Latest Community Reviews

Güllük Dagi-Termessos National Park (T)

Philipp Peterer Switzerland - 01-Sep-21

Güllük Dagi-Termessos National Park (T)

I absolutely loved my visit to Termessos. The ruins of Greek fortified town are located within the National Park, close to Antalya. From the E87 there is a crossroad, leading to the park at the left and conveniently to Karain Cave TWHS to the right.

After the toll booth, where you pay the entrance fee for the park, there is a small road that leads to the parking lot of the ruins

Read On

Göreme NP

Clyde Malta - 31-Aug-21

Göreme NP

I visited all 7 locations of this top WHS over a period of 5-6 days. I used this WHS as a central stepping stone twice in my figure of eight loop around Turkey during my Spring 2021 road trip, first coming from Bogazkale and later coming from Divrigi.

Not only is the main location of this WHS, Goreme National Park, a huge area to cover, but when including the remaining 6 locations, the inscribed areas are quite far from each other and quite a stretch to cover all of them by car without careful planning and a GPS. The subterranean cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are more than an hour ride away from Nevsehir

Read On

As-Salt

Philipp Peterer Switzerland - 01-Sep-21

As-Salt

Visit May 19. On my short trip to the northern part of Jordan I visited some great TWHS, like Jerash or Umm al-Jimal. And I visited As-Salt.

I parked my car near the town hall and went to the Archeological Museum. There I got a poorly copied map of the most important buildings related to the WHS. I spent my time hunting down these buildings.

As-Salt is certainly not a city that lets your jaw drop

Read On

Hattusha

Clyde Malta - 30-Aug-21

Hattusha

I visited this WHS in Spring 2021. Bogazkale is a perfect stopover point in Curum between Safranbolu and Goreme NP. Even though the WHS is made up of 4 locations, the Kayali Bogaz (outpost) and the Osmankayasi (rock necropolis) are perfectly visible from in and around Hattusha and Yazilikaya and are minor sites when compared to the massive Hattusha site and the impressive engravings of Yazilikaya. The entrance ticket to Yazilikaya is included with the ticket to Hattusha and really shouldn't be missed (even if you're pressed for time, it won't take longer than 15-30 minutes and you won't regret it).

Read On

The Industrial Complexes at Ostrava (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 30-Aug-21

The Industrial Complexes at Ostrava (T)

During the last weekend of Summer holidays 2021, I finally managed to visit all the nominated industrial monuments of Ostrava, which were included to the tentative list some 20 years ago. It seems that the nomination is in a dormant state, and no further action of the state party of Czechia is foreseen... Even though I really enjoyed my visit, and the Ostrava agglomeration was the biggest and the most important hub of the coal mining and iron production of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire as well as socialistic Czechoslovakia, it has no chance to be inscribe in my opinion

Read On

Safranbolu

Clyde Malta - 30-Aug-21

Safranbolu

I visited Safranbolu as my first stop for 2 nights during my Spring 2021 road trip round Turkey. Having previously visited Istanbul and Edirne already, and due to the interstate lockdowns and restrictions imposed after Ramadan, I decided not to risk getting blocked in Istanbul so I drove straight to Safranbolu during the early hours of the day upon arrival in Istanbul Grand Airport.

Safranbolu is a typical Ottoman city made up of several small districts or neighborhoods with typical buildings and streets

Read On

St. Petersburg

Matejicek Czechia - 24-Aug-21

St. Petersburg

Sankt Petersburg is a great city, and I have been to two times: as 3-days visit of a friend in 1999, and a conference trip for a week in 2008. Besides, we went also to Peterhof, which is (as many other places) the part of this WHS. Well, St. Petersburg is built in European classicist style, but it has rather non-European size: even walking along the Nevsky Avenue takes quite a long time. Thus, one day visit is really not enough, and a week would be a minimum. Another aspect is the setting of St. Petersburg, where river Neva, its canals and bridges are the added value and make the city really outstanding. We joined the boat trip, which was pleasant but rather chilly experience. I would recommend going to St. Petersburg in June during so called white nights (PHOTO taken at midnight!).

Read On

Agioi Varnavas and Ilarion at Peristerona (Five-domed churches) (T)

Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 20-Aug-21

Agioi Varnavas and Ilarion at Peristerona (Five-domed churches) (T)

I visited the church of Agioi Varnavas and Ilarion at Peristerona on my way from the Troodos mountains to Nicosia in August 2021.

