New Inscriptions in 2015

The 2015 WHC Session added 24 Sites bringing the total to 1031.

Map of All Inscribed Sites

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Legend

  • Cultural
  • Natural
  • Mixed

Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque

Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque
Photo provided by Jay T.

The 'Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System' encompasses a 16th century canal system that is unique in the Americas.

The system was initiated by Franciscan friars. Its design shows a fusion of Mesoamerican and European features.

The hydraulic system lies between the towns of Zempoala, Hidalgo and Otumba, in the State of Mexico.

Carol United States - 18-Jan-09

Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque:

We found this quite by accident. I was amazed by the work and the enormity. It was incredile. Unfortunately, there was no one to tell us about the site and no signs. So now I am left to search the internet to explain what I saw.

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Arab-Norman Palermo

Arab-Norman Palermo
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Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale show an exceptional cultural exchange, dating from the era of the Norman kingdom of Sicily (1130-1194). Muslim, Byzantine, Latin, Jewish, Lombard, and French traces can be found in the enlisted sites.

The serial WHS consists of 9 monuments:

  • Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel
  • Zisa Palace
  • Palermo Cathedral
  • Monreale Cathedral
  • Cefalù Cathedral
  • Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti
  • Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio
  • Church of San Cataldo
  • Admiral’s Bridge

Clyde Malta - 31-May-15

Arab-Norman Palermo

I visited all the sites in this soon-to-be inscribed WHS in May 2015. Palermo itself has 7 sites. Most have been restored and cleaned up prior to this year's WH Conference. The main landmark in Palermo and the most beautiful site for its exterior is Palermo's Cathedral. The sheer size and sculpted details on the facade, towers and rear side of the cathedral are worth a trip to Palermo alone. Yet the jewel of Palermo is the Palatine Chapel and the royal apartments with their marvelous "golden" mosaics. It is always pretty crowded and there are no chairs to sit down and stay in awe. The presbitery treasures are also of outstanding beauty as are the royal rooms housed in the Norman Palace

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Baekje Historic Areas

Baekje Historic Areas
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The Baekje Historic Areas cover 8 archeological sites from the late Baekje Kingdom (475-660 CE), with its unique culture. The remains are related to the three former capital cities of this kingdom: Gongju, Buyeo and Sabi.

This serial site comprises the following locations:

  • Gongju: Gongsanseong Fortress, Royal Tombs in Songsan-ri
  • Buyeo: the Busosanseong Fortress and Gwanbuk-ri administrative buildings, Jeongnimsa Temple, royal tombs in Neungsan-ri and Naseong city wall
  • Sabi: the royal palace at Wanggung-ri and the Mireuksa Temple

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 11-Jun-11

Baekje Historic Areas

The two most important sites in this serial property are the Tomb of King Muyeong and Mireuksa Temple. The famous tomb, which was discovered intact, became one of Korea's most famous archeological discoveries. The tomb included items from Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. The interior of the tomb can only be visited by an onsite replica. Like Kaesong and Gyeongju, this WHS is made up of mostly tombs, fortresses, and temples. The fortress in Gongju and Buyeo are both pleasant walks, but have been partially rebuilt in later historical periods. I am very interested in visiting the Naesong City Wall, which (to my knowledge) was never rebuilt following the Three Kingdoms period.

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Baptism Site "Bethany Beyond the Jordan"

Baptism Site "Bethany Beyond the Jordan"
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The Baptism Site "Bethany Beyond the Jordan" (Al-Maghtas) is a Christian pilgrimage site commemorating the location where Jesus of Nazareth was baptised by John the Baptist.

The site is located on the eastern banks of the Jordan river, and comprises two locations: Tell el-Kharrar (Elijah’s Hill) and the Zor area of the Churches of St. John the Baptist

 

 

 

Walter Switzerland - 07-Nov-11

Baptism Site "Bethany Beyond the Jordan"

I visited this TL site on a rainy morning in November. They is no bus. I had a car, it is well signe-posted on the Amman-Dead Sea highway, about 10 km from the Dead Sea Resort hotels.

