New Inscriptions in 2010
The following sites were inscribed or extended by the 2010 WHC Session.
Map of All Inscribed Sites
- ●● Cultural
- ●● Natural
- ●● Mixed
The Episcopal City of Albi was built around the original cathedral and episcopal group of buildings. Red brick and tiles are the main feature of most of the edifices.
Among the buildings of the town is the Sainte Cécile cathedral, a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style, built between the 13th and 15th centuries. Built as a statement of the Christian faith after the upheavals of the Cathar heresy , this gigantic brick structure was embellished over the centuries.
The Palais de la Berbie, formerly the Bishops' Palace of Albi is one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in France. This imposing fortress was completed at the end of the 13th century.
The Old Bridge (Pont Vieux) is still in use today after almost a millennium of existence. Originally built in stone (in 1035), then clad with brick, it rests on 8 arches and is 151m long. In the 14th century, it was fortified, reinforced with a drawbridge and houses were built on the piers.
Clyde Malta - 17-Feb-14 -
I visited this WHS in February 2014. I would definitely recommend anyone a visit and if you have the time it wouldn't be a bad idea to spend the night there. The main highlight of the city is the huge and peculiar red brick cathedral that is visible from almost every part of town. The exterior resembles that of a castle or a fort and it is said to be the largest building in the world that is almost entirely made out of bricks. However the real treat is the interior of the cathedral. The WHS list includes far too many cathedrals and churches and is especially true in France! However, the interior of this church alone to me is definitely worth the inscription. The adjacent episcopal ensemble is now an excellent museum also worth visiting. The timber houses in the city centre and the enormous bridges on the Tarn River did remind me of Strasbourg too but on a much smaller scale. There is a small cloister right in the middle of Albi with a quiet courtyard where you can sit down and relax. A few steps away then, there is an exquisite tea shop called Au Moulin A Cafe which I highly recommend. They serve an excellent lunch menu with local products and home-made goodies that are worth the trip alone (at a reasonable price too!). For those who love tasting wine, do try the Gaillac red wine! A useful tip for anyone visiting by car: once you arrive near the cathedral parking, don't let the high gradient put you off; do drive downhill beneath the bridge, as parking there is free of charge! Don't worry, you have sweat your way back uphill ... there are a few steps that lead to the rear of the cathedral in no time!
The Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht is a network of canals that were made to extend the medieval city center. The ring of canals is half-moon shaped.
The city was expanded several times in history, but at the most in the 17th century when Amsterdam had become a wealthy trade metropolis. The nucleus of the nomination lies along the Singel, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Prinsengracht.
The core zone includes no less than 3,466 national monuments. Notable places include:
- Anne Frank House
- Groenlandsche Pakhuizen (warehouses)
- protestant churches (Westerkerk, Noorderkerk)
- clandestine churches (Mennonite, Remonstrant)
The houses are known for their variety in gables. Most of them are made of brick.
The Australian Convict Sites consists of a series of 11 sites that, in combination, express the key aspects of the Australian convict experience that are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of global history.
The sites are:
- First Government House Site, New South Wales
- Hyde Park Barracks, New South Wales
- Great North Road Complex, New South Wales
- Darlington Probation Station, Maria Island National Park, Tasmania
- Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania
- Coal Mines Historic Site, Tasmania
- Cascades Female Factory
- Fremantle Prison, Western Australia
- Kingston and Arthur`s Vale Historic Area
- Brickendon and Woolmers Estates
- Cockatoo Island Convict Site
When I went to Tasmania for the first time in April 1997, I visited Port Arthur. It was almost one year after the massacre that claimed the lives of 35 people on site. A memorial was already built to remember those who had lost their lives. Port Arthur's penitentiary and other buildings were basically ruins due to bushfires and years of wear and tear. It is still picturesque with green rolling hills, colourful leaves (during that time of year), and clear water. I took the boat cruise around the Island of the Dead but found it a bit boring and the boat was quite crowded. However, there were lots of opportunities for taking pictures, not only of the ruins but also theh Tasmans Arch and Blow Hole.
Bikini Atoll is a group of 23 islands in the Pacific that is forever linked with the nuclear age. Between 1946 and 1958, twenty-three nuclear devices were detonated at Bikini Atoll by the USA.
The local inhabitants were displaced and the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation.
