Latest Community Reviews

Paper Mill at Velké Losiny (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 03-Aug-20

Paper Mill at Velké Losiny (T)

Velké Losiny is quite interesting village located in the broader region of Jeseníky Mountains, the highest mountains of Moravia. The important period for Velké Losiny is the late renaissance – 16-17th Century, when the dukes of Žerotín, who were of the protestant faith, founded a castle, a church, spas with mineral springs, and also a paper mill there. All these structures were further maintained and developed in the later periods, and thus survived to our days.

Read On

Archaeological Site of Sagalassos (T)

Bergecn - 03-Aug-20

Archaeological Site of Sagalassos (T)

Sagalassos is situated in the Western Taurus mountains, about 120 km north of Antalya, in the Turkish province of Burdur (Ağlasun). The city is embedded in the Taurus Mountain chain, with the Mediterranean Sea to its south and the Anatolian plateau to its north, located in a mountainous terrain with forests, steep valleys and rivers.  We visited this tentative UNESCO site in July 2020 after it was reopened following the Corona crisis with the usual health precautions.  As it is about 1500 metres above sea-level the temperature was pleasant even in the middle of summer with a light cooling breeze.  

Read On

Chichen-Itza

Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 03-Aug-20

Chichen-Itza

Originally I planned to visit this world famous site two times in two days, first day in the evening and next day early morning in order to avoid the hoard of visitors, as a result I chose to stay in a hotel that located next to the historical park with special separate entrance that open before and close after official time. Unfortunately, because of terrible car accident, instead of arrived around midday, I arrived the hotel around midnight! I managed to wake up and went to the entrance, after some argument with an officer on my tiny camera tripod which he insisted that it was prohibited, I was quite sleepy when I was standing next to the famous El Castillo, the iconic site of Chichen Itza

Read On

Les ruines d'Ouara (T)

Watkinstravel Canada - 28-Jul-20

My visit to Ouara is more of a story about the journey and not much the destination itself. In Jan 2012, a friend and I convinced the relevant authorities (through some very loose associations with NGO's in the country) that we should be given permits to travel to Abeche, ostensibly to research some future work there.

I don't remember now how we heard about Ouara but it was along the lines of vague rumours of ruins somewhere nearby. Asking around town we were given all sorts of directions and replies until we found an old bedouin mototaxi driver that claimed to have been there once years ago. He recruited another driver nearby to assist as well and in one of the most foolish travel decisions of our lives, at 1pm in 30+C and without any additional preparations we jumped on and headed out of town thinking it would be a quick trip. I can only say with confidence the site is somewhere ~40km north of town somewhere nestled behind a small mountain well off the main dirt road heading north from Abeche

Read On

Lake Naivasha (T)

Patrik Steijvers Netherlands - 28-Jul-20

I spent a week in Naivasha in February 2019 and used it as a base to visit the lake, Mount Longonot and Hell's Gate national parks. The lake itself is a bit away from the town but one can walk there through dry areas of land that I assume will flood during the rainy season.

The south side has big horticulture farms, an industry that needs a lot of water and workers. The end of the day sees innumerable busses shuttling workers from the farms to the town. The reverse probably happens in the morning at dawn but I was not present to witness that. 

Read On

Old Wastewater Treatment Plant in Prague-Bubeneč (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 24-Jul-20

Old Wastewater Treatment Plant in Prague-Bubeneč (T)

This was another surprise, just after the nomination of Czech beech forests, that very new addition to the Czech T-list is the old wastewater treatment plant in the northern outer part of Prague city center - in Bubeneč, very close to Vltava river. Well, it is not such surprising as the water management-related sites are now in the focus of the UNESCO experts and state parties. Nevertheless, my secret guess to a new addition to TWHS would be another site in Prague related to water - a monumental building of the water treatment plant in the southern edge of the Prague center - in Podolí, also close to Vltava river (visit highly recommended as well)

Read On

Struve Geodetic Arc

Michael Ayers USA - 24-Jul-20

Struve Geodetic Arc

Visit in July 2020

The Pandemic of 2020 completely demolished any hopes I had of ever attempting to visit any of the European Pile Dwellings locations, and it did its best to similarly affect that other collection of unobtrusive artifacts in obscure, out-of-the-way locations, the Struve Geodetic Arc. However, in the latter case I refused to be defeated. I originally had planned to see one or two of the locations in Lithuania, as many others have already done, but since that became problematic I needed to find another alternative. As luck would have it, the cluster of triangulation points in central-western Ukraine were not far from where I expected to be in late July, so I salvaged the opportunity to claim my Struve site visit by heading in that direction

