Latest Community Reviews

Bridgetown

Sebasfhb Netherlands - 14-Aug-22

I visited Bridgetown (August 8th) and its Garrison (August 6th) during my 5-week trip to the Caribbean island of Barbados. If you’re wondering why I chose to spend 5 weeks on this small island: My girlfriend is from Barbados and after the pandemic this was (after 2 failed attempts) the first opportunity for us to travel to Barbados together. 

In previous reviews, Bridgetown and its Garrison were not exactly positively evaluated by fellow World Heritage travellers. I would like to add some nuance, as I think that this site deserves a bit more. According to criterion ii, “Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison had a pivotal role in the development of the English colonies in the Atlantic World”. In fact, Bridgetown served as the main British base in the Eastern Caribbean, both militarily and in trade. It served as a link between the British isles and the other Caribbean island colonies. Sadly, not that much is left from this period

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Primeval Beech Forests

Tsunami Japan / USA / Europe - 11-Aug-22

Primeval Beech Forests

Even though I had been to all WHSs and TWHSs in Germany, upon learning that Germany was offering a 9-Euro, monthly train pass in summer 2022, I decided to take an advantage of it and to visit the north-east corner of the country, where I had hardly travelled before, for about 10 days. As such, the final destination for this trip was the Jasmund National Park, which includes the Primeval Beech Forests WHS.

I took a bus from the Sassnitz Busbahnhof straight to Königsstuhl National Park Centre.

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Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

Alikander99 - 11-Aug-22

I honestly expected quite a bit of this site. Afterall these monasteries are widely regarded as some of the best orthodox works. I really hoped I wouldn't find some minor remains or worse yet repainted frescos.

I was very pleasantly surprised. These monasteries rank among the most beautifull I've ever seen. They are surprisingly monumental, with high ceilings; and they're covered in magnificent frescos. The structure IS also quite particular, with high square columns used as canvases. If I had to note a downside is that they feel somewhat like a testament to the past and not part of a living tradition. The churches are somewhat cold, with no incense and no candles. 

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Tierradentro

Lucio Gorla Italy - 10-Aug-22

Tierradentro

[visited in April 2022]

Based in the town of San Andrés de Pisimbalá, it is quite easy to reach all the sites indicated as WHS. A two-day ticket for the entire archaeological area is on sale and can be purchased at the Museum located at the entrance to the Parque Arqueológico Nacional de Tierradentro, which can be reached on foot starting from the town along an unpaved road downhill.

The park and the indicated sites describe a circle at the highest point of which there is the town, at the lowest instead the museum

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San Agustín

Lucio Gorla Italy - 10-Aug-22

San Agustín

[visited in April 2022]

Based in the town of San Agustín, it is quite easy to reach the three sites indicated as WHS. A two-day ticket for the entire archaeological area is on sale and can be purchased at the Museum located at the entrance to the San Agustin Archaeological Park, which can be reached on foot from the town along an asphalted road.
This is undoubtedly the largest and most interesting site of the three and worth a day's visit.

The next morning I visited the other two sites: Alto De Las Piedras and Alto de los Ídolos, they are in Isnos and a ride by car is required to reach them. Less extensive than the main park of the previous day, especially the first, but in my opinion they are both worth a visit and you can do it in half a day.

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Verona

Tsunami Japan / USA / Europe - 01-Aug-22

Verona

I had previously visited the Verona WHS, and the below is only about my experience at one of its components, Arena di Verona, in summer 2022. 

It just sounded fun for me to attend the annual Arena di Verona opera festival and to watch its signature production of Aida composed by Verdi and directed by Franco Zeffirelli. So I bought a ticket for summer 2020. The festival was cancelled due to covid, and the full production of Aida was finally mounted again this summer in 2022. With my ticket I was able to just change the date of attendance from 2020 to 2022. 

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Sceilg Mhichíl

Els Slots The Netherlands - 12-Aug-22

Sceilg Mhichíl

In my experience, even after having covered the WHS of a continent well, there are always those annoying little islands left at the fringes to ‘tick’. In Europe for example, I am missing St. Kilda, the Vega Islands, even Risco Caido on Gran Canaria! Skellig Michael as well has been a nagging thorn in my side for years, after missing out due to bad weather at my first try in 2019. On August 12 2022, my second attempt was successful.

