Latest Community Reviews

Las Medulas

Nan Germany - 16-Nov-21

Las Medulas

For a long time, I couldn't place Las Medulas. I had stumbled across the name repeatedly when filling out my checklist. My only association was to the famed Velazquez painting in the Prado, Las Meninas. Thanks to Jay's review, the site jumped ahead in my internal queue. Wanting to visit friends across Spain for a late autumn escape, I settled on going to the North Western Spain as part of my  trip. Lesson learnt: Northern Spain in November is wet and cold.

Las Medulas is - as pointed out by previous reviewer's - not a huge area. The Romans mined the area extensively and created some stunning rock structures in the process. This is prime hiking territory (oh, Nan and his hiking), and I enjoyed my visit greatly.

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Babylon

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 21-Nov-21

Babylon

Babylon is the ruin of the capital of the kingdom of Babylon, a country that had enjoyed its heyday since the time of Hammurabi (18th century B.C.E.). The golden age of the development of the city of Babylon fell during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled from 605 to 562 B.C.E. and significantly expanded Babylon, including building the magnificent Southern Palace.

After paying 25 thousand dinars I got a guide who showed me around the complex. The guide was incredibly nice, but his English was rather poor and he had a hard time explaining the historical or architectural complexities. Despite everything, he tried and told a lot, and what I heard was not necessarily pleasant to Polish ears. He worked here during the occupation of these areas by the allied forces (do you remember "Camp Babylon"?) and he cannot say anything good about this occupation. According to him, soldiers did not respect the monuments, treated them carelessly, and even deliberately devastated or took some artifacts - unfortunately, independent sources confirm what he said

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Ashur

Thomas Buechler Switzerland - 15-Nov-21

Ashur

Ashur (Assur) was the first Assyrian capital and remained so for a long period (1400 to 608 BC). Located on the western banks of the Tigris River, just a bit north of the confluence with the Lesser Zab river, it became an important trading and religious centre with a large ziggurat. The city lies about 140km south of Mosul, and we visited the place on the first day of November 2021, coming from Baghdad on our way to Mosul. Our guide Hayder did his homework. The chief of security at this important archaeological site gave us an entry permit on the spot, and we were even driven around the premises in his private car. Here excavations have been done predominantly by German archaeologists, starting as early as 1903, about 4 years after Babylon

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Kekova (T)

Clyde Malta - 15-Nov-21

Kekova (T)

I visited this tWHS in Spring 2021. We opted for a full day private boat trip with Captain Durali. When we visited the departure point of Demre, exactly after recent COVID lockdowns, all boat trips were practically begging for tourists so we were spoilt for choice. I'm sure this is not the case in peak season, so booking in advance might be necessary.

We had agreed beforehand to focus most of our sailing time [...]

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Hatra

Thomas Buechler Switzerland - 11-Nov-21

Hatra

We visited Hatra in November 2021, and we were not sure up to the last minute if we were allowed in. There was no pre-arranged permit, and we just drove to the main gate, northwest of Telol al baj where the military commander is holding office. Our guide had the necessary connections in Baghdad, but this is the Middle East and you never know. The waiting time was spent with shisha and tea, almost 3 hours, and our passports were scanned and sent to the capital. Suddenly the tension was gone, all smiles in the faces, and we were given the permits. The check-points further on the road were also informed, and we could enter the premises of the archaeological site of Hatra

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Yivli Minaret Mosque (T)

Clyde Malta - 06-Nov-21

Yivli Minaret Mosque (T)

I visited this tWHS in Spring 2021 while shortly visiting the busy seaside city of Antalya. Although I enjoyed my visit I wouldn't say it possesses enough OUV to make it on the WH list. 

The Alaaddin Mosque [...]

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Frontiers of the Roman Empire - Dacia (T)

Nan Germany - 19-Oct-21

Frontiers of the Roman Empire - Dacia (T)

The Roman Empire had it's largest extend under Trajan. He defeated the eternal enemy of Rom, Parthia, and incorporated Mesopotamia as a province into the empire. However, the conquest was short lived. His immediate successor, Hadrian of Hadrian's Wall fame, cut Mesopotamia lose again. It was too far away from the heartland of the empire and consequently too hard to defend.

The second conquest of Trajan, though, remained a Roman province for about 150 years: Dacia, present day Romania. The reason were the Dacian gold mines in and around Rosia Montana (already inscribed). To get a glimpse, you can visit the National Museum of Art of Romania in Bucharest where several gold pieces pre and post Roman are on exhibition.

