National Park
  19. Westhoek: places of memory and monuments of the Great War

Top 200 WHS

  1. Silk Roads Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor
  2. Angkor
  3. Cueva de las Manos
  4. Decorated cave of Pont d'Arc
  5. Altamira Cave
  6. Everglades
  7. Iguacu
  8. Plitvice Lakes
  9. The Sundarbans
  10. Okavango Delta
  11. Lake Baikal
  12. Victoria Falls
  13. Central Amazon Conservation Complex
  14. Works of Antoni Gaudí
  15. Temple, Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius
  16. Neolithic Orkney
  17. Brú na Bóinne
  18. Megalithic Temples of Malta
  19. Nasca Lines
  20. Çatalhöyük
  21. Stonehenge
  22. Stone Spheres of the Diquís
  23. Chichen-Itza
  24. Teotihuacan
  25. San Agustín
  26. Riga
  27. Val di Noto
  28. Paris, Banks of the Seine
  29. St. Petersburg
  30. Florence
  31. Amsterdam Canal Ring
  32. Carthage
  33. Classical Gardens of Suzhou
  34. Dinosaur Provincial Park
  35. Lower Valley of the Awash
  36. Versailles
  37. Imperial Palace
  38. Rapa Nui
  39. Nemrut Dag
  40. Petra
  41. Persepolis
  42. Great Himalayan National Park
  43. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  44. Machu Picchu
  45. Kilimanjaro National Park
  46. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
  47. Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
  48. Malbork Castle
  49. Fort and Shalamar Gardens
  50. Great Wall
  51. Himeji-jo
  52. Crac des Chevaliers
  53. Gwynedd Castles
  54. Auschwitz Birkenau
  55. Longobards in Italy
  56. Seville
  57. Bamberg
  58. Rammelsberg and Goslar
  59. Budapest
  60. Brugge
  61. Vienna
  62. Kraków
  63. Dubrovnik
  64. Granada
  65. Siena
  66. Lübeck
  67. Maritime Greenwich
  68. Shark Bay
  69. Great Barrier Reef
  70. West Norwegian Fjords
  71. Mexico City and Xochimilco
  72. Cuzco
  73. Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago
  74. Meidan Emam, Esfahan
  75. Sun Temple, Konarak
  76. Prambanan
  77. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
  78. Los Glaciares
  79. Te Wahipounamu
  80. Tasmanian Wilderness
  81. Tropical Rainforest Sumatra
  82. Redwood
  83. Białowieża Forest
  84. Kaziranga National Park
  85. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  86. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
  87. Serengeti
  88. Yellowstone
  89. Galapagos Islands
  90. Komodo National Park
  91. Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries
  92. Gulf of California
  93. Ancient Kyoto
  94. Grand Canyon
  95. Nubian Monuments
  96. Ancient Thebes
  97. Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
  98. Rio de Janeiro
  99. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands
  100. Loire Valley
  101. Bam Cultural Landscape
  102. Wadi Rum
  103. Hallstatt-Dachstein
  104. Thingvellir
  105. Potosi
  106. Ouro Preto
  107. Meroe
  108. Kinderdijk
  109. Shushtar
  110. Kremlin and Red Square
  111. Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  112. Novodevichy Convent
  113. Burgos Cathedral
  114. Urnes Stave Church
  115. Kyiv Cathedral and Lavra
  116. Rila Monastery
  117. Assisi
  118. Chartres Cathedral
  119. Westminster
  120. Route of Santiago de Compostela
  121. Mont-Saint-Michel
  122. Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)
  123. Vatican City
  124. Meteora
  125. Ravenna
  126. Bethlehem
  127. Kizhi Pogost
  128. Lalibela
  129. Göreme NP
  130. Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Dolmen
  131. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
  132. Taj Mahal
  133. Pyramids (Memphis)
  134. Mount Emei, including Leshan Giant Buddha
  135. Mogao Caves
  136. Borobudur
  137. Potala Palace
  138. Fujian Tulou
  139. Kathmandu Valley
  140. Bukhara
  141. Ping Yao
  142. Samarkand
  143. Medina of Fez
  144. Damascus
  145. Historic Cairo
  146. Arles
  147. Segovia
  148. Leptis Magna
  149. Baalbek
  150. Pompei
  151. Hierapolis-Pamukkale
  152. Acropolis
  153. Olympia
  154. Laponian Area
  155. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras
  156. Ksar of Aït Ben Haddou
  157. Aksum
  158. Qhapaq Ñan
  159. Venice and its Lagoon
  160. Istanbul
  161. Rome
  162. Old City of Jerusalem
  163. Sana'a
  164. Prague
  165. Edinburgh
  166. Naples
  167. The trulli of Alberobello
  168. Cordoba
  169. Brasilia
  170. Isole Eolie
  171. Volcanoes of Kamchatka