Latest Community Reviews

Triolet French Drugstore (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 30-Apr-24

Triolet French Drugstore (T)

The new Cuban T List has come as such a pleasant surprise. One of the new entries is the “Triolet French Drugstore (Pharmacy Museum)”: although it didn’t immediately ring a bell,  when I read that it is located in Matanzas I knew I had been there and that it stood out.

The former Pharmacy dates from 1882 and was founded by a Cuban and a French pharmacist. It revolutionized the regional concept of pharmacies by using the most advanced technologies of that period and preparing medicine on the spot using mostly natural ingredients. It also came with a library of detailed Prescription Books (now part of the Memory of the World Register) and a herbarium.

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Pretzien Weir (T)

Philipp Peterer Switzerland - 06-May-24

Pretzien Weir (T)

The Pretziener Weir is a 2 hour drive from Berlin Airport, in the middle of nowhere. There are a few WHS within reach, like Dessau, Wittenberg or Quedlinburg, so if you happen to still have to check these it’s just a quick detour.

The weir is located in a side arm of the Elbe River, that was created as a flood relief. Since the construction ended in 1873 it is a crucial part of flood control

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Mana Pools

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 02-May-24

Mana Pools

Since the previous reviewers described their thorough yet expensive visits to the park, I will focus on practicalities how to get in and around on a budget as a family trip (2 adults, 2 children). Visit in early May 2024.

The area around the national park is probably the least visited part of Zimbabwe - there is no large city nearby, even the main Harare-Lusaka road is in terrible condition. It's hard to find any place to sleep. I used Makuti Travel Lodge, which is closest to the park. Its owner, Davie (whatsapp +263779450211), prepared a room for us even though his lodge is officially closed for renovation (it should open in September or October 2024, and certainly in 2025). We paid USD 40 for an adult, USD 20 for a child - total USD 120. If someone doesn't want to sleep in Makuti, you can try to find a place to sleep in Karoi (the last larger town in Zimbabwe) or in Zambia (preferably in Chirundu). From Karoi to the park gate it is about 100 km, from Chirundu 40 km plus crossing the border

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Ancient Khuttal (T)

Szucs Tamas Hungary - 06-May-24

Ancient Khuttal (T)

Hulbuk (khulbuk) has reappeared on the tentative list, and could - in principle - be incscribed in 2025. It must be said in advance that if this will be the case, it will only be due to some kind of international lobbying, and not to its own merits. (After the Tugay Forest, of course, I wouldn't be surprised - it's no less a weak nomination.) The castle walls have been totally rebuilt from the outside - in all likelihood, the reconstruction is more imaginative than scientific. When we visited the area - in the summer of 2023 - landscaping was well underway in the former lower town, but it was not restoration, but rather covering everything with paving blocks and planting trees between them. What is valuable and original has been moved to a small museum opposite the site

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Frontiers of the Roman Empire

Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero The Philippines - 04-May-24

Frontiers of the Roman Empire

In driving around southern Germany, I managed to see two components of the Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes, dubbed as the longest monument in Europe at 550 kilometers long. The first one is Castra Vetoniana in Pfünz (Bavaria) and the other is the Double Fort in Osterburken (Baden-Wurttemburg). The weather forecast was not promising when we headed out for Ingolstadt. On the way, as predicted, it started to rain and we could only hope for that it would stop as we got nearer. Lying on top of a hill, Castra Vetoniana provides a commanding view over the village of Pfünz. Thanks to the rain, the parking lot was empty and so we had the whole site to ourselves

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Australian Fossil Mammal Sites

DannyB Australia - 05-May-24

Australian Fossil Mammal Sites

Most visitors to this site only visit the Naracoorte site, which is at the southern end of Australia with the Riversleigh Site up in North.  I visited the Naracoorte site in Oct 2021 with my wife.  Visiting Naracoorte was an easy visit via hire car with a number of caves and sites to visit which was quite interesting.  The Riversleigh site is a lot more out of the way and very much less awe inspiring.  If you only wish to visit one of the sites to tick this UNESCO site off, I suggest Naracoorte.  Riversleigh though was a nice adventure for myself and my son in April 2022 and it provided us an opportunity to visit a lesser travelled area and region.  The site itself lacks a lot of visitor information and consists of a small walk around the fossil site area

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Australian Convict Sites

DannyB Australia - 05-May-24

Australian Convict Sites

In April 2022, we finally ticked off all the 11 Individual Convict sites that make up the 1 UNESCO site across Australia with a number of individual trips over the last 2 years.  It is funny how COVID made me prioritise our own UNESCO sites due to travel restrictions.  Probably the least inspiring of the 11 is the remnants of the Convict Road northwest of Sydney, however made a lovely road trip in the region.  Sydney area has a grouping of 4 sites, Fremantle 1, 5 across Tasmania and 1 in Norfolk Island.  I found the sites in Tasmania more interesting, however the site at Norfolk Island was amazing.  Each of the sites are easily visited with a variety of tours available

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Le noyau historique de la ville d'Alba Julia (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 26-Apr-24

Le noyau historique de la ville d

The small Romanian city of Alba Iulia is part of the Roman Dacian Limes nomination, but the cityscape you see nowadays dates mostly from post-medieval times. Central to it is the intact Alba Carolina Citadel, built in star-shaped Vauban style in 1738. Within the citadel’s boundaries, traffic is strictly limited which adds to the pleasant atmosphere of it all and you can admire the monuments inside its walls at ease.

Alba Iulia seems to have escaped the worst of Communist building styles that characterizes so many Romanian cities. The Romanian Orthodox Coronation Cathedral (left picture) from 1922 is eye-catching in its Brâncovan style like the Horezu Monastery. Habsburg architecture is prevalent in most other buildings and preserved as an integral ensemble.

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Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai

Campmany - 25-Apr-24

Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai

If you're in South Mumbai, it's very easy to walk around the Oval Maidan and have a look at the sorrounding buildings. On the West side of the park, most of the buildings are Art Deco style, hotels and cinema. On the East side the buildings are Victorian Gothic style, the highlights are the high court and the university buildings. At nighttime the park is closed but you can still walk around the fence, the victorian buildings are dramatically lighted. There are some signs on the gates of the park, also on the ground, specifying the buildings included in the UNESCO nomination. Even there is a Unesco sign quite far, in the marine drive at Nariman Point, to indicate the direction to Oval Maidan

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Ziwa National Monument (T)

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 29-Apr-24

Ziwa National Monument (T)

Site visited in April 2024. Ziwa is not a place often visited by tourists – when we came the last entry in the visitors' book was from 12 days ago, and there were only a dozen or so entries from 2024. The place is located a bit off the tourist trails, although you can get here from Harare in about 4.5 - 5 hours (the last 30-40 minutes on a dirt road, 4x4 is at least recommended, if not mandatory).

Despite the relative inaccessibility of the place, when I got there I was surprised to find a museum of decent quality and a competent guide who showed us around the complex. As the State Party describes, Ziwa is a late Iron Age agricultural settlement dating to the 15th century (there is also evidence of its inhabitance much earlier), which remained occupied until around 1800 AD. Ziwa was characterized by terraces reinforced with stone walls, significantly increasing the potential of agriculture in the mountainous terrain. The stone was also used to fence houses, the central point of which was a stone pen for farm animals. People lived in huts made of clay and reeds. According to the guide, there were 10,000 people at the peak in Ziwa

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Capital Fortifications of Hanyang (T)

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 29-Apr-24

Capital Fortifications of Hanyang (T)

Since this nomination expanded, I thought I would write a review specifically for Bukhansanseong (about 12 km wall length). I visited Bukhansanseong (Mountain Fortress) in the Summer of 2008. I spent the whole day hiking in Bukhansan National Park and visited multiple gates (there are 13 gates total). I researched the route and I was keen to walk much of the fortress before making my way to the parks famous granite peaks. The terrain is more challenging than Namhansanseong Fortress (built earlier 1624-1626). Bukhansanseong was built rapidly (less than a year) and the design utilized the physical terrain.  

