Ancient ferrous metallurgy sites
The Ancient Iron Metallurgy Sites represent an early phase of iron production in Africa.
The 5 locations, spread out over Burkina Faso’s territory, comprise iron ore smelting furnaces, slag heaps and other traces of mining. The development of this technology has lead to blacksmith traditions that are still alive today.
Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 16-Apr-19
During my short stay in Burkina Faso in February 2019 I was unable to visit its two WHS – Arly National Park was a no-go zone and Loropeni required three more days that I did not have. So I did my best to visit the site that hopefully will become WHS in July 2019 – Ancient metallurgy sites. At least one location seemed to be quite close from Ouagadougou – ovens of Tiwega, near Kaya.
Kaya was theoretically located on the border of the no-go zone, but the taxi driver at the Ouagadougou airport assured that it was safe. We agreed for 50,000 CFA (around EUR 70) for the tripRead On
Babylon is the archaeological site of what once was one of the largest and oldest settlements in Mesopotamia.
It comprises the – largely unexcavated - remains of the ancient Neo-Babylonian city, its city walls and temples. Particularly during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II (604–561 BC) the complete reconstruction of the imperial grounds, including the Etemenanki ziggurat, and the construction of the Ishtar Gate took place.
Bagan is a landscape of monumental Buddhist architecture, covering almost 3,600 stupas, temples, monasteries and associated structures.
The site represents the core of the largest Buddhist empire of its time (11-13th centuries). It is still in active religious use and is especially related to the practice of merit-making.
Susan Stair - 09-Nov-08
So many areas of Myanmar (Burma) should be World Heritage Sites, but Bagan is definitely unlike any other location in the world. We visited in May, right after the cyclone, and not only were we the only Americans we saw, but the only tourists. So of course, this made this wide plain of hundreds of temples even more awesome. And access to them is too easy...we climbed to the top of some to see sunsets & sunrises. No one guards the area & the treasures in many of these temples are priceless. The Irawaddy River flows nearby & the pottery markets & people were a pleasure.Read On
Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape covers an ancient aquaculture system developed by the Gunditjmara Aboriginal people.
They manipulated the water flow through volcanic rock and trapped fish there (especially kooyang). The associated practices are still part of the Gunditjmara living cultural tradition.
Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 06-Feb-18
Fortunately, UNESCO added Budj Bim in the tentative list before I finalized the whole itinerary of my Australia trip, so after checking its location, I conveniently put this unknown place as one of the must stops along the famous Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide. Since the site was relative unknown, it was quite hard to find information and I afraid that the visit without any professional guide will not make my trip to be worthwhile, I still decided to go and explore the site by myself.Read On
Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture
The Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture reflect the city’s Golden Age and are the best examples of this style.
The buildings date mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries, when Pskov was an important trade partner of the Hanseatic League. They comprise religious, defensive and civic architecture.
Nan Germany - 03-Feb-19
Part of my Russian experience was to ride a night train once. I did some digging and found that Pskov was a good destination on my way from Moscow to St. Petersburg as it also allowed me to visit Novgorod along the way. Admittedly, the experience was rather boring: All the Russians on board of the train wanted to sleep and I ended up drinking the beers I brought on my own.
In any case, I made it to Pskov and found a pretty Kreml (or Krom as they call it in Pskov). The weather was gorgeous and I had a nice time visiting and wandering around the city.Read On
Dilmun Burial Mounds
The Dilmun Burial Mounds represent the architecture and sepulchral traditions of Early Dilmun culture.
The site comprises 21 components with in total thousands of burial mounds. Each of the mounds - usually meant for 1 deceased person - is composed of a central stone chamber that is enclosed by a low ring-wall and covered by earth and gravel. The graves are not all of the same era, or of exactly the same styles, and can vary considerably in size in different areas of the moundfield.
