New Inscriptions in 2007

The 2007 WHC Session added 22 Sites bringing the total to 850.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux
.

Bordeaux, Port of the Moon, encompasses the historic centre of Bordeaux as an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble created in the Age of Enlightenment.

A bend in the river Garonne has created a natural harbour here, and because of its shape it's called Port of the Moon.

The most prominent examples of the period of Enlightenement, created from the 1730s, are:

  • Place Royale (today Place de la Bourse)
  • Allées de Tourny
  • Place Dauphine (Gambetta nowadays), Place d'Aquitaine, Place de Bourgogne and Place Tourny
  • public garden
  • Grand Theatre
  • Palais Rohan
  • Place des Quinconces

Bordeaux has been a commercial centre for ages, primarily based on its wine export. It was founded as a Roman settlement in 56 B.C.

John booth New Zealand - 08-May-10

Bordeaux

To get around the large city area I invested 4.10 euros in a day ticket for the trams and buses. During the course of the day I visited the three sites duplicated on the WHS Way of St James, the St Andre cathedral, St Seurin basilica and St Michaels church, as well as some Port of the Moon sites:

Palais Rohan - now the Hotel de Ville

Palais Gallieni - a Roman ruin

Portes de Bourgogne, Dijeaux and Aquitaine - triumphal arches, former city gates

Place Gambetta - a landscaped garden

Place Quinconces - a huge space with an elaborate fountain

Read On

Central University City Campus of the UNAM

Central University City Campus of the UNAM
.

The Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) is a prominent example of 20th century modernism.

The complex was created by a team of more than 60 designers, following a master plan created by the architects Mario Pani and Enrique del Moral. Construction of the campus started in 1949.

The site, which lies in the south of Mexico City, encompasses university buildings, sports facilities such as the Olympic Stadium, Cultural Center, Central Library and several museums. They are surrounded by vast open spaces, esplanades and gardens.

In construction, modernist elements such as reinforced concrete were combined with local volcanic stone that is also prominent in pre-Hispanic structures. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Solivagant UK -

Central University City Campus of the UNAM

Although it was only inscribed in 2007 it is somewhat surprising to see that this easily accessible site in an easily accessible city still hasn’t been reviewed almost a year later. When I first visited Mexico City in 1971 it was inconceivable NOT to go out to see it, since the Library building in particular, with its O’Gorman mosaics, was a world famous iconic building occupying much the same space in “world consciousness” as the Sydney Opera House does today. However, much time has passed since those days only 3 years after Mexico hosted the 1968 Olympic Games and had received a degree of exposure since unrepeated (Indeed the Olympic stadium is part of this inscription)

Read On

Corfu

Corfu
.

The Old Town of Corfu is noted for its defence system dating from the Venetian period. It also has preserved its remarkable British Neoclassical housing of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Venetians built two fortresses to withstand the Ottomans, in 1555 and 1588 respectively. The British demolished most of them in the 19th century, during the period when Corfu was a British protectorate (1815-1864).

Klaus Freisinger Austria -

The island of Corfu is mostly known as a holiday destination for its beaches and its green environment, which is quite unlike most other Greek islands. Its history is also unique among its sister islands, in that it has never been part of the Ottoman Empire (although the Turks have besieged the island many times). It was instead ruled by the Venetians, who have left many architectural traces, and then, succesively, by the Russians, the French, and the British, before it became part of Greece. The capital of the island, of the same name, has been a fortified place for many centuries, and has withstood the invasion attempts of many would-be conquerors (although it was the first of the Greek cities to submit to Roman rule). The city's architecture today is mainly of Venetian origin

Read On

Gamzigrad-Romuliana

Gamzigrad-Romuliana
.

Gamzigrad-Romuliana, the imperial Palace of Galerius, is one of the most important Late Roman sites. Construction works started in 289 by the tetrarch Galerius to mark the place of his birth after a victory over the Persians. It was given the name Felix Romuliana in memory of his Queen mother Romula, a priestess of a pagan cult.