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Armenian Monastic Ensembles

Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero The Philippines - 28-Apr-24

Armenian Monastic Ensembles

There seems to be a shared frustration about Dzordzor in the group. I also did not get to see it during my visit. As previous reviewers have already tackled a great deal about St. Stephanos and St. Thaddeus monasteries, I'd like to focus on Chupan Chapel, which is conveniently located on the way to St. Stephanos from Jolfa, and Darrasham Chapel (AKA Church of the Holy Mother of God), both components of the St. Stephanos monastic ensemble. After visiting the monastery, the driver of the rented car took it upon himself to drive us further to check Darrasham Chapel, of which Solivagant was right when he said that it lies in the "no photography zone". Apparently locals can go near the structure and some, as suggested by a few rubbish, even use the area for picnics

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Fort and Shalamar Gardens

Els Slots The Netherlands - 14-Apr-24

Fort and Shalamar Gardens

Lahore undoubtedly is the most interesting city in Pakistan. It has the excellent Lahore museum, the Badshahi mosque, the narrow bustling streets of Old Lahore, and even two more Tentative Sites within its city borders. What has been inscribed though are the Mughal-era Fort and Shalamar Gardens.

The Fort and Gardens lie some 8 km apart and I visited them on two separate days in December 2023. Lahore Fort is situated within a large complex of monumental buildings. 'Hidden' behind an entrance gate and with a large parking lot are an important Sikh shrine (which I only saw from the outside, but it attracts many Indian Sikh pilgrims), the Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort.

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Agra Fort

Campmany - 25-Apr-24

Agra Fort

Most visitors likely visit the place after seeing the Taj Mahal. This might impact the overall impression after visiting such an incredible monument. Nevertheless, the Fort is quite impressive, this is a huge fortification with several gardens and palaces inside it. Some buildings have nice views of the Taj Mahal far away. I visited the fort at 9.30 in the morning on a Saturday, there were no queues and I enjoyed visiting most of the places empty of visitors. No "official" guides outside the gate to offer their services, so overall very enjoyble experience.

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Göbekli Tepe

Nan Germany - 10-Apr-24

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe, located on a hill east of Urfa, is considered one of the earliest sites of human worship and settlement. Excavations began in the 1960s and continue to this day with less than 10% excavated so far.

The initial assumption by the first archaeologist on site was that this was a temple for hunter-gatherers, not a permanent settlement. They would congregate in regular intervals here for worship and community. However, more recent excavations have uncovered evidence of permanent village life.

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Mount Hamiguitan

Thomas Buechler Switzerland - 23-Apr-24

Mount Hamiguitan is difficult to reach by public transport as it involves several changes of buses/minibuses or jeepneys; but the good news is that nowadays it is possible to rent a car right at Davao airport, unlimited kilometers at a reasonable rate. Then, it is 3-4 hours drive to the visitors center which was closed for renovation, but it is possible to take the Heritage trail and see parts of the forest from viewpoints. This is not part of the core zone, and so is the nearby Hamiguitan Escape Resort with an amazing pool; it was also closed, but the pool was very welcome in this tropical climate. Uphill there is the Longhouse lodge with friendly owners. Here hikers stay overnight, it is the base camp for the Mount Hamiguitan climbers, the lucky ones with the permits

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Binegadi Fauna and Flora Deposit (T)

Rodinia Netherlands - 23-Apr-24

Today I visited this location from Baku by busses and minibuses plus unexpected walks as the bus I needed (bus 134) does not seem to go at the moment. I visited the lake at the coordinates the other review mentions (40.467668, 49.801180). The approach is not the nicest as one has to walk through a garbage dump to reach the shore. The lake itself doesn't look like asphalt, but rather somewhat clean water. The large amount of vegetation and the clean (bar the rubbish) soil also makes me wonder whether there was any asphalt here in recent years. After a quick look and a few photos I went towards the lake hotel and then approached the Keyraki mud volcano from the back side, There are several paths up

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Palmeral of Elche

Hubert Austria - 19-Apr-24

Palmeral of Elche

The visit to this WHS left me with mixed impressions and I was unsure how to rate this WHS. The Palmeral has an impressive size, with the core zone covering 144 hectares. It is unique in Europe and "a remarkable example of the transference of a characteristic landscape from one culture and continent to another" (quoted from the justification criterion ii). However, the original layout as an agricultural landscape is no longer visible in large parts of the inscribed area.

The palm groves (huertos) were planted in the 10th century when the region, named Al-Andalus, was under Muslim rule. The Palmeral saw its greatest extension at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. Since then, the economic importance of date cultivation has declined, industrialisation and increasing urban sprawl have severely affected the agricultural landscape. New roads and railway lines have dissected the formerly contiguous area. Hotels, residential buildings, schools and other public facilities have been built in some of the abandoned huertos. Even a railway station with its large car park is part of the core zone

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L'ensemble monumental de Tirgu Jiu (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 19-Apr-24

L

The Brâncuși monuments at Târgu Jiu are up for nomination this year. Romania profits from the lifting of the moratorium on sites associated with memories of Recent Conflicts, so it can propose two sites in 2024. Finding the Brâncuși monuments in the ‘Sites of Memory’-group is a bit odd, as they are not mentioned in the two papers ICOMOS wrote on the subject. The sculptures were made to commemorate the locals that fell here during World War I, but whether they are actual sites of mourning connected to “negative memories” is doubtful. The information panels on site also do not attest to this and focus on them being works of art.

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Ephesus

Nan Germany - 09-Apr-24

Ephesus

In his review, Jay highlights the high quality of the Turkish tentative list, being surprised that Ephesos, one of the most iconic Greco-Roman archaeological sites, was only inscribed in 2015. I have to agree with him, and it speaks volumes to the quality of Turkey's tentative list. Ephesos highlights are the library, the agora, and the mosaics. It also includes the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world, and documents a long period of settlement from the Neolithic to Medieval times:

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Site of the Schöningen Spears (T)

Jan-Willem Netherlands - 17-Apr-24

Site of the Schöningen Spears (T)

A road trip from Holland to Berlin was already planned last weekend and that was a good opportunity to make a stop to view the Schöningen spears, as they just became a TWHS. We didn't go down into the open pit mine, but the spears are on excellent display in a very informative and enjoyable museum right on the edge of the quarry. The mine itself is not producing anymore and is only used for archaeology and other research, if I understood correctly. Because I'm not supposed to share photos of the exhibitions in public, the picture shows the pit mine as seen from inside the museum.

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Aldabra Atoll

Kbecq Belgium - 16-Apr-24

Aldabra Atoll

We visited Aldabra for two days at the end of February with a ship going from Tanzania (Zanzibar) to the Seychelles, making several stops along the way (the other way around is also possible, we crossed our ship’s sister ship near Assumption island). Aldabra is the world's second largest coral atoll (after Kwajalein, part of the Marshall Islands we were told) and the largest raised atoll.

There doesn’t seem to be a standard plan or schedule to land on Aldabra since the expedition team had to negotiate with the Seychelles Islands Foundation (or SIF, which manages a.o. Aldabra) before we could set foot on the atoll

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White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal

Tarquinio_Superbo Italy - 15-Apr-24

White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal

WHS includes 2 cities (Vladimir and Suzdal) and two villages (Bogolyubovo and Kideksha). Getting to Vladimir is quite easy from Moscow (train or bus), or from Kazan, where 2 other WHSs are located. We took a night bus from Kazan. It did not stop in Vladimir itself, but dropped us off on the highway near the city. After crossing the highway through a upground pedestrian crossing, we had to wait for a bus to the center of Vladimir on the other side of the highway. You need to get off directly at the Golden Gate stop (the first WHS facility). It is enough to go through the gate and continue walking along the main wide street: Bolshaya Moskovskaya to reach two cathedrals: the Assumption and Dmitrievsky

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Frontiers of the Roman Empire - Dacia (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 15-Apr-24

Frontiers of the Roman Empire - Dacia (T)

The Dacian Frontiers of the Roman Empire comprises over 300 separate locations, so which site to visit for a representative experience? At first, I zoomed in on Potaissa, nicely located halfway between Cluj and Alba Iulia in Turda. But this site is still closed after extensive restorations; it may open up later this year. Alba Iulia itself is a sure bet but also a bit ‘boring’ as it is also a TWHS on its own and already covered by reviews. The prime Dacian-Roman archaeological site however seems to be Porolissum. It meant a 1.5-hour detour north on my itinerary, but it was worth it.