Solivagant UK - 18-Feb-09
We visited most of Bahrain’s T List sites in 2005 and, with Bahrain hosting the 2011 WHC, are interested to guess which (if any) might be inscribed as that country’s “reward”! Could it be the “Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos”? Now, right from the start, I must make it clear that we were blown away in amazement at these remains – burial mounds stretching into the desert as far as the eye could see (photo 1). At first sight one thinks that they must be the detritus from some huge modern construction project and that dumper trucks have left thousands of mounds of unwanted spoil. But no – each one represents a single or family burial. Go to the magnificent Bahraini National Museum to see a reconstruction of one shown in sectionRead On
Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings
The 20th Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright comprises 8 buildings designed by the American architect.
The buildings range from a modest home to a church and a museum. They show different aspects of his work, which was innovative in an American context and , geared to the American social, economic and natural conditions. Wright’s ideas also influenced Europe’s Modern Movement in architecture.
Tish USA - 30-Jun-09
I grew up across the street from the Darwin Martin House. When I was little it was wooded; an architect lived there. His daughter had her own skating rink. We played in the perglola. There were three buildings. At present it is almost completely restored. The feeling inside a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie house is both airy and warm - he really liked natural light. Windows through windows, skylighting - in 1904! The room they rebuilt in the Metropolitan Museum in NY has high ceilings but still feels roomy and very cosy at the same time. I wonder what it would be like to cook in a Frank Lloyd Wright kitchen.Read On
French Austral Lands and Seas
The French Austral Lands and Seas is a group of extremely isolated volcanic islands in the sub-Antarctic region.
It covers the Crozet Archipelago, Kerguelen Islands and Amsterdam and St Paul Islands. They are known for their marine birds (especially the world’s largest colony of King Penguins) and mammals such as seals and dolphins.
The Hyrcanian Forests comprise a 850km long massif covered in ancient natural broad-leaved forests.
It has 15 components, mostly located on higher elevations. They show a hight floristic biodiversity and are home to especially forest birds.
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 13-Feb-19
I visited 2 parts of this nomination in January 2019. Abr Forest was my first stop and it is very tourist centric, with many guest houses and hikes around “Cloud Forest”. Unfortunately on day 2 it started snowing in the morning and the visibility was so bad it was really hazardous to take the 83 through the Khar Turan NP (not part of the Hyrcanian Forest nomination btw). Once I made it to Gonbad Kavus and visited Qabus I continued driving East.
Here I drove through the National Golestan Forest, formerly listed as a separate [...]Read On
Jaipur City, Rajasthan
Jaipur City, Rajasthan, is a planned city combining ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas.
The city of Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amer. Under the architectural guidance of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur was designed based on Hindu (Vedic) architectural principles. It also uses a (Western) grid plan.
Nan Germany - 10-Feb-19
Most "cities" in India don't really have historic structures or buildings but are a sprawl of concrete buildings. And dirt and trash for that matter. Trust me: If you haven't been, you cannot imagine.
Jaipur is different in the sense that it really has a consistent historic core. You can take a walk through the town center and do site seeing. The city center is called Pink City due to the color of the houses. Pink is the color of hospitality in Jaipur and the city was painted in it in preparation for a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1876.Read On
Jodrell Bank Observatory
The Jodrell Bank Observatory is one the earliest radio astronomy observatories in the world.
Part of the University of Manchester, it played a prominent role in the evolution of radio astronomy by way of several important technological developments. They include the research of meteors, quasars, pulsars, masers and gravitational lenses, and the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age.
Hubert Austria - 17-Oct-17When we planned our trip through Wales and Central England in May and June 2017 we were not aware of the fact that the Jodrell Bank Observatory would be the next UK nomination, aiming for inscription in 2019. In hindsight, it was a good idea when that spontaneously decided to make a detour to the Cheshire East district, a few miles south of Manchester.
