Grand Canal of China

18 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Grand Canal tour boats in Suzhou © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

Grand Canal tour boats in Suzhou © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Grand Canal, known to the Chinese as the Jing–Hang Grand Canal (Capital–Hangzhou Grand Canal, or more commonly, as the Grand Canal), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. Starting in Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou, linking the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The oldest parts of the canal date back to the 5th century BC, but the various sections were first connected during the Sui dynasty (581–618 AD). Dynasties in 1271–1633 significantly restored and rebuilt the canal and altered its route to supply their capital.   read more…

Melbourne City in Australia

13 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Melbourne's Central Business District © Melbpal/cc-by-sa-4.0

Melbourne’s Central Business District © Melbpal/cc-by-sa-4.0

Melbourne is the capital and most-populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in both Australia and Oceania. Its name generally refers to a 9,993 km²(3,858 sq mi) metropolitan area known as Greater Melbourne, comprising an urban agglomeration of 31 local municipalities, although the name is also used specifically for the local municipality of City of Melbourne based around its central business area. The city occupies much of the northern and eastern coastlines of Port Phillip Bay and spreads into the Mornington Peninsula and the hinterlands towards the Yarra Valley, the Dandenong and Macedon Ranges. It has a population over 5 million (19% of the population of Australia, as per 2020), mostly residing to the east side of the city centre, and its inhabitants are commonly referred to as “Melburnians”.   read more…

Vicenza in Veneto

6 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Palazzo del Capitanio © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

Palazzo del Capitanio © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

Vicenza is a city in northeastern Italy. It is in the Veneto region at the northern base of the Monte Berico, where it straddles the Bacchiglione River. Vicenza is approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) west of Venice and 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Milan.   read more…

Nassau on New Providence

1 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  18 minutes

Nassau welcome gateway © BrokenSphere/cc-by-3.0

Nassau welcome gateway © BrokenSphere/cc-by-3.0

Nassau is the capital and largest city of The Bahamas. With a population of 274,400 as of 2016, or just over 70% of the entire population of The Bahamas (≈391,000), Nassau is commonly defined as a primate city, dwarfing all other towns in the country. It is the centre of commerce, education, law, administration, and media of the country. Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for the Bahamas, is located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west of the city centre of Nassau, and has daily flights to major cities in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States. The city is located on the island of , which functions much like a business district. Nassau is the site of the House of Assembly and various judicial departments and was considered historically to be a stronghold of pirates. The city was named in honour of William III of England, Prince of Orange-Nassau.   read more…

Chios in der Nördlichen Ägäis

29 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Port of Lagada © FrontierNG/cc-by-sa-4.0

Port of Lagada © FrontierNG/cc-by-sa-4.0

Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the northern Aegean Sea. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is notable for its exports of mastic gum and its nickname is “the Mastic Island”. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages and the 11th-century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also the site of the Chios massacre, in which tens of thousands of Greeks on the island were massacred by Ottoman troops during the Greek War of Independence in 1822.   read more…

Theme Week Hungary – Pécs

23 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

County Hall of Baranya © Jan Mehlich/cc-by-sa-3.0

County Hall of Baranya © Jan Mehlich/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. It is the administrative and economic centre of Baranya County. Pécs is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pécs.   read more…

Theme Week Hungary

20 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

View from Gellert Hill to the Danube in Budapest © flickr.com - Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

View from Gellert Hill to the Danube in Budapest © flickr.com – Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) of the Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Croatia and Slovenia to the southwest, and Austria to the west. Hungary is a landlocked country. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostly ethnic Hungarians and a significant Romani minority. Hungarian, the official language, is the world’s most widely spoken Uralic language, and among the few non-Indo-European languages widely spoken in Europe. Budapest is the country’s capital and largest city; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs, and Győr.   read more…

Würzburg Residence

20 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Kaisersaal © Andreas Faessler/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kaisersaal © Andreas Faessler/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Würzburg Residence (German: Würzburger Residenz) is a palace in Würzburg, Germany. Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch, representatives of the Austrian/South German Baroque style, were involved in the construction, as well as Robert de Cotte and Germain Boffrand, who were followers of the French Style. Balthasar Neumann, court architect of the Bishop of Würzburg, was the principal architect of the Residence, which was commissioned by the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn and his brother Friedrich Carl von Schönborn in 1720, and completed in 1744. The Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, assisted by his son, Domenico, painted frescoes in the building. Interiors considered masterworks of Baroque/Rococo or Neoclassical architecture and art include the grand staircase, the chapel, and the Imperial Hall. The building was reportedly called the “largest parsonage in Europe” by Napoleon. It was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II, and restoration has been in progress since 1945.   read more…

Reichenau Abbey in Lake Constance

10 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Cloisters Reichenau © Schlampi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cloisters Reichenau © Schlampi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Reichenau Abbey was a Benedictine monastery on Reichenau Island (known in Latin as Augia Dives). It was founded in 724 by the itinerant Saint Pirmin, who is said to have fled Spain ahead of the Moorish invaders, with patronage that included Charles Martel, and, more locally, Count Berthold of the Ahalolfinger and the Alemannian Duke Santfrid I (Nebi). Pirmin’s conflict with Santfrid resulted in his leaving Reichenau in 727. Under his successor Haito the monastery began to flourish. It gained influence in the Carolingian dynasty, under Abbot Waldo of Reichenau (740–814), by educating the clerks who staffed Imperial and ducal chanceries. Abbot Reginbert of Reichenau (-846) built up the important book collection. Abbot Walafrid Strabo (842–849), who was educated at Reichenau, was renowned as a poet and Latin scholar.   read more…

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