Like Diocletian's Palace in Split, the palace was designed to be a representative Imperial residence, housing an abdicated Emperor while retained the imperial symbols.

Archeological excavations in the fortress have unearthed the remains of a palace with exceptionally fine mosaics, baths and impressive gates. Among the important finds from the site are portraits of rulers made from the Egyptian purple stone called porphyry and coins that help to date the complex.

Neo Serbia - 03-Jun-08

I have been there on day when Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerios inscribed as place of World Heritage. It was my fabulous day in life. I just wont to invite to vist this wonderful place

Read On

Gobustan Rock Art

Gobustan Rock Art
.

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape has an outstanding collection of more then 6,000 rock paintings.

They depict primitive men, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars, on the average dating back to 5,000-20,000 years.

Christer Sundberg Sweden -

Gobustan Rock Art

An early start and a roadside breakfast together with some locals Azeri’s who’ve probably never met a Scandinavian traveler before, was the start of my visit to Gobustan. After some 2-3 hours drive, south of Baku the first stop was at the burping and oozing mud volcanoes. The volcanoes are found on a small hill not far from the Gobustan petroglyphs and are an absolute must if you can find your way on the bumpy roads without non-what-so-ever signs to direct you to the right place. A local guide is therefore an absolute must.

Read On

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine
.

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape is a relict mining landscape that flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries due to an exchange of ideas and trade with East Asia and Europe.

It gives an overall picture of mine management from silver production to shipment. The entire process was done manually.

The mine was developed in 1526 by Kamiya Jutei, a Japanese merchant. Large amounts of quality silver could be produced due to the introduction of the traditional East Asian metal refining method. It reached its peak production of 38 tons in the early 17th century of approximately 38 tons of silver a year which was then a third of world production.

Silver production from the mine fell in the nineteenth century as it had trouble competing with mines elsewhere and it was eventually closed in 1923.

The inscribed area is located around Mount Sennoyama in Shimane Prefecture, Honshu. It is a serial nomination of 14 locations, including:

  • Silver mine and mining towns (plus 3 mountain fortresses to guard them)
  • Transportation routes
  • Ports and port towns (Tomogaura, Okidomari, Yunotsu)

John booth New Zealand - 14-May-10

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

To reach the main part of the Iwami Ginza silver mine I took a bus to Omori Ginzan from Odashi station. The walk up to the Ryugenji shaft was interspersed with interesing buildings related to the operation of the mine. The Ryugenji shaft has been enlarged and illuminated to accommodate visitors, but what amazed me were the other shafts visible in the bush, but closed off with steel barriers. These were tiny by comparison, and the miners had to crawl through these with candles for illumination, and chip away at the silver ore.

Read On

Jeju

Jeju
.

Jeju volcanic island is an example of a large shield volcano, a lesser common type of volcano and rare in its enviromental setting. Its most distinctive feature however is its system of lava tube caves.

The nominated area consists of 5 locations:

  • Hallasan Natural Reserve
  • Geomunoreum Lava Tube System, divided in 3 parts
  • Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone

Norie Japan - 31-Aug-08

I am in Jeju at the moment. i have been to these World Heritage sites with Bus tour which Yeha Tour provide the East Tour and the West Tour. Their courses are covered the World Heritage site. it's fantastic time.

Read On

Kaiping Diaolou

Kaiping Diaolou
.

The diaolou of Kaiping are fortified multi-storey towers, built by returning Chinese immigrants from America, Canada, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

They display a fusion of Chinese and Western decorative forms. The towers were constructed in the 1920s and 1930s, when there were more than 3,000 of these structures.

The diaolou served as housing and as protection against forays by bandits (and later the Japanese). Three separate forms can be distinguished: communal towers, residential towers and watch towers.