Although I have a soft spot for technical and scientific sites, I did not know much about the observatory prior to our visit. Except of the entry on the tentative list, I knew Jodrell Bank only because it is mentioned in the novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams (the telescope is also shown in the film adaption).Read On
Kladruby nad Labem
The Landscape for Breeding and Training of Ceremonial Carriage Horses at Kladruby nad Labem is a site designed exclusively for the breeding and training of Kladruber horses, which were used in ceremonies by the Habsburg imperial court.
It is one of the most significant horse-breeding institutions in Europe and continues to function to this day.
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 01-Apr-18
A stud farm, not handsome guys, but instead horses for breeding. I was really looking forward to something else. I think Czechia has the best variety when it comes to sightseeing in such a small area, from churches and nature, old cities, mines, beer, castles. There are tours in Czech on the hour between 10:00 and 16:00. I'm unclear what the other parts on the menu were but I think you can see certain parts of the place unguided with individual entrance tickets. For non-Czech speakers you are given some text in several European languages. They said the English one is the only one updated to the new tour though. I had to get used to "English text" when doing tours in Czechia anyway so this was no surpriseRead On
Krzemionki prehistoric striped flint mining region
The Krzemionki prehistoric striped flint mining region is a group of 4 mining sites dating back to from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age.
There are more than 4000 mine shafts known with depths of 9 meters deep with wells measuring from four to twelve metres in diameter. The striped flint was used mainly for axe-making: its products have been found as far as 660km away.
Solivagant UK - 23-Sep-17
Back in Aug 2015, our visit to Spiennes had been enhanced by a talk from a Polish academic who was assisting with the ongoing excavations there and just happened to lecturing on “Flint mines in Poland” to a gathering of specialists that afternoon in the lecture hall at the Visitor Centre. We were invited to attend and began to realise just how much there was to know about this subject! Mention was made of the flint mine at Krzemionki and I mentally “pencilled in” an intention to visit it if I ever found myself in that part of Poland…… thus it was that we were there just over 2 years later in mid Sep 2017 at opening time!Read On
Liangzhu Archaeological Site
The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City show the accomplishments of the urban civilization in the Yangtze River Basin from the late 4rd and 3rd millennium BC.
The city was the centre of power and belief of the Liangzhu culture, an early regional state. The culture possessed advanced agriculture, including irrigation, paddy rice cultivation and aquaculture.
Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 17-Oct-18
At the time of writing the Liangzhu sites are gearing up for an inscription attempt. I went to the Liangzhu Museum on the outskirts of Hangzhou a couple of years ago. It can easily reached by bus from the city center areas and the bus is semi-frequent plus very cheap. Now I have to say I did not actually go to any of the archaeological sites with the assumption that they are off-limits, but I don't know for certain. It certainly looks like nothing on the map so I did not want to "waste" my time trekking around in the heat. Either way, unless you are purist you are better off going to the museum for all the insight into the Liangzhu culture and the findings at those dig sites.Read On
Mafra Palace, Convent and Royal Hunting Park
The Royal Building of Mafra – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada) - is an 18th century palace-monastery designed according to the ideological programme of King João V.
The vast complex also served as a Franciscan friary and was conveniently located near the royal hunting reserve (the Tapada Nacional de Mafra).
Nan Germany - 06-Mar-16
Mafra is a huge baroque palace complex North of Lisbon. When I arrived the sheer size of the site was impressive. Situated on a hill overlooking the coast, this is a clear statement of absolutism and the wealth generated in the Brazilian colony.
However, when you move in or around the palace it feels like being built for size and show, not quality. The backside of the palace is pretty mundane as is the attached park. And in the interior the hallways are vast, but there is an emptiness to it. Some of it may be due to the French invasion and the best art pieces being moved to Brazil. But the prime inhabitants, the Royals, also seem to have felt the same way as they didn't move in permanently either.Read On
Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
The Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea - Bohai Gulf of China cover a mudflat system serving as bird foraging and resting areas.
The inscribed area with 2 components is the first part of a much broader future one.
Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge
Erzgebirge / Krušnohoří Mining Region is a mining region that has been used from the Middle Ages onwards.
The 95x45 km area is located in southeastern Germany (Saxony) and northwestern Czechia. Amongst the raw materials mined over the course of centuries were ores of the metals silver, tin, zinc, cobalt, nickel, copper and lead; but anthracite and uranium were also extracted into the 20th century.
Tsunami Japan / USA / Poland - 05-Sep-16
I visited several towns around Dresden recently, and Altenberg was one of them. It is in a mountainous area close to the border with Czechia and is known for cross country skiing among Germans.
Altenberg is also one of the mining towns collectively nominated by Germany for a WHS. It sounds like it is for sure to become a WHS within a few years.
I visited on a morning trip on a Sunday by train from Dresden.
Both the tourist office and the mining museum were open on the Sunday morning.
So I visited the museum by one of the entrances to the tin mine and then went to see what they call "Pinge," a huge hole that was created when the mine collapsed in 1620. The diameter today is about 400 meters, and the depth is about 150 meters.Read On
The Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group comprises 49 distinctive, often keyhole-shaped earthen burial mounds.
They were the stage for funerary rituals of kings and can be up to 500m in length. The kofun date from the late 4th and early 5th century.
Tsunami Japan / USA / Poland - 15-Jun-17
In 2014 I visited the centerpiece of this nomination, the Daisen Kofun, which is considered to be the grave of Emperor Nintoku and is the single largest grave in the world by area.
It is so large that the best way to view it is perhaps to take off or land at the Kansai (Osaka) International Airport.
The photo shows the Shinto Torii Gate in the middle, behind which lies the widest of the three moats that surround the all important keyhole-shaped grave.
I believe it'll be surprising if this site gets a go at getting on the WH list, simply because, no matter what the nomination dossier says, nobody is certain that the Daisen Kofun is really the grave for the Emperor. This absurdity comes from the fact that the belief that the grave belongs to an Emperor means it is managed by the Imperial Household Agency, an ultra conservative entity that wouldn't allow anyone to visit such a holy site, let alone to dig it, resulting in the uncertainty. (Remember that the Japanese Imperial Family is considered to be the descendants of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, in the Japanese mythologyRead On
Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto
The Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto is a late 19th century industrial system built by the Netherlands colonial government.
The mines were worked by local labourers (including forced labourers), the town of Sawahlunto grew to 7,000 inhabitants. The site comprises 12 locations, including mines, coal fields, tunnels, a Mining School and railway system.
Elisabeth Fransisca Situmorang Indonesia - 24-Oct-17
The City of Sawah Lunto, around 3-4 hrs from Padang, the capital of West Sumatra, is actually quite a small town. It is an easy day trip starting from Bukittinggi and ending it in Padang (with a close detour to another TWHS, Nagari Sijunjung).
Visited the Goedang Ransum (mass kitchen for the labourer) Museum and one of the Coal Mine. It's really worth to see how the city was alive because of the coal mining exploitation from the Dutch period, how a big deal it was during that time. I must say it is cool experience.Read On
Paraty and Ilha Grande
Paraty Culture and Biodiversity comprises 5 components along the Brazilian coast: 4 parks/nature reserves and the historical centre of the town of Paraty.
The mountainous, forested area was the scene of early encounter between Europeans and natives. Most of the landscape is covered in Atlantic forest with great biological diversity.
Solivagant UK - 30-May-09
After a flourish of 8 successful inscriptions in 3 years (1999-2001) Brazil hasn’t had a lot of luck recently. In 2003 Rio was rejected/deferred and in 2008 São Cristóvão was deferred - neither, as yet, to reappear. I wonder if its 2009 proposal of Parati (aka Paraty) will fare any better? I hope so – Latin America already has a lot of (too many?) inscribed “colonial” towns but Paraty is a gem. Not perhaps for the excellence of any individual buildings but as an undeveloped and architecturally very harmonious ensemble in a fine coastal setting.Read On
Plain of Jars
The Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhuang (better known as the Plain of Jars) are a testimony to Iron Age funerary practices.
