Old City of Jerusalem

September 12th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Old City of Jerusalem - Temple Mount © Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

Old City of Jerusalem – Temple Mount © Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Old City of Jerusalem is a just about 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi) wide walled area in East Jerusalem and forms the core of the Middle East/Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Until 1860, when the Jewish neighborhood Mishkenot Sha’ananim was established, this area constituted the entire city of Jerusalem and Israeli right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unintentionally right in pointing out that Jerusalem is indivisible, as to this day the Palestinian old town remains to be a self-contained and undivided entity. The Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. It was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger in 1982. Although the Mount Zion with the Abbey of the Dormition is located outside the city walls, it is occasionally seen as part of the Old City. In 2011, UNESCO issued a statement reiterating its view that East Jerusalem is “part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved in permanent status negotiations.” The border between East and West Jerusalem, the City Line as part of the Green Line, runs between the Old City Wall and the Mamilla Mall in West Jerusalem.   read more…

Museum of the Ancient Near East in Berlin

September 10th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage

Ishtar Gate © Hnapel/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ishtar Gate © Hnapel/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Vorderasiatisches Museum (Near East Museum) is an archaeological museum in Berlin. It is in the basement of the south wing of the Pergamon Museum and has one of the world’s largest collections of Southwest Asian art. 14 halls distributed across 2,000 square meters of exhibition surface display southwest Asian culture spanning six millennia. The exhibits cover a period from the 6th millennium BCE into the time of the Muslim conquests. They originate particularly from today’s states of Iraq, Syria and Turkey, with singular finds also from other areas. Starting with the Neolithic finds, the emphasis of the collection is of finds from Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, as well as northern Syria and eastern Anatolia.   read more…

Xi’an in China

August 29th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Bell tower © Danielinblue/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bell tower © Danielinblue/cc-by-sa-3.0

Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi Province, People’s Republic of China. It is a sub-provincial city located in the center of the Guanzhong Plain in Northwestern China. One of the oldest cities in China, Xi’an is the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi’an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.   read more…

Theme Week Uruguay – Colonia del Sacramento

August 24th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Misiones de los Tapes Street at night © Flc1980/cc-by-sa-3.0

Misiones de los Tapes Street at night © Flc1980/cc-by-sa-3.0

Colonia del Sacramento, formerly the Portuguese Colónia do Sacramento) is a city in southwestern Uruguay, by the Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is one of the oldest towns in Uruguay and capital of the Colonia Department. It has a population of around 27,000. It is renowned for its historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Modern Colonia del Sacramento produces textiles and has a free trade zone, in addition to a polytechnic centre and various government buildings.   read more…

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

August 15th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, UNESCO World Heritage

Großsiedlung Siemensstadt by Hugo Häring © Doris Antony/cc-by-sa-3.0

Großsiedlung Siemensstadt by Hugo Häring © Doris Antony/cc-by-sa-3.0

Berlin Modernism Housing Estates (German: Siedlungen der Berliner Moderne) are an ensemble of six subsidized housing estates from the early 20th century, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating mainly from the years of the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), when the city of Berlin was particularly progressive socially, politically and culturally, they are outstanding examples of the building reform movement that contributed to improving housing and living conditions for people with low incomes through novel approaches to architecture and urban planning. The estates also provide exceptional examples of new urban and architectural typologies, featuring fresh design solutions, as well as technical and aesthetic innovations.   read more…

Palmyra in Syria

August 6th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Cella of the Temple of Bel - destroyed in 2015 © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cella of the Temple of Bel – destroyed in 2015 © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Palmyra is an ancient Semitic city (Tadmor) in present-day Homs Governorate, Syria. Archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic period, and documents first mention the city in the early second millennium BC. Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD.   read more…

Theme Week Paraguay – Encarnación

July 26th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Encarnación Beach © Motorway065/cc-by-sa-3.0

Encarnación Beach © Motorway065/cc-by-sa-3.0

Encarnación is a district and the capital city of Itapúa Department in Paraguay, located at the south-east of the department, on the right-hand (western) shore of the Paraná River, opposite Posadas in Argentina. The city has an area of 274 km² and a population of 128,000. Encarnación is the third-largest city of Paraguay. Encarnación is connected to Posadas by the San Roque González de Santa Cruz Bridge and the International Train. The city is located on Route 1, some 370 km (225 miles) from Asunción, and located on Route 6, some 280 km (175 miles) from Ciudad del Este. The Teniente Amin Ayub Gonzalez Airport, 12 kilometres from the city, is the third most important airport of the country. Because of the mild climate, the city is often referred to as the Pearl of the South. Near the town (28 km on the Ruta 6) are the former Jesuit missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangüe, which were collectively declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.   read more…

Forbidden City in China

July 9th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

The Forbidden City - View from Jingshan Hill © Pixelflake/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Forbidden City – View from Jingshan Hill © Pixelflake/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Forbidden City is a palace complex in central Beijing in China. The former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912, it now houses the Palace Museum. The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years. Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 hectares (over 180 acres). The palace exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.   read more…

Theme Week Bolivia – Sucre

June 29th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Sucre, capital de Bolivia © flickr.com - Micah MacAllen/cc-by-sa-2.0

Sucre, capital de Bolivia © flickr.com – Micah MacAllen/cc-by-sa-2.0

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, the capital of the Chuquisaca Department, and one of the capitals of Bolivia, where the Supreme Court is located. The government of the City of Sucre is divided into the executive and legislative branches. The city is named in honor of the revolutionary leader Antonio José de Sucre. After the economic decline of Potosí and its silver industry, Sucre lost the Bolivian seat of government when it was moved to La Paz in 1898. Today, it is the 6th most populated city in Bolivia. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2,810 meters (9,214 feet). This relatively high altitude gives the city a cool temperate climate year-round.   read more…

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