Read On

Stoclet House

Jay T USA - 22-Jul-20

Stoclet House

I'm rather torn on Stoclet House in Brussels, Belgium. As far as visiting experience goes, I would give it a .5 for its lack of accessibility. But should World Heritage Sites be judged solely by accessibility? Another World Heritage Site in Brussels, the Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta only has the interior of one of its four sites regularly available to visitors, while natural sites, such as Surtsey or the Rio Abiseo National Park, also prohibit tourism. There are even World Heritage Sites that prohibit access based on gender, such as Mount Athos and Okinoshima Island. Some sites that limit tourism compensate with museums or replicas, such as the case of the Decorated Cave of Pont d'Arc

Read On

Arbel (arbel, nebe shueb, horns of hittim) (T)

Erezspeiser Israel - 23-Jul-20

Arbel (arbel, nebe shueb, horns of hittim) (T)

The complex of the Horns of Hittin, Mount Arbel, and Nebe Shueb encompasses a wide range of historical religious and natural wonders. Mount Arbel:The mountain is only 181 meters above sea level, but it rises steeply 380 meters from the Sea of Galilee. If you drive on Route 90, along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the impressive sight of the high cliff rising directly 400 meters above the road cannot be ignored. Mount Arbel is indeed impressive when you look at it from below, but the view from its summit is even more beautiful. Without a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful lookouts in Israel

Read On

Gardens and Castle at Kromeríz

Matejicek Czechia - 18-Jul-20

Gardens and Castle at Kromeríz

Because of my decision to re-visit all the sites on the Czech list, I traveled to Olomouc and Kroměříž in July 2020, OK, not only of that but also to meet old friends and enjoy the summer time… Besides the separate WHS the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc, these two towns have a lot of things in common, and my visit to ecclesiastic district in Olomouc (the Archbishopric Palace, the crypt in the Cathedral with coffins of bishops active also in Kroměříž such as Karel II Lichtenstein-Castelcorn) was very helpful to put what I have seen in Kroměříž into the context.

Read On

Xochicalco

Frédéric M Canada - 14-Jul-20

Xochicalco

I visited Xochicalco on my Mexican trip in March 2019. Unlike other Mesoamerican WHS, this archaeological site does not stand out for its impressive pyramids or other major constructions. It is rather a well maintained and cohesive ensemble of buildings which forms a complex with a high density of constructions. 

As described by others, I traveled by public bus from Cuernavaca. I first visited the nice museum and then walked to the site. It sits atop a mountain with great vistas on the surrounding valleys. The defensive aspect of this city built in troubled times stand out and, alike previous reviewers, I found it similar to Monte Alban. I had a map of the site (I don't remember if they give it at the museum or the tourism office in Cuernavaca), but the path is well marked and many interpretive boards allow you to understand what you witness. Few buildings stand alone as exceptional (probably only the finely ornate Pirámide de Quetzalcóatl). I asked an adorable Mexican family to take a picture of me in front of this temple and befriend with them

Read On

City of Tigre and its rowing clubs (T)

Assif Germany - 06-Jul-20

Tigre was established as a wealthy suburb of Buenos Aires. It is popular among tourists, but mostly as a hub for trips to the Paraná delta. Tigre had its heyday at the turn of the 19th century when many European immigrant communities chose it for their weekend/holiday rowing activities. It offered a suitable spot next to the Paraná delta with its multitude of navigable channels and at some distance from the urban hustle and bustle of downtown Buenos Aires.

Tigre still features many historic mansions from the 19th century in colonial style

Read On

The Tombstones of Ahlat the Urartian and Ottoman citadel (T)

Bergecn - 16-Jul-20

The Tombstones of Ahlat the Urartian and Ottoman citadel (T)

Ahlat is located in Turkey’s eastern province of Bitlis, west of Lake Van - or as it is called by the locals the Sea of Van - approximately 44 kilometres north of the town of Tatvan, from where it is possible to take a minibus.

In October 2018 we travelled there in about two hours by car coming from the city of Muş.  Ahlat is set in a dramatic scenery with mountains, steep valleys and the shores of Lake Van; it has the feel of an open-air museum with its pieces of art from several periods scattered across the landscape.  Ahlat, a small town of 20,000 people has much more to offer than the cemeteries it is known for.  It is a recent member of the Cittaslow network, promoting lifestyle and culinary delights.  Make sure you stay for lunch or dinner to enjoy food cooked from fresh local ingredients

Read On

Vila Viçosa, Renaissance ducal town (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 27-Jul-20

Vila Viçosa, Renaissance ducal town (T)

Vila Viçosa, which may be up for nomination in 2022, is a town in the south central Portuguese region of the Alentejo. It lies close to the Spanish border, in the sweltering interior of the Iberian Peninsula. All the houses and many of the other buildings here are painted white, the streets are narrow. When I arrived in the afternoon the temperature was 38 degrees Celsius and there was no one to be seen in its streets: the locals know better and there were no tourists.