The sites include 1,325 ancient sandstone jars, crafted by a civilization that lived in the area from 500 BCE on. The most dense location holds 400 jars plus associated stone objects such as lids and discs.
AC - 17-Aug-08
Since I cannot read French I assume that what they are planning to apply for world heritage status in this province is the Plain of Jars.
I took a trip to Laos in December 2006 with some friends to sort of escape Christmas at home. After having read about the Plain of Jars and seen pictures of them, I made sure that I went to see them, even if I had to brave 12 hours of an uncomfortable bus ride from Vientiane.
These so-called jars are really urn-like structures made of stone. Even though it is called a "Plain of Jars" there isn't really one single plain or area where one can find all the jars in there. The jars are scattered across a wide area in the countryside in various sites of varying concentrations of jars.Read On
Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape are testimony to the pre-Hispanic culture of the island.
The mountainous area includes a large number of troglodyte settlements, archaeological sites and rock art.
Solivagant UK - 29-Jan-19
Spain’s apparent objective of gaining WHS status for all of its islands continues in 2019 with Gran Canaria (GC) - Menorca is next in line for 2022! Serendipity, rather than an obsessive chase after potential upcoming WHS, took us there for just 1 day in Jan 2019 and we fitted in a visit to the nominated site of “Risco Caido and the sacred mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape”
The Canaries (population c2.2 million) already have 3 WHS. A “colonial town” (the rather “average” San Cristobal de Laguna), “Volcanism” (Teide NP) and “relict Macronesian vegetation” (Garajonay NP)Read On
Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga is a sanctuary on the top of a hill and a catholic pilgrimage site.
The complex is known for its monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116 meters. The sanctuary was built on a spot where hermits had settled from the 14th century on. It has been rebuilt and much further extended during the following centuries.
Michael Novins United States - 21-Jun-18
In June 2018, I rented a car and drove from Porto to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus, a pilgrimage site in northern Portugal that’s known for its monumental zigzag stairway. Pilgrims traditionally ascend the 577-step Baroque staircase on their knees. I opted, instead, to take the 1882 water-powered funicular.Read On
Seowon, Neo-Confucian Academies
The Seowon are 9 Neo-Confucian Academies that are relevant for their architectural types and their role in education.
They were founded in the 16th and 17th centuries. From these academies, located across the country, Neo-Confucianism took root and spread over Korea. Mainly aristocrats and future civil service administrators were educated here.
Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 08-Jul-16
I visited Sosu Seowon (Yeongju) on a warm, sunny day in June. As the first Confucian Academy established in the Joseon Dynasty, it holds special significance. Before its construction in 1542, there is evidence this site was formerly a Buddhist temple. This explains the somewhat unconventional layout of this particular Seowon.
A slight misfortune, when I visited Donam Seowon (Nonsan), it was pouring rain with only slight intervals. This fact, likely contributed to its emptiness and less pictures. I found Donam Seowon to be pleasant, but far smaller. Its authenticity could also (at least partially) be put into question based on Donam Seowon being moved from its original location.Read On
The Historic centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace is an 18th century trade town known for its sericulture.
Sheki was the capital of the short-lived Shaki Khanate. The Khan’s palace was designed by a Persian architect in 1797.
Juha Sjoeblom Finland - 25-Mar-17
Site visited October 2014. While the majority of tourists in Azerbaijan may not go outside the area of Baku, Sheki is an excellent reason to go there. It is a good place to see the other side of this country as opposite of Baku: traditional architecture and small town feeling in a beautiful setting on foothills of Caucasus Mountains. And the icing on the cake is the exquisite Khan’s Palace. That was also in my mind when I headed to Sheki.