Of the approximately 1,800 diaolou still standing today, 20 of them in the following areas make up the designated site:

  • Sanmenli Village
  • Zili Village & the Fang Clan Watch Tower
  • Majianlong Village Cluster
  • Jinjiangli Village

-

A Japanese friend and I went last January. Kaiping is warm and sunny even if it's winter.

We went to Ruishi Lou, Zili Village and Majianglong. Best way to see all the sites is to hire a private car.

Two buses leaves for Hongkong everyday (four hours away).

Read On

Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces
.

The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces comprise a 30km stretch of land along Lake Geneva where viticulture has been practised since at least the 11th century.

There are even findings that suggest that already the Romans grew vines here.

Local Benedictine and Cistercian Monasteries, who owned the land, started large scale winemaking here. They employed farmers to do the work, against a percentage of the earnings. The landscape is dotted with small villages and castles.

The vines are grown on terraces: the location benefits of a temperate climate due to the reflection of the sun in the lake and the stone walls. Wines that are produced here are not well-known around the world. They include The Villette, Saint-Saphorin/Lavaux, Epesses, Dézaley and Chardonne.

-

As a child, I spent a great deal of time in this area and it is one of my happiest memories. The combination of small historic villages, century-old vineyards,sloping hillsides, gorgeous views of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) and of course incredible views of the Swiss and French Alps. Side trips to the enchanting Chateau de Chillon, The cheesemaking town of Gruyere, the college town of Lausanne, the international hub of Geneva and the ski resorts of Vaud and Valais are jsut a short trina ride away. This world hertiage site combines, architecture, culture, natural splendor, history, commerce and relaxation.

Read On

Lopé-Okanda

Lopé-Okanda
Photo provided by Michael Novins.

The Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda has seen over 400.000 years of almost continuous human settlement.

Its setting can be characterized by the co-existence of tropical rainforest and savannah ecosystems.

The area holds evidence of ironworking and some 1,800 petroglyphs.

Solivagant UK -

Lopé-Okanda

So, after deferrals in the previous 2 years, Lope finally got inscribed in 2007! As we had visited in 2001 I wish I could help celebrate another addition to my “seen list” by supplying a photo of a Western (or “Lowland”) Gorilla taken in the park. But, despite 2 hard and very hot days of tracking, our efforts were rewarded only by the roar of a male just a few meters away from us in a forest which was so thick that we still couldn’t see him! My photos are only of a gorilla hand print in the forest mud and a skull on the veranda of the Mikondo research centre in the Park!

Read On

Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge

Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge
.

The Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad is one of the best remaining examples of Ottoman architecture and civil engineering.

It is almost 180m long and has 11 arches. It spans the Drina River in the Republic of Srpska.

The bridge was built at the end of the 16th century by the Ottoman court architect Sinan. He was one of the greatest architects and engineers of the classical Ottoman period and a contemporary of the Italian Renaissance, with which his work can be compared.

The Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolovic, who was born in this area, ordered the construction.

Kieran Donoghue UK - 14-Jul-08

Mehmed Paša Sokolovic was a local lad made good who rose to become one of the most senior figures of his day in the Ottoman Empire. As this part of what is now Bosnia was something of an outpost, this is quite impressive - a bit like an Indian becoming prime minister in Victorian Britain. He sponsored the building of this bridge by one of the great architects of the time, and this Višegrad bridge is considered one of the finest examples of Ottoman bridge design, hence its inscription. I struggled to get more info than this about the bridge as the newly built tourist office was not geared up for non-slavic speakers.

Read On

Nisa

Nisa
.

Old and New Nisa are the remnants of one of the first capitals of the Parthian Empire. This Empire is among the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world.

The Parthians were a major power in the Near East from the mid 3rd century BCE to 224 CE, and an arch-enemy of the Roman Empire on its eastern borders.

The Parthian kings began their conquests from Nisa and changed insignificant Parthia into a huge empire that stretched from the Indus to the Euphrates.