In the evening I had to leave my airconditioned hotel room to find something to eat. There aren’t many restaurants and nothing opens before half past seven. I ended up at the hippest place in town: Craft BBS - here they sell home-brewed beers and luxury burgers

Read On

The Spa at Luhacovice (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 16-Jul-20

The Spa at Luhacovice (T)

This must have been very frustrating for all supporters of Luhačovice inscription to WHS list as this spa town originally initiated the process but it has been eventually omitted from the 2020 nomination called the Great Spas of Europe…

During my trip to central Moravia (Kroměříž and Olomouc WHSs) this summer, I did an afternoon detour to Luhačovice. The region of White Carpathians, where this spa town is located, is familiar to me, because I traveled there quite often some 10-20 years ago because of unique meadow landscape with the highest concentration of terrestrial orchids in the Central Europe. But I have never visited Luhačovice before, and must say that there is a huge contrast between this popular spa town and surrounding rural landscape.

Read On

Mértola (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 04-Aug-20

Mértola (T)

Mértola, a possible WHS for 2022 or 2023, was the last stop on my short trip by rental car through the north and center of Portugal last month. The town is located just like Vila Viçosa in the Alentejo region. I drove there via a quiet back road, where you’re allowed to drive 90 kilometers per hour. The largely uninhabited landscape is pretty with its cork oaks and olive trees, with some cows here and there that apparently can tolerate the heat.

On the last kilometers before Mértola I suddenly saw a remarkable warning sign: beware of devils? Of bats? A bit further on there was a textual  explanation: the animal head represents a Lynx. It turns out that Iberian lynxes have been reintroduced in this area in recent years

Read On

Nice, la ville neuve née du tourisme, ou l’invention de la Riviera (T)

Assif Germany - 05-Jul-20

The recently published ICOMOS working documents show that a big portion of Nice is to be included in this nomination and not only its waterfront promenade. Nice is a major tourist hub in France mostly catering for beach tourists. This can be regarded as a sign of continuity, perpetuating the historic function of Nice in the development of modern tourism. The most significant component, the renowned Promenade des Anglais, I did not find neither very scenic nor authentic. A lot of new buildings on the city side of the road do not allow for a unified cityscape. However, other parts of the city centre, which are all included, are very well preserved.

Read On

Rhodes

Jay T USA - 15-Jul-20

Rhodes

It's the height of summer, and Coronavirus is severely limiting my travel options, so I figured I might as well skip to a review of a site I visited last fall that many in Europe will have the opportunity to see at the 2020 World Heritage Meetup in September: The Medieval City of Rhodes.

Before my visit, I was aware of a couple facets of Rhodian history. First, this was the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World -- the Colossus of Rhodes

Read On

Wadden Sea

Assif Germany - 04-Jul-20

I think that in order to appreciate the Wadden Sea you have to go on a mudflat hike. Living in Hamburg, I have been to several ones, and I always find this weird ecosystem fascinating. Coming from Hamburg you can reach the Northern Sea at Dünen/Cuxhaven in Lower Saxony or at Friedrichskoog/Büsum/Sankt Peter in Schleswig Holstein. I have been to mudflat hikes at all these points and, surprisingly enough, the landscape and the nature of the hike differ considerably. One of the reasons is a feature of the Wadden Sea called tidal creeks (Priele in German). These are streams which appear during low water and can be very strong. Their route remains steady. If you go hiking next to such a tidal creek you cannot normally cross it

Read On

Burgundy

Clyde Malta - 12-Jul-20

Burgundy

After having already visited the Besancon and Dijon areas of this WHS in July 2013 and May 2015, in June 2020 I decided to visit the area around Beaune. Of the three areas, the latter is definitely a highlight and should not be missed.

Even if you're not a vineyard enthusiast, a visit to Beaune's iconic Hotel-Dieu alone is worth the trip. For those of you who decide to travel by car, the easiest indoor parking option is Parking St Etienne. After the Covid-19 lockdown measure, in June 2020 the Hospices de Beaune's Hotel-Dieu (photo) re-opened to the public for free (till the end of the month) which meant 9 euros each saved.

Read On