Latest Community Reviews

The Natural-Historical Landscape of Izeh (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 11-Mar-19

The Natural-Historical Landscape of Izeh (T)

I camped at this site - even in winter it was nice and cold and the morning sun greeted me along with a few dozen sheep bleating. The local community of shepherds surely didn't mind. I thought I would spend a long time looking at the site in the morning but actually it is just a few rock carvings. In retrospective I would have taken a torch to look at them in the dark and continue driving to a hotel.

There are only a carvings, five in total I think although I only found 4. Most of them are unimpressive, the one with the king and queen are kind of impressive but what I think this site comes down to is that the local government thinks this is important and hasn't seen enough rock carvings around the world

Read On

Tushpa/Van Fortress, the Mound and the Old City of Van (T)

Walter Switzerland - 14-Mar-19

Tushpa/Van Fortress, the Mound and the Old City of Van (T)

Tushpa/Van Fortress (Van Kelasi in Turkish) and the Old City of Van is a site is located in the city of Van, which is easily reached by cheap domestic flights from Istanbul. It in the western outskirts of the city, near the lakeshore, visible from far away. Entrance to the site is on its western end, which is inconvenient if walking from Van city. Entrance fee is 6 TL. The site can also be entered from the East, but necessitates jumping above a small wall, and walking uphill.

Tushpa was the capital city of Urartian Kingdom, from the ninth to the sixth centuries BC. The kingdom was centered around Lake Van and built the first fortress on a high conglomerate mound about 100 meters high and 1.4 km long on the southern shore of Lake Van. It was a very fertile region and was occupied front Early Bronze Age. Successive states (Armenian, Romans, Sassanid, Byzantines, Arab, Seldjuk, Ottoman, Russian) built and rebuilt fortresses of top of its predecessor.  Nowadays, foundations, walls, fortifications, tombs and buildings of those different ages mix with one another, including 10-meters high Ottoman fortifications (top of my picture) and older mud-and-stone-bricked fortification from the Uratian time (just below on the left of my picture)

Read On

Bardejov Town

Matejicek Czechia - 14-Mar-19

Bardejov Town

Bardejov historical center belongs to places that I like in eastern Slovakia, and I visit it at every opportunity. Though result of extensive restorations to medieval appearance (especially roofs of townhouses), I do not take it as a tourist trap.The old photo (from 2003) shows a view on the central square with municipal house in the middle. One side of the square is formed by late gothic St. Egidius basilica. The interior contains the set of late gothic sculptures. However, even more prominent sets of wooden scupltures can be found in nearby Levoča and Spišská Sobota.

Read On

Sites funéraires et mémoriels de la Première Guerre mondiale (Front Ouest) (T)

Nan Germany - 13-Mar-19

Sites funéraires et mémoriels de la Première Guerre mondiale (Front Ouest) (T)

"You want to go where?" my aunt asked me. "La Grande Tombe de Villeroy, it's just next to Meaux, we can pass it on our way to the airport."

You need to know my mother's family is from Meaux, a town East of Paris. And indeed when coming from the East (Epernay) and heading to the world's worst airport (Charles de Gaulles), you pass within a few kilometers of the site.

My aunt asked again what precisely I wanted to see there. "A Nécropole, must a big thing" I said. Now my French is okay, but not perfect, so my aunt was trying to make sure she didn't misunderstand me. Eventually, she accepted that I meant the tomb. But she corrected me: "It's not a big thing, it's a small sign along the road." I couldn't quite fathom this information (Nécropole, Grande Tombe?), so I quickly googled the site and indeed: La Grande Tombe is pretty tiny. Most people in nearby Meaux wouldn't even know about it

Read On

Koguryo Kingdom

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 13-Mar-19

Koguryo Kingdom

Koguryo Kingdom covers the sites on the Chinese side of the border. There is a separate, identical inscription for the DPRK which will probably never merge.

I visited this place a couple of years ago in winter. Not the best place to visit in winter but it was a lovely sunny day. My main plan was to continue north to Harbin for the ice festival so it "had" to be winter.

Arriving by train I rented a taxi for the day. The driver knew all locations well

Read On

Harran and Sanliurfa (T)

Els Slots The Netherlands - 19-Mar-19

Harran and Sanliurfa (T)

The investment in my ‘All Turkey Tour’ of 1991 keeps on giving gifts. With a friend I had joined a 3 week group tour by bus all across Turkey. During that trip I visited 8 sites that are nowadays WHS. Also we touched upon numerous interesting TWHS. One lingering on Turkey’s Tentative List is Harran and Sanliurfa. These two ancient cities (located 40km apart) were among the highlights of the 1991 tour. This was mostly because of their very remote and oriental setting: I had not been outside of Europe at the time and Harran lies only some 25km north of the Syrian border.