Solivagant UK -

Nisa

We visited Nisa in Oct 2004. We didn’t expect to see much and, in all honesty, there is not a great deal to see (at least for the non-specialist), but the desire to extend my “visited list” of “Capitals of Ancient Civilisations” demanded an excursion there whilst we were in Turkmenistan!

I knew (and still know) relatively little about the Parthians – they are one of a plethora of ancient West and Central Asian empires together with Scythians, Sogdians, Hittites, Medes, Assyrians etc whose exact relationship to each other in terms of timescale and geography is somewhat muddling to the uninitiated! The Parthians originated as nomads from east of the Caspian and developed an empire centred approximately on modern day Iran but extending to most of the surrounding countries as well

Read On

Primeval Beech Forests

Primeval Beech Forests
.

The Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe cover forests of the European beech in 12 countries.

They comprise the largest remaining 'virgin' forests of the European beech ('Fagus sylvatica'). They also hold the largest and tallest beech specimens in the world.

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland - 10-Oct-08

Basic info about Slovakian part only. Stuzica Reserve is the only easy accessible part of Heritage (with marked footpaths). Havesova and Vihorlat are located in remote part (if you have good map you can go there but there are no roads), Rozok is close to Ukrainian border with a road passing through but its not a marked footpath.

Stuzica in Slovakia is somehow similar to Bialowieza Forest, not in type of flora but as the area of no human activity. All fallen trees stay as they are the whole area is big enough to host big mammals, there are no paved roads inside the reserve. Two marked footpaths are the only way to get there.

Read On

Rainforests of the Atsinanana

Rainforests of the Atsinanana
Photo provided by Michael Novins.

The Rainforests of the Atsinananaare are recognized for its very high biodiversity and high level of endemism in both plants and animals.

It is an important habitat for many rare and threatened faunal species, including at least 25 species of lemur.

There are 13 specific areas that make up this WHS, located in the follwing parks:

  • Parc National de Marojejy
  • Parc National de Masoala
  • Parc National de Zahamena (+ la Réserve Naturelle Intégrale)
  • Parc National de Ranomafana
  • Parc National d'Andringitra
  • Parc National d'Andohahela

Solivagant UK -

Rainforests of the Atsinanana

Madagascan forests provide a wonderful opportunity to see creatures you can see no where else in the world. Not just Lemurs but also other endemics such as the nocturnal “Fossa” or Malagasy Civet (photo). Amazingly, these animals are not so difficult to see!

But I was very concerned when I saw that this inscription consisted only of a number of widely dispersed “representative” areas. For us “WHS Collectors” this approach for defining WHS can lead to problems as to whether one has actually been into the inscribed site even if one has visited the whole area quite comprehensively. In 2000 we had a very successful visit to Madagscar in terms of seeing its endemics. One of our best memories was of wonderful views of the Indri Lemur in the reserve of Perinet (now called Analamazaotra Special Reserve or Andasibe). This is situated within the Atsinanana forest area which runs (or at least used to before Mankind destroyed much of it) along the eastern side of Madagascar

Read On

Red Fort

Red Fort
.

The Red Fort Complex is considered the final flourishing of Mughal architecture, combining Islamic, Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions.

It was built in the mid-17th century, and became a symbol of power of Mughal emperor Shahjahan. It was the palace of his, Shahjahanabad. He moved his capital from Agra in a move designed to bring prestige to his reign, and to provide ample opportunity to apply his ambitious building schemes and interests.

After 1857 the site was used as the headquarters of the British Indian Army. They introduced new colonial-style buildings and functions over the earlier Mughal structures. It was also the place where Indian independence was first celebrated, and is still celebrated today.

The Complex consists of:

Red Fort, with:

  • Walls, bastions and gates
  • Chhatta Chowk, palace market
  • Naubat Khana or Naqqarkhana Drum House
  • Diwan-i-Am, Hall of Public Audience
  • Palace pavilions and the Nah-i-Bihisht, Stream of Paradise
  • Diwan-i-Khas, Hall of Private Audience
  • Hammam Baths
  • Moti Masjid, Pearl Mosque
  • Hayat-Baksh Bagh, Lifegiving Garden
  • British period buildings

Salimgarh Fort (an older fort, connected to the Red Fort by a bridge).