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Echmiatsin and Zvartnots

Nan Germany - 08-Apr-24

Echmiatsin and Zvartnots

In the summer of 2023, we visited Yerevan, Armenia, coming from Georgia. Yerevan, being the most westernized part of the country, served as our base for a few days to visit the nearby world heritage sites, including Echmiatsin and Zvartnots.

As the name suggests, the site has two principal components:

Echmiatsin: This is the active religious centre of the Armenian Church. It has some modern structures and is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Yerevan and interested in Armenian identity. While Paul compared it to Rome and Canterbury, those cities have a more developed urban fabric and are generally older. Zvartnots: Mostly a ruin, we initially skipped Zvartnots. On our last day due to having some spare time we managed to squeeze it in. We found it enjoyable and recommend a visit. From a World Heritage Site perspective, Zvartnots seemed like the better component. There are several other minor locations. But those don’t add much to the overall inscription

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Levuka

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 16-Apr-24

Levuka

Levuka is not an easy site to get to, even if you start on the right side of the world in Sydney, Australia. From Sydney, it's a just a quick 4-5hr flight to Nadi, the main airport in Fiji, from where most people head directly to resorts. But then you need to get to Suva, on the other side of Viti Levu, either a short flight or a 4-5hr bus ride. And Levuka is located on the small island of Ovalau, just off the coast to the north. Previously, there were flights to Ovalau, but there haven't been commercial flights now for multiple years due to the state of the runway. Instead, it's a 4-5hr trip by a bus/ferry combo.

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Rapa Nui

Clyde Malta - 15-Apr-24

Rapa Nui

I visited this top WHS in 2023 staying on the island for 9 nights, 10 days and renting a car. Since post-COVID there is quite an annoying rule that to visit most moai/historic sites around the island you have to be accompanied by a local guide who will be responsible for your actions, I was almost inclined to cancel my rental car reservation and just go for a couple of half or full day trips around the main sites.

Well, at least when I visited, although it is advertised everywhere that you need a local guide, in reality you just need a local with you who needs to be registered in advance. Most B&Bs, hotels and shops have enough guides to cater for all the tourists who visit the island; only the transportation is lacking and can also increase the costs or limit your changes/adaptations to the itinerary agreed with your "guide", so finally we opted for a rental car for the whole stay

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Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

Els Slots The Netherlands - 13-Apr-24

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

I did a DIY trip to Humberstone & Santa Laura on public transport in March 2024.

The first usable bus to Humberstone leaves at 8 a.m. (with Pulman Santa Angela in a minivan, 3,000 pesos, pay to the driver). It is approximately an hour's drive to the former saltpeter quarries, which open to visitors at 9 a.m. Along the way, the road crosses spectacular high walls of sand similar to those you see on the Peruvian coast. The bus dropped me off along the highway, from where you can walk to the Humberstone site via a footbridge. Being so early, it all looked a bit spooky and deserted, and I noticed a German shepherd dog watching me from a distance.

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Namhansanseong

Daniel C-Hazard Germany - 11-Apr-24

Namhansanseong

Getting around Greater Seoul is efficient and cheap with public transport. A T-Money Card is highly recommended. One can easily reach Namhansanseong by Seoul Metro, transferring to bus - the latter are well-kept and provide excellent Wi-Fi. On weekends, get off at Sanseong metro station and transfer to bus 9-1. From Mondays to Fridays, either transfer to bus 9 there or transfer to bus 9 or 52 at Namhansanseong metro station. To beat the crowds, avoid the weekends! 

My visit was on a Wednesday in late March 2024 and was not crowded at all. I started at Haenggung/Namhansanseong Palace, then walked to Bukmun/North Gate and from there counterclockwise close to the outer walls

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Former M-13 prison/ Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum / Choeung Ek (T)

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 10-Apr-24

Former M-13 prison/ Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum / Choeung Ek (T)

Visited February 2024

It seems that it is going to be the next Cambodian nomination for WH status… It is already seen in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum where a poster with WH logo welcomes you and lots of other tourists and pilgrims – most Cambodian citizens treat the visit to the site as a kind of pilgrimage to the so important place for their recent history. And I understand them and feel for them the same way I understand other national genocide sites, prisons and camps, but this kind of nominations and inscription don’t make me believe in the outstanding universal values that UNESCO list should promote. We have already the sites “to remember and never happen again” that are inscribed on the list.

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Paphos

Nan Germany - 04-Apr-24

Paphos

During our visit to Paphos, we focused on two key components, beginning with the tombs. Although these structures are referred to as “tombs for kings,” they actually served as burial sites for the upper class during the Ptolemaic era, when Cyprus was under Egyptian influence. While some of the tombs are quite spacious, their ornamentation remains relatively minimal. Personally, I had anticipated more intricate stonework beyond the simple pillars. Still, the views you get and the location on the coast are nice.

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Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Polska - 11-Apr-24

Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco

The Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco – sites visited in February, 2024.

As Els already described carefully the basics I will focus on updates. Before any visit to the site – you have to obtain a permit (A4 paper with names on it, visiting hours and guide name), pay entrance fee (also a ticket for camera) and arrange an official guide. Local INAH office is located in the center of San Ignacio (near the church, Museo INAH San Ignacio, Valdivia Peña, google coordinates 27.283319417059342, -112.89868613892016). The office is open every day (except Sundays) from 11.00 until 18.00) so you can arrange a visit returning from Laguna San Ignacio – whale watching, El Vizcaino)

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The Television Tower Stuttgart (T)

Hubert Austria - 11-Apr-24

The Television Tower Stuttgart (T)

An ugly television tower as a world heritage site? Or an innovative work of engineering representing the second half of the 20th century? Basically, a bit of both and I'm torn between these two views. But there is no middle course, a clear decision - thumbs up or thumbs down - is required. So here a summary of my pros and cons.

When TV started to become a mass medium in the early 1950s, high masts were needed to transmit the signals of sound and image. As Stuttgart lies in a valley, a nearby hill, the Hohe Bopser, was chosen as the location for the transmitter. The original plan was to build a lattice tower, which had previously been used for such purposes. But the engineer Fritz Leonhardt proposed an innovative alternative: a slender monolithic tube made of reinforced concrete. It was the first tall tower in the world with this type of construction. And the tower should be open to the public with a restaurant and a viewing platform. Although controversial at first, the tower soon became the city's landmark

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Escuelas Nacionales de Arte de Cubanacán (T)

Can SARICA Turkey - Canada - 11-Apr-24

Escuelas Nacionales de Arte de Cubanacán (T)

The National Art Schools stand as remarkable architectural marvels, embodying the utopian optimism and revolutionary exuberance of the early years of the Cuban Revolution. Consisting of five distinct school building complexes dedicated to music, ballet, modern dance, plastic arts, and dramatic arts, these structures were designed by three visionary architects—Porro, Gottardi, and Garatti—using organic Catalan-vaulted brick and terra-cotta construction techniques. Their history is poignant and worth exploring on Wikipedia before your visit.

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Roșia Montană

Els Slots The Netherlands - 17-Apr-24

Roșia Montană

Roșia Montană has grown into something of a ‘cult site’ in the WH Community, while it seems rarely visited by ‘normal’ tourists. Several sources had suggested that if I wanted to see the underground mines from Roman times (that’s where the OUV is), I should announce my visit beforehand. It was funny to read the many Google Reviews about the erratic opening hours of the mining museum (officially Tue-Sun 9-16, mostly Tue-Fri between 9 and 14.30 but on “some days they don’t show up”). A few days before I e-mailed them in English and (Google Translated) Romanian on the address given on the official website to communicate when I planned to visit. I got a swift reply that they would be waiting for me.

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Painted Churches in the Troödos Region

Nan Germany - 04-Apr-24

Painted Churches in the Troödos Region

In the Troödos region, you’ll find historic, medieval Painted Churches. Exploring these requires a car or multi-day hikes and luck to get the keys. We limited our exploration to Ayios Nikolaos tis Steyis near Kakopetria, the only church accessible by public transport with official opening hours.