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The Theatre and Aqueducts of the Ancient City of Aspendos (T)

Clyde Malta - 06-Nov-21

The Theatre and Aqueducts of the Ancient City of Aspendos (T)

I visited this tWHS in Spring 2021 as a convenient stopover between Konya and Antalya. It is possibly the best theater in Turkey on par with the WHS in Orange, France. On the way there we passed several aqueducts and remains which were not in great shape, except the historical Roman Eurymedon bridge of Aspendos (bottom left photo), some 15 kilometres away from the theatre. A short hike uphill, behind the theatre, which is only worth it to get an exterior rear view of the theatre.

Aspendos was an ancient city in Pamphylia, Asia Minor, located about 40 kilometres east of the modern city of Antalya

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Historic centre of Pavia and Chartreuse (T)

Jakob Frenzel Germany - 22-Nov-21

May 2016 - on our way to Tuscany we made a stop for lunchbreak in Pavia. Very nice Italian town with a picturesque core. But the Certosa was a bit off, so we did not take the chance to visit the church. There are so many Italian wonders, understandable that it has left the tentative list, at least for now.

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Talayotic Culture of Minorca (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 21-Nov-21

Talayotic Culture of Minorca (T)

Talayotic Minorca is Spain's submission for 2022. The revised documents are now available from the excellent nomination website. They’ve even added an Epic Subtitle: “Talayotic Menorca - A cyclopean island odyssey”. The 25 locations have been decreased to 9, but that’s just a cosmetic adjustment as the former locations are now bundled into clusters. Only the Torre del Ram near Ciutadella has not survived the cut. As far as I can see all suggestions made by ICOMOS during the Deferral of 2017 have been incorporated. All but one that is: the Necropolis at Son Real on the neighboring island of Mallorca has not been included. The Minorcans seem to want a WHS all for themselves! The process has cost 1 million EUR already.

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Saloum Delta

Thomas Buechler Switzerland - 11-Nov-21

Saloum Delta

We visited the Saloum Delta in September 2021 with a private car from Dakar, it was a day trip, all the way to the small fishing community of Djiffer at the end of the presqu'Ile. It took us a bit more than 3 hours. The car was arranged by our guesthouse (La Villa 126, a fantastic place, Awa is the lovely manager there +221776790286, the direct contact to the driver is +221775386362 Abdoulaye) and reasonably priced. Djiffer is surrounded by water on both sides, and due to global warming and beach erosion, lots of beach shacks and fishermen's houses have been destroyed recently. We drove straight through the center to the fishing port where our driver/guide made some arrangements for the boat trip to the Saloum Delta

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Konya-A capital of Seljuk Civilization (T)

Clyde Malta - 06-Nov-21

Konya-A capital of Seljuk Civilization (T)

I visited Konya in Spring 2021 and used it as my base for 3 nights to visit the Catalhoyuk WHS and several other components of other tWHS.

Konya is a major city in central-southern Turkey and the 7th most populous city in the country. The Konya region has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC and was ruled by the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. Konya was known as Iconium during classical antiquity. In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks conquered the area and began ruling over its Rum (Byzantine) inhabitants making Konya the capital of their new Sultanate of Rum. Under the Seljuks, the city reached the height of its wealth and influence. Following the demise of Rum, Konya came under the rule of the Karamanids, before being taken over by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century

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Semmering Railway

Matejicek Czechia - 31-Oct-21

Semmering Railway

This was a weird visit of WHS... I traveled by train from Vienna to Ljubljana via Villach and returned a week later by the same way in October 2021. However, I took it as the counted site, because I was aware of it, and I could see several OUV-related buildings and structures through the window on sunny autumn Sundays. I noticed that several railway stations and other smaller buildings are under scaffolding being reconstructed. Though I liked the viaducts, tunnels, and all the marvelous landscape around (PHOTO), I was slightly disappointed. I expected something a bit more spectacular. I am not railway enthusiast, thus I am not planning to return and explore it more in detail. However, son of my friends is, and I would not say NO if he asks my for accompanying him

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Sítio Roberto Burle Marx

Lauren USA - 05-Nov-21

Isn't it lovely when you visit a tentative site, and it ends up inscribed years later?  I visited Sitio Roberto Burle Marx back in 2017 while I was in Rio.  It is well worth a half-day trip from the city and a good example of why WHS-based travel can be so rewarding -- it's a place I'd have never discovered had I not been looking at the lists (well, tentative lists at the time).

Burle Marx was a Brazilian landscape architect.  The site consists of his house and gardens.