-

I have been to the Red Fort Complex myself and it can be very crowded in the evening there are quite little shops before entering the real Red fort complex. The Red Fort complex is extreamly similar to the Agra Fort in Agra. The fee for entering the Red Fort is 100 Rupees for adults and children are free.

Read On

Richtersveld

Richtersveld
Photo provided by Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero.

The Richtersveld Community Conservancy is a mountainous desert in the north-west part of South Africa.

It sustains the semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood of the Nama people. The Nama are descendants of the Khoi-Khoi, considered as the indigenous inhabitants of southern Africa.

The site includes the seasonal migrations and grazing grounds, stockposts (kraals) and haru oms, the portable houses of the Nama.

Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero The Philippines - 02-Dec-16

Richtersveld

I find it very flattering to be the first one to make a review for Richtersveld. I still wonder why it was not listed as a mixed site (cultural and natural) considering the unique biodiversity and way of floral survival that exist in that region. My friend and I went through Vioolsdrif, near the border to Namibia, where we spent two nights to tick this site off, to get to the core zone. After going through the mountains,and passing through numerous massive rocks with 4,000 yo ancient Nama carvings (as shown in the page's photo above), the landscape dramatically changes to the world of the succulents - actually, upon entering Northern Cape region, the fynbos ecosystem loses presence

Read On

Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal
..

The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America.

The 19th century canal runs for 202 km from Ottawa, Canada's capital, to Kingston on Lake Ontario. The canal's initial purpose was military, later it opened up the area for settlement and commerce. The canal was completed in 1832.

The 202 kilometres (125 miles) of the Rideau Canal incorporate sections of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers, as well as several lakes, including the Lower, Upper and Big Rideau lakes. About 19 kilometres (12 miles) of the route is man-made.

MR. Clock Canada - 26-Apr-08

the forts at kingston are great. they have demonstrations of how to fire muskets, and 19th century british army drills. kingston has 4 martello towers, more then any other city in the world. a martello tower is a small squat defensive tower. all the forts at kingston are part of the world heritage site.

the rideau canal is also great, the locks that drop it into the ottawa river (located in ottawa) are very interesting. the canal is still used today. in winter, many people in ottowa skate to work/school on the canal.

Read On

Samarra

Samarra
..

Samarra Archaeological City is the site of a powerful Islamic capital city which ruled over the provinces of the Abbasid empire extending from Tunisia to Central Asia for a century.

It testifies to the architectural and artistic innovations that developed there and spread to the other regions of the Islamic world.

Among its architectural monuments are the 9th century Great Mosque and its Spiral Minaret, and the Caliphal Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

athena Iraq - 25-Mar-10

In 1975 we visited Samarra and we were astounded by the spiral minaret which stand out prominently in the desert surroundings. Climbing on the spiral outside staircase, was interesting and our guide said, the higher you climb, the luckier you get! The mosque nearby was admirable, so my Italian husband said and the view from the top was breathtaking, as the ruins from afar were clearly seen

A great experience.

Read On

South China Karst

South China Karst
.

South China Karst can be considered as one of the two great karst regions of the world.

Within this 97,125 area spread out over 4 provinces, Shilin is regarded as the world’s best example of stone forests. Guilin Karst is widely acknowledged as having the world’s best expression of a tower karst landscape and has been internationally recognized as the type-site of continental tower karst.