The church, built with local resources, is simple and sturdy on the outside, protecting it against the elements. It looks more like a farmhouse than a church or chapel. Inside, though, it’s an opulently painted Byzantine church.

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Choirokoitia

Nan Germany - 04-Apr-24

Choirokoitia

Choirokoitia, by virtue of being a Palaeolithic site, doesn’t draw hordes of visitors. Recent efforts by the Cypriots have enhanced the visitor experience with updated amenities like parking, toilets, signs, and new trails. However, during our Easter holiday visit, we found ourselves as the sole explorers.

The site primarily comprises settlement foundations nestled on a hill slope, surrounded by walls that once enclosed a town housing around 500 inhabitants. A small river runs behind the hill.

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Rock-cut Sculptures and Reliefs of the Unakoti (T)

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 10-Apr-24

Rock-cut Sculptures and Reliefs of the Unakoti (T)

Visited February 2024

The biggest challenge is to get to this site. There are no shortcuts, although some roads (most of them) in Tripura look like shortcuts…

The nearest town which has pretty good (or any) connections with the rest of the state of Tripura and the neighbouring state of Assam (and Bangladesh too) is Dharmanagar, 20 km away. It has a train station with some daily trains to/from Agartala (capital of Tripura, the nearest airport, many daily flights to Kolkata) and Silchar in Assam, a bus connection with Guwahati, Silchar and Dhaka, and many places to sleep and eat.

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Hangar Y (T)

Argo France - 06-Apr-24

Hangar Y (T)

Things have changed a lot at Hangar Y since our visit in September 2014, so it was time for a new visit and review. The Hangar has been fully refurbished and repaired, it now (since March 2023) operates as a museum focussing mainly and obviously on the history of balloons and dirigibles airships, plus some side galleries hosting temporary exhibitions (modern art more (or less) related to air and space). The parc around is accessible as well, with a restaurant at the side of the basin, and a “guinguette” (open in summer only).

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Monastery of Geghard

Nan Germany - 29-Dec-23

Monastery of Geghard

Our half-day excursion from Yerevan led us to Garni and the Geghard Monastery. Like most visitors, we began at the reconstructed Garni Temple, which offers panoramic views of the Azat River Gorge. Continuing further up the gorge, we reached Geghard Monastery, nestled against the rugged cliffside.

Upon arrival, a short climb from the parking area brought us to the monastery gates. Here, visitors partake in a unique tradition: tossing pebbles at the cliffside. If a pebble adheres, a wish is granted. Beyond the gates lies a fortified 13th-century church, partially carved into the rock. The most captivating feature of Geghard is its intricate stone and rock carvings. Unfortunately, dim lighting during our visit hindered our full appreciation, but their craftsmanship was evident.

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SS. Boris and Gleb (Kalozha) Church in the city of Hrodna (T)

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 02-Apr-24

SS. Boris and Gleb (Kalozha) Church in the city of Hrodna (T)

Visited March 2024

It is going to be a very short review…

I really like this small tserkva, the Ortodox church, standing at the high shore of Neman river, in the central park/part of Grodno (Hrodna)! Its beginnings go back to XI century when local prince Wsiewolod Davidovic decided to build a church in honour to the first Slavic saints Boris and Gleb (sons of Vladimir the Great). How this place of cult looked when built? We do not know. But what we know is that the oldest elements of the present church are its northern wall, part of the western one with the entrance door (it was oriented) and part of the eastern apses

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Green Belt (T)

Daniel C-Hazard Germany - 02-Apr-24

Green Belt (T)

I am surprised and excited to see this nomination. Born in Fulda and still returning to the Rhön a lot for visiting family and practicing paragliding, I know the Rhön very well - but actually the whole area between Rhön and Harz mountains (I focus on the Rhön area in this post). What I do not quite get though is the „Natural only“ nomination. Needless to say, the former border, a man-made strip of landscape with many monuments and museums nowadays, would also fall into the „Cultural“ category (so why not nominate a „Mixed“ site here?). That said, the decade-long off-limits character has surely contributed to some untouched nature. I can recommend a visit to the Rhön, already a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

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Medina Azahara

Caspar Dechmann Switzerland - 19-Mar-24

Medina Azahara must have been a wonder of the age: a palace city, splendid rooms with precious ornaments with no equal at the time, at least in Europe. So, expectations can be high for an unprepared visitor, but what do you get to see? I nice museum with small finds and scraps of ornaments and explanations about the palace city. When you get on the bus to the excavations (beware: they do run only about every 20 minutes and lines can be long so you may miss one) it is not much more then empty ground walls and a few very heavily restored arches. They say it is only 10 percent of the original palace city, but it seems to be the central area and there is no reason to assume further excavations would be better preserved

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Old Town of Galle

Nan Germany - 29-Dec-23

Old Town of Galle

It’s quite clear why the Portuguese and then the Dutch chose Galle as a strategic location. The peninsula naturally offers protection against external threats. The walls encompass the entire old town, with the main fortifications and the sole entry gate facing north towards the mainland. The total width of the entry point is only 400 meters, making it easily defensible.

Within these walls, one can discover numerous colonial buildings from various periods. The most notable structures, aside from the fortifications, are the churches and the administrative buildings near the old entry gate. However, it’s challenging to highlight any specific building. For us, the experience was primarily about strolling through the city and soaking in the views.

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Olympic Park Munich (T)

Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero The Philippines - 01-Apr-24

Olympic Park Munich (T)

Rather easy to get to from the city center via the U-Bahn, Olympiapark is directly right across the highway from the BMW Welt, and it can be visited together with the nearby Nymphenburg. It is free to walk around the grounds, but one needs to pay entrance to see the Stadium and the TV Tower, where one can catch a nice view of Munich backdropped by the Alps. The arguments forwarded are satisfactory, with proposed crits. (i) and (ii) being the strongest in my opinion. Indeed the architecture of the tent was innovative, and its pioneering planned integration with the landscape remains to be unique considering that a large part of the area used to be an airport

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Frontiers of the Roman Empire

Solivagant UK - 01-Apr-24

Frontiers of the Roman Empire

If you zoom in on the Map of Hadrian’s Wall on this Web site above you will note, on the far right, separated from the closely spaced locations along the Wall, another black dot titled “Roman Fort South Shields” – more commonly known as “Arbeia”. Whilst in no way suggesting that anyone should miss out the iconic central section of the Wall (situated in “wild country”) by giving this site (situated in a housing estate!!) preference, knowledge of its existence and merits might be prove to be of use to those with particular interest in “matters Romano-British” or whose travel logistics suit a visit to this most easterly element of the Hadrian’s Wall inscription.

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La Camargue (T)

CugelVance Germany - 26-Mar-24

La Camargue (T)

I visited the camargue region on thursday,the 21st of march. I took the bus a50 in Arles at 7.38am( bus stop "lamartine" near the railway station,the bus a50 also stops there) and arrived in Saint-Maries-de-la-Mer around 8.30am.First I went directly to the church "Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer which is a place of pilgrimage for France's gypsies/gitanes as saint sarah also known as  "sarah the black " is the patron saint for that ethnic group. 

The church was open at that time and quite interesting to pass 10-15 minutes there.The interior of the church is full of devotional items, pictures, objects left behind by pilgrims..

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Guanacaste

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 30-Mar-24

Guanacaste

I dedicated 3 days to exploring the Area de Conservación Guanacaste in March 2024. Every day we made sure to arrive at the park gate when it opened at 8am (pay attention to which parks are open each day). Our logic was - do the hike in the morning (avoid peak temperatures), higher potential of spotting wildlife, and to finish in time for a late lunch. In the end, we felt we succeeded as we arrived to all parks between 8:00 and 8:30 in the morning, the heat was not uncomfortable, and we did indeed spot plenty of wildlife. Access to each park was reserved in advance online, with the exception of the Junquillal Sector.

