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- ●● Cultural
- ●● Natural
- ●● Mixed
The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) represent the imperial capital of Japan and formed the center of Japanese culture for thousand years (from 794).
This still can be seen in the religious wooden architecture, and the landscape gardens.
The following 17 buildings were recognized by the Unesco:
- Kamigamo Shrine
- Shimogamo Shrine
- Toji Temple
- Kiyomizu Temple
- Hieizan Enryakuji Temple
- Daigoji Temple
- Ninnaji Temple
- Byodoin Temple
- Ujigami Shrine
- Kozanji Temple
- Kokedera/Moss Temple
- Tenryuji Temple
- Kinkakuji Temple/Golden Pavilion
- Ginkakuji Temple/Silver Pavilion
- Ryoanji Temple
- Nishi-Hongwanji Temple
- Nijo Castle
jaxon nobori U.S.A. -
I managed to see all except on the list of 17. Missed the Saiho-ji (moss temple)and Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei. Otherwise, everything was memorable, but some places more than others. The ones in Kyoto I'd recommend are: Ginkaku-ji, Nijo-jo, Daigo-ji (Sampo-in), Nanzen-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, To-ji (especially for the flea market on the 21st of every month), Kitano Tenman-gu (also has a flea market on the 25th of the month), Ryoan-ji (if you can tolerate crowds), and the Kamigamo & Shimgamo Shrines along the Kamo River. In Uji City: Byodo-in and the Ujigama Shrines. That only leaves three you could pass over, and another two I didn't get to visit.Read On
Australian Fossil Mammal Sites
The Australian Fossil Mammal Sites Riversleigh and the Naracoorte are a superb illustration of the key stages of the isolated evolution of Australia's unique fauna.
Riversleigh is located in in North West Queensland and has fossil remains of ancient mammals, birds and reptiles of Oligocene and Miocene age. Thirty-five fossil bat species have been identified at the site, which is the richest in the world. The skull and nearly complete dentition of a fifteen million-year-old monotreme, Obdurodon dicksoni, provide a window into the evolution of this characteristically Australian group.
The Naracoorte Caves are located in the south-east of South Australia. The caves are often not far below ground, and holes open up creating traps for the unwary. This is the source of the remarkable collection of fossils. Mammals and other land creatures have fallen into open caves and been unable to escape. The fossil record has been preserved in strata formed from eroded topsoil washed and blown in. In some places, the fossil-bearing silt is up to 20 metres thick.
Emilia Bautista King U.S.A. - 25-Feb-06
I visited Naracoorte in 2002. The stalagmites and stalagtites were so spectacular and delicate. I enjoyed learning about prehistoric animals such as the Short Faced Leaf Eating kangaroo!Read On
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park covers 331 square kilometers of floristically diverse tropical rainforest. Fauna-wise it’s most notable for its ca. 400 mountain gorillas, almost half the world's population of this critically endangered species.
The park is located in southwestern Uganda in the Afromontane biogeographic area at an altitudinal range of 1,190-2,607m. It is accessible only on foot. There are 4 ‘tourism sectors’ from which the park and the gorillas can be accessed: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
Solivagant UK -
Those who want to see Gorillas in the wild have relatively few choices. In Central Africa, Gabon is a possibility but, in 2001 after 2 days hard tracking there, we had only heard the creatures – they are not well “habituated”. Congo Brazzaville sounds to have some wonderful areas but is dangerous/unhealthy (Ebola?). The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is, as of Sept 2006 (when this review was written), still not really safe for travel outside Goma. Which leaves Rwanda and Uganda. Rwanda is well back in business and from our experience is the better place to go for anyone just wanting to see Gorillas - it has 7 habituated groups and most of these are usually easy to reach (but the cost is $375 per visit rising in 2007 to $500)Read On
Canaima National Park
Canaima National Park in south-east Venezuela is unique because of its table mountain (tepui) formations. It also includes Angel Falls, the world highest waterfall with a free fall of 1002m.
The tepuis are a unique biotic environment and have an important story to tell about earth’s evolutionary history. They provide a spectacular landscape of steep cliffs and waterfalls, largely undisturbed. The national park covers 3.000.000 ha., where about 10.000 Pémon Indian residents live.
Canaima has many geological affinities with western Africa and with Monument Valley in Arizona.
Solivagant UK - 01-May-06
Canaima Park contains one of the World’s “great” waterfalls and some world-class eroded landscape – the isolated mesas locally called “Tepuis”.