I booked just 3 weeks before, as I surprisingly found open spots for landing tours available in August. Friday August 12 was forecasted as sunny with winds between 5 and 7 km/h in the morning (I believe anything below 20 km/h is low). I was on the 8

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The Archaeological Heritage of Niah National Park’s Caves Complex, Sarawak, Malaysia (T)

Solivagant UK - 05-Aug-22

The Archaeological Heritage of Niah National Park’s Caves Complex, Sarawak, Malaysia (T)

With the possible upcoming nomination of Niah Caves by Malaysia in 2024 (having only been added to Malaysia’s T List in Jan 2021) it seems worthwhile posting its first review – even if it relates to a visit way back in April 1997!!. To set the scene it might be worth explaining why we visited the site at all during our journey from Kuching across Borneo to Mt Kinabalu, since the visit was self evidently NOT because it was on the UNESCO T List!! As a National Park with caves and “natural sights” it was, and still is, very much “second class” behind Gunung Mulu but we were pushed for time and, to some extent, money. So that wasn’t on for us and Niah was easily accessible just off the road between Kuching and Miri

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Christiansfeld

Jay T USA - 03-Aug-22

Christiansfeld

I know much has been written about Christiansfeld already, but I don't yet see a review from the perspective of one who has visited a component of the proposed extension to the World Heritage Site before visiting Denmark. In the spring of 2021 I took a road trip to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to learn more about the Moravian Church Settlements Tentative World Heritage Site extension to Christiansfeld. I came away from the trip with a much richer understanding of the role of the Moravian Church in early America, and the innovations they brought to the young country. The trip gave me high hopes for my visit to Christiansfeld when I traveled to Denmark last month, but unfortunately I left disappointed.

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ESMA Site Museum - Former Clandestine Centre of Detention, Torture, and Extermination (T)

Joel Baldwin Australia - 30-Jul-22

ESMA Site Museum - Former Clandestine Centre of Detention, Torture, and Extermination (T)

ESMA, the ESpacio MemoriA y Derechos Humanos (Human Rights and Memorial Space), belongs to a difficult category of Site. Like Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and the proposed sites of genocide memorial in Rwanda and WW1 memorials in Belgium/France, ESMA is dedicated to preserving the memory of a significant 20th century crime.

Located on the campus of the Naval Warfare School in leafy northern Buenos Aires, the main part of [...]

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Sammallahdenmäki

Nomad99 - 30-Jul-22

Sammallahdenmäki

You can book a tour for €10 between mid June and the end of August at:

https://www.doerz.com/rauma/retki-sammallahdenmaelle?list_id=32

Tours occur only on Thursdays at 2pm from Rauma’s main bus station. If you have a car it is only 20km from Rauma and parking is free. Don’t go in winter as there will be nothing to see but snow.

I went in late July 2022 and there were a dozen of us plus the guide.  The guide spoke in both Finnish and English and was knowledgeable and passionate about his subject. The tour lasted almost one and three quarter hours and transportation was about 20 minutes each way.

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Portobelo-San Lorenzo

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 23-Jul-22

Portobelo-San Lorenzo

Initially when planning our stopover in Panama City (an easy and cheap option with COPA), we had planned to visit the Panama WHS and the Portobelo part of the Portobelo-San Lorenzo WHS, using public transport. But after seeing how easy driving is in the country (a whole swathe of the country was basically part of the USA for years), we decided to hire a car for the day to visit San Lorenzo and the canal.

Visiting San Lorenzo is easier than it used to be, thanks to the building of a new bridge north of Gatun, the Puente Atlantico. It's an impressive bridge to drive across, and there's no toll. Continue down the road past Fort Sherman, past the old military booth where no-one waved us down

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Saint-Honorat, Île monastique de l’archipel de Lérins à Cannes (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 26-Jul-22

Saint-Honorat, Île monastique de l’archipel de Lérins à Cannes (T)

I visited the Island of Saint-Honorat during my vacations in Cannes in September 2001. We did a day trip to the Lérins Islands by ferry from the port of Cannes in a same way as a lot of other tourists.  I do not remember all the details but the tour included both islands. It means bigger Sainte-Marguerite with the fortress, where a small museum was located, and nice small beaches all around the island, where we spent most of our time. We also did a short stop at the Saint Honorat Island, where the monastery is located.