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Carmona’s cultural landscape (T)

Caspar Dechmann Switzerland - 18-Mar-24

For many years the Spanish tentative site included the “Casco antiguo de Cadiz” which has now been removed. When I visited western Andalucía in February 2024 I visited Cadiz, supposedly the oldest city in Europe, dating back to the Phoenicians and almost 3000 years. When you arrive at the city you are potentially in for a surprise: The city is situated on a peninsula (though originally on several islands) and seems more like an island:  a splendid, almost Venice-like apparition. Since the space is extremely limited in the old town the houses stand very tight and only intercepted by a few attractive squares. Despite the density most streets are straight, so you often have the feeling of being in a colonial city

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Dreams in Stone - the palaces of King Ludwig II of Bavaria (T)

Nan Germany - 13-Feb-24

Having read Hubert’s fabulous review, I wanted to add a bit of historical context to the proposed sites. Ludwig II’s main constraint as a monarch was not Bavaria’s constitution and people. The much greater constraint was German unification in 1870, which reduced Bavaria from a kingdom to a mere princely state within the larger German Empire governed by the Prussian King, now the German Kaiser.

To make Ludwig II accept his fate as a secondary prince, Bismarck smoothed the deal with substantial payments from the Prussian treasury to Bavaria; payments that went on to fund the construction of these “dreams in stone.” However, it wasn’t enough, as Ludwig spent lavishly, and several projects remain unfinished.

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Nan Madol

Ana - 26-Mar-24

Like others here, I arranged a trip with Pohnpei Surf Club for a vehicle from Kolonia to take us to Nan Madol. After getting near the site, we paid about 3 USD to the family who lives there, before walking about 15 minutes on a stone path (very slippery when it's pouring rain, like it was the day we went). As we get closer, huge walls made of columnar basalt seem to emerge out of the jungle

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Gemer and Abov churches (T)

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Polska - 27-Mar-24

Gemer and Abov churches (T)

Gemer and Abov churches with the medieval mural paintings – sites visited in April, 2023.

Official site description points 10 churches with well-preserved mural paintings from the 14th and 15th century while specific sites locations shows only 8 of them (similar situation to Troodos churches in Cyprus or Asante buildings in Ghana). All of them are quite characteristic for Eastern Europe architecture (gothic style with later alternations) and similar history (part are still Roman Catholic, the rest are reformed or evangelic – just as the case of Wooden Churches in Slovakia).

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Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins National Parks (T)

Dennis Nicklaus - 25-Mar-24

Torres del Paine and Bernardo O

My "hidden gem" recommendation for Torres del Paine is the Mirador Ferrier trail, which was suggested to me by my hotel's activity concierge. This  relatively short but steep hike starts near the Lago Grey hotel and provides 700 meters of elevation gain.   It wasn't a very popular area; I only saw a couple other people on the trail, compared to the hundreds on the Mirador Torres hike. The view from the Ferrier mirador is spectacular -- possibly the most impressive vista I've seen anywhere in the world: Pinnacle, pinnacle, pinnacle. Glacier, glacier, glacier. Lake, lake, lake,..., each a slightly different shade of blue. Easily worth the pain I caused my knees by rushing up and down a little too quickly.

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Santiniketan

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 25-Mar-24

Santiniketan

Visited February 2024

Visit easily doable as a day trip starting in the morning around 7am from Sealdah train station in Kolkata, taking a train to the station named Bolpur Shantiniketan [in Bangla language they pronounce Shantiniketan instead of Santiniketan in Hindi] (the trip takes around 3 hours but could be much longer because Indian trains are unpredictable… I was lucky enough – trains to and from Bolpur had only minimal delays 😊).

Arriving in Bolpur Shantiniketan you can take an auto rickshaw or walk for around 2km and a half to Shantiniketan Campus; and keep in mind that it is not so simple to get into the campus of the Visva-Bharati while you’re there… The property is quite big and there are many gates and paths leading to its historical buildings and bhavans but at each entrance (yes!) there are guards (many of them walking around too) who won’t let you get into the premises of the university without a written permission! Why? Because this is a school, there are students at different age – from primary school children to art and literature students; and walking while they have classes sometimes under the trees (this tradition is still alive) can really disturb them, especially the [...]

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Stralsund and Wismar

Caspar Dechmann Switzerland - 18-Mar-24

I visited Wismar and Stralsund during a two-week trip around northeastern Germany in October 2023. In both cities I stayed one and a half or two days to see its sights but also to soak in the atmosphere. They are good cities for a world heritage traveler insofar as they have enough to offer to keep you entertained for a couple of days but they are also small enough that after those days you feel you have seen them decently enough. Beside the highlights in both towns, it is a great pleasure to walk around the streets and watch out for remarkable buildings of which I generally like the old gabled merchants houses the best and both cities have a lot of those to offer

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Olympic Park Munich (T)

Hubert Austria - 22-Mar-24

Olympic Park Munich (T)

Finally, the Munich Olympic Park has been added to the German Tentative List. This was long overdue. In my opinion, it is the only German site still missing from the World Heritage List and one of a few in Central Europe. But we still have to wait at least another 10 years for the final nomination. The expert committee that compiled the new German T-list in 2023 has proposed a ranking that favors the federal states that have not nominated in recent years. And Bavaria, and therefore Munich, is at the end of the list due to the nomination of the Royal Castles of Ludwig II for decision in 2025. One of the drawbacks of a federal state system.

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Belize Barrier Reef

Ilya Burlak USA - 19-Mar-24

Belize Barrier Reef

I visited the South Water Caye component in December of 2023. In line with most of the reviews below, I am not a diver, not an underwater photographer, and at best an indifferent snorkeler. Plus, traveling with family members who do not necessarily care for extra efforts to visit a WHS limited me to a single option - some sort of an intraday excursion with plenty of relaxation built in.

Thankfully, in Hopkins where we stayed, resorts offer "island-hopping" expeditions that bring you to several cayes within the reef WH boundaries, including Tobacco Caye and South Water Caye

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California Current Conservation Complex (T)

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Polska - 22-Mar-24

California Current Conservation Complex (T)

California Current Conservation Complex - Golden Gate National Recreation Area– visited October, 2023, during 2-weeks USA trip (rented car). In fact Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a huge complex of different state parks and other reserves including Alcatraz, Muir Woods (redwoods) located south, west and north-west of San Francisco. Probably the easiest component to visit if you are in San Francisco is the area near Golden Gate Bridge, on both sides of San Francisco Bay. Personally I focused on northern part. And additionally – if you drive north from San Francisco, crossing the bridge is free.

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Wooden bell-towers in the Upper Tisza-Region (T)

Clyde Malta - 05-Mar-24

Wooden bell-towers in the Upper Tisza-Region (T)

I visited the oak bell tower of Nyírbátor on my way back from my road trip in Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria.

Near the southwest corner of the Calvinist Church in the medieval Hungarian market-town of Nyírbátor, there is a unique 17th century late Renaissance wooden masterpiece of Transylvanian joinery. My visit was a pleasant continuation of the similar wooden architecture in Maramures and in Transylvania. I parked my car near a small synthetic futsal pitch for free just next to the belfry.

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Rocky Mosques of Mangyshlak Peninsula (T)

Ana - 18-Mar-24

Visited Shakpak-Ata as a day tour from Aktau - about two-and-a-half hours each way of riding on roads that start decent and fizzle out into mere suggestions. Really foggy day, but the fog cleared just long enough for us to visit the mosque. Personally, seems auspicious to me.

The site itself consists of the mausoleum of Khazret Yerzhan, a 20th-century mausoleum dedicated to a local religious figure, where we parked before walking approximately 500 metres to the cave entrance and necropolis. Would have loved to visit the necropolis, but there was a fierce-looking dog hanging out there, so thought it was best to steer clear. The actual mosque entrance is fenced off, so we could visit without worrying the dog would follow us.

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Workers’ Assembly Halls (Denmark) (T)

Philipp Peterer Switzerland - 12-Mar-24

Workers’ Assembly Halls (Denmark) (T)

After I had an outside view of the Worker’s Assembly Hall in Buenos Aires, I got the opportunity to visit the building with the same purpose in Copenhagen.

The Danish Worker’s Assembly Hall is now part of the Workers Museum. It’s just 3 minutes walking from Norreport metro station and open daily from 10:00 to 17:00.

