20 Most Recent Community Reviews
Longobards in Italy Claire Bradshaw - 24-Sep-18 -
I visited the site at Cividale del Friuli today and must say I was a little disappointed. Maybe if I had visited additional sites included in this listing, I would have gained a deeper understanding into the inclusion of this town by UNESCO. The included area in the town is small, comprising only the cathedral and the area immediately surrounding it. The cathedral is nice, but nothing particularly special compared to others in northern Italy. The main highlight is the Longobard Temple in the Monastery set behind the cathedral. This is lovely but very small, and has a real sense of feeling special. The problem being that for me at least, I failed to grasp the reason for it being so special. The site didn't seem to have any detail on how this place fit into the wider listing.
Belfries Jay T USA - 23-Sep-18 -
With the wars that have been fought over Belgium and France, I am amazed that so many belfries are still standing or have been rebuilt. The Ypres Cloth Hall bell tower was one of those reconstructed after World War I, and I visited the tower as part of a visit to the In Flanders Field museum last month. The tower was rather plain, but it offered great views of the town and countryside. There was also an exhibit on the historical cat festival, during which a cat (thankfully now a stuffed animal) is tossed from the top of the tower for good fortune. From Ypres I continued to Bruges, and its bell tower, standing tall over the market square, was more impressive. It also afforded excellent views of the city environs. I visited two more belfries in Antwerp. The tower on the Antwerp town hall was covered in scaffolding, and did not seem particularly memorable, but the belfry on the Cathedral of Our Lady was exquisite. Unfortunately, it did not appear that tours were available for this tallest church tower in Belgium. I still am not certain why so many belfries in Belgium and France needed to be inscribed for this World Heritage Site -- it seems rather excessive. That said, I had a great time hunting for the towers with friends while in Belgium.
Holy Trinity Column Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 23-Sep-18 -
I have to thank Czechia for adding the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc in the World Heritage List, before the inscription I have seen many similar columns in many places in Central Europe, but had no idea the meaning of those columns, at first, I thought they were just decorations similar to fountains or some kind of religious devotion. The inscription sparked my curiosity and reading nomination document not only gave a good explanation of these columns but a fine reason why this specific column in Olomouc be selected by UNESCO.
Verla Groundwood and Board Mill Joel Baldwin Australia - 20-Sep-18 -
This was the second site we visited on our tour through Finland. Generally speaking I've quite enjoyed industrial Heritage sites like those in Germany and England, and I quite enjoyed this one as well. The large main mill building is excellently preserved, and is apparently much as it was when the factory shut down in the 1960s.
Petäjävesi Old Church Joel Baldwin Australia - 20-Sep-18 -
We visited Petäjävesi on an overcast day in early July, as part of our tour around southern and central Finland. This really is a very small site, just the church and it's surrounds. We've seen lots of small wooden churches now on the World Heritage Journey, in Slovakia, Poland, Romania, and neighbouring Norway, and this one felt quite similar as well.
Haeinsa Temple Vinaya - 20-Sep-18 -
I visited the Heinsa temple in the first week of May 2016. I participated in temple stay program - 1 night 2 days.
I was expecting guided meditation and stuff, but we were allowed to explore and do everything on our own.
It would have been great if it was more organised, guided and if we were informed of the tea with monk timing(I Missed that) and about the meal timings etc.
Sammallahdenmäki Joel Baldwin Australia - 20-Sep-18 -
This was our last site visit in Finland. We visited in the late afternoon after spending most of the day wandering around nearby Rauma, and only spent a couple of hours here. But that's really all you need to see the majority of the cairns. Call me a little uncultured, but ultimately, these are just piles of stones. The large rectangular-shaped cairn was interesting, though the intricacies of the others (spirals, cisterns etc) went largely unseen by my non-expert eye. We've been to quite a few other Bronze Age burial sites now, and this unfortunately is not one of my favourites.
Srebarna Nature Reserve Nan Germany - 19-Sep-18 -
As part of our community meetup in Eastern Bulgaria, we decided to tackle the at the time worst rated site: Srebarna. Srebarna is meant to represent the ecosystem of a contributary lake to the Danube. The Bulgarians also argue that it's a good birding site. When we came, though, birds were in as short supply as were other visitors or tour guides for that matter.