Upon arriving at the church, we found it closed, although the opening times on the door stated that it should have been open at that moment. As it happened many times when visiting churches in Cyprus, I had to find someone who had the key or could contact the keykeeper for us. In this case it was very simple as there is a nice cafe right in front of the church so, while we ordered a good Cyprus coffee, we also asked the owner if he knew how to get the church open. He then made a call and, while we were sipping our good and really hot coffee (in a 40°C weather), the caretaker of the church showed up and opened the door for us.

Read On

Great Smoky Mountains

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 22-Aug-21

Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park deserves a minimum of two days. Gatlinburg is the hub for most visitors (beware weekends in the Summer). I visited the National Park on a Monday and Tuesday. As a general rule in popular National Parks we make sure to get on the trails early, rest in the middle of the day, and head back out to explore around 4pm until dark. Pleasant hikes to waterfalls (such as Laurel or Grotto Falls) are really for all hiking abilities and if you have the time, make sure do to at least one of them (aim for 7am or 8am to avoid crowds).

Read On

Al-Faw Pre-Islamic City in Central Arabia (Qariah) (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian - 24-Aug-21

Al-Faw Pre-Islamic City in Central Arabia (Qariah) (T)

This non-review from my misadventures is to point out a few things. During my visit in December 2018 I had tried to visit Al-Faw (Faw/Fao however you want to romanize it) to no avail. First off it's far out near the Empty Quarter but the now-inscribed rock art at Ḥimā made me drive the outer loop anyway. There is also a wildlife sanctuary that you cannot enter beyond it that might one day be a WHS.

As you drive along the 177 there is a clear sign for the archaeological site as if it was a tourist attraction. You can see it in my picture. Once you drive off the road here though, it is suddenly all fenced off - see the second sign, with no visit center, no parking - well you can park ANYWHERE in the desert I suppose, lots of broken tires and an interesting sign to call if one needs information. Well I called and nobody answered and I kinda doubt I would have come far this way. I believe it's the caretaker's phone number who lives in the area - anyway it wasn't of much use

Read On

Siena

Matejicek Czechia - 24-Aug-21

Siena

While Florence is more about the treasures of art and particular landmarks, I admire Siena as the prototype of Italian medieval town, and I could imagine to live there for a certain time. What I like is that Siena is an urban landscape and cannot be reduced to Piazza del Campo and Piazza del Duomo. Do not take me wrong: the interiors of Palazzo Pubblico are wonderful, the views from Torre del Mangia breath-taking, the atmosphere of Piazza del Campo amazing, and the appearance of Duomo with the Piccolomini library is not of this world (PHOTO). But you can walk to S Domenigo, or to S Francesco, or even to any small side-street to really enjoy Siena....

Read On

Florence

Matejicek Czechia - 24-Aug-21

Florence

I have been to Florence 4-times during last 20 years (last visit in December 2018). My opinion, or better said relationship with this world-famous site, because it is an emotional feast to be in Florence, is changing with my ageing. Originally, I was annoyed by masses of tourists and focused only on the particular landmarks, and as a result of this, Siena would be a winner in the stereotyped competition between these two Tuscany WHSs. Later on, I realized that despite Florence is relatively small town, I definitely cannot say that I visited and enjoyed everything what Florence can offer

Read On

Monticello

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 22-Aug-21

Monticello

Having booked my tickets online well in advance for Monticello and making sure I had ample time in Charlottesville (both preferrable), I felt this might be an interesting first stop as we made our way South. Charlottesville, which is dominated by Jefferson's legacy is in the midst of an ongoing re-examination of the man and Historical truths long ignored (particularly for visitors pre-1999 to Monticello). Ta-Nehisi Coates (author: Between the World and Me, The Water Dancer, etc), after visiting Monticello said, “They will tell you the truth. There is a broad and growing movement to tell the truth.” When visiting Monticello, you will experience tours that highlight Jefferson the Slaver, Writer, Architect, and President

Read On

Forth Bridge

James Bowyer United Kingdom - 22-Aug-21

Forth Bridge

I enthusiastically agree with Squiffy’s assessment that the best way to view the Forth Bridge is from the water. Both the Maid of the Forth and Forth Tours are operating again in the summer of 2021 after closing during lockdown. Having crossed the bridge many times on various trains in the past, one sunny August day I decided to head up to Edinburgh to get a better look. There are regular trains from Edinburgh Waverley northward that cross the Forth Bridge but typically only local services to Glenrothes with Thornton or Cowdenbeath stop at the two stations on either end of the bridge, Dalmeny and North Queensferry

Read On

Hala Sultan Tekke and the Larnaka Salt Lake Complex (T)

Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 20-Aug-21

Hala Sultan Tekke and the Larnaka Salt Lake Complex (T)

This tentative site is composed by two elements: the Salt lake, and the Ottoman mosque and tomb of Hala Sultan Tekke on the lake's shores.