In 1968 the United States declared Bikini habitable and started bringing a small group of Bikinians back to their homes in the early 1970s as a test. In 1978, however, the islanders were removed again when strontium-90 in their bodies reached dangerous levels after a French team of scientists did additional tests on the island.
Prior to the explosion of the first atomic bomb on the island, the lagoon at Bikini was designated as a ship graveyard after World War II by the United States Navy. Today the Bikini Lagoon is still home to a large number of vessels.
The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro is a 1400km section of the Silver Route stretching from Mexico City to New Mexico in the US.
The route was actively used from the mid-16th to the 19th centuries, mainly for transporting silver extracted from the mines of Zacatecas, Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí, and mercury imported from Europe.
The site comprises 59 different locations, including bridges, haciendas, chapels, temples, a hospital and several cities.
Solivagant UK - 02-Aug-10 -
Well, with the inscription of this site Mexico has really outdone France both in getting places inscribed twice (5 here are already on the list - Mexico City, Queretaro, San Miguel, Guanajuato and Zacatecas!) and in creating an inscription which encompasses so much of the country. No wonder ICOMOS had some “problems” with the nomination and wanted it referred for, among other matters, re-consideration of “the inclusion of the five already inscribed World Heritage properties”.
The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka cover the remaining part of the rainforests of Sri Lanka, the habitat of high numbers of threatened flora and fauna species.
One of the most remarkable surviving species is the endemic Sri Lankan leopard. Also, the western purple faced langur is critically endangered.
This mountainous region, covered with grass plains, consists of three separate protected areas:
- Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, including Adam’s Peak
- Horton Plains National Park
- Knuckles Range
Adam’s Peak is the highest point of the range at 2,243m above sea level. On top there is believed to be a footprint of Lord Buddha. Because of that, the peak has become an important center for Buddhist pilgrims.
The site was deferred for its cultural criteria in 2010. It is still on the Tentative List as part of the ‘Seruwila to Sri Pada Ancient pilgrim route’.
I have visited the Peak wilderness, Horton Plains alias Maha Eliya and Knuckles range many a time. Horton Plains or Maha Eliya is now being a National Park, much attention is paid to protect it. But the other areas are open for anyone who want to enter is open for threat. Knuckles and Peak Wilderness areas have more diversity in Fauna as well as flora, and has to be protected at any cost.
China Danxia refers to various landscapes of a unique type of petrographic geomorphology found in China. Danxia landform are formed from red-colored sandstones and conglomerates of largely Cretaceous age.
The Danxia landform is named after Mount Danxia, one of the most famous examples of the Danxia landform.
The other inscribed areas are:
- Mountain Langshan and Mountain Wanfoshan (Hunan Province)
- Taining and Guanzhishan (Fujian Province)
- Mountain Longhushan and Guifeng (Jiangxi Province)
- Fangyan and Mountain Jianglangshan (Zhejiang Province).
red-colored sandstones are seen everywhere in the Mount Danxia. create a very unique and beautiful landscape. the Mount Danxia is located in the North of Guangdong province
The Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in "The Centre of Heaven and Earth" are 8 groups of sites located at the foot of the sacred Mount Songshan.
These sites are:
- Taishi Que Gates, Zhongue Temple
- Shaoshi Que Gates
- Qimu Que Gates
- Songye Temple Pagoda
- Architectural Complex of Shaolin Temple (Kernel Compound, Chuzu Temple, Pagoda Forest)
- Huishan Temple
- Songyang Academy of Classical Learning
Joyce van Soest The Netherlands - 16-Jan-11
I visited Dengfeng in 2009 and I didn't know it was going to be a WHS at that time. The reason I came here was the famous Shaolin monastery. Besides Chinese tourist groups, there was little tourist infrastructure for the individual tourist (it was hard finding a hotel and restaurant) so I didn't know about the other important places in the area. Visiting the Shaolin temple was impressive though. The complex is large and I especially liked the large wall with frescos (see picture). There's also a large pagoda forest and some other temples. Going up the mountain you will get to the cave where Boddhidarma meditated for nine years and where apparently zen Buddhism started and also Shaolin boxing
'Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong' comprises the two most representative historic clan villages in the Republic of Korea.
They preserve Joseon-style architecture, folk traditions, valuable books, and the old tradition of clan-based villages.