While, unlike in Argentina, the building is unremarkable from the outside, with an entry to the museum you get access to the actual assembly hall with its impressive banquet hall

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Tasmanian Wilderness

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 03-Mar-24

Tasmanian Wilderness

The Tasmanian Wilderness WHS is huge, covering nearly a quarter of the island of Tasmania. Within the WHS are included seven national parks and multiple other conservation areas. The below reviews concentrate mainly on Cradle Mountain-Lake St Claire National Park, which is deservedly a highlight, but I want to share some more ideas for exploring this WHS, based on my three visits to Tasmania over the years.

Mount Field National Park: The easiest part of this WHS to visit from Hobart is actually Mount Field National Park, less than a 2 hour drive from the centre of Hobart

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Sewell Mining Town

Els Slots The Netherlands - 10-Mar-24

Sewell Mining Town

Much has been written already about Sewell, and the two most recent reviews by Timonator and Clyde cover the experience well. Reviews from before 2018 show the development of the site over time but do not reflect the current situation anymore as both visitor management and conservation of the buildings have much improved.

Still, I have some practical info:

First and foremost: the CODELCO company that runs the area only allows access to people between the ages of 7 and 70. You have to state your age when booking – Fundacion Sewell does not check it but the CODELCO security people at the gate might. You have to climb a lot of stairs during the tour. If you’re incapable of doing that, the bus trip out there might still be worth it and you can stay near the museum, but you miss out on a lot. When you haven’t booked the included lunch, you can eat your own at the cafeteria. They also sell coffee and some snacks (and hotdogs). Be prepared for a long and slow day

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Lenggong Valley

Timonator Germany - 13-Mar-24

Lenggong Valley

In the Lenggong Valley I have visited in this order the Tasik Raban, Archeological Museum, Gua Ngaum, another cave close to Gua Ngaum, Bukit Jawa und Gua Badak. To my understanding and according to the maps on unesco website and in the archeological museum all of the places except Tasik Raban should be in the buffer zone and the cave (Gua) Ngaum and its neighbouring caves, the museum and Bukit Jawa should also be in the core zone of the WHS.  We took the guide Chou Z Lam that our host in Kuala Kangsar recommended and I would also recommend him (WhatsApp: +60 11-1083 2046). He had a car

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Oasis de Figuig (T)

Thomas Harold Watson United Kingdom - 09-Mar-24

Last summer my little family and I did a road trip from the UK to Morocco & Western Sahara, and Figuig was very high up on my plan. I did not expect much so was extremely surprised when I discovered this hidden gem! You drive hours and hours through nothing but desert to arrived here. I’ve always wanted to go to the real Tatooine (in Tunisia) and Timbuktu (in Mali) and this felt like the two mixed into one as the buildings were all made from mud and looked really unique compared to anywhere I have ever been before. There are date trees everywhere, natural salts on the rocks, fresh delicious water coming out of the ground and beautiful walkways along palmerals with their historic irrigation systems

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Valparaiso

Clyde Malta - 05-Mar-24

Valparaiso

I visited this WHS in 2023 and explored this huge urban sprawl of a seaport city over 3 days. I'm usually not a keen fan of graffiti art but nowadays in Valparaiso it has become part of the city's identity. Whether you like it or not, the graffiti art is constantly changing, so on average every month or two some graffiti you might like or dislike will disappear and change.

The geographic location on steep hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the [...]

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Flinders Ranges (T)

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 03-Mar-24

Flinders Ranges (T)

The Flinders Ranges is a well-known tourist destination in South Australia, about a 5 hour drive north of Adelaide in a semi-arid region. It's best known for its beautiful landscapes and hiking, but if you dig further you will discover its important geological records, the reason for this site being added to the tentative list.

Over the years I've visited the region 3 times, firstly as a kid with my family. On my second visit to the region in 2009, we drove along the Brachina Gorge Drive in the north of the park, which has a number of interesting signposted stops to explore the geology of the region

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Shiretoko

Svein Elias Norway - 09-Mar-24

Shiretoko

Shiretoko National Park is the northeastern most WHS in Japan. It’s a bit off the beaten track, but a few visitors from this community have managed to tick it off. We managed to visit in late June ‘23.

The nature in the park is wild and unspoilt and animal encounters are common. Somehow, we could connect to this Nordic environment, but then again – it’s far from the nature of northern Europe. On our two-nights visit we had encounters with bears, deer, and foxes. Meeting wild animals in their natural habitat is magnificent.

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Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay

CugelVance Germany - 06-Mar-24

I visited the Fontenay abbey on the 27th of february 2024. I took a train early in the morning to travel from Dijon to Montbard.I had reserved a bicycle with the local tourist office( just outside the railway station in Montbard) beforehand. Since I arrived around 9.45 I had to wait some minutes before they opened the tourist office.Within a few minutes I got a bike and was on my way to the abbey. I took me around 25 min to reach the abbey which is open-daily-from 10.00-12.00 and from 14.00-17.00 in the  winter months from novembre till march. From the end of march on the abbey is open from 10.00 till 18.00.

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Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

Clyde Malta - 04-Mar-24

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

I visited both components of this WHS in 2023 by rental car from Arica. It is a long drive in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile which I'll gladly revisit next time using Antofagasta or San Pedro de Atacama as my base (even if it might not include anything WH related).

I started with the larger and main component of this WHS, Humberstone Saltpeter Works. There is a handmade WHS plaque in each of the two components as well as a more formal/official one at both. Combined tickets can be bought at any one of the two components and there is enough space to park in front of both sites. Although both components are very close to each other by car (small unpaved road towards the last stretch to Santa Laura), a long walk between them is better avoided as it is a very dusty trail with no shade whatsoever. If you don't have a rental car, I would suggest hitching a ride from any other tourists visiting Humberstone

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Australian Convict Sites

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 03-Mar-24

Australian Convict Sites

Growing up in Australia, one of the main subjects of our history classes were convicts. Nearly all of the Australian state capitals were firstly settled by Europeans as convict penal settlements, the destination for criminals sent from England during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It's hard to understand the reasoning behind this decision these days (at the time it was a six month plus voyage!) Regardless, it led to the colonisation of Australia by Britain, and many white inhabitants of the country (myself included) can trace their roots to convicts.

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Tikal National Park

Ilya Burlak USA - 05-Mar-24

Tikal National Park

I visited Tikal in December of 2023 on a day trip from Western Belize. Echoing the past reviewers, the huge site well deserves various superlatives. The Grand Plaza is the most impressive cluster of temples and acropolises anywhere, the pyramid at El Mundo Perdido and the Temple IV are among can't-miss structures, and there are many hidden treasures found throughout the park.

A true connoisseur could probably spend several days here [...]

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Glacier parks

J_neveryes Canada - 04-Mar-24

Glacier parks

"One to two hours, my ass!" I grumbled about the young Parks Canada ranger who had told me that Thechàl Dhâl (Sheep Mountain) Route was just an hour or two additional hike from the end of the Sheep Creek Trail.  I huffed and puffed as I had to stop every 20 steps or so up the mountain in order to catch my breath.  "I better see some freakin' Dall sheep on this mountain," I angrily muttered to myself as I slowly made myself upward.

Getting to Kluane National Park, Yukon, Canada

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Parramatta Female Factory (T)

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 03-Mar-24

Parramatta Female Factory (T)

By a funny coincidence, the day that I read of this new Australian site being added to the tentative list, I was already planning on visiting Parramatta (the Wistaria Gardens with their cherry blossom trees in bloom, on the edge of the Old Government House and Domain location for the existing Australian Convict Sites). Usually most new tentative sites are on the other side of the world and require a 24 hour flight, but this only required a 10 minute detour on foot (the existing convict site and this new proposed site are almost adjacent, on opposite sides of the Parramatta River, and easy to visit together).