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Thingvellir

Digits Ireland - 23-Jul-22

Thingvellir

We first visited a quiet, sunny Thingvellir in the summer of 2013, as a standard one-hour stop off on the aforementioned Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik, which also took in Gullfoss, Strokkur Geyser and some snowmobiling. The previous reviews are correct, in that a tour stop off didn’t bring the depth that the site otherwise could being a visitor. Yes, we got the magnificent backdrop and the importance and age of the parliament and its link with the sagas - what UNESCO terms “a unique reflection of medieval Norse/Germanic culture”. We walked the boardwalks and took in the cliff-top view from the unvisited visitor centre

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Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesus

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 23-Jul-22

Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesus

In South America, there are at least 4 separate World Heritage Sites related to the Jesuits: the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos in Bolivia (which are still living towns and churches), the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Cordoba in Argentina, the Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis in Argentina and Brazil, and finally the Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesus, the lone site in Paraguay. The latter two sites (all in ruins) could have actually been combined, they are even in the same tourist route, but then far fewer of us would have probably visited Paraguay. 

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Saint Catherine Area

Boj Philippines - 25-Jul-22

Saint Catherine Area

I had the opportunity to arrange a 3-day visit to the holy site, which included a hike to Mt. St. Catherine - the highest point in Egypt, through the guidance of Ahmed, a Jebeliya Bedouin. He said his tribe has lived for centuries in the mountains of South Sinai. 

Perhaps for most travelers, St. Catherine Area means St. Catherine Monastery, and its impressive museum, church and the Burning Bush. But by venturing out in the valleys and canyon (property is 60,000+ hectares), one discovers other interesting chapels, ruins and archaeological sites most likely related to stories in the Book of Exodus. 

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The trulli of Alberobello

Alessio Toniolo United States - 02-Aug-22

I visited Alberobello in July 2022. The spread of the over thousand trulli in the town is remarkable. It is unique for the uniform collection of a singular design of a building and is interesting to walk around and spend time in. The previous generations who actually lived life in the trulli (before tourism) is all visible through photographs and shows a unique way of life.

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Fray Bentos

Shandos Cleaver Australia - 23-Jul-22

Fray Bentos

Former industrial sites can be divisive World Heritage Sites. I'm not against industrial sites (partially as they can be interesting to photograph), although a multitude of mining and planned town sites being inscribed can be monotonous. Fray Bentos though stands out as a unique and key site for international meat exports (stock cubes and canned corned beef). In the modern era, you forget how big a development these were. The products from this factory were one of the most important exports of South America, shipped to Europe and used on expeditions of exploration and to supply armies in both WWI and WWII.

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The Caspian Shore Defensive Constructions (T)

Boj Philippines - 19-Jul-22

The Caspian Shore Defensive Constructions (T)

Just before leaving Baku, I managed to visit Mardakan Square Tower (pictured here) and Ramana Tower. Nardaran Tower still remained closed to tourists (July 2022), much to my disappointment. 

In terms of OUV, the selection of properties exhibit the importance of safekeeping the Caspian shore while uniting Azerbaijan with the rest of the Middle East and Europe.

A cause of concern is the private properties (houses and villas) built somewhat close to the tower gates.

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Dorset and East Devon Coast

James Bowyer United Kingdom - 23-Jul-22

Dorset and East Devon Coast

This was almost certainly the first World Heritage Site I ever visited, on a family holiday to Devon aged two. Therefore, I have always ticked it off on my list despite having no memory of it and so, decades later, sought to rectify that. This is the only natural site in Britain as things stand, although Scotland’s Flow Country looks set to be nominated in the coming years and the UK has other natural sites at Giant’s Causeway in Ireland and many others spread across its overseas territories

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