At nine in the evening I hopped on a Sheki bound night train at the Baku railway station. The trip would last 10 hours. I had a bed in a four bed sleeper cabinRead On
The Prosecco Hills
The Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene form a viticultural landscape in challenging, mountainous terrain.
The highest quality Prosecco wine has been produced here since the 18th century.
John S. USA - 08-Jul-11
Another special place in Italy which, despite its beauty, tranquility and delicious product, may not necessarily be as "culturally" significant as Italy claims it to be.Read On
Vatnajökull National Park
Vatnajökull National Park has a wide variety of tectonic, volcanic and glaciovolcanic features.
Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It is situated on large and active tectonic rift systems. The park comprises 14% of the territory of Iceland.
Argo France - 19-May-18
Having read that Iceland would propose this site for 2019, I crossed check the detailed map of the nomination file (that can be downloaded from the National Park website) with my notes and pictures from our June 2008 trip to Iceland.
To be fair this tentative site is probably best visited if you go there for trekking, and this [...]Read On
Water Management System of Augsburg
The Water Management System of Augsburg provided both pure drinking water and process water for the industries from a network of canals.
It has developed since the Middle Ages into an innovative system of hydraulic engineering. The site comprises 22 buildings, including fountains, canals and hydraulic power stations.
Hubert Austria - 14-May-15
I am pretty sure most people in Augsburg did not realize that the historic water management has the potential for a WHS until it was proposed for the new German tentative list. Other sites in Augsburg were discussed in the past, the Town Hall or the Fuggerei, the world's oldest social housing estate. But after the proposal was submitted, a lot has been done to promote this idea. Since 2013 so-called "Wassertage" (water days) are organized every first Sunday of the month in summer. Several free guided tours to otherwise inaccessible historic water towers and hydropower plants are offered. In June 2013 I had a business meeting in Munich and I took the opportunity to spend the following weekend in AugsburgRead On
Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi
Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi is a living sacred landscape for Blackfoot people.
The area holds thousands of examples of indigenous rock art, carved into the sandstone. For the Blackfoot society of the past and the present there is also a spiritual connection to its impressive landforms such as hoodoos and canyons. The inscription comprises the sites of Áísínai’pi, Haffner Coulee and Poverty Rock.
Alessandro Votta Italia - Canada - 19-Sep-13
This is an easy TL site to reach from Calgary, it is a 4-hours each way driving and it could be managed in a one-day road trip. I don't think there is any public transportation leading to this site, therefore a car rental is the only feasible option. The park is easy to reach even without GPS, there are plenty of road sign, once left the small town of Milk River on the hwy 501 driving east. The park is a "small replica" of the Dinosaur Provincial Park, same badlands aspect; with the landscape made of hoodoos, cliffs and the Milk river flowing in between, it would be a nice site itself, even without the "writing on stone"Read On
Extended Sites in 2019
The Natural and cultural heritage of the Ohrid Region comprises the ancient city of Ohrid and nearby Lake Ohrid, one of the deepest and oldest lakes in Europe.
The city of Ohrid has been a cultural centre of great importance for the Balkan and the Slavonic language. Its churches are renowned for their frescoes and icons. As an episcopal city, Ohrid was an important cultural center. Almost all surviving churches were built by the Byzantines and by the Bulgarians.
The lake's water holds many endemic species of fish, molluscs etc. The lakeshore reed beds and wetlands provide critical habitat for hundreds of thousands of wintering water birds, including rare and threatened species such as the Dalmatian Pelican, Ferruginous Duck, Swan, Spotted Eagle, and Eastern Imperial Eagle.
Ana Australia - 06-Apr-06
I have been to Ohrid many times and i must tell you it is the best place to be. It lake looks like dazzeling beads in the sun and the city reminds you of the olden days. Not all the city is old. Part of it has a new landscape to it. There are many beautiful churches there with millions of Byzantine-style icons. Trust me, you will love it if you go there!Read On