Because it lies on the border with Israel-occupied land, you need to go on a guided tour.

Price is 12 JOD (abour 15 $). Included is an audio guide in several languages. Then we boarded a bus that drived us past the hill where prophet Elijah ascended to heaven in a chariots of fire (there is not much to see and they didn't let us leave the bus).

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Blue and John Crow Mountains

Blue and John Crow Mountains
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Blue and John Crow Mountains is a remote mountainous region known for its biodiversity and relevance to the history of Jamaican Maroons.

The park covers two mountain ranges: the Blue Mountains, peaking at 2,250m, and the John Crow Mountains which is a limestone plateau. They are covered with dense tropical, montane rainforest. A wide variety in endangerd and/or endemic plant, frog and bird species is found here.

The region provided refuge to escaped indigenous slaves, the traces of which can be seen at Maroon archaeological sites such as hiding-places and a network of trails. The ‘Windward Maroons’ of the Blue Mountains region were one of two Maroon strongholds in Jamaica. They lived in and around the settlement of Nanny Town. Its spiritual association with living traditions, ideas and beliefs already earned it a place on the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage in 2008.

Kelly Rogers USA - 31-Jan-19

We visited Blue and Crow Mountains in November 2017.  We hired a driver to take us from Port Antonio and we are very glad that we did.  Some of the roads were not in great shape and we got to gape at the stunning scenery.  We were told that the "good road"  will be completed all the way to the northern part of the island eventually.  It was complete from Kingston to the National Park when we went.  This would be the only part I would be willing to drive if I had a rental.  

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Burgundy

Burgundy
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The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy comprise 1,247 vineyard parcels and the commercial towns of Beaune and Dijon.

The vineyards are distinct from one another due to their specific natural conditions such as soil and microclimate. They cover the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune south of Dijon.

 

 

 

Clyde Malta - 04-Jul-15

Burgundy

I visited this newly inscribed WHS on two occasions once in July 2013 and once in May 2015. On both occasions I admit to have only enjoyed the splendid vineyard landscapes and tiny villages which I think are the highlight of yet another vineyard landscape inscription. I also stopped by Dijon and enjoyed its cathedral before heading to Besancon when visiting the Vauban WHS series of sites. I will most definitely try to visit Beaune in the very near future to better understand the OUV of the Climats and to do some wine tasting.

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Champagne

Champagne
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'Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars' is a cultural landscape shaped by the production of sparkling wines since the 17th century.

The area is divided into 3 clusters:

  • Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims
  • Avenue of Champagne in Epernay
  • hillsides of Hautvillers, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ

 

 

Clyde Malta - 16-Nov-14

Champagne

I visited this TWHS in June 2013 unknowingly but in November 2014 I made up for it by staying at a small champagne-maker. I visited a number of chalk cellars (Veuve Cliquot, Marcier, Taittinger, etc.) with guided tours varying from 30 mins to 2hrs. My favourite cellar was Pommery's together with the Art Nouveau Villa Demouseille. I explored the famous Avenue de Champagne in Epernay and enjoyed visiting the Comtesse Lafond Castle. Finally I visited several small towns nestled in the Champagne vineyard hills such as Dizi and Hautvillers. In Hautvillers I visited the tomb of Dom Perignon and then walked through the vineyards of Moet & Chandon to a panoramic viewpoint. Hautvillers is a very quaint village, famous for its wrought iron signs. Most probably this site will be inscribed in 2015.

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Christiansfeld

Christiansfeld
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Christiansfeld a Moravian Settlement was founded in 1773 by the Moravian Church, following a strict city plan.

From the German village of Herrnhut, the first Moravian missions were directed to the Dano-Norwegian Empire. Christiansfeld is the best-preserved example of such settlements in Europe.

