Theme Week Afghanistan

25 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Landscapes of Afghanistan © PD-USGov-USAID - PD-USGov-Military-Army - PD-USGov-Military-Army-USACE

Landscapes of Afghanistan © PD-USGov-USAID – PD-USGov-Military-Army – PD-USGov-Military-Army-USACE

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country in South and Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast. Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, mostly composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country’s strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia. The land has historically been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets, and by the United States with allied countries. The land also served as the source from which the Kushans, Hephthalites, Samanids, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khaljis, Mughals, Hotaks, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires.   read more…

Bay of Kotor in Montenegro

1 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

© Elisabeth64/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Elisabeth64/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Bay of Kotor, also known as the Boka, is the winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro and the region of Montenegro concentrated around the bay. The bay has been inhabited since antiquity. Its well-preserved medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Its numerous Orthodox and Catholic churches and monasteries attract numerous religious and cultural pilgrims.   read more…

Theme Week Uzbekistan – Bukhara

24 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Poi Kalon Ensemble © flickr.com - Fulvio Spada/cc-by-sa-2.0

Poi Kalon Ensemble © flickr.com – Fulvio Spada/cc-by-sa-2.0

Bukhara is a city in Uzbekistan. Bukhara is rich in historical sites, with about 140 architectural monuments. The city served as the capital of the Samanid empire and Khanate of Bukhara and was the birthplace of Imam Bukhari. The nation’s fifth-largest city, it had a population of 247,644 as of 31 August 2016. But according to the Statistics of O’zStatQo’m Department the City is the second largest after Tashkent by number of people who migrate. Number of daily migrants is 4,752,000 as of 22nd April 2018. People have inhabited the region around Bukhara for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. The mother tongue of the majority of people of Bukhara is Tajik. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. UNESCO has listed the historic center of Bukhara (which contains numerous mosques and madrasas) as a World Heritage Site.   read more…

Theme Week Uzbekistan – Samarkand

23 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Registan Square © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-3.0

Registan Square © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-3.0

Samarkand, alternatively Samarqand, is a city in south-eastern Uzbekistan and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late Paleolithic era, though there is no direct evidence of when Samarkand was founded; some theories propose that it was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.   read more…

Theme Week Uzbekistan

20 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Old City of Bukhara at sunset © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0

Old City of Bukhara at sunset © flickr.com – Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0

Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia. It is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Tajikistan to the southeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Along with Liechtenstein, it is one of only two doubly landlocked countries. As a sovereign state, Uzbekistan is a secular, unitary constitutional republic. It comprises 12 provinces and one autonomous republic. The capital and largest city of Uzbekistan is Tashkent. The Uzbek economy is in a gradual transition to the market economy, with foreign trade policy being based on import substitution. In September 2017, the country’s currency became fully convertible at market rates. Uzbekistan is a major producer and exporter of cotton. With the gigantic power-generation facilities of the Soviet era and an ample supply of natural gas, Uzbekistan has become the largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Renewable energy constitutes more than 23% of the country’s energy sector, with hydroelectricity and solar energy having 21.4% and 2% respectively. As of late 2018, the republic was given a BB- rating by both Standard and Poor (S&P) and Fitch. Strengths indicated by Brookings Institution include Uzbekistan having large liquid assets, high economic growth, and low public debt. Among the constraints holding the republic back are low GDP per capita, something the government could influence by changing how it accounts for sectors of the economy not currently included.   read more…

Viennese Coffee House Culture

13 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Café Museum © Fotostudio Schuster/cc-by-sa-3.0

Café Museum © Fotostudio Schuster/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Viennese coffee house is a typical institution of Vienna that played an important part in shaping Viennese culture. Since October 2011 the “Viennese Coffee House Culture” is listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in the Austrian inventory of the “National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, a part of UNESCO. The Viennese coffee house is described in this inventory as a place, “where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.”   read more…

Old Tbilisi in Georgia

10 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Narikala Fortress © panoramio.com - David Holt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Narikala Fortress © panoramio.com – David Holt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old Tbilisi was an administrative district (raioni) in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, from 2007 to 2013. Although the term “Old Tbilisi” has long been used to denote a historical part of the city, it was only in 2007 that it became a distinct administrative entity to incorporate several historical neighbourhoods formerly included in the districts of Mtatsminda-Krtsanisi, Isani-Samgori, and Didube-Chughureti. The district was abolished in 2013, with its territories allotted to several other divisions of the capital.   read more…

Golestan Palace in Tehran

3 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

© Peymanyeganeh/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Peymanyeganeh/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Golestan Palace is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran‘s capital city, Tehran. One of the oldest historic monuments in the city of Tehran, and of world heritage status, the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s arg (“citadel”). It consists of gardens, royal buildings, and collections of Iranian crafts and European presents from the 18th and 19th centuries. The complex of Golestan Palace consists of 17 structures, including palaces, museums, and halls. Almost all of this complex was built during the 131 years rule of the Qajar kings. These palaces were used for many different occasions such as coronations and other important celebrations. It also consists of three main archives, including the photographic archive, the library of manuscripts, and the archive of documents.   read more…

Theme Week Vietnam – Hue

24 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Imperial City © Arabsalam/cc-by-3.0

Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Imperial City © Arabsalam/cc-by-3.0

Huế is a city in central Vietnam that was the capital of Đàng Trong Kingdom from 1738 to 1775 and of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. A major attraction is its vast, 19th-century citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls. It encompasses the Imperial City, with palaces and shrines; the Forbidden Purple City, once the emperor’s home; and a replica of the Royal Theater. The city was also the battleground for the Battle of Hue, which was one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.   read more…

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