Read On

Extension to the Joint World Heritage Property "Primeval Beech forests of the Carpathians (Slovak Republic and Ukraine) and the Ancient Beech forests of Germany (Germany)" (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 12-Mar-19

Extension to the Joint World Heritage Property "Primeval Beech forests of the Carpathians (Slovak Republic and Ukraine) and the Ancient Beech forests of Germany (Germany)" (T)

Bieszczady mountains NP in Poland is popular tourist destination, and no wonder why. The national park is simply beautiful and I take it as quintessential Carpatian mountains. Due to the depopulation after WWII, the area is not affected by utilitarian pressures as it can be found on Slovak side, which is already WHS.

I comment it in my review to WHS Primeval Beech Forests:

It certainly deserves WHS status. It is more touristy and maybe not so wild as forests on Slovakia part. Due to a bit higher attitude there are large poloninas (mountain meadows) on the mountains ranges, which are very attractive and worth-visiting as well (although poloniny area itself is not part of proposed WHS). I also admired forest management that is 1000-times better than in official WHS of Slovakia. Only shadow on my optimism concerning Polish contribution to this WHS lays in unclear politics in Poland nowdays. Therefore, the nomination was withdrawn by state party in 2017 in spite of high qualities of Polish component, which would be perfetly complementar to sites in Slovakia and Ukraine

Read On

Safi al-Din Ensemble in Ardabil

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 07-Mar-19

Safi al-Din Ensemble in Ardabil

My last Iranian WHS to visit and I almost missed it. The entrance to the site is not clear. I walked past it and reach what appeared on the map to be the tomb with a tiny sign pointing left to where I came from, but actually it looked more like it was pointing at some construction and I figured "oh no, another closed WHS in winter". So I walked into the next alley, nothing. Then I turned into the courtyard on the way back which is actually the archaeological museum and already closed. The young guard led me to the right place in the OTHER courtyard.

Read On

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier

Solivagant UK - 12-Mar-19

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier

Community members have now reviewed most of the inscribed Le Corbusier (LC) sites in Europe, Argentina and Japan - but not the Indian site at Chandigarh. I therefore add comments arising from our visit in Feb 2019. I had originally visited the Capitol Complex way back in 1976. Travelling between Simla and Dehli, I had wandered freely around the site before catching my onward bus. I have since counted it as “seen” (together with some other inscribed locations) but, in all honesty, I then lacked the background knowledge to appreciate or learn! 43 years later it isn’t as easy to visit. These are sensitive government buildings situated in a province which has had terrorism problems and lies near the Pak border

Read On

Bouches de Bonifacio (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 12-Mar-19

Bouches de Bonifacio (T)

I visted Bonifacio and nearby cliffs during my Corsica fall holidays in 2013. The limestone cliffs and town of Bonifacio placed in the deep bay were very picturesque. Shores of Sardinia could be also visible (another TWHS - Archipelago of La Maddalena is very very close). However, I could not see any OUV here and it should not be inscribed in my opinion. For example, I enjoyed limestone cliffs in Parc National des Calanques nearby Marseille much more than those of Bonifacio.

Read On

The Cultural Landscape of the Central Region in the Emirate of Sharjah (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 06-Mar-19

The Cultural Landscape of the Central Region in the Emirate of Sharjah (T)

I visited the Mleiha Archaeological Museum in winter last year. It is on the way from Al Ain to the northern areas of the UAE. You can spot the high mountains with the red dune splashed up against it a mile high from far far away. I really wished it would be THAT I was visiting. The staff greeted me at the museum but said everything was booked up. What?! Fact is, most people come here for dune bashing. Well, I didn't but still probably would have seeing the dune I am going to! The museum is brand new and has a lot of interesting things not only about the culture in the area and Umm an-Nar, but also camel migration over the millennia. The rest of the site is free but you need your own car to access some of it.

Read On

Flow Country (T)

Argo France - 11-Mar-19

Flow Country (T)

Flow country is the name given to a large area of bog in the very northern part of mainland Scotland. We visited that region during our “tour of Scotland” in summer 2015. We drove to Forsinard, where a small visitors center is housed in the train station, surrounded by few houses. I understood that the train line and station were still in operation at that time (unexpected for such a tiny and remote village), so this could be a travel alternative to car for those willing to visit that place.

Read On

Burgundy

Nan Germany - 11-Mar-19

Burgundy

"Again a vineyard, again a serial nomination." Ever since hiking through the Piedmont and then later the same year the Prosecco hills have I a certain skepticism when it comes to any site featuring vineyards. Luckily, my skepticism in the case of Burgundy was not warranted as Burgundy to me is primarily a late medieval landscape that happens to have some surrounding vineyards.

The two main locations of the site are Dijon and Beaune. I managed to see both in half a day. Dijon is the regional capital and boasts quite a large old town. For me the Ducal Palace and the Place de La Liberation were the highlights of the town.

