Longmen Grottoes in China

22 June 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Anagoria/cc-by-3.0

© Anagoria/cc-by-3.0

The Longmen Grottoes or Longmen Caves are some of the finest examples of Chinese Buddhist art. Housing tens of thousands of statues of Shakyamuni Buddha and his disciples, they are located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of present-day Luoyang in Henan province, China. The images, many once painted, were carved as outside rock reliefs and inside artificial caves excavated from the limestone cliffs of the Xiangshan and Longmenshan, running east and west. The Yi River flows northward between them and the area used to be called Yique (‘The Gate of the Yi River’). The alternative name of “Dragon’s Gate Grottoes” derives from the resemblance of the two hills that check the flow of the Yi River to the typical “Chinese gate towers” that once marked the entrance to Luoyang from the south.   read more…

Ayers Rock in Australia

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

© flickr.com - rumpleteaser/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – rumpleteaser/cc-by-2.0

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock and officially gazetted as Uluru /Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area, known as the Aṉangu. The area around the formation is home to an abundance of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Uluru and Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park (Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology and The Dreaming). Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural landmarks and has been a popular destination for tourists since the late 1930s. It is also one of the most important indigenous sites in Australia.   read more…

Puebla de Zaragoza in Mexico

21 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Thaniaconh8aa/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Thaniaconh8aa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Puebla, also known in Spanish as Puebla de Zaragoza, formally Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza and in colonial times as Puebla de los Ángeles, is the seat of Puebla Municipality, the capital and largest city of the state of Puebla, and the second largest in colonial Mexico and the richest Catholic diocese. A colonial era planned city, it is located in (southern) Central Mexico on the main route between the capital, Mexico City, and Mexico’s main Atlantic port, Veracruz—about 100 km (62 mi) east southeast of Mexico City and about 220 km (140 mi) west of Veracruz.   read more…

New Garden in Potsdam

14 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Old Dairy-Farm on Jungfernsee, today a restaurant © Biberbaer/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old Dairy-Farm on Jungfernsee, today a restaurant © Biberbaer/cc-by-sa-3.0

The New Garden (German: Neuer Garten) in Potsdam is a park of 102.5 hectares located southwest of Berlin, Germany, in northern Potsdam and bordering on the lakes Heiliger See and Jungfernsee. Starting in 1787, Frederick William II of Prussia (1744-1797) arranged to have a new garden laid out on this site, and it came to be known by this rather prosaic name. The New Garden is one of the ensembles comprising the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin,” a status awarded in 1990.   read more…

Villa Almerico Capra La Rotonda in Vicenza

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

© Mark Beston/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Mark Beston/cc-by-sa-3.0

Villa La Rotonda is a Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza in northern Italy designed by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The villa’s correct name is Villa Almerico Capra Valmarana, but it is also known as “La Rotonda”, “Villa Rotonda”, “Villa Capra”, and “Villa Almerico Capra”. The name Capra derives from the Capra brothers, who completed the building after it was ceded to them in 1592. Along with other works by Palladio, the building is conserved as part of the World Heritage SiteCity of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto“.   read more…

Theme Week Peru – Lima

23 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  22 minutes

Lima City Hall © WMrapids

Lima City Hall © WMrapids

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín Rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9 million, Lima is one of the largest cities in the Americas. Lima was named by natives in the agricultural region known by native Peruvians as Limaq. It became the capital and most important city in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru (República del Perú). Around one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area. Lima is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on 12 May 1551, during the Viceroyalty of Peru, is the first officially established and the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas. Nowadays the city is considered to be the political, cultural, financial and commercial center of the country. Internationally, it is one of the thirty most populated urban agglomerations in the world. Due to its geostrategic importance, it has been defined as a “beta” city. Jurisdictionally, the metropolis extends mainly within the province of Lima and in a smaller portion, to the west, within the Constitutional Province of Callao, where the seaport and the Jorge Chávez Airport are located. Both provinces have regional autonomy since 2002.   read more…

Theme Week Peru – Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire

20 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  16 minutes

Plaza de Armas © Lunaloop/cc-by-sa-4.0

Plaza de Armas © Lunaloop/cc-by-sa-4.0

Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and of the Cusco Province. The city is the seventh most populous in Peru and, in 2017, had a population of 428,450. Its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft). The city was the capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century until the 16th-century Spanish conquest. In 1983, Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO with the title “City of Cuzco”. It has become a major tourist destination, hosting nearly 2 million visitors a year. The Constitution of Peru (1993) designates it as the Historical Capital of Peru. The city is served by Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.   read more…

Theme Week Peru

19 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  18 minutes

Architecture of Paseo Pizzaro in Trujillo © Pitxiquin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Architecture of Paseo Pizzaro in Trujillo © Pitxiquin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the south and west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon River. At 1.28 million km² (0.5 million mi²), Peru is the 19th largest country in the world, and the third largest in South America.   read more…

Grassmarket in Edinburgh

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

Pubs at Grassmarket © Reinhold Möller/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pubs at Grassmarket © Reinhold Möller/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Grassmarket is a historic market place and an event space in the Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site) of Edinburgh, Scotland. In relation to the rest of the city it lies in a hollow, well below surrounding ground levels. The Grassmarket is located directly below Edinburgh Castle and forms part of one of the main east-west vehicle arteries through the city centre. It adjoins the Cowgate and Candlemaker Row at the east end, the West Bow (the lower end of Victoria Street) in the north-east corner, King’s Stables Road to the north west and the West Port to the west. Leading off from the south-west corner is the Vennel, on the east side of which can still be seen some of the best surviving parts of the Flodden and Telfer town walls. The view to the north, dominated by the castle, has long been a favourite subject of painters and photographers, making it one of the iconic views of the city.   read more…

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