Given the number of magnificent waterfalls around the World it is perhaps surprising that the WHS list only inscribes 2 by name (Iguassu and Victoria). However a number of other significant examples are situated within the boundaries of larger nominations – including the 2 falls generally considered to be the “tallest” in the World. Those who care will probably know where the second tallest are (and those who don’t know probably don’t care – so I won’t bother to name them, but treat it as a trivia question if you wish!) - but the “tallest”, both in terms of overall and single drop, are Angel Falls situated within the boundaries of Canaima National ParkRead On
Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate situated several miles to the south-east of Moscow downtown, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna.
The earliest extant structure in town is the exceptional Ascension church (1532), built in white stone to commemorate the long-awaited birth of an heir to the throne, the future Ivan the Terrible. Being the first stone church of tent-like variety, the uncanonical "White Column" (as it is sometimes referred to) marked a stunning rupture with the Byzantine tradition.
The church stands up toward the sky from a low cross-shaped podklet (ground floor), then follows a prolonged chetverik (octagonal body) of the church, and then an octagonal tent, crowned by a tiny dome. The narrow pilasters on the sides of the chetverik, the arrow-shaped window frames, the three tiers of the kokoshniks and the quiet rhythm of stair arcades and open galleries underline the dynamic tendency of this masterpiece of the Russian architecture.
Zack Culvert USA -
Architecturally, the Ascension Cathedral is quite different from most other famous ones in Moscow or Novodevichy, this one being pure white sans onion domes.
Although It is in the suburbs, it is easily accessible by metro (17 rubles) like 4 stops from the central ring. But as the structure was under repairs and closed for visit, the trip was at best an afternoon's walk through the park. If really pressed for time in Moscow, outside the Kemlin, I would go to Novodevichy instead.Read On
City of Luxembourg
The City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications is one of Europe's greatest fortified sites.
Luxembourg - not a city yet - already made its appearance in history in 963. In that year, Count Siegfried came in possession of the strategic rock. He built a castle there, which could be defended easily because of the Alzette Valley that surrounded it for the largest part.
The successors of Siegfried did not succeed in keeping hold of the rock, though they built large walls to defend themselves. Until the 19th century several European powers overtook control. Among them were the Burgundians, the Spanish, the French, the Austrians and the Germans. Every single group fortified the place even more, until it was known as the Gibraltar of the North.
Underground a phenomenal network of casemates, 23 kilometers in total, was constructed. This was meant as a hiding place for the soldiers in times of war. Large parts are still intact, and can be visited.
Klaus Freisinger Austria -
I only saw Luxembourg on a daytrip from Brussels, but it was a very nice experience. On the one hand, Luxembourg is a European capital with lots of banks and office buildings in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual environment, on the other hand its old town is very well preserved and interesting, especially the cathedral and all the fortifications. Luxembourg was once the most heavily fortified place in Europe, and it shows. Not all remains, but what you can still see gives you a great impression of military architecture, of forts and castles, ramparts, walls, cannon, etc. A worthwhile trip not only for history buffs.Read On
Donana National Park
Doñana National Park is a wetland / coastal reserve at the delta of the Guadalquivir River and a major site for migrating birds.
The park holds 360 species of birds, in transfer from or to Africa (on the same flyway as Djoudj and Banc d’Arguin). Especially noted are its wintering waterfowl, which number over 500.000.
The park also is the habitat of the endangered Spanish lynx, Adalbert’s eagle, marbled teal and white-headed duck.
The site was extended in 2005 to include three more bordering areas: West Triangle, Flood plain of the Partido stream and Los Caracoles.
David Berlanda Italy / Czech Republic -
In our travel around Spain we have been to the National Park of Doñana, situated on the right bank of the river Guadalquivir at its estuary in the Atlantic Ocean, important above all for its population of birds, with 5 endangered species. It is also one of the largest heronries in the Mediterranean region and the most important wintering site in Spain for waterfowl.
The first thing to say is that if you [...]Read On
Gelati Monastery is the distinctive expression of the flowering of feudal monarchy in medieval Georgia.
The Gelati Monastery (near Kutaisi) was founded in 1106. It remained for a long time one of the main cultural and enlightening centers in old Georgia. It had an Academy which employed the most celebrated Georgian scientists, theologians and philosophers. The Gelati Monastery has preserved a great number of murals and manuscripts dating back to the 12th-17th centuries.
Solivagant UK -
The “double headed” WHS of “Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery” consists of a ruined (in 1691 by the Turks) Cathedral of the 10th to 11th centuries in the town of Kutaisi and a (still functioning) monastery complex built between the 12th to 17 centuries situated in the countryside some 12kms away.