The site consists of the following twelve parts:

  • Shilin Karst – Naigu Stone Forest
  • Shilin Karst – ‘Suogeyi Village’
  • Libo Karst – ‘Xiaoqijong’
  • Libo Karst – ‘Dongduo’
  • Wulong Karst – Qingkou Giant Doline (Tiankeng)
  • Wulong Karst – Three Natural Bridges
  • Wulong Karst – Furong Cave
  • Jinfoshan Karst
  • Shibing Karst
  • Huanjiang Karst
  • Guilin Karst - Putao Fenglin Karst Section
  • Guilin Karst - Lijiang Fengcong Karst Section

Solivagant UK -

South China Karst

With the inscription of “S China Karst” in 2007 the WHS list contained at least 12 (??) examples of Karst scenery (eroded limestone/dolorite). Since around 12% of continental land worldwide is Karst that might not be so surprising, especially as such landscapes can be extremely interesting and attractive. Enormous areas of Southern China are Karst and, in my mind at least, such scenery is also very “Chinese” in atmosphere because of its use in Chinese painting and garden design. So perhaps it is not unreasonable for yet another Karst site to be inscribed - but which of the many possible examples should China have chosen?

Read On

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House
.

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most distinctive and famous 20th century buildings.

It is situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour. The building and its surroundings (like the Harbour Bridge) form an iconic Australian image.

In 1955 a competiton for a design of a large, dedicated opera house and concert hall was started. It was won by the Danish architect Jorn Utzon. It was later finished by Arup & Partners and Australian architects Hall, Todd & Littlemore and Ted Fmer.

The Opera House was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of Australia, on October 20, 1973.

Klaus Freisinger Austria -

Next to the Ayers Rock, the Sydney Opera is the most identifiable and well-known Australian landmark, and probably the best-known opera house worldwide, at least in terms of its design. It is also a landmark in 20th century architecture, and of course, its location in exceedingly beautiful Sydney harbour is impossible to top. So any visit to Sydney would be incomplete without at least admiring the building from the outside, preferably from a ferry or a cruiseship. Having said that, I would say that this is also enough, and a visit of the interior of the building is not really necessary. It´s not particularly disappointing, there´s just not a whole lot to see. Still, when in Sydney, do as the Sydneysiders do and go to the opera!

Read On

Teide National Park

Teide National Park
.

Teide National Park covers the two large stratovolcanoes of Teide and Pico Viejo, Las Cañadas Caldera and many other volcanic features.

Compared to other volcanic landscapes on the list, this NP stands out in size, complexity, age, depth of study and ongoing relevance to science.

At 3,718 m above sea level, Teide volcano is the third highest volcano in the world and the highest mountain in Spain. The site lies on the Canary Island of Tenerife, in the Atlantic Ocean.

Due to its eruptive history (last in 1909) and location close to population centres, the volcano has been designated worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. It is a major centre for international research with a long history of influence on geology and geomorphology especially through the work of von Humboldt, von Buch and Lyell which has made Mount Teide a significant site in the history of volcanology.

. -

This is one of the 14th Spanish National Parks and it is located in the island of Tenerife. It comprises the Mount Teide, highest mountain in Spain, and some areas around it.

I did not try to climb the Mount Teide till the top when I was there but it does not seem to be a very hard task. Just take into account that the summit is at almost 4000 meters therefore lack of oxygen can be a problem. You should also take into account that all the territory of the National Park is over 2000 meters high therefore weather can be quite different than in the rest of the island.

Read On

Twyfelfontein

Twyfelfontein
Photo provided by Gary Arndt.

Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes contains 2,000 figures of rock carvings. The figures were created over a couple of thousand years before 1000 AD.

The hunter-gatherers who lived in the region created them as part of their rituals. The carvings represent rhinoceroses, elephants, ostrichs and giraffes as well as depictions of human and animal footprints. Some of the figures notably the "Lion Man" depict the transformation of humans into animals.

Anna Parker UK - 16-Nov-10

Twyfelfontain is an impressive collection of rock carvings found on a hill in central Namibia. It was extremely hot on the day I visited and the climb in the beating sun (there is very little shade and it's steep) was tough. I would therefore recommend water, suncream, sunhat and visiting as early or late in the day as possible.