The town was named after the Danish king Christian VI.

Joanne United States - 30-Jun-09

I was in Christiansfeld, Denmark in July of 1995. I had met my future husband 3 months earlier when he was home in Ohio on leave. I went to Germany for a 2 week visit, and a couple of days before I was supposed to leave, we headed to Denmark and got married. We will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary on July 21st. We spent about a week in Christiansfeld. We did a lot of sight seeing. We had a great time. I will remember it forever. We are hoping to go back some day.

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Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens

Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens
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'Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape' comprises a fortified settlement along the Tigris River, which played an important role in many civilizations.

Its long history include Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, Artuqid, Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

Stanislaw Warwas Poland - 13-Apr-18

Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens

Visited April 2018. Diyarbakır is the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan. The city is really big and still booming thanks to the GAP Project, but the part interesting for tourists is located on its eastern outskirts, closer to the Tigris River. The Kurdish people call the city Amida as it was named two thousand years ago.

I have very mixed feelings about this inscription that was put into WH List 2015 after ICOMOS referral. Surely it is not my favourite WHS in Turkey although I have to admit that the inscribed part has a kind of a charm… There are 6 components which constitute one rather big unity: Içkale with Amida Mound, City Walls, Hevsel Gardens, Ten-Eyed Bridge, Natural water resources, Tigris River Valley.

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Ephesus

Ephesus
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Ephesus contains successive settlements from the Neolithic, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Selçuk and Ottoman periods. The property is located at the Aegean Coast of Turkey.

This site comprises 4 locations:

  • Cukurici Mound
  • Ancient City of Ephesus
  • Ayasuluk Hill, the Artemision and the Medieval Settlement
  • The ‘House of Virgin Mary’

Christine Gravlin United States - 19-May-09

This is a wonderful place to visit and experience history. I hope that it will be made permanent site. It needs to be preserved.

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Forth Bridge

Forth Bridge
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The Forth Bridge is a late 19th century steel cantilever railway bridge. It connects Edinburgh with Fife over the estuary 'Firth of Forth' in the east of Scotland.

This single, monumental structure is considered a creative masterpiece and a feat of civil engineering.

The bridge is 1.6 miles (2.5 km) in length, and the double track is elevated 151 ft (46 m) above the water level at high tide. It is supported by three great four-tower cantilever structures. To prevent the steel from rusting, the structure is covered with red protective coating. It still is in active use as a mainline railway bridge.

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 11-Mar-14

Forth Bridge

I visited the Forth Bridge in 2007. The picturesque monument is stunning. My experience at the bridge was based on an afternoon visit to Queensferry, and travelling across the Firth of Forth itself several times. In addition, there is a pleasant view from Blackness Castle that really showcases the massive scale of the Forth Bridge. During these excursions, I was able to appreciate multiple views of the Forth Bridge, which enriched my appreciation of this iconic Scottish landmark.

I've read there are plans being implemented for a visitor center and platform. I do wish this was available in 2007, but I can't complain. I enjoyed my quite and serene stroll within the waterfront area of Queensferry, with the Forth Bridge towering above me

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Fray Bentos

Fray Bentos
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The Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape is a port area shaped for industrial production processes.

In 1899 a company called 'Anglo' started a meat packing plant here on the Uruguay River. It attracted immigrant workers from over 50 countries. The factory (then owned by Liebig) was closed down in 1979.

Assif Germany - 14-Mar-16

When I first made up my mind to use my long holiday in Uruguay visiting my parents in law to visit Fray Bentos I couldn't resist the annoying thought of visiting a slaughterhouse as a vegetarian. It is still a part cultural history, I told myself. Thankfully, however, Fray Bentos has a lot to it other than its indispensable share of death toll. The city is situated about 300 kms or four hours drive from Montevideo (the Uruguayan capital) and about the same distance from Buenos Aires. It is next to the closest bridge connecting the two countries. The city isn't too big and you can easily walk from the city centre to Barrio Anglo which is the historic company town.