Apart from the geographical proximity and the fact that, taken together, the 2 buildings represent a long and continuous period of Georgian religious architecture, I know of no reason why they are linked together in a single WHS.Read On
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a group of offshore islands that is the best example of marine invaded tower karst in the world.
The Bay holds over 1.600 islands and islets. There are caves and grottoes, with stalactites and stalagmites. Its limestone pillars are an unique natural feature of great scenic beauty and biological interest. The great extent and the richness of its forms sets it apart from other sites.
The site was first inscribed in 1994, and extended in 2000 to include natural criterion (I).
Deborah USA -
I have just returned from a trip to Vietnam which included 2 days on a traditional Vietnamese junk boat in Halong Bay. The site itself is breath-taking, but unfortunately, there is little respect for nature shown by those operating the tour boats. I repeatedly saw boat operators throw their garbage overboard into the waters. These are the people who survive on tourism and ought to care more about protecting the very site which is bring the tourists to them in bus-loads. It was sad to see this and I hope the government forces people to clean up their act.Read On
Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church are outstanding examples of the pagan Nordic culture and its transition into Christianity.
They were created as a royal monument in the 10th century. The site symbolizes the creation of a unified Denmark and the introduction of Christianity there.
The burial mounds are said to have been those of King Gorm of Denmark and his wife Thyra, the parents of King Harald of Denmark. Yet archaeological excavations and research shows that only the North mound contains a burial chamber. It is plausible that this chamber once held the bones of Gorm the Old, bones that later has been found underneath what is now Jelling Church.
The small Jelling stone is erected by Gorm in the memory of his wife Thyra around the year 950. Harald Bluetooth erected the larger of the two Jelling stones around 965 - bearing the words:
"King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his father, and in memory of Thyrvé, his mother; that Haraldr who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian."
Solivagant UK - 16-Jun-05
Somewhat surprisingly Jelling is the only Danish UNESCO inscribed “Viking” site. In fact I feel that Viking archaeological sites as a whole are under represented on the list! Sweden has Birka and Norway the very late Urnes stave church but then you have to go to Canada (Anse) or Iceland (Thingvellir). And the Scandinavian countries’ Tentative Lists offer no hope. No where is there a Ship Burial (eg Lindholme Hofe), Fortress (eg Trelleborg or Fyrkat) or the Viking “Hadrians” Wall the DanevirkeRead On
Los Katios National Park
Los Katíos National Park is known for its high biodiversity and high regional endemism.
It lies in northwest Colombia and is contiguous to Darién National Park in Panama. Because of its location on the Darien isthmus, it filtered the interchange of flora and fauna between North and South America.
The park comprises two main regions:
- the mountains of the Serranía del Darién
- the floodplain of the Atrato river, with lowland swamp forests
Notable fauna species found in Los Katios include the giant anteater, tapir, jaguar, spectacled caiman and American manatee. More than 450 species of birds have been recorded.
Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland - 05-Sep-15
Visited November, 2011. Oficially off limits to foreign tourists due to security reasons but you can try to get permit in Turbo (NP headquarters). There is base for scientists in Sautata (access by boat only) - very basic standard but at least you are on National Park premises ....
Unoficial and the only possibility to see at least some parts of National Park without any permits is to take a boat Turbo-Riosucio and in Riosucio take collectivo back to Turbo via bumpy road (the same day). During your boat trip there will be a chance to see Los Katios from Atrato riverRead On
Mountain Resort, Chengde
The Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde, is a piece of landscape design that served as the summer resort of the Qing emperors.
By the end of the 17th century the Qing emperors had established their capital at Beijing, and they began to look around for a cooler retreat. In Chengde they created a summer residence, exploiting mountains, woods and other existing natural features to which they added contrived landscapes to make settings for innumerable pavillions, palaces and temples.
Outside the palace walls, to the north and west, a total of 11 temples were built. Manyof them were built in Tibetan style. Divided into eight groups, they became known as the Eight Outer Temples. The main gates of these buildings pointed towards the palace, symbolising the unity of China's various ethnic groups under the central rule of the Qing emperors.
Solivagant UK - 18-Jan-06
Apparently the original Qing name for this site meant “The Mountain Resort for Escaping Summer Heat”. You too might find it a pleasant escape from Beijing – it is only a few hours away by bus or train. Its main part consists of pavilions, temples, gardens, streams and lakes not that different (albeit writ very large!) from what you might have seen at the Old and New Summer palaces in Beijing – but attractive enough. It was constructed across the 18th century and consisted of 2 parts divided apparently by a “mini Great Wall” – inside were copies of 72 Chinese beauty spots and temples and a “Garden of 10000 trees”. Outside the wall (the "Outlying Temples" of the modern title) were 12 Tibetan Buddhist temples - 8 of which remain (photo)Read On
The Historical Monuments of Mtskheta are three medieval religious buildings in the former capital of the East Georgian Kingdom of Kartli.