Hahoe Folk Village is located in Andong. The village is organized around the geomantic guidelines of pungsu and so the village has the shape of a lotus flower or two interlocking comma shapes. The Byeongsanseowon Confucian Academy is also part of the core zone.
Yangdong Folk Village lies in Gangdong-myeon, 16km northeast of Gyeongju. The village has over 160 tile-roofed and thatched-roof homes built throughout the dense forest. Fifty-four historic homes over 200 years old have also been preserved. Included are three clusters: Yangdong Village, Oksanseowon Confucian Academy and Dongnakdang House, Donggangseowon Confucian Academy.
Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 12-Jun-11 -
I visited Hahoe village in June. Hahoe is probably the best preserved Joseon dynasty village in Korea. I really enjoyed my visit here. I had just recently visited Oeam and Naganueopseong village, which are on Korea's tentative list. So it was useful contextually for me to analyze each village on its own merits. They are actually fairly different, and each provide a unique view into the traditional village life during the Joseon dynasty.
The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734.
It is modeled after the one that he had built for him at the Mughal capital of Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur.
The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period".
Solivagant UK - 01-Aug-10 -
My last visit to the Jantar Mantar at Jaipur was as long ago as 1992 so the accompanying photo has had to be scanned in from a 35mm slide!! But I remember the visit, and indeed the entire stay in Jaipur with pleasure. This is a worthy addition to the list and a visit to Jaipur will bring in many other fine sights too!
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is a protected area encompassing 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of ocean waters and ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
This remote part of the Pacific is relatively pristine and has a large number of endemic species. It is also the habitat of the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
Culturally, it is important for its centrality to Hawaiian culture and its importance in the settlement of the Pacific. Significant Native Hawaiian cultural sites are found on the islands of Nihoa and Mokumanamana. There are also locations of historic shipwreck sites.
The Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument was created by Presidential proclamation on June 15, 2006.
Zoe Sheng China - 10-Aug-18 -
I wasn’t sure I had been to this place until I opened up the map on the UNESCO website with a great overview of islands. It also all made sense: the Midway Atoll is the only accessible place of the entire monument. This is not Hawaii but instead Unincorporated Territory.
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area is a remote marine ecosystem known for its high biodiversity. The area consists of eight atolls and two submerged coral reefs. The islands and surrounding areas are home to some 120 species of coral and more than 500 species of fish. They are located in the central Pacific Ocean.
On January 28, 2008, the government of Kiribati formally declared the entire Phoenix group and surrounding waters a protected area, making its 410,500 square kilometres the world's largest marine protected area. The islands are all uninhabited, except for some fishermen and officials on Kanton.
The 'Pitons, cirques and remparts' of Reunion Island are renowned for their visually striking landscape and remaining high numbers of endemic plant species.
The site consists of two adjoining volcanic massifs, with remparts (steep rock walls) and cirques (imposing natural amphitheatres) that evolved due to erosion and volcanism.
The site corresponds with the core zone of La Réunion national park, which protects the middle and upper slopes of the two peaks. The park covers more than 40% of Reunion Island. The vulcanos are the dormant Piton de Neiges (3,071m) and the highly active Piton de la Fournaise (2,632m). The latter has erupted over 100 times since 1640 and is one of the most continuously active in the world. Many volcanic features can be found in the area, such as lava flows and basaltic cliffs.
The Pitons are covered with subtropical rainforests and cloud forests. It is a global centre of plant diversity with a high degree of endemism within the Mascarene archipelago, which consists of Madagascar, Mauritius and smaller islands in the Indian Ocean.
Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland - 27-Oct-12
Non argueably one of world's wonders. Tropical forests, cirques, volcano, steep mountains, canyoons, watarfalls, everything can be found there.
Reunion National Park covers relatively big area almost entire interior (except those around villages), easy accesible by foot (marked trails) or bus. For those with limited time the best starting point to see the cirques is either Cilaos or Salazie (both accessible by bus).
The Putorana Plateau is a remote and pristine Arctic landscape.
It is situated in northern Central Siberia about 100 km north of the Arctic Circle, on a basalt and tuff plateau created by volcanism. The area holds a complete set of subarctic and arctic ecosystems like taiga, tundra and arctic desert. It is protected as the Putoransky State Nature Reserve.