Kathmandu Valley Shannon O'Donnell USA - 16-Sep-18 -
I spent two months in Nepal, and good amount of that time was in the Kathmandu Valley volunteering in the town of Pharping and exploring the Valley outside the of the city. Kathmandu itself just oozes history and although it suffers from some serious air pollution, which leaves buildings and vibes a bit grimy at times, it's also easy to overlook that side since it holds so many historic sites. Although the earthquake damaged some of the main historic sites, they are not gone and the fact that most still stand is a testament to the city's long and rich timeline.
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park Jay T USA - 16-Sep-18 -
The Rockies are a happy place for me, and Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was the highlight of my summer travels. I spent two days in Waterton Lakes, in Canada, and enjoyed the laidback attitude of the park. Unfortunately, wildfires in 2017 had closed many of the park's trails, but I was still free to walk around the town of Waterton and the surrounding countryside, which were covered with wildflowers. On Canada Day, I enjoyed the morning parade, complete with bagpipers and Mounties, and in the afternoon, I took the boat tour down Waterton Lake and across the US-Canadian border to the peace pavilion on the US shore of the lake. After a relaxing couple of days in Waterton, I crossed the border to Glacier National Park in the US. The eponymous glaciers have been retreating, but the U-shaped valleys in the park show their former size. I took a Red Bus tour of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which was an excellent way to avoid the crowds that fill the parking lots during the summer. The tour is conducted in original park tour buses that have been in operation for over 80 years, which added to my enjoyment of the tour. I also made sure to get some hikes in at Glacier, enjoying the scenery of lakes and waterfalls. I highly recommend the Rockies to all North American visitors.
Ancient Kyoto Shannon O'Donnell USA - 16-Sep-18 -
No single description or image can encapsulate the sheer beauty of Kyoto's ancient temples. On the one hand, it's a large and fast-paced modern city and that surprised me. I was taken aback when walking through shiny metal buildings and city blocks to find my guesthouse. But once you realize that Kyoto is a modern city with an ancient history preserved within several districts of the city, it's easier to find the fascinating areas and the deep history.
The Turf House Tradition (T) Ralf Regele Germany - 14-Sep-18
Turf houses were actually the primary (and almost solely) form of housing in iceland from the viking ages till the 19th century. Trees and timber were in very short supply in iceland. Turf houses have only a light wood framework, the roof and many walls are made out of turf blocks. Turf houses have the advantage of a good isolation, but are difficult to maintain and could only be built to a certain size - which is why even bigger turf buildings are an aggregation of relatively small huts. Turf houses only last for roughly a century, which means that all of the islandic turf houses are no older than the 19th century. Many of the buildings are mentioned in older sources, but were rebuilt again and again throughout the ages. It is not really known if the existing turf houses look like the ones in medieval times, but no fundamental difference is assumed.
So what is it like to visit these houses ? Quite a nice experience, I must say, and a nice change to all the overbearing landscape in iceland. Of the roughly a dozen buildings in the proposal, I visited four locations, all of which where quite easily reachable by car from the ring road. In fact, there were so close to the road that it is surprising that they are not featured more prominently in travel guides for iceland. Some notes on the individual houses:
Lenggong Valley Roger Ourset France - 16-Sep-18 -
As a recent visitor throughout the Malaysian mainland, I wished to visit the WHS of the Lenggong Valley!
This site is not really difficult to find but it seems that most of the guide books ignore this place or allocate to it few lines with fewer details! More surprisingly most people around seem to even not know the existence of a WHS nearby & its interest! One must say that the site of the Museum is not accurate, especially for the date of completion of lengthy renovation works!
Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis Nan Germany - 12-Sep-18 -
Tucked away in a North Eastern corner of Argentina are three Jesuit missions. The Jesuits were granted the rights to operate independantly from the local government by the Spanish crown. Their goal was to spread Christianity to the locals. But they also protected the natives from the frequent incursions of slavers and brought some progress to the area.