Here Georgians accepted Christianity in 317 and Mtskheta still remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.
The included monuments are:
- Jvari Monastery: a sixth century Georgian Orthodox monastery, standing on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers
- Svetitstkhoveli Cathedral: since long the principal Georgian church and presently functions as the seat of the archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi; The current cathedral was built in the eleventh century though the site itself dates back to the 4th century
- Samtavro Monastery: includes a church and nunnery, dating from the 11th century
Solivagant UK -
Mtskheta is the ancient capital of Georgia and its Cathedral is the “capital” of the Georgian Church and the burial place of Georgian Kings. It only lies around 25kms outside Tblisi and, if you are in the country, should be seen. It is probably best taken in as part of a trip along the Georgian Military road towards Russia.
On the other side of the river, and easily accessible if you are coming from Tblisi in your own transport lies the Monastery of Djvari. This provides fine views across the valley to the town and cathedral which dominates it (photo).Read On
The Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana are the most outstanding geoglyphs in the world due to their size, number, diversity and long period of development.
They are considered a magnificent artistic achievement of pre-Hispanic South America.
The lines are located in the arid coastal plain of Peru. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, llamas, and lizards. Their development spans 3 chronological phases between 500 BC and 500 AD. Many have been superimposed on older ones, with erasures and overwritings complicating their interpretation.
For the most part, the technique used to create the lines was the removal of the gravel from the figure, providing a solid figure that contrasts with its surroundings. The geoglyphs were supposedly used as pathways for ceremonial processions.
Solivagant UK - 09-Jun-05
No visit to Peru would be complete without over-flying the Nazca lines – I won’t describe the Lines or provide a photo of them as there is so much on the Web/in guide books about them. Instead those intending to take a flight might be interested in the attached photo from our visit as long ago as 1984.
On arrival at the town of Nazca you have a number of different flying companies to choose from. In theory prices are “fixed” but, depending on the season etc, it is quite possible to shop around on the evening before and get both a “reduced fare” and a reasonably firm flight departure time. We chose Aeroica. At the airport (a rather grand term for what was an airstrip then - it may be better now!) planes are doing continuous take off and landings for the 40 minute flights. The engine on our plane wouldn’t start with the turn of the propeller from the (ageing!) ground-staff so the pilot got out and did it himselfRead On
Petäjävesi Old Church
Petäjävesi Old Church is an 18th century wooden church that exemplifies Scandinavian Lutheran church architecture and the long tradition of log building in Scandinavia.
The design was influenced by European architectural trends such as Renaissance and Gothic, which were combined with the vernacular technique of log jointing.
The church was constructed between 1763 and 1765 as a small village church, because the trip to the parish church in Jämsä took too long. Petäjävesi church was built on a peninsula, where two lakes meet: so the congregation would reach it by boat (or over the ice in the winter). The bell tower was added in 1821.
The church was abandoned in 1879 for a new church. In the 1920s the Austrian art historian Josef Strzygowski noticed the architectural and historical value of the church and since 1929 it has been restored several times.
John booth New Zealand - 01-May-10
I reached Petajavesi by train on the line connecting Vaasa and Jyvaskyla. Even the station is a picturesque old wooden building. A short walk away is the old church, one of the nicest I have ever visited, for its architecture and the skill displayed in its construction. The interior is very plain; apart from a large painting and some coloured wood carvings around the pulpit it is all natural wood. But the exterior cladding and the tower are magnificent.Read On
Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk
The Pilgrimage Church at Zelena Hora was designed by the Czech-Italian architect Jan Blazej Santini Aichl, who delivered a masterpiece out of a combination of gothic and baroque styles.
The church was the first major shrine to St. John (Jan) of Nepomuk, a local martyr who had died in 1393. Abbot Vaclav Vejmiuva of the nearby Cistercian Abbey was a great follower of St. John, and had the church constructed in close collaboration with the architect Santini.
Already from its beginnings (1721) the church was meant as a place of pilgrimage. The cloister, which encircles the chapel and is based on a ten-point-star groundplan, was completed later (in 1769).
Klaus Freisinger Austria -
The church by the interesting architect with the curious Czech-Italian-German name Jan Blazej Santini-Aichel has been sufficiently described here. The number 5 appears all over, and it´s a nice enough building in a beautiful location. Zdar nad Sazavou is an industrial town that doesn´t hold any other attractions (but some street names like Revolution and First of May are reminders of the not-so-distant past - there´s also a part of the town called Stalingrad ...) It´s easy to reach from Brno, as it´s located directly on the Brno-Prague train line, and an integral part of the Southern Moravian WHS hotspot. The interior is still being renovated, but there´s still enough to see for a pleasant outing.Read On
The Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl are 14 monasteries near the Popocatépetl volcano in central Mexico which were built in the 16th century by members of the Franciscan, Dominican and Augustinian orders.
They were a major factor in the Christianization of a very large population over a vast territory and in a short period of time.
The 14 are:
- San Mateo Apostol in Atlatlahucan
- Asuncion in Cuernavaca (current Cathedral)
- Santo Domingo de Guzman in Hueyapan
- Santiago Apostol in Ocuituco
- Santo Domingo in Oaxtepec
- La Natividad or la Anunciaciòn in Tepoztlàn
- Santo Domingo de Guzman in Tetela del Volcàn
- San Juan Bautista in Tlayacapan
- San Guillermo Abad in Totolapan
- San Juan Bautista in Yecapixtla
- Immaculada Concepciòn in Zacualpan
- San Francisco de Asís in San Andrés Capan
- San Miguel Arcángel in Huejotzingo
- Asunción de Nuestra Señora in Tochimilco
Solivagant UK -
The description of this site’s 14 monasteries as being “on the slopes of Popocatapetl” demonstrates a considerable degree of poetic license! Only 4 could, by the wildest stretch of imagination, be said to be literally on that volcano’s “slopes” and many are quite a long distance away! Nevertheless the buildings have their interests as representing the very earliest stages of the “Christianisation” embarked upon by the Spaniards in the years immediately following the “Conquest” of Mexico in 1521. Only 2 years later the Franciscans established the first of these monasteries in Cuernavaca – the rest followed within the next 50 years. So most are large, fortified structures (photo 1) reflecting, in a number of ways, the times in which they were built.Read On
The Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa, represents the apogee of Tibetan architecture and the combination of religious and secular authority.
The Potala was the administrative, religious and symbolic centre of Tibet's theocratic government for many centuries. It served as the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. The White Palace was secular in nature (offices and so on), the Red Palace religious. The Potala has 13-storeys and stands over 117 meter high. Within the palace there are many outstanding wall paintings and tangkas.
The designated site was extended in 2000 with Jokhang Temple and in 2001 with Norbulingka Summer Palace.
The Jokhang is Tibet's most sacred Buddhist temple, located in the centre of the old town of Lhasa. The Norbulingka ('Jewelled Garden') was the Summer palace of the Dalai Lama's since its construction in the 18th century. It had the same functions as the Potala, and thus those two are inseparably linked. It holds among others the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama before he fled to India.
Zack Culvert USA -
I just took the train trip from Qinghai to Lhasa. Due to the influx of tourists from this new train service, the visiting hours to Potala Palace is now only one hour, although they increased the daily inflow from 1,000 to 3,000 people so everyone can get a chance to see inside. The result is a rush through the palace, with barely sufficient time to take in the art and monuments. The tickets are officially 100 RMB (US$14), but scalpers ask for up to US$100. So plan carefully with your travel agent.Read On
Quedlinburg is a town with medieval origins that has a large number of high quality timber-framed buildings. It is located in Saxony-Anhalt, part of the former GDR.
The WHS encompasses the whole town, and consists of several separate areas:
- the historic town within the city walls (an ‘old’ and ‘new’ town, originating from the 10th and 12th centuries respectively, and adorned with many fine buildings during an economic boom in the 16th and 17th century).
- the Westendorf district around the Burgberg (Castle Hill) with the collegiate church of St. Servatius (holding the graves of the first German Royal couple) and the buildings of the Imperial foundation.
- St. Wipert’s church with its crypt (dating from ca. 1000).
- the Münzenberg: the traditionally poor part of the town, with 60 small timber-framed buildings.
In its evaluation, ICOMOS praises the towns’ imperial origins (in 919, Quedlinburg became the first capital of the Saxonian-Ottonian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire) over its timber-framed buildings.
Trudi Evenson USA -
In August of 2002 I had the unique opportunity to visit Quedlinburg. Unlike other small cities in Western Germany Quedlinburg seemed relatively untouched by modern architecture and surroundings. Not a Mc Donald's in sight!!! It was truly a look at old Germany. The half timbered houses in the center of the city were being restored by Polish artists brought into the area. Great care was given in noting the age of the buildings. Many structures dated back to the 17th century. The city has an abundance of churches and most of them were in the process of being restored and renovated. With only a few hours to visit I was only able to tour one of the churches. The grand pulpit set up at the top of a covered gilded staircase was certainly impressiveRead On
Rock Carvings in Tanum
The rock carvings of Tanum are over 400 groups of Bronze Age petroglyphs located in an area of about 45 km2.
They were carved into the rocks between ca. 1700-500 BC at what at that time was the sea shore. The carvings are included in the World Heritage List because of their unique artistic quality, the depiction of aspects of life in the European Bronze Age and the continuity of local rural life they represent.
The motifs include humans, weapons, boats, fishing nets, the sun, bulls, horses, deer, birds and other scenes of daily life. The site at Litsleby includes a human figure over 2 meters tall carrying a spear. This probably is the largest petroglyph of a person in Europe. The figure has been interpreted as the God of War Odin.
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a mountain range with steep slopes, that ranges from 1,670m to 5,109m in altitude.
Its highest peaks have permanent snow fields and glaciers. It constitutes also a vital water catchment area, sheltering the highest and most permanent sources of the River Nile.
Due to high and regular rainfall, the area is home to luxuriant and unusual flora.
The Rwenzori are located on the border between Uganda and the DRC. The Congolese side of the mountains are covered by the Virunga National Park WHS.
The City of Safranbolu is an example of a typical Ottoman trade town. It has played a key role in the caravan trade on the main route between Europe and the Orient.
The Old Town preserves many old buildings, with 1008 registered historical artifacts. These are: 1 private museum, 25 mosques, 5 tombs, 8 historical fountains, 5 Turkish baths, 3 caravanserais, 1 historical clock tower, 1 sundial and hundreds of houses and mansions. Also there are mounds of ancient settlements, rock tombs and historical bridges. The Old Town is situated in a deep ravine in a fairly dry area in the rain shadow of the mountains.
The name of the town derives from saffron, since Safranbolu was a trading place and a center for growing saffron.
Peter Day - 19-Sep-08
August 2008. Safranbolu is a lovely old town stuffed with the beautiful wood frame houses built by the merchants. Some of these are open as museum houses, others have been turned into guest houses - some well, others not. Very relaxing to wander round the narrow lanes of the old town, scramble up to the castle and clock tower for a panoramic view, take a tour of some surrounding areas to take in the caves, the ancient aquaduct. Doesn't feel over-run by tourists.Read On
Skogskyrkogarden is an early-20th century cemetery known for its landscape and architectural design.
The cemetery was built between 1917 and 1920 by the architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz. They got the job of designing a new cemetery for Stockholm after an international competition was held.
The landscape they could use as their raw material consists of pine trees, gravel and small hills. The two young architects added several chapels, a crematorium and a large granite cross.
Ian Cade UK -
This probably isn’t top of most people’s lists of Stockholm’s ‘must sees’, even down to the name which I thought I had managed to get my tongue around until the train dropped us of at the station and the announcement sounded nothing like what I had imagined.
I had tried to do a little background reading on Gunnar [...]Read On
Temple, Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius
The Temple and Cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong Family Mansion are three important sites in Confucianism.
They are located in Qufu, Shandong Province. Together with the Summer Palace in Beijing and the Mountain Resort of Chengde, the Temple of Confucius in Qufu is one of the three largest ancient architectural complexes in China. East of the Temple of Confucius, is the Kong Family Mansion. Kong is the family surname of Confucius and his descendants.
Confucianism has had the most enduring and profound effect over Chinese culture. As time went on, Confucius became respected as a sage, and the temples to Confucius were built as a landmark for all of China. Among them, the Temple in Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, is the most famous and the largest.
Mary McGreevy USA -
I and a friend stayed at the Kong Famly Mansion in 1990, when it was a reasonably-priced hotel for foreigners. We were two American women, surrounded by Japanese men visiting then for the Confucius Ceremony. We were travelling independently, using the LET'S GO series book, and it told us to go there. We needed no special permission. I remember distinctly how yellow the water was in the bathtub when it came out, and we decided against having a bath. The foot-high room dividers were a major problem because we also climbed up Mount Tai, slept overnight there, then hiked back down the trails on its opposite, well, back side. We could barely move our legs at all!!! The Japanese just laughed at our stiff, awkward attempts to get over these dividersRead On
The City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto represent the Palladian style in architecture, which became influential all over Europe and the United States.
Andrea Palladio was educated as a stonecutter. After studying classical architecture in Rome, he developed the style named after him. In Palladianism, a villa has a dominant central focal element flanked by lower servant wings. It is strongly inspired by classical Roman principles.
In Vicenza and its outskirts, 26 monuments are designated. The site was extended in 1995 to include 21 rural villas in the wider Veneto region, also designed by Palladio. They can be divided into working villa-farms and summer residences.
Graeme Ramshaw -
The town of Palladio, Vicenza, to this day bears witness to the architectural feats of its most famous resident. From the immense Basilica that dominates the Palazzo dei Signori to the perfect geometry of the villa, La Rotonda, that watches over the town from afar, Palladio's genius is everywhere on display. Of particular note are the Teatro Olimpico, which Palladio designed but died before completing, and the street, Contra Porti, along which many of his finest palazzi reside. Vicenza is a short hop from Venice and Padua, certainly worth a day if you have it in your schedule and a must for you architecture buffs.Read On
The Lithuanian capital Vilnius is a historic trading town with medieval origins.
It is situated right on the boundary between Catholicism and Russian Orthodoxy. It also holds a variety of other religions, like that of the Karaites, Jews and Muslims.
The historic buildings are built in the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles.
A.J. Kuolas U.S.A. -
My three favorite European cities are Tallinn, Krakow, and Vilnius. Like the other two, Vilnius has a picturesque old town that's not too commercial and touristy like Prague, yet isn't sleepy like Toledo. These three are just right--bustling little city-towns that haven't sold out their cultural identities. All three beg you to simply wander the cobblestone streets in an attempt to get lost. Though choosing one is a toss-up in terms of UNESCO criteria and prices, I give a slight edge to Vilnius for its nightlife and its location. In one direction, the insular castle of Trakai is 20 km away, as is the geographic center of Europe in another. Within an overnight train-trip or less, you can reach numerous World Heritage Sites in Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Belarus, Latvia, and EstoniaRead On
The Völklingen Ironworks represent a modern ironmaking plant from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The 'Völklinger Hütte' was founded in 1873 by Julius Buch. Under the direction of the Röchling family (from 1881 on) it developed into one of the most important iron and steel works in Europe.
During its heydays, 17.000 people worked here. They manned the furnaces, stoves, coke ovens, and sintering machines. The entire process of pig iron production was executed in this 6 ha. large spot.
The iron works were closed in 1986.
andrew voll united states (us army stationed in germany) - 05-May-08
The Steel Mill is one of the most awesome works of engineering ive witnessed. The pulley systems were flawless, with very heavy strength cables! Once you think that you have seen all that there is to see you find another place to explore; in some parts you can smell the sulfuric smell that must have strongly lingered through the air, definitely worth a days trip!Read On
The Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains has been made a WHS for its many Taoist monasteries and secular buildings which have had a profound influence on Chinese art and architecture.
The Wudang Mountains are a small mountain range in Hubei province.
August West USA -
Having spent several months on site, I was amazed by the site itself, but sincerely dissappointed with administartion. Forced relocations, haphazard local implementation of UNESCO policy, pervasive corruption, commodification of culture, locals barred from access due to exorbitantly high ticket fees. Human rights is certianly not a priority as anyone who gives voice to these concerns is threaten with arrest or worse. I do hope for change.Read On
Extended Sites in 1994
The Historic Centre of Cordoba comprises its Mosque-Cathedral and surrounding quarters, a testimony to its blossoming during the islamic Caliphate of Cordoba.
In 711 AD, Cordoba - as many other Andalusian cities - was conquered by the Moors. They turned the city into a cultural haven, with plentiful mosques and palaces. The large Cordoba Mosque was modelled after the one in Damascus, and is a real masterpiece. The surrounding neighbourhood formed the heart of the city.
In 1236 Cordoba got Christian again. The Mosque was turned into a Cathedral.
Other notable monuments in the city include:
- Roman bridge over the Guadalquivir river
- Alcazar des los Reyes Cristianos
- Torre Fortaleza de la Calahorra
Adrian Lakomy Slovakia -
Visited in summer 2007 and must admire this is my most favorite Andalusian site. Before you visit please read some texts about Cordoba, it will help you to understand a bit.
The city has it very own atmosfere which we could feel as we arrived right before sunset. Visiting then the Gardens of Alcazar gives you a great oportunity to feel like an emir :) (on friday night for free). Walking around night in old jewish city through all those narrow street is a great opportunity to breath the city itself.Read On
The Old City of Dubrovnik is a late-medieval walled city known for its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque monuments.
It developed under the name of “Ragusa” from the 14th century on as a maritime city-state. In its heydays during the 15th and 16th centuries it was a rival of Venice. A devastating earthquake in 1667 destroyed most of its public buildings and ended the city’s prosperity.
Dubrovnik’s city walls, which were mainly during the 12th-17th centuries, are fully intact. They encircle most of the Old City, and are almost 2km long.
Graeme Ramshaw UK/US -
Dubrovnik has many epithets, but none of them prepare you for the sheer perfection of the place. The location, the views, the colours, building materials, everything comes together as a wonderfully brilliant whole. I visited in February, and, while the weather was cold, I was blessed with impeccable sunshine, which is the only way to truly appreciate Dubrovnik's splendour. The town is compact and easy to explore, with the highlights for me being the city walls and the various churches dotted around the centre. For accommodation for the cost-conscious, I highly recommend the private rooms that are marked by the blue "Sobe" signs, very quaint and very affordable.Read On
The Kluane/Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek National Parks (‘a new, less cumbersome name’ is requested for) in the Yukon and Alaska has spectacular mountainous setting, ongoing geological processes in the over 100 glaciers and is a diverse and abundant habitat for wildlife.
These parks offer combined marine, coastal, wild river and high mountain scenery with minimal extent of human modification. It has the largest protected population of grizzly bears in the world and the single largest group of Dall sheep.
Comparisons can be made to New Zealand’s SW/Fiordland and Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins/Laguna San Rafael National Parks.
Glacier Bay was added to the original nomination in 1992, and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Wilderness Park in 1994.
Kelly Henry USA -
This must be one of the largest sites in area in the world. Glacier Bay is best seen from a boat. Even the view from a large cruise ship is unforgettable. An echoing rifle shot crack of the glaciers calving warns you of a giant splash and sea otters and whales can be seen from the waters.
Tatshenshini-Alsek doesn't have many roads but is full of wildlife, wide open spaces without even a power line or a road to spoil the view. Wrangell St. Elias has some of the largest mountains in North America as well as a historic abandoned copper mine.Read On
The Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín in Granada are exceptional reminders of Moorish Spain.
In the 8th century the Islamic Moors of Northern Africa had conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula. Several centuries of struggle between Moors and Christians (striving for the Reconquista) followed. The Nasrid dynasty was the last Muslim dynasty in Spain, before all were finally expelled in 1492.
The Alhambra ("the red fortress") is a palace and fortress complex built by the Moorish monarchs of Granada. Its existence was first mentioned in the 9th century. During the reign of the Nasrid Dynasty, the Alhambra was transformed into a palatine city complete with an irrigation system for the lush and beautiful gardens of the Generalife located outside the fortress.
The Palacio de Generalife, to the east of the Alhambra, was the summer palace and country estate. It was built during the early 14th century by the Nasrid sultans.
The Albayzin is an old residential neighborhood in Granada, opposite from the Alhambra. It has both Moorish and Andalusian influences. The Albayzin was a later (1994) addition to this World Heritage Site.
Adrian Lakomy Slovakia -
Site consists from there different places.
Albayzin is a white painted jewish quarter on a steep hill. I really enjoyed walking through those narrow streets and at the end to enjoy the best view on Alhambra from San Nicolas.
Generalife are beautiful gardens on the main castle hill representing eden with a lot of flowers and waster. I enjoyed a small nap on a bench and after waking up I really felt like in eden :)
Alhambra itself is complex of military (Alcazaba) and secular palaces. Most important for visit is Nasrid Palaces with its Mudejar architecture. It has very similar decorations as Alcazar in Seville but somehow nicer.Read On
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a striking physical landscape that contains two rock formations which contrast sharply with the surrounding sand plains and desert.
The area holds numerous sites sacred to the local Aboriginal people, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga) are isolated remnants left after the slow erosion of an original mountain range.
In 1994 Uluru-Kata Tjuta was renominated under cultural criteria, to be recognized as a cultural landscape. It illustrates the combined works of nature & man by making use of the physical constraints and opportunities of the landscape. It also is an associative landscape via the spiritual relationship the Aboriginal owners have with the land. About 80 people still live inside the park and survive by hunting and gathering.
Klaus Freisinger Austria -
The day I was there was cool, rainy, and foggy (and I had thought I was in the desert), but still the mountain exudes a magical charm and is a must-see site. I almost managed to hike around it, but it really was too muddy for that! At least I could understand why people from all over the world make such a fuss about it. Really worth seeing.Read On