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Causses and Cévennes and other agrarian landscapes

 
Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 30 Apr 2012 07:04 
Does anyone have any idea what to see or do in this site?

As a dedicated Urbanite I can't get my head around what to do there, some natural sites are pretty easy to figure out but I don't fancy looking at some chestnut trees and I am guessing that there isn't a huge amount of sheep droving going on at the moment.

I'm thinking that heading to Roquefort to sample some cheese is about the best I will get out of it.

Has anyone else been that can give some ideas or pointers - or even just more general ideas about how to get the best out of such WHS (e.g Val d'Orcia)

Author hubert
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 2 May 2012 14:32 | Edited by: hubert 
In the case of the Causses and Cevennes I have no idea, there is not much in the nomination file that really attracts me.

Some general comments:
I've always thought that the concept of cultural landscape is mainly for non-European cultures, that traditionally build not much permanent structures. However, European countries obviously use this concept e.g. to get their vineyards on the list (on the T-list are a few more).
In my view, an extraordinary landscape should be the main feature. In difference to an inscription for natural reasons human activity or settlements contribute to the appearance of the landscape. Some good examples that I have visited are the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Lake Neusiedl, Hallstatt-Dachstein or Costiera Amalfitana.
Val d'Orcia: I was there twice to taste the local wine, years before I became aware of the WH List. But neither the towns nor the landscape are outstanding in my opinion (but the wine is delicious). If you're not a wine enthusiast then you should just visit Pienza (for instance from Siena), on the way pay a bit attention to the countryside and tick off two WHS.
Another example: Cilento, only the ancient site Pastrum has impressed me there.
I can not understand why some parks are listed as a cultural landscape. For Kew Gardens or Dessau-Wörlitz cultural reasons should be crucial.
And on the T-list, there are a few more dubious examples of cultural landscapes.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 2 May 2012 16:23 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I have just noticed Els that the site has lost the "Category" button!! Is there any other way of finding out which WHS are "categorised" as Cultural Landscapes - at least as far as we are aware since there is also no easy way I can find of searching for them on the UNESCO web site.

I remember when we were doing the original "categorisation" a few years ago I used the list of "Cultural Landscape" sites as given by Peter Fowler in "Landscapes for the World". That was published in 2004 and identified those sites inscribed to 2003 which "he" considered "Cultural Landscapes. I say "he considered" because it wasn't always clear from the UNESCO documentation that those sites had been inscribed as "Cultural Landscapes" and the list included a few surprises!
At that time he listed 36 sites and in fact non European sites only accounted for 13 of them.

By 2008 we had identified 48 under the "Category" definition. We recognised then that it was proving very difficult to be absolutely certain which WHS were regarded as "Cultrual Landscapes". See
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=180&pa ge=0#msg811

The "concept" as far as WHS is concerned was first raised by UK when it tried unsuccessfully to get the "Cultural Landscape" of the Lake District" inscribed. after some years and various committees/working parties/(jollies!!) UNESCO accepted the idea and The Philippines got the first new inscription with the Rice Terraces and New Zealand got Tongariro redefined as one as I remember it. The poor old Lake District still languishes uninscribed!! But UK did further "stretch" the concept with the successful nomination (in the face of some opposition!) of the Industrial cultural Landscape of Blaenavon.

It would be interesting to see which sites since 2008 were inscribed as such once the flood gates had been opened. I would expect a bit of a reaction against the trend. The Coffee Cultural Landscape of Columbia only just got through!

Author hubert
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 2 May 2012 16:32 
There is a list on the Unesco website ("Activities") with 66 cultural landscapes:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/culturallandscape/

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 2 May 2012 17:09 
Thanks Hubert.

And a classic example of the "flexibility" of the definition. The only Chinese site listed in the UNESCO section is Mt Wutai. What happened to "West Lake Cultural Landscape"!!

Author elsslots
Admin
#6 | Posted: 3 May 2012 02:20 
My list is here, I've counted 59:

http://www.worldheritagesite.org/categories/category25.html

I'll check the differences with the Unesco-website

Author elsslots
Admin
#7 | Posted: 3 May 2012 02:42 
I've compared them, and ended up with 79 sites!

http://www.worldheritagesite.org/categories/category25.html

Author hubert
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 3 May 2012 04:23 
The UNESCO list seems not to be up to date. The 2011 inscriptions are not yet included, like Causses and Cevennes, West Lake, Konso, Coffee Cultural Landscape Colombia, and Tramuntana

Author Durian
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 8 May 2012 03:25 
meltwaterfalls:
Does anyone have any idea what to see or do in this site?


Been there in 2009 the best thing I did in that area was driving on the highway and see the Millau Viaduct; however the bridge is not part of WHS, then we drove to St. Jean du Bruel, part of WHS, the view is nice but not so special.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 8 May 2012 05:20 
Durian:
the best thing I did in that area was driving on the highway and see the Millau Viaduct

Thanks Durian, that was going to be my plan as well. the viaduct has been on my radar for a long time. Think a quick vist maybe in order for that WHS then off to Albi.

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 Causses and Cévennes and other agrarian landscapes

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