Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara

1 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Fperezgo/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Fperezgo/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Hospicio Cabañas or Museum Cabañas in Guadalajara, Jalisco was one of the oldest and largest orphanage and hospital complexes in the Americas. Now turned into a museum, the main hall hosts the magnum opus frescoes of muralist painter José Clemente Orozco. The place was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The complex was founded in 1791 by the Bishop of Guadalajara in order to combine the functions of a workhouse, hospital, orphanage, and almshouse. It owes its name to Juan Ruiz de Cabañas who was appointed to the see of Guadalajara in 1796 and engaged Manuel Tolsá, a renowned architect from Mexico City, to design the structure.   read more…

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Appalachians

25 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Clingman's Dome Observation Tower, the highest point both in Tennessee and along the Appalachian Trail, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Scott Basford

Clingman’s Dome Observation Tower, the highest point both in Tennessee and along the Appalachian Trail, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Scott Basford

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an American national park in the southeastern United States, with parts in North Carolina and Tennessee. The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The park contains some of the highest mountains in eastern North America, including Clingmans Dome, Mount Guyot, and Mount Le Conte. The border between the two states runs northeast to southwest through the center of the park. The Appalachian Trail passes through the center of the park on its route from Georgia to Maine. With 14.1 million visitors in 2021, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States.   read more…

El Jadida in Morocco

23 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Fortress of El Jadida © M. Rais/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fortress of El Jadida © M. Rais/cc-by-sa-3.0

El Jadida, originally known in Berber as Maziɣen or Mazighen; known in Portuguese as Mazagão, is a major port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, located 96 km south of the city of Casablanca, in the province of El Jadida and the region of Casablanca-Settat. It has a population of 170,956 as of 2022. The fortified city, built by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century and named Mazagan (Mazagão in Portuguese), was taken by the Moroccans in 1769.   read more…

Piazza del Campo in Siena

1 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Palio di Siena on Piazza del Campo © flickr.com - Mirco/cc-by-sa-2