Logistics: I emailed the site to schedule a visit in advance and took an Uber from Barra da Tijuca, where I was staying (about a half hour); I had no issues calling an Uber for the return trip.  I was able to get on an English-language tour, which I believe they had several of each week.  Overall, this is a quick and easy site if you're already in Rio

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Petroglyphs of the Lake Onega and the White Sea

Alexander Barabanov Russia - 05-Nov-21

Petroglyphs of the Lake Onega and the White Sea

Visited Belomorsk cluster in October 2021. Logistics – flight to Karelia’s capital Petrozavodsk, then 370 km by rented car via surprisingly good road to Belomorsk. Petrozavodsk’s national museum of Karelia has dedicated room with a couple of original stone petroglyph stelas and description. There is also museum in Belomorsk, but unfortunately it’s closed on Sundays and I didn’t visit. There are two main areas in this cluster – Zalavruga and Besovy Sledki (translated as Demon’s footprints). Between them a number of minor sites are also inscribed, but they require very detailed map to be identified among the forest and river shores and the glyphs are faded

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Agrigento

Ilya Burlak USA - 05-Nov-21

Agrigento

I visited the archaeological area of Agrigento, officially known as “Valley of the Temples”, in September of 2021. This is, in essence, a collection of stand-alone highlights, of which the main one - Temple of Concordia - is a good reason to visit all by itself, being clearly among the best-preserved Doric temples anywhere.

The second-best preserved temple, Juno, still has around 30 columns standing, and in the usual context of antiquity should be considered as amazingly well-surviving. Nonetheless, here you are well into the archaeological realm of having to imagine what the place might have looked like in its heyday rather than actually seeing it.

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Rammelsberg and Goslar

Matejicek Czechia - 01-Nov-21

Rammelsberg and Goslar

In my opinion, Goslar with Rammelsberg is the best mining site central Europe can offer, and I visited Goslar already two times. Both my visits I traveled by train from Gottingen.

What I appreciated on this site: (1) It has very compact historical core with half-timber houses, which are covered by slate tiles - not only roofs but also walls! With combination with classical roof tiles, it makes Goslar gray&red from afar, which is very delicate (PHOTO). (2) It comprises numerous valuable monumental buildings such as churches, municipal hall, imperial hall, and the remaining of the cathedral. (3) I enjoyed my visit of the former mine, where the main building is kind of iconic. I admired the big wooden wheel inside the mine, and also that the corridors were covered by white, blue, and green salts originated in dissolution of metallic ores (zinc, copper, and iron sulfides) by sulfuric acid created by oxidation of metal sulfides

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Çatalhöyük

Clyde Malta - 04-Nov-21

Çatalhöyük

I visited this WHS in Spring 2021. Catalhoyuk is a few kilometres away from Konya, which is a great city to base yourself for a couple of days. This WHS has a free entrance which was a very welcome change after the crazy post-COVID lockdown price spikes all over Turkey.

Catalhoyuk was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 6400 BC. As such, it is a very precarious archaeological dig covered with 2 big tents (not as modern as the one in Gobeklitepe, but with a wooden boardwalk through one of them). Most of the remains are still underground even though the site was discoverd in 1958. Most of the mud walls are crumbling or have already crumbled notwithstanding the wooden supports and several sacks which have been placed. According to UNESCO, the site's OUV lies in the important evidence it provides of the transition from settled villages to urban agglomeration, which was maintained in the same location for over 2,000 years

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Schönbrunn

Matejicek Czechia - 01-Nov-21

Schönbrunn

I visited Schonbrunn around 4-5 times, and I would say I go there only occasionally, because it is relatively far away from the city center, well still it is conveniently located on the metro line from Karlsplatz. I must say I used to dislike the type of building and structures among which Schonbrunn is the crown jewel. I mean huge baroque castles and endless highly symmetrical gardens. Now, with age, I enjoy it indeed! For example one sunny Sunday in October 2021. However, I am still too young to start exploring even the interior of the Schonbrunn castle. Thus, I ascended to Gloriette during my last visit, and went to Café Gloriette, which is one of the most beautiful cafes I know (PHOTO).

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Mountain-top Hotel and Television Transmitter Ještěd (T)

Hubert Austria - 29-Oct-21

Mountain-top Hotel and Television Transmitter Ještěd (T)

Modern architecture on the tentative list and you can spend the night there! No question that I couldn't resist this temptation, and so I planned an overnight stay at the Mountain-top Hotel Ještěd on my trip to Czechia in October 2021.I spent the day hiking in the Jizera Mountains, the Czech part of the Beech Forest WHS. Therefore, I approached Ještěd from the east. From this direction, you can see the tower from afar. Its unique shape elegantly extends the mountain peak into a pointed needle. From the town of Liberec it is about five kilometres on a winding road up to the Ještěd peak, the last few hundred metres are only open for guests of the hotel

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