The mosque is just a few minutes by car outside the city of Larnaka, near the international airport. The mosque has a good (ad free) car park and the lake can easily be visited by parking at the mosque and then taking a short path to the lake's shore. There are also other places around the lake that allow to reach the shore but they are not as easy to reach as the mosque.

Read On

Danube Delta

Aspasia Luxembourg - 20-Aug-21

Danube Delta

Where's the pristine nature? Remoteness? Θάλασσα?

In May 2011 I had the exam session in front of me, so I told mom I would switch off the phone to study  and I went to the Delta. Chilia carries 60% of the water and is lazy. On the NAVROM boat from Tulcea to Periprava I got into Shrek mood (''are we there yet?''). Ukraine is across the water, phone on plane mode. The plan was ''wait and see''. We found the Lipovan priest of the village, asked where we could sleep (we were 3) and he said we could do it at his place. Periprava has 200 inhabitants and if you look on google maps, the roads are ways in the sand. Now they have one place to sleep on booking.com. Back then there was a dog who barked at us for 2 days because we weren't locals

Read On

Church of Panagia Aggeloktisti (T)

Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 18-Aug-21

Church of Panagia Aggeloktisti (T)

The church of Panagia Aggeloktisti is in the small town of Kiti, not far from the city of Larnaka in Cyprus and therefore it's an easy visit from the city. It is an ancient (5th-6th century) Byzantine church although most of what can be seen today, except for the mosaic on the vault over the apse, was rebuilt in the 11th century, .

Despite being a massive stone church, with well preserved wall paintings and remarkable mosaics, in my opinion it does not add much to the plethora of Byzantine churches that are already inscribed in the World Heritage List.

Read On

Church of Panayia Chrysokourdaliotissa, Kourdali (extension to (T)

Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 18-Aug-21

Church of Panayia Chrysokourdaliotissa, Kourdali (extension to  (T)

The church of Panayia Chrysokourdaliotissa is a proposed extension to the serial site Painted churches of the Troodos region, which comprises already 10 churches. This church is located not far from the town of Kakopetria, where two of the inscribed churches are located and it's therefore quite easy to visit. Furthermore, the opening times are posted online and they seem to be followed.

Unfortunately, compared to the other churches, the conservation state of Panayia Chrysokourdaliotissa is not as good as only one of the inner walls is still painted while the others are covered with white plaster that probably means that the Byzantine paintings are lost. This is a shame especially because, from what is left, the quality of the original paintings seemed too be pretty high.

Read On

Popocatepetl monasteries

Caspar Dechmann Switzerland - 19-Aug-21

Popocatepetl monasteries

I visited this site around New Years 16/17 during a visit to friends in Cuernavaca. It is not an easy site to visit thoroughly since there are many monasteries and they are all slightly different but to the rushing beholder not very much. It takes an effort to appreciate the individuality of each site. In addition the monasteries are all rather bulky, they look more like fortresses then like churches and that was certainly intentional since missionary time could be dangerous and the local population might not always and everywhere be equally enthusiastic or just willing to adopt the new faith

Read On

Painted Churches in the Troödos Region

Riccardo Quaranta Italy - 16-Aug-21

Painted Churches in the Troödos Region

The 10 painted churches located up on the mountains in the Troödos Region of Cyprus are an interesting collection of richly decorated Byzantine churches, some of which date back to the 11th century, still in use (somehow) today.

Something that I realized after visiting a few of the churches in August 2021 is that, by visiting only one or two of them, one would not really grasp the full meaning of this inscription. In fact, some of the churches are isolated, small and, honestly, quite unimpressive on their own. However, as we visited more and more, the prospective drastically changed for me and I started to appreciate the uniqueness of this serial site and the thread that connects all these monuments.

Read On