The carvings are incredible. Unlike some ancient rock paintings, it's very easy to distinguish which animals are which. Lots of iconic creatures feature, including an elephant, giraffes, ostrichs, a lion and gemsbok. Some of these are no longer found in the immediate area around the hills, and there is also an image of a seal which indicates the people had access to the coast, a long way off.

Read On

Extended Sites in 2007

Gulf of California

Gulf of California
..

The Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California is a serial property including 244 islands and oceanic marine zones, described as "the world's aquarium".

This site in north-eastern Mexico is home to 39 percent of the world's total marine mammal species and a third of the world's marine cetacean species.

The protected area is located between Baja California and the Mexican State of Sonora. It encompasse the following protected zones:

  • Upper Gulf and Colorado River Delta
  • Islands of the Gulf
  • Isla San Pedro Mártir
  • El Vizcaíno Reserve
  • Bahía de Loreto National Park
  • Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park
  • Cabo San Lucas Reserve
  • Islas Marías Biosphere Reserve
  • Isla Isabel National Park
  • Islas Marietas National Park
  • Archipelago de San Lorenzo National Park

Ashley Waddell United States of America - 19-Jun-06

Visit the Gulf of California's crystal-clear waters and you'll thank God you learned to swim. You won't know which way to look as hundreds of fish species swim around you, going about their day in this sunny stretch of water.

Bring your sunscreen -- we were sunburned even through the t-shirts we wore snorkeling -- and watch out for sharks; this is prime habitat for both hammerheads and great whites. You'll be grateful you took the plunge, though, and we recommend camping on one of the islands rather than staying in La Paz or (God forbid) one of those tourist traps like Cabo San Lucas.

Read On

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)
.

The Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, is a square that contains four artistically important medieval monuments. They were constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries.

The Tuscan town Pisa used to have a fleet that reigned the Mediterranean Sea. Nowadays its Tower is known worldwide. This marble building is leaning over, and has always been.

The monuments included are:

  • the cathedral, with its bronze doors and mosaics
  • the baptistry, a round Romanesque building with an early Renaissance pulpit
  • the campanile (the 'Leaning Tower')
  • the walled cemetery Campo Santo with its frescoes

Pisa native Galileo Galilei is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp (not the present one) hanging from the ceiling of the nave of Pisa's cathedral. He also had dropped balls from the Leaning Tower to demonstrate that their time of descent was independent of their mass.

Klaus Freisinger Austria -

The Leaning Tower of Pisa must be one of the most famous monuments in the world, and going to this city gives you a distinct sense of déjà-vu - I must have seen this thing before! Well, apart from the Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa doesn't have that much to offer and is just an average city (especially because it has lost its once vibrant seaport centuries ago), but the piazza is really great and one of the grandest architectural ensembles you will see anywhere. So, even if many Italian cities have their own campanile, you should go to Pisa to see the real thing.

Read On

Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch

Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
.

Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch is an impressive landscape and an outstanding example of the formation of the High Alps. It includes the most glaciated part of the mountain range and the largest glacier in Eurasia, the Aletsch Glacier.

The area holds 9 peaks over 4,000m: Finsteraarhorn, Aletschhorn, Jungfrau, Mönch, Schreckhorn, Gross Fiescherhorn, Hinter Fiescherhorn, Grünhorn and Lauteraarhorn. The Jungfrau was first climbed in 1811 and the Finsteraarhorn in 1812. It is still a popular region for mountain climbing.

Rajeev Aloysius Sri Lanka -

If you do get the chance, to go up to Jungfraujoch: The Top of Europe. SBB will take you up to the bottom of the mountain, and then a special train - which is very expensive at CHF150- will take you up to the observatory known as Top of Europe. I was fortunate to get a very special deal, where I commuted all the way from Geneva at about CHF189. There are scientific experiments being undertaken up there, including global warming, pollution, oxygen levels and so on. The view is amazing, absolutely stunning views of glaciers and green, especially in May and September. This is Switzerland at its very best. You can ski, use discs as surfboards in the perpetual snow at 10,000ft

Read On