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Churches of the Altiplano (T)

Clyde Malta - 29-Feb-24

Churches of the Altiplano (T)

I visited the La Tirana location of this tWHS as a small detour on my way to the Saltpeter Works WHS. From a quick search online, the locations can be either small adobe-like chapels/churches or much bigger wooden churches built on former old temple remains. Getting to La Tirana is quite simple as a detour from the Atacama Desert Highway, but the potholes and unpaved roads soon seem to catapult you back in time in a sort of time machine. The industrial landscape near the saltpeter works seems far away, and the laid back pampa life kicks in.

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Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins National Parks (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 05-Mar-24

Torres del Paine and Bernardo O

I’d like to describe what a DIY day trip to Torres del Paine National Park on public transport involves. Starting from the hub of Puerto Natales, there are two things you have to book beforehand: the bus tickets (both ways) and the park entrance ticket. The latter is not available at the park gate anymore, you need to acquire it beforehand via the park website. This seems to be part of the digitalization wave that has hit Chile (customs has one as well when you enter the country), not a way to limit visitors.

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Western Ghats

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 03-Mar-24

Western Ghats

The Western Ghats are one of those intimidating natural WHSs to visit. With 39 locations scattered across a huge area of India, it's difficult enough to determine the geographical location of each location, let along whether it is accessible to visitors. After earlier considering Eravikulam National Park near the popular tourist spot of Munnar in Kerala, but then ruling it out as it's closed in January and February due to calving season, we decided to go with Silent Valley National Park, based on Nan's review.

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Chinchorro Culture

Clyde Malta - 29-Feb-24

Chinchorro Culture

I visited this WHS in 2023 visiting all 3 locations. Arica in Northern Chile is a dusty town, very close to the Peruvian border (it also experiences the infamous "Garua" overcast weather at times!). Apart from the pretty Cathedral of St. Mark designed by Gustave Eiffel and built in the 1870s, the highlight in town for WH travellers lies in the vicinity of the Morro de Arica Natural Monument.

As a WH traveller I was more keen on exploring its cultural and prehistoric importance rather than its natural importance or its more recent military importance

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Sewell Mining Town

Clyde Malta - 28-Feb-24

Sewell Mining Town

I visited this WHS in 2023 as a day trip from Rancagua. I reserved a spot with Fundacion Sewell and communicated with them via whatsapp to make sure I had an English guide and I opted for lunch to be included. I drove to Rancagua from Valparaiso very early in the morning to avoid the rush hour. The ride was very smooth and easy, apart from the thick morning fog in certain stretches. I parked my rental car inside the fence of Fundacion Sewell's Rancagua office and departure point and joined several other visitors (mostly Chilean) on one of the coaches heading toward the Sewell Mining Town. The English speaking group is usually much smaller than the Spanish speaking one and the tour guides are well organised and start the tours from opposite ends

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The Hadrianic city of Italica (T)

Caspar Dechmann Switzerland - 03-Mar-24

The Hadrianic city of Italica (T)

I spent about four days in Seville. Its WHS may be seen within a day but the city has a lot to offer beyond the splendid Alcazar and the cathedral and the less interesting Archive of the Americas. One morning I took the bus to look at this tentative site. I missed the bus at Plaza de Armas since the bus stop is a bit hard to find among the many bus stops in the very north of the square and hidden around the block. I took the next bus half an hour later. Since you are leaving the city all day tickets for the city are not valid on the bus to Saltiponce but the fare is cheap. 

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Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 03-Mar-24

Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala

After booking cheap flights to the southern India city of Tiruchirappali (or Trichy for short), we were disappointed that we didn't have quite enough time to visit Kochi. However, I realised that with our spare day, we could visit one of the temples comprising the recently inscribed Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala, just outside of Mysore.

Keshava Temple is located in the village of Somanathapura, a 45 minute drive outside of Mysore. It was quite easy to get there - we asked at the taxi stand opposite the main bus station and close to our hotel, and were immediately offered 1500 rupees for the afternoon trip (only slightly more than the 1200 rupees listed in the 2023 Lonely Planet). Lonely Planet also lists the option of taking a bus to Bannur and then a tuktuk to the temple. 

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Old Town of Lijiang

J_neveryes Canada - 29-Feb-24

Old Town of Lijiang

Memories are fickle beasts.  When I look at my photos from my 2019 trip to Lijiang, I see that it was a beautiful city with intriguing narrow water channels and narrower streets.  However, what I remember - at least on an emotional level - is that Lijiang was an old town that once had a soul, but it is now a fiction, a mere pretty setting for a sanitized version of Chinese history.  Lijiang is not a city; it is a souvenir shop.  

There are other cities in the world that long ago pushed [...]

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Orheiul Vechi (T)

Clyde Malta - 27-Feb-24

Orheiul Vechi  (T)

I visited what can be described as Moldova's best tWHS (much better than its sole WHS Struve location for sure!) in 2023. The Archaeological Landscape of Old Orhei or Orheiul Vechi in Romanian is a perfect half day trip from Moldova's capital Chisinau, approximately 60 kilometres away.

The ancient city of Orheiul Vechi is a natural and historical complex located on a narrow bend of the Raut River. It is best visited by car as the different components are quite far from each other on foot. The natural landscape of limestone rock, eroded by the river, is combined with archaeological vestiges of the ancient Trypillian civilization. As a result of archaeological excavations, cultural layers were discovered from different epochs, such as the Paleolithic, Eneolithic, and Iron Age, so it really has potential as a Cultural Landscape. In theory, a ticket must be paid once you approach Orheiul Vechi, but this is only applied for its main component, the Orthodox monastery and the several caves with inscriptions

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San Pedro de Atacama (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 18-Mar-24

San Pedro de Atacama (T)

The Tentative Site description for San Pedro de Atacama tries to paint a picture of the history of the region from 10,000 BC til the 18th century AD. The focus of a future WHS may however lay in its Pre-Columbian sites, maybe even narrowed down to the Pre-Incan sites, as the Incan site of Catarpe is already part of the Qhapaq Nan WHS. The people who lived in this high desert region settled down to breed llamas and cultivate maize. They were also part of a wider trade route.

The main archaeological site of the area is Tulor, known in Spanish as Aldea de [...]

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Rila Monastery

Clyde Malta - 26-Feb-24

Rila Monastery

I visited this WHS in 2023 as a full day trip between Sofia and Pirin. Since I was convinced to leave my car outside the monastery overnight, I decided against sleeping at the monastery, so I drove out of Sofia very early on purpose and I arrived at the monastery before the parking officials on duty (after around an hour and a half of exploring the place practically on my own, I went back outside to pay for a parking ticket when they arrived) and well before the improvised security officials who make sure tourists don't climb upstairs in the monastery or take photos inside) - well I obeyed them since I had already took more than enough photos from every angle possible

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Corfu

Hubert Austria - 04-Mar-24

Corfu

Most of the previous reviewers visited Corfu as a day trip from Albania or arrived directly by plane. This is reasonable, as the Old Town of Corfu is a remote site for WHS travelers in Greece. For a long time, it was the only WHS in the northwest, the sites in Albania are much closer. But since Zagori Cultural Landscape was inscribed on the list in 2023, more visitors may be heading to Corfu from mainland Greece.

I visited Corfu as a day trip from Ioannina. I left Ioannina early in the morning by rental car to catch the first ferry from Igoumenitsa at 7am. The drive to Igoumenitsa takes an hour, the ferry to Corfu takes about an hour and twenty minutes

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Tropical Rainforest Sumatra

Timonator Germany - 02-Mar-24

Tropical Rainforest Sumatra

The Gunung Lauser National Park is special as it is one of the few places on earth where you can see the Orang Utan (ind. for Man of the Forest) live wild. However due to the rehabilitation program the Orang Utans seen very adapted to humans and because tourist groups leave their fruit snacks along the hiking paths there is a natural attraction for the apes to come close. We saw eleven in total incl. male with typical face and many mother/ child duos. On day 2 and 3 of our hike we were also alone with two orang utans each which was amazing. Of course it's not all about Orang Utan in this tropical rainforest, but it surely is the highlight

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The Ancient Plovdiv (T)

Clyde Malta - 27-Feb-24

The Ancient Plovdiv (T)

As mentioned in my previous review of the tWHS of Plovdiv's Roman mosaics, that tWHS combined to this tWHS in my opinion would make more sense and would stand a better chance at getting inscribed as a positive cultural representation of a city with 8,000 years of history. I covered the Roman mosaics quite extensively in the review of Plovdiv's other tWHS. Instead, in this review I'll focus on the various Ottoman houses worth visiting and on the Church of St. Constantine and Helena and the Metropolitan Church of St. Marina.