This mountainous area is a classical example of the so-called trappean, or stepped relief. It holds many canyons, waterfalls and lakes. Permafrost covers the major part of the plateau, where lichens and forest grow. Wildlife includes brown bear, wolf, Arctic Fox, reindeer and the endemic Putorana snowsheep. A major reindeer migration route crosses the property twice a year. The plateau is also an important stop-over point for migrating arctic birds.
There is no human inhabitance in the core and buffer zones, though Dolgan and Evenk with a reindeer herding tradition live in a nearby village.
Putorana Pleateau: In June of 2001 I was a tourist with the MIR Corporation and 6 of us tourists along with a MIR guide and a guide from Novosibirsk joined an 8 member crew on a small boat, the Zarya, to deliver food and oil packages to villages along the Yenesei River with the Russian/American endeavor called "Project-Aid Siberia." In Turukhansk we met a doctor who invited us to join him and his friends for a fishing trip along the tributaries of the lower Tunguska River. Of course, transportation was by helicopter. On the way home that evening, our pilot set our helicopter down on the edge of the Putorana Plateau and we made our
São Francisco Square in the town of São Cristovão is an open space surrounded by a monumental architectural ensemble. The quadrilateral square measures 51x73 metres.
The most prominent monuments around the square are:
- São Francisco Church and convent (begun in 1693)
- Church and Santa Casa de Misericordia (18th century)
- Provincial Palace
The structures are Spanish-colonial in appearance, as they derived from the Ordinances of King Philip II, at a time when Portugal and Spain were under the same crown. São Cristovão is a river port and a former provincial capital.
João Aender Campos Cremasco Brazil - 15-Jul-11 -
São Francisco Square is located in São Cristóvão, a small town close to the capital of the State of Sergipe - Aracaju. It is rather an ordinary square, like so many others in Northeastern Brazil, with a simple church and a religious museum on its side. What UNESCO suggested to be extraordinary is that the square was designed in 1590 according to Spanish Ordinations, something unique in Brazil and it was to the fact that, at that time, the Portuguese and the Spanish Crowns were united under Philip II. There's a couple of other 17-Century churches nearby and a humble museum of the State of Sergipe - São Cristóvão was its first capital, and nothing more. It is difficult to understand why UNESCO chose this city to have the same status of Olinda, Salvador or Ouro Preto, majestic colonial cities. If you really want to collect this WHS, Aracaju is well served with internal flights and, by land, is not far away from Salvador.
The Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil is a Sufi spiritual retreat dating from between the early 16th century and late 18th century.
It is the burial site of Safi al-Din Ardabili (b. 1252/3), the eponymous founder of the Safawiyya order of Sufism. The complex is a fine example of medieval Iranian architecture.
The shrine was an important site of pilgrimage throughout the Safavid period (1501-1722) and underwent numerous improvements and embellishments to become one of the most beautiful of all Safavid monuments.
The site includes a library, a mosque, a school, a mausoleum, a cistern, a hospital, kitchens, a bakery and some offices.
February 2012, its the moment of decision. To go or not to go to Iran. I had booked this trip a while ago but did not anticipate that the political situation was so tense at this time. Israel is assumed to be ready to bomb the nuclear sites in Iran as early as April and the US could be dragged in via the Straits of Hormuz etc. Added to the fact that the US does not have an embassy in Iran makes it even more tricky.
The Proto-urban site of Sarazm comprises the archaeological site of the ancient city of Sarazm. About 5000 years ago it was "the largest metallurgical center of Central Asia engaged in export".
The city is believed to have been revived as a mining point to collect from nearby sources of turquoise. Established no later that 1500 BC, the city also served as an important regional agricultural and copper production center.
It was abandoned after the arrival of the Indo-Iranians, around 2000 BC.
Martina Ruckova Slovakia - 18-May-16 -
The ancient site of Sarazm is to be found about 15 kms west off Penjikent in north-western part of Tajikistan. Travelling from Dushanbe, it takes about 4-5 hours to reach Penjikent and let me tell you, even though you might think otherwise, that's one of the best roads to be found across the country. The site itself is well-marked, behind a small fence and the excavations are protected by a roof. Some basic information is provided, but not very much. Info booklet can be bought in the Rudaki museum in Penjikent. I really missed a local tour guide here who would give us some context of the culture and the excavation works, as, for example in Cattalhoyuk in Turkey. Some of the artifacts that have been excavated from the ancient Sarazm can also be found in the Rudaki museum, so I'd recommend visiting that first.
The Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex is one of the oldest and largest bazaars of the Middle East.
Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity and its historic bazaar complex was one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road.
The most prosperous time of Tabriz and its complex Bazaar was in the 13th century when town became the capital city of Safavid kingdom. The city lost its status as capital in the 16th century, but its Bazaar has remained important as a commercial and economic center.
I am from Tabriz. Interesting part of memories about Tabriz Bazaar goes back to my childhood time even before grade school walking with my family in this wonderful and naturally well warmed covered places watching shops after shops with almost anything a child might think about,while it was snowing with hard winter whether outside. In summer, just avoiding the heat of mid-day sun,I used to enjoy walking in this covered and naturally well air-conditioned cool air of any Tabriz Bazaars.
The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi is the archeological site of the old capital of Vietnam, which originated in 1010.
This makes it one of the oldest centers of power in the world that has been in use without interruption.
Most of the structures were destroyed in the 19th century and are now being restored. They form a unique synthesis of the influence of various Asian cultures.
The site consists of two main parts:
- 18 Hoang Dieu Archeological site
- Citadel, including the Flag Tower, Doan Mon Gate, Kinh Tien Palace, the Dragon Steps, Hau Lau Palace, Bac Mon Gate
Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 10-Aug-10 -
In 2008, I visited Hanoi with no expectation as my prime interest was the famous Ha Long Bay, but I also made a sightseeing tour to many places; apart from the beautiful Hoan Kiem pond in the city center, I also visited many temples such as Van Mieu, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and its museum. I thought I had seen all the must see of Hanoi which in my opinion except Ho Chi Minh’s, the historic sites in Hanoi were just fine with no significant or unique.
The At-Turaif District in ad-Dir’iyah encompasses the remains of a traditional human settlement developed in a desert environment, dating from the 15th century.
It consists almost entirely of mud-brick structures. They are a unique example of the Najdi architectural and decorative style developed to cope with the extreme desert climate.
Diriyah was the original home of the Saudi royal family, and served as the capital of the first Saudi dynasty from 1744 to 1818.
The site includes:
- Salwa Palace
- Saad bin Saud Palace
- The Guest House and At-Turaif Bath House
- Imam Mohammad bin Saud Mosque
Solivagant UK - 21-Jun-08 -
Al-Diriyyah is the ancestral home of the Saudi royal family/clan and is situated a few miles from Riyadh. It was destroyed in 1818 when the Ottomans invaded Arabia. Even when the Saudi family regained control of the area it remained ruined - possibly due to the Wahhabite fear of idolatry of old things which has led to much of Saudi Arabia's tangible heritage being destroyed. (Ref Fatwa 16626, issued in 1994 by `Abd al-`Aziz which reads in part: "It is not permitted to glorify buildings and historical sites. Such action would lead to "shirk" because people might think the places have spiritual value.") In fact the place is significant as the location where Wahhabism was "born". To quote Wiki "In 1744, Ibn Saud took in a fugitive religious scholar named Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, who hailed from the town of Al-Uyaynah, lying on the same wadi some 30 miles upstream. Ibn Saud agreed to implement Ibn Abdul Wahhab's religious views, and what later became known as the First Saudi State, with its capital at Diriyah, was born."
The Prehistoric caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca are archaeological sites associated with the Zapotec civilization and much earlier primitive farmers.
The area was the "birthplace" of the domestication of plants in North America.
The designated area includes Guilá Naquitz, a small cave which was occupied at least six times between 8000 and 6500 BC, by hunters and gatherers. A wide range of plant food was recovered within the cave deposits, including acorn, pinyon, cactus fruits, hackberries, and most importantly, the wild forms of bottle gourd, squash and beans.
This site is certainly confusing. When you look at Yagul and Mitla either in the guidebooks or on line, the descriptions are that these are two pre-hispanic sites occupied first by the Zapotecs and later by the Mixtecs from as early as 500BC and declined after Monte Alban and abandoned after the Spanish arrival. Both sites are in the Tlacolula Valley south of Oaxaca.
Extended Sites in 2010
The Churches of Moldavia are Byzantine churches with painted exterior walls. They were built between ca. 1487 and 1532, as a protective barrier against the Muslim Ottoman conquerors from the East.