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Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain

Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain
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The Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape is associated with Genghis Khan and the Mongolian nation as described in 'The Secret History of the Mongols'.

It is considered the most sacred mountain in Mongolia, with a fusion of Buddhist and shamanic features.

Maymand

Maymand
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The Cultural Landscape of Maymand covers a dry desert valley in Central Iran, which is home to semi-nomadic people. They practice a three phase transhumance system.

In winter, they live in troglodytic houses carved out of soft stone rocks. The designated area contains houses, animal shelters, water collection points, agro-pastoral systems and rock-art.

Alexander Parsons Australia - 17-Apr-16

Maymand

My visit to Maymand was a bizarre experience that is unlikely to be replicated by others, so my review should not be taken to be especially representative of the typical experience. I arrived via chartered taxi around 5:30pm, because the driver assured me it would only be 1.5 hours drive from Kerman and thus refused to leave earlier. This was very obviously wrong, and it took closer to 3.5. This wasn’t catastrophic, given sunset wasn’t until after 7:30, so there was still plenty of time to look around.

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Necropolis of Bet She'arim

Necropolis of Bet She'arim
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The 'Necropolis of Bet She'arim - A Landmark of Jewish Renewal' is the archeological site of a Jewish town and 33 ancient rock-cut Jewish tombs.

The site covers an important period in Jewish history, being the place where Rabbi Judah the Patriarch lived and where the preferred burial place for Jews was moved in 135 CE after they were barred from the Mount of Olives during the Roman occupation.

The burial sites are spread out over 3 sections. They contain inscriptions written in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Palmyrean, showing the exchange with the Roman world.

The site is located 20 km east of Haifa. It is part of Beit She'arim National Park.

Assif Germany - 24-May-08

This site was a sacred Jewish burial place during the late Roman period, when Beth Shearim was among the most significant Jewish sites. The site became important when Rabbi Judah the Nasi was buried there, which attracted many other Jews who wishes to be buried nearby. The site is full of catacombs where you can see ornated sarcophags covered with Greek inscriptions. Some of the entry gates are also impressive. The site is not too big and can easily be covered in a few hours. The site is conveniently located next to Nazareth at the Yizrael Valley, where you can also visit Seppheris and Megiddo, itself a WHS.

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Par force hunting landscape

Par force hunting landscape
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The par force hunting landscape in northern Zealand is an intentionally designed landscape used for hunting by the Danish kings in the 17th and 18th centuries.

‘Par force’ stands for ‘by force (of dogs)’, the noblest form of hunting where a specific animal was run down and exhausted by mounted hunters and dogs before the kill was made. This technique was developed in France and adopted widely across Europe by the royalty and nobility to display their power.

The landscape consists of man-made forests and ride systems in a rigid grid pattern. It covers 3 main components: Store Dyrehave, Gribskov and Jægersborg Hegn/Jægersborg Dyrehave. Also, 6 paths formerly connecting Store Dyrehave and Gribskov are included.

Nan Germany - 12-Jul-15

Par force hunting landscape

Originally constructed to serve as the king's private hunting ground, the parforce hunting landscape in North Zealand nowadays is a recreational area just north of Copenhagen. It's a large forest/park that also contains a golf course and an amusement park. In the center of the park (Jægersborg Dyrehave = Hunters Castle Deerpark) you can easily spot deers, a legacy from the hunting days.

I went there on a sunny day in May. It was a pleasant experience and I was itching to go for a run. In a way I did, as my schedule was rather short and in the end I needed to hurry a bit to get to the station on time. Plan at least 2-3h, the park is huge.

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Rjukan / Notodden

Rjukan / Notodden
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The ‘Rjukan / Notodden Industrial Heritage Site’ covers a former production complex that used revolutionairy hydroelectric power plants in the Måna river and its waterfalls.