Vatnajökull National Park (T) Ralf Regele Germany - 11-Sep-18
The Vatnajökull National Park area is a bit unusual, as it includes the Jökulsargljufur National Park, which has no borders to the rest of the park, creating a second location for the site. Having just visited this exclave, I can highly recommend it. It features some of the most spectacular scenery in a country overflowing with great landscapes. The glacier-fed river Jökulsa a Fjöllum (which orginates a long way down south in the main park area) is cutting through a landscape formed by raw volcanic rock. It creates a large canyon and tumbles down a series of waterfalls, including the mighty Dettifoss waterfall. It's a gripping display of raw elementary powers, with hardly any plant life or greenery in sight. Getting there is not too tough if you have a car, although the east side road is a bit rough (though probably a bit more rewarding). No 4x4 is needed, at least in summer. However, getting there as a day trip from Reykyavik is definitely out of the question. Most people do it as part of an Iceland round trip on the ring road 1, where the 2-3 hour detour is certainly worth it. Visiting in early autumn, there was no lack of tourists, but the large scale landscape could cope with it pretty well. Further north lies the Asbyrgi canyon, which is more fertile but less spectacular, but still highly enjoyable.
For the Skaftafell section in the south, I had good luck with the Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon, as there were lots of colorful icebergs floating right next to the car park, with a boat ride not really needed. There were lots of clouds and fog in the higher glacier regions, though, so the whole travel experience here relies a good bit on luck.
All in all, the Vatnajökull National Park is so large and so full of marvelous landscapes that a WHS designation seems quite deserved. Iceland has so far no natural WHS that covers its amazing landscape, so it's about time.
Visited in September 2018.
Importance 3/5 Beauty 5/5 Uniqueness 5/5 Environment 4/5 Experience 5/5
Dinosaur Provincial Park Svein Heltberg Norway - 11-Sep-18 -
Having roamed the eastern part of Canada for three weeks the summer of 2018 seeing three different fossil sites we were kind of tired of fossils, but we we knew this would be quite something else and really there is. A morning flight from Quebec took us to Calgary Alberta round noon and another rental car brought us to the park in two-three hours. As others have done we also found the scenic overlook just before the park entrance – and watched the stunning badlands from above. The three in east Canada are all coastal sites while this is far inland.
Ver-o-Peso (T) Michael Novins United States - 08-Sep-18
In August 2018, I visited Belém, the capital of the Brazilian state of Pará. I stayed in the city center, a short walk to the Ver-o-peso market, where enormous freshwater fish from the Amazon are sold. In the outdoor areas surrounding the gothic fish market, shopkeepers offer açaí berries, fruits and vegetables, and Brazil nuts, and at least one resplendent vendor was peddling love potions and get-rich-quick elixirs.
Franja Partisan Hospital (T) Walter Switzerland - 10-Sep-18
The Franja Partisan Hospital is a small simple clandestine field hospital located in the narrow, barely accessible Pasica gorge. The hospital complex is composed of 14 wooden buildings and several small auxiliary facilities. It was gradually set up in the period from December 1943 to May 1945 by the Slovenian resistance with the help of local inhabitants. It included an operating room, X-ray apparatus, an invalid care facility, and a small electric plant.
Augustow Canal (T) Walter Switzerland - 10-Sep-18
The Augustow Canal was constructed in early 19th century. It was designed for exporting grain and presumably timber to Baltic ports bypassing the territory of Eastern Prussia, which introduced excessively high taxes on goods shipped up the rivers Vistula and Nieman to the Baltic Sea ports.
Iguacu Michael Novins United States - 08-Sep-18
In August 2018, I visited Iguaçu Falls on the border between Brazil and Argentina, the largest cataract system in the world. Iguaçu National Park in Brazil was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1987, three years after the complementary park in Argentina. Commentators often claim that one side of the falls is superior to the other, but having also visited Iguazu Falls on the Argentinian side in 2011, in my view, it’s a tie and both sides rank among the world’s greatest natural wonders as the best waterfall system.
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