The following individual churches are part of this site:
- Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, Arbore
- Church of the Assumption of the Virgin of the former Monastery of Humor
- Church of the Annunciation of the Monastery of Moldovita
- Church of the Holy Rood, Patrauti
- Church of St Nicholas and the Catholicon of the Monastery of Probota
- Church of St George, Suceava
- Church of St George of the former Voronet Monastery.
- Church of the Resurrection of Sucevita Monastery
Solivagant UK - 15-Jun-05 -
Romania has inscribed 3 different “sets” of churches on its WHS list. Each set exists in a separate geographical area of the country and each is distinguished by a different architectural feature - Wooden, Fortified and Painted. We have only visited the latter 2 and, on the basis of their uniqueness, beauty and situation would place the Painted Churches among the highest category of WHS in Europe. A visit to them is really a wonderful experience.
The Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites in the Coa Valley and Siega Verde date from the Upper Palaeolithic (22,000-10,000 BC) and are considered a masterpiece of prehistoric art. They were discovered in the late 1980s.
The Coa valley site is composed of a group of 16 rock art and settlement sites spread over some 17 km of the lower Coa river valley. The site was extended with similar rock art 60 km away, in the Siega Verde just over the border in Spain.
Werner Huber Austria -
We visited the WHS of the rock drawings as part of our trip through northern Portugal. The drive up the Douro Valley is beatiful anyway but I wouldn't have gone that far if there was no WHS.
We had prearranged a tour with the park rangers and the Coa Valley turned out to be a beautiful and tranquil place. There were no tourists there whatsoever, good on one hand but whether the park will ever be able to economically justify itself, is doubtful.
The City of Graz - Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg is recognized due to the harmonious co-existence of typical buildings from different epochs and in different architectural styles.
Being situated in a cultural borderland between Central Europe, Italy and the Balkan States, Graz absorbed various influences from the neighbouring regions and thus received its exceptional townscape. Today the old town consists of over 1000 buildings, their age ranging from Gothic to Contemporary.
The baroque Eggenberg Castle and its gardens, at the western edge of the city, were added to the included area in 2010.
Klaus Freisinger Austria - -
Austria's second-largest city has a beautiful centre with lots of interesting sites (the Zeughaus has the world's largest medieval armoury), but without the hordes of tourists that crowd Vienna or Salzburg. There are buildings from several epochs, which can be seen from above from the Uhrturm (clock tower), the city's landmark. The site was recently expanded to include Eggenberg Palace, a very pretty late-Renaissance building a short tram ride from the centre. It has a large garden with an interesting archaeology museum, and is certainly a worthy addition to the site.
Monte San Giorgio is a mountain at Lake Lugano known for its marine fossils from the Mid Triassic Period.
At that time (about 240 million years ago), the area had a tropical climate and a sea full of coral, fish, (long-necked) reptiles and turtle-like creatures. The fossils of these animals were found well preserved in what had been a sea basin.
When mines were dug at Monte San Giorgio in the 2nd half of the 19th century, to extract oil from butuminous shale, the fossils were discovered. Over 10.000 specimens have been found. They include large skeletons of vertrebrae up to 6 metres long. The quality of preservation is very high and a number of 'first discoveries' of species have been made here.
The site can be compared to Ischigualasto / Talampaya (same period, but not marine) and Dorset and East Devon Coast (partly same period, but not the same quality/quantity). Ideally, the site should be extended into Italy, as many important findings were discovered there. The fossils are displayed in museums in Zürich and Lugano, and in the local area (Meride, Besano, Induna Olona).
My boyfriend (Lugano native) decided to take me here last week, as he has always wanted to see it and has never had the chance, and he knew that I would love it. We drove around Monte San Giorgio for a little while before he finally stopped and asked for directions from one of the locals. They sent us to Meride, where again, we were unsure where to go. He stopped another local and asked for directions again.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a nature reserve which main feature is the Ngorongoro Crater. The crater floor is covered with open grassy plains that hold both fresh and brackish water lakes.
It is the world's largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera. The Crater formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two to three million years ago.
Ngorongoro is thought of as "a natural enclosure" for a very wide variety of wildlife. It has the densest known population of lion in the world. The most commonly seen animals are gazelles, zebra and wildebeest.
At its inscription special notice was taken of the balance between conservation and the needs of the Maasai pastoralists who still take their livestock into the reserve.
