Ilya Burlak Profile

Ilya Burlak
Ilya Burlak.

I only started prioritizing visiting World Heritage sites a few years ago and with my limited US-based corporate-warrior time-off allocation and family obligations I can only add a handful to a dozen in any given year. Looking forward to visiting them all after I am able to retire...

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Legend

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Recent Reviews Ilya Burlak


Dreams in Stone - the palaces of King Ludwig II of Bavaria: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee (T)

Ilya Burlak USA - 03-Apr-19

Dreams in Stone - the palaces of King Ludwig II of Bavaria: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee (T)

I visited two of the three castles in this serial property ages ago. They likely deserve full WH recognition purely on the strength of the world-wide fame of Neuschwanstein. Just type "most famous castles" into Google search - and literally the very first picture on top will be that of Neuschwanstein.

The purported inspiration for Disney does look incredibly fetching from distance, but the closer you get to it the more it feels contrived. An over-the-top concoction of a mad king who never got to enjoy his creation. Neuschwanstein is a pretty damning artifact of the royal excesses of the 19th century, but the lack of any other historic significance makes it all the more a theatrical decoration with little substance.

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Site of the Retiro and the Prado in Madrid (T)

Ilya Burlak USA - 28-Mar-19

Site of the Retiro and the Prado in Madrid (T)

I've been to Madrid many times over the years and on each occasion I take time to walk the length of Paseo del Prado from Plaza de Cibeles to the Atocha train station. It must be one of the most visually attractive boulevards in all of Europe. It is home to exceptional art museums, magnificent architecture, and plenty of things to catch your eye.

The stunning Palacio de Cibeles is one of the iconic sights of Madrid; the grandiose architecture is curiously discordant with the building's original unglamorous purpose as the headquarters of the Spanish Postal Service. Definitely step in to admire its Art Deco interior and ascend to the mirador for great views over the city. The other "bookend" of this stretch, Atocha, is one of the great European train stations, also worth an extended look. Museo del Prado is among the greatest art museums in the world, worth the price of admission just for its collection of Goya and Velasquez, not to mention its other many treasures. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza offers another superb art collection

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The Karlstejn Castle (T)

Ilya Burlak USA - 22-Mar-19

The Karlstejn Castle (T)

My one and only visit to Karlštejn Castle took place nearly a decade ago, but seeing that there are no other reviews for it, even a dated one might be useful.

The grand castle is located some 30 kilometers away from Prague, [...]

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Medici Villas and Gardens

Ilya Burlak USA - 20-Mar-19

Medici Villas and Gardens

I have not yet been prioritizing visits to the WH sites when I last was in Tuscany, so my familiarity with this serial property is limited to Boboli Gardens. Even that is due in large part to my regular visits to Florence in the first decade of this century. With all that the city has to offer, Boboli Gardens do not exactly break onto the A-list of Florentine attractions. I only went to see them on my fourth or fifth visit to town. At the height of the season, in early August, this fairly centrally located attraction still gets just a fracture of the visitors found elsewhere in Florence.

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Volterra: Historical City and Cultural Landscape (T)

Ilya Burlak USA - 14-Mar-19

Volterra: Historical City and Cultural Landscape (T)

It is hard to compete with such illustrious neighbors as Siena or San Gimignano, so Volterra probably deserves its second-tier billing when it comes to Tuscan destinations. The historic town is an impressive enough specimen of medieval architecture without offering a "killer" must-see feature.

What Volterra compensates with is its Etruscan and Roman history. The collection of Etruscan artifacts at the Mario Guarnacci museum is among the best in the world of its kind. You can visit an Etruscan Acropolis at the highest point of the Parco Archeologico, right next to a Roman Cistern. From the northern edge of the old town you can have an excellent view over the remains of the Roman Theater (and for most people that is more than enough of a look).

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Profile Data

Name
Ilya Burlak
Country
USA
Website
website
Rating Stats
Brugge 5
Prague 5
Rome 5
Siena 5
Vienna 5
Acropolis 4.5
Assisi 4.5
Bryggen 4.5
Cracow 4.5
Pompei 4.5
Potsdam 4.5
Seville 4.5
Toledo 4.5
Albi 4
Delos 4
Kiev 4
L'viv 4
Urbino 4
Verona 4
Arles 3.5
Ferrara 3.5
Graz 3.5
Pienza 3.5
Québec 3.5
Tarraco 3.5
Modena 3
Reims 3
Schokland 2.5