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Bishop's Basilica and Late-Antique Mosaics of Philippopolis (T)

Clyde Malta - 27-Feb-24

Bishop

I visited this tWHS in 2023. It is made up of 3 fine locations quite close to each other, each with its own modern museum setting, information panels and ongoing research labs attached: the Domus Eirene, the Small Basilica and the Bishop's Basilica of Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv).

Situated on three hills by the Maritsa River, Philippopolis had already existed for millenia when the Romans included it into their empire in 45 AD. Under the Romans, the city quickly transformed itself. Settlers, imperial administrators and investments flocked into it. Its population reach up to 100,000 people, including Thracians, Greeks, Jews, Roman army veterans, craftsmen from Asia Minor and merchants from the Middle East. In the 4th century, when Christianity became the official religion, Philippopolis turned into a major religious centre, with its own bishop. New churches were built to cater for the increasing number of Christians

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Grand Pré

J_neveryes Canada - 23-Feb-24

Grand Pré

In 1907, John F. Herbin, a jeweller from the nearby town of Wolfville, bought 5.5 hectare (13.6 acres) of land on which the original Grand Pré community had stood.  Herbin's mother was Acadian, and he knew the importance of the land to the Acadian diaspora, who treated it as a pilgrimage site.  When Herbin sold the property to the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1917, he did so under two conditions: (1) that the site be developed as a memorial park to the deported Acadians, and (2) that a parcel of land be deeded to the Acadian people on which a memorial would be built.  After keeping its promise, the Railway sold the land to the Canadian government in 1957.  Great-great-grandchild of Herbin (fifth generation) still operates the Herbin Jewellers in Wolfville.

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Yuso and Suso Monasteries

Caspar Dechmann Switzerland - 02-Mar-24

Yuso and Suso Monasteries

I visited this site in 2006 when I didn't think a lot about WHSs yet and hadn't seen many sites. Even then we found it surprising if not ridiculous that this site should be a WHS. The site consists obviously of two sites: Suso the upper monastery is tiny but has a certain charme with visigothic and mozarabic elements that I would certainly appreciate today though they have hardly any OUV on their own. Yuso, the lower monastery, on the other hand, lacks any special character or beauty. There are dozens of more interesting monasteries in Spain alone. 

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Ville de Lixus (T)

Argo France - 02-Mar-24

Ville de Lixus (T)

Lixus is claimed one of the oldest settlements of the western Mediterranean antique world – although just “off” the Gibraltar straight, facing the Atlantic Ocean. It was first a Phoenician trade city and was later occupied by Romans and then successive civilisations until Middle-Age. Though as often with this kind of sites, the remains you get to see are mainly from the Roman period. The archaeological site lays on a hillside and top above one of the last meanders of the Loukkos river, overlooking both the plain and the Atlantic Ocean, which makes an enjoyable and strategic location

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Nessebar

Clyde Malta - 25-Feb-24

Nessebar

I visited this WHS in 2023 and to make sure I could get the best out of my visit (as well as have safe parking) I booked a hotel just in front of star attraction of this site, the Church of St. Stephen inside the old town proper in the middle of the peninsula, away from the infamous Sunny Beach area. I was allowed access via the main gate to unload my luggages and then I was allowed a private spot in the outdoor parking at the marina.

Undoubtedly Nessabar's forte are its medieval churches, which is why it earned its nickname as "the Bulgarian Ravenna" and "the pearl of the Orthodox world". According widespread local legend there once were more than 40 churches existed only on the small territory of the peninsula and nowadays 10 of them have been preserved and restored. More than the number of churches, what is important is the overall picture they gives us today about the nature and achievements of medieval church architecture. Some are remains such as those of the basilica church of St. Sophia or the basilica church and tower of the Holy Mother of Eleusa, which are important remains of the bishop's residence and part of a monastery complex

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Thracian tomb of Kazanlak

Clyde Malta - 24-Feb-24

Thracian tomb of Kazanlak

I visited this WHS in 2023. Unlike the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak is right in the middle of a very urban setting, almost like Malta's Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, although at least it has a small park area as a buffer zone. This contains the closed original tomb with a dome and the latest protective structure, rightly marked as the original tomb. Like at the original Lascaux cave in France's Vezere Valley, there's nothing much to see here apart from the UNESCO WHS inscription plaque which is proudly displayed here.

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Srebarna Nature Reserve

Clyde Malta - 24-Feb-24

Srebarna Nature Reserve

I visited this WHS in 2023. Knowing that this was one of the lowest ranking WHS in our community, I made sure to visit it first before the Danube Delta in Romania and I decided to spend two nights here to be able to explore more of the reserve at appropriate times of the day (i.e. sunrise and sunset) for more birdlife activity, as opposed to a touch-and-go experience.

Getting here by car in the summer months means visiting when the landscape is dominated by never-ending sunflower fields and the only hazard you'll meet on the road are the several huge harvesters. Srebarna is a very sleepy village, so much so that there is no grocer or an ATM! We stayed at a very low key B&B just next to the Natural Science/History Museum or Srebarna Nature Reserve Visitor Centre (free entrance on Thursdays) is too far to appreciate the best bird activity'; in fact it is best suited for a panoramic view (with binoculars and telescopes) of the nature reserve and to at least see any birds you missed out in the field ..

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Cueva de las Manos

Els Slots The Netherlands - 28-Feb-24

Cueva de las Manos

The general visitor experience of this remote site has already been well-described by the previous reviewers, but I’d like to add information about what it is like to go there with your own (rental) car.

The site has no less than 4 entrance roads, of which 2 are officially recommended

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Pirin National Park

Clyde Malta - 26-Feb-24

Pirin National Park

I visited this WHS in 2023 using Bansko as my base for 2 nights. From there we woke up early and drove straight to the Vihren Hut, stopping en route to see the impressive Baikushev's Pine, Bulgaria's oldest tree. It was really great to appreciate the changing scenery with the first bright rays of sunlight, from meadows in low altitude, to woodlands full of different kinds of coniferous trees in mid-high altitude, to low coniferous trees, streams, rock and some ice at high altitude. Knowing that the Vihren Hut parking (free) would likely be crowded throughout the day, we parked a couple of metres away along one of the few wider sides of the mountain road to avoid getting blocked by double parking

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Pirin National Park

J_neveryes Canada - 26-Feb-24

Pirin National Park

Selective Background

Despite being declared a national park in 1962 and an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, this biodiverse hotspot was under attack by its own government in 2017.  The Bulgarian government planned to open up 66% and 48% of Pirin National Park's area to construction (for example, ski resorts) and logging respectively.  The Association of Parks in Bulgaria and other environmental organizations sued the government, and the Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court suspended the constructions and logging in 2020.

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Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo

Clyde Malta - 24-Feb-24

Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo

I visited this WHS in 2023 as a side trip from Ruse. The Roussensky Lom River is the last deep tributary of the Danube river on its right side. It creates a fan-shaped network in the Danube Plain with picturesque canyons and vertical rocks. Seen from a distance, this landscape reminded me of the landscape of India's Ajanta Caves, however, the overall atmosphere is more comparable to the rock churches of Turkey's Goreme National Park or Greece's Meteora (without the monastery buildings though). It is believed that after Joachim I's return from Mount Athos, he cut out a small church in the rocks in the Lom River valley and later created a large rock monastery close to existing natural caves that were used as monk cells.

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Tiwanaku

J_neveryes Canada - 22-Feb-24

Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku is a site with fascinating elements, but the sum of those elements do not result in a fascinating site. 

The individual elements, such as the Gate of the Sun, the monoliths, and the heads in the semi-subterranean temple (photo) are striking artifacts.  For some visitors, the Gate of the Sun, with a crack in its lintel that adds to its mysterious allure, alone may be worth the price of the admission.  However, other than the few interesting elements still standing (or fallen), the site is monotonous.  

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