I recently visited Tanzania on safari for my honeymoon. We visited in early July and spent almost two weeks there. On our travels we visited the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It was amazing. Although we were there during the dry season and everything wasn't as lush as in pictures I had seen, it was beautiful. The weather was cool to cold along the rim, but inside the crater it was perfect weather for safari. Because of it being the dry season the tsetse flies were minimal and mosquitos were not a problem. We saw lions, hyenas, black-backed and common jackals, elephants, DeFassa's waterbuck, vervet monkeys, baboons, plenty of hippos, wildebeast, zebra, Thomson and Grant gazelle, flamingo, three species of eagles, various water birds, buffalo, and four black rhino. Amazing!! A lifetime experience for naturalists. A nice note is that the crater closes at 6 pm daily and this is strictly enforced. Park rangers watch your every move from above. The needs of the animals are definitely the priority here.
Pirin National Park covers a mountaine range composed of limestone rocks with a granite nucleus, which is noted for its variety in flora and high scenic beauty.
It encompasses the larger part of the Pirin Mountains in the southwest of Bulgaria.
The huge relief diversity of the park is the reason for the variety of plant species on its territory. About 1300 species of higher plant species can be observed within the park, which constitute more than 30% of all higher plants on the territory of Bulgaria. Besides this, about 300 moss species and a large amount of algae have been determined. The park is a home to 18 local endemic species, 15 Bulgarian and many Balkan endemic and a large quantity of preserved species, such as the Edelweiss, a symbol of Pirin.
Three plant belts are differentiated within the Pirin National Park, a forest one, a subalpine one and an alpine one, which is due to the relatively high location of the entire park.
Solivagant UK - 21-Feb-06 -
“Natural WHS” seem to me occur in 2 categories – sites with a visible “Wow factor” in the form of some (near) “world unique” geological or wildlife sight which makes them worth undergoing a long journey to see (eg Grand Canyon or Bwindi), and those which, for reasons of remoteness, government action or luck have largely escaped the depredations of man and remain in a reasonably pristine state to demonstrate what some particular ecological niche or climatic zone once looked like. Usually in these latter cases the botanists or zoologists are still able to conjure up some relatively unknown species which is endemic to the area in order to back its “unique importance” (or am I guilty of “speciesism” in regarding a site containing “Gorilla gorilla” as more justifying WHS inscription than one containing “Pinus heldreichii”!!). In my opinion such sites are really only worth picking up if you are in the area and just want to experience some interesting countryside. If Pirin’s inscription has a justification it is of this second category!
The Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System constitutes of one of the largest mining and metallurgical complexes for non-ferrous metals in Europe.
The Rammelsberg mining complex was in continuous use for at least 1000 years, before it closed its doors in 1988 due to exhaustion. The uniqueness of this site lies in its long history of mining and metal production. A variety of metals were discovered here over the ages, including copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold.
The nearby town of Goslar owns its level of development to the mining industry. It achieved great prosperity in the late Middle Ages thanks to the revenues from mining, metal production and trade. Goslar also played an important role in the Hanseatic League.
In and around Rammelsberg and Goslar a great number of monuments give testimony to this period in history. Among the worldheritage listed are mine-owners' houses, underground tunnels and transportation tracks , office buildings and churches.
For anyone remotely interested in industrial archeology or geology the Rammelsberg mine is a must-see. When you approach the site and see the array of processing buildings stretching up the mountainside it is clear this is no ordinary mine relic. It dates from the 10th century and worked with few interruptions until 1988. Many of the early features survived and it is fortunate that closure took place when the social value of such places was recognised so that everything has been preserved even the miners' clothing, each man's hanging from its own ceiling hook just as it did the day it closed.
Røros Mining Town and the Circumference comprises a historic mining town and industrial landscape shaped by copper mining.
Within the Circumference, an area within a 45km radius around town, Røros Copper Works held the monopoly to exploit the natural and human resources. Work was done under severe climatic conditions, and ways were found to adapt to it for example via the 'Winter Transport Route' on frozen lakes and rivers. Mining lasted here from 1644 til 1977.
John booth New Zealand - 03-May-10
I visited Roros on a day trip by train from Trondheim. The train journey involved a steep climb, with a substantial drop in temperature, even in August.
The town was compact enough to visit all the significant features like the smelting area, slag heaps and workers' cottages on foot, interspersed with visits to the several hot soup kitchens available.