Read On

Sacred Sites associated with Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his descendants (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 04-Mar-19

Sacred Sites associated with Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his descendants (T)

No visit to Bhutan is complete without the Tiger's Nest, officially called Taktshang but trust me no-one will remember THAT name if you have already familiarized you with the B-movie Jason Stratham movie title soon coming to a streaming service everywhere. Conveniently placed near Paro, and I saw it from the plane heading to Paro Airport already, this is surprisingly "only" a half-day trip. Getting up early helps to avoid the mid-day heat even in November plus the horse rides that are popular with Indian tourists. The ascent takes roughly 3h with a tea break at the only guest house on the way to the top, providing your first real opportunity at photos. The sun is unfortunately rising beyond the temples and the sun glares right into the camera. The sandy path is not easy

Read On

The Historic City of Dublin (T)

Ilya Burlak USA - 11-Mar-19

The Historic City of Dublin (T)

I visited Dublin a couple of times, most recently in 2017, and set aside some time for exploring, but the reality is that there is little to explore there that rises to the level of exceptional. The town is undoubtedly nice, the people are among the friendliest in all of Europe, but beyond a few eye-pleasing clusters in the city center, most of the Georgian architecture that forms the basis of this tentative WH submission is actually kind of boring (I am noting the fact that the text of the submission openly warns the reader of the plainness of the exteriors and contrasts that with purportedly excellent interiors, which can hardly be seen on a short visit to town).

Read On

Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz

Matejicek Czechia - 10-Mar-19

Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz

I did it in similar way like others, and visited parts of the Garden Kingdom in Dessau adjacent to Bauhaus sites: I could see&visit Georgium when I was walking from main Bauhaus building to Masters` houses, but it was not very appealing for me, because the park, artifitial ruins and eclectic buildings are now penetrated by modern urban lanscapes and roads. I entered the WHS once again after visiting Masters`houses: I walked along Ebert-alle towards Weinbergschlosschen around 15 minutes. This neoclassicist bulding is quite small but pretty (see photo). Then I entered the natural park - in fact a blend of meadows, solitary trees, lakes, marchlands where everything was in bloom in May. This was my highlight of the WHS but I am not sure if it is related to OUV..

Read On

Augustow Canal (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 03-Mar-19

Augustow Canal (T)

I only visited the Augustow Canal on the Belarus side in April last year. The Polish side seems like a long drive and little tourist stuff in the northeast (sorry to say) of the country. Saying that, there are probably nice forests but nothing unique or special. Belarus on the other hand has the city of Grodno (still unsure why it's not HrodnA as that's how the pronounce it) nearby and easy access to the canal by a great road system. Only when you get close to the canal do the roads get gravel and unclear signs could possibly lead you onto the wrong road through the forest. Driving past the canal with NO barriers surely is not for the faint of heart, unless of course you are used to driving around in Dutch cities!

Read On

Sites of Great Moravia: Slavonic Fortified Settlement at Mikulcice - Church of St.Margaret at Kopcani (T)

Matejicek Czechia - 10-Mar-19

Sites of Great Moravia: Slavonic Fortified Settlement at Mikulcice - Church of St.Margaret at Kopcani (T)

I completely agree that Mikulčice archeological park is one of the most important archeo-sites in Czech and Slovak Republics. Empire of Great Morava is of great importance for Czechs, Slovaks and Balkan Slavonic nations, but it has no OUV and should not be WHS. The site is very popular. It is partly due to a propaganda in the Comunist times that everything related with the East that beats the West was greatly supported, and also in midle ages because the emperor Charles IV used the lagacy of Great Moravia archbishopric for justification of independency of church of Bohemia from Germans in 14th century. The problem is that Great Moravia lasted only for short period in 9th-10th century, and its heritage is overestimated.

Read On

Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch (T)

Solivagant UK - 09-Mar-19

Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch (T)

Gujarat possesses 2 wildlife “parks” with UNESCO WH “history”. Each “majors” on a specific Mammal species - Gir NP, famous as the only location remaining for the Asiatic Lion, and the Little Rann of Kutch, gazetted as a “Wild Ass Sanctuary”. The former was once on India’s T List but was removed in 1992 and the latter was added in 2006 having once had a failed nomination way back in 1993 - and it remains there (without, as far as I am aware, any further nomination activity). We had time for but 1 “wildlife” experience during our 2019 trip to Gujarat - which was it to be??? Gir seemed to require at least 2 days of a.m/p

Read On

Sultan Bayezid II Complex: A Center of Medical Treatment (T)

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 03-Mar-19

Sultan Bayezid II Complex: A Center of Medical Treatment  (T)

Welcome to the world heritage site of ...whaaaat wait why are there UNESCO symbols on the maps and signs? Someone surely thought they can place themselves onto the inscribed list without going through the entire process. Funny that since I didn't even see any sign at the Selimiye Mosque nearby. Maybe someone switched the sites secretly :)

I almost walked directly into the mosque but the stall keeper pointed me to the museum entrance 30m further down. The area is divided into two parts: the hospital and the study/admin areas. The latter is the more aesthetic one built as a medium-sized courtyard and many side rooms. Not all the rooms are open and the ones that are contain mannequins and replicas of what was once in the study rooms. The other side of the museum has the same kind of mannequins to attempt to make the pale rooms interesting, but I find that more laughable especially the "insanity" room. Many plaques describe the way the hospital was run and procedures, how many staff were in the hospital and what the rooms were used for

Read On