It was established by the private Norsk-Hydro company in the early 20th century to produce artificial fertilizer. This linear WHS covers a stretch of water and adjacent lands of about 80km length between Rjukan and Notodden in southeastern Norway.

The site includes four types of constructions:

  • Hydroelectric power production system (power plants, workshops, distribution lines)
  • Industrial facilities (factories, laboratories)
  • Transport system (railway lines plus stations, and steam-powered ferry crossings)
  • Company towns Rjukan and Notodden

Tsunami Japan / USA / Poland - 06-Jul-15

Rjukan / Notodden

I visited this site in August 2012. I took a train from Nordagutsu through Hjuksebö to Notodden. The railway between Hjuksebö and Notodden is supposed to be part of the World Heritage Site and is apparently still in use. I happened to take this photo of the train on the railway because I thought it was cute.

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Rock Art in the Hail Region

Rock Art in the Hail Region
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Rock Art in the Hail Region of Saudi Arabia covers two sites with petroglyphs and inscriptions northwest and south of the city of Hail.

The two locations are:

  • Jabal Umm Sinman, Jubbah
  • Jabal al-Manjor and Jabal Raat, Shuwaymis

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 24-Jan-19

Rock Art in the Hail Region

Hail Rock Art is one of the easier places to visit in the Kingdom. I wanted to come a day earlier but got stuck on a road leading into the dessert which I guess I wouldn't know without reading an Arabic sign or there wasn't a sign and they assume everyone will pass this area with a 4WD. No point in talking about it more but if you are coming from the southwest you have to get to Hail first, then turn west. If you are coming from Riyadh then it's clear how to drive anyway.

There are two locations, one in the far south of Hail but it's in the middle of nowhere so the choice was clear: Jubbah. I also inquired at the National Museum in Riyadh about a permit and they told me to find someone in Hail but actually that's not true. I think the term “permit” in the KSA means more like “get an official guide who arranges everything”

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San Antonio Missions

San Antonio Missions
Photo provided by Michael Novins.

The San Antonio Missions were created by the Franciscan Order in the 18th century to evangelize the indigenous Coahuiltecan population and create settlements loyal to the Spanish. They are located along the San Antonio River in Texas.

This serial site comprises 5 missions and one ranch:

  • Mission Valero (the Alamo)
  • Mission Concepción
  • Mission San José
  • Mission San Juan
  • Mission Espada
  • Ranch associated with Mission Espada

Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 03-Jun-15

San Antonio Missions

Remember the Alamo and don’t forget other four missions is maybe the words that will be in every tourist magazines of the lovely city of San Antonio especially after June 2015 when finally the San Antonio Missions become the first World Heritage Site for Texas. During my 2 days visit in this nice city, apart from the famous scenic River Walk, I did manage to visit 2 missions after saw advertisement and articles about San Antonio Mission National Historic Park in almost every free magazine I read in the hotel. After consulted with hotel concierge and very tight schedule, I decided to take a taxi to visit Mission San Jose which reputably to be the largest and most beautiful of all missions.

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Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens
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The Singapore Botanic Gardens comprise a garden landscape that started as a British tropical colonial botanic garden.

The gardens were created in 1859, and have been a centre for plant research since. It covers 74-hectare and is located in the heart of Singapore city.

balex Singapore - 25-Jun-13

The Botanic Gardens of Singapore! It will definitely be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The inscription is truly worthy for a site that showcases remarkable human achievements and the exceptional contributions made to mankind. Without a doubt, this site will rise up to match the greatness of the Great Wall, the awe of the ancient Pyramids or Petra, and even the amazing Amazon.

It will be the most convenient site to be ever visited by any tourist. With the efficient, extensive and inexpensive metro system, it just takes less than 40 minutes from the airport or less than 10 minutes from the city centre to get to the front of the entrance of this wonderful garden. It is truly remarkable

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Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution

Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution
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The 'Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining' cover a series of industrial sites related to iron, steel, shipbuilding and coal mining.

They were developed during the rapid Industrial transformation in the Bakumatsu and Meiji periods (1853 - 1912).

The WHS comprises 23 component sites in southwest Japan. They are spread out over the towns and cities of Hagi, Kagoshima, Nirayama, Kamaishi, Saga, Nagasaki, Miike and Yawata.

 

 

 

 

Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 24-Mar-15

Sites of Japan

From sites and components that become the third industrial site which Japan nominated to become a World Heritage Site, I was fortunate to see at least 9 sites during my short visit to Kyushu especially in Kagoshima and Nagasaki. The city of Kagoshima welcomed me with the eruption of Sakurajima, its iconic volcano that erupts at least five times daily. One of the most significant tourist attractions of this Naples of Japan is the former residence of Shimazu feudal lord, the Sangen-en Garden. The residence and garden are really lovely with beautiful landscape design. Part of the Sengan-en, actually located directly at the main entrance, is the former site of Shuseikan which is considered the first industrial complex in Japan. There are 3 sites that still visible

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Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District

Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District
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The Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus are two commercial quarters with offices and warehouses close to the port of Hamburg.

They date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The iconic Chilehaus is a ten-story office building. It is an exceptional example of the 1920s Modernist architecture (Brick Expressionism style).

Clyde Malta - 11-Oct-14

Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District

I visited these sites in Hamburg in October 2014. They are truly unique and in my humble opinion deserve inscription as they truly possess OUV. The best way to visit the Speicherstadt is by going on a harbour cruise. The red brick wharfs and metal winches of the Speicherstadt are HUGE and are just a pleasant stroll away from the Chilehaus. The Chilehaus is a true architectural gem and just opposite is a modern glass/metal replica building. It really is reminiscent of New York not Europe! Nearby is the Chocoversum, a chocolate house and museum worth visiting not only for the information provided!

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Susa

Susa
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Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite and Achaemenid empires. It is one of the oldest-known settlements of the region, dating from as early as 4395 BCE.

The archeological site is located in the lower Zagros Mountains. It comprises two components: Susa archaeological complex and the area of Ardeshir's Palace.

Reza Tehran, Iran - 07-Feb-14

Susa had been one of the most important cities of our world for thousands of years, and its a big shame that it is so ignored in our time. It is without any doubt one of the wonders of the world, and a great heritage from human's past, and in our modern world, and the age of communication, it is being ignored. Yes, I have visited this site, it is amazing, and there is still so much history left there to uncover. As an Iranian and a member of global village I look forward that this site is introduced to the world by UNESCO as world heritage site...

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Tusi Sites

Tusi Sites
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The Tusi Sites are three examples of the Tusi system in which inheritance of official positions was granted to tribal leaders in ethnic minority regions.

The practice was used in China’s feudal period between the 13th and 20th century. Laosicheng Site, Hailongtun Site and Tang Ya Tusi Site are located in mountainous regions in southwest China. They are also testimony to the traditional cultures and cultural practices of the Tujia, Gelao and Miao Ethnic Peoples. Originally the Tentative Site included a fourth location, Rongmei Tusi Site, but it was left out of the final nomination.

The system was abolished in 1953, when the People's Republic of China established the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Region.

Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 09-Jul-15

Tusi Sites

Tusi Sites are the very surprising nomination for me and when I heard these sites have been inscribed as World Heritage Site, I was laughing out loud for the memories of my visit to Laosicheng village. In December 2011, my friends and I joined the tour group of Europeans and oversea Chinese to visit Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan. After 3 and a half amazing days in Zhangjiajie – Wulingyuan National Park and Tianmenshan National Park, our group continued our journey to the heartland of Xiangxi. After 3 blessed clear sky days we started to have problem with weather, when our mini coach left Zhangjiajie, it was heavy rain and snow. The driver drove very slowly along the small road for safety which we were really appreciated

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Extended Sites in 2015

Cape Floral Region

Cape Floral Region
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.

The Cape Floral Region Protected Areas consists of 13 clusters covered with fynbos and known for their rich plant life.

They are located in the Mediterranean climate region of South Africa Western Cape Province and the Eastern Cape Province.

Adrian Lakomy Slovakia -

Cape Floral Region

Visiting Cape Town a collector can visit 2 sites. First is Robben island and second is Cape Floral Region.

This site consists of six (?) parts which are geographicaly in whole region of Western Cape.

So I visited only the "Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden" and Cape Point National park. The whole region is a housing of Fynbos ("fine bush") which is rare only for this part of world. The natural location is very nice and I enjoyed my stay there, especialy on Cape Point even it is very windy. Just be prepared that you will need a whole day for such a trip.

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Phong Nha - Ke Bang

Phong Nha - Ke Bang
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Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park contains a complex karst area dating from the Palaeozoic era, which makes it the oldest in Asia.

The site has high geodiversity and many geomorphic features such as underground rivers, dry caves and sub-aerial stromatolites. This makes it of very great importance for increasing the understanding of the geologic, geomorphic and geo-chronological history of the region.

The site consists of two parts: Phong Nha Nature Reserve and Ke Bang forest. The area is noted for its Phong Nha and Vom cave systems. They are composed of 300 caves and grottos with a total length of about 126 km, of which only partly have been surveyed. The cave system has one of the world's longest underground rivers. Some 92% of the park is covered by tropical forest, 92.2% of which is primary forest.

anthony Sun USA - 21-Dec-08

Phong Nha is part of unique set of cave systems in the world in that it has a subterranean river flowing through the cave and out and the river is navigable by boat. This allows the visitor a unique experience to sit in a boat and either paddle or cruise through the cave while admiring the experience.

My family and I experienced Phong Nha in 2005. The starting point is the town of Dong Hoi which is access able from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. A short drive brings you to Phong Nha which is a pleasant place to walk among the mountains. The cave is located on the river and boats can be rented to paddle you in. The cave is about 5 miles deep but the boat will take you less than a mile and then you get to walk in dry caves looking at the rock formations.

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Route of Santiago de Compostela

Route of Santiago de Compostela
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The Route of Santiago de Compostela comprises over 1800 historic buildings on the Christian pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Route starts from the French-Spanish border, at either Roncesvalles or Canfranc.

Legend has that the remains of the apostle Saint James the Great are buried in the Santiago cathedral. His tomb was discovered in the 9th century. Pilgrims from all over southern Europe started flocking there in the 10th century. The pilgrimage became so popular in the 12th that it even got its own guidebook, Book V of the Calixtine Codex.

The buildings on the Route consist of cathedrals, churches, monasteries, hospitals, inns and public works in 166 towns and villages.

Solivagant UK - 22-Jan-06

Route of Santiago de Compostela

Why on Earth is this inscribed as a separate site from Santiago de Compostela itself? So little of visual consequence was the UNESCO Web site apparently able to find along the route that it even uses a picture of the Cathedral at Santiago to introduce it! And then, of course, France has inscribed its part of the pilgrimage route separately (see my review) – making a total of 3 “Compostela” inscriptions in all.

I would not argue against inscribing the pilgrimage route. So significant was the journey and so long did it take that it is studded by buildings created to support the pilgrimage but by splitting the objective from the journey (and by splitting even that into 2) UNESCO and Spain/France have, in my view, belittled the totality. And for what – political reasons no doubt? Yet the entire route in both France and Spain has been designated as the first “European Cultural Itinerary” so cooperation was achieved in that case – why not in UNESCO? Spain’s policy regarding WHS nominations has always been to “share out” its sites across its Autonomous Regions and the Compostela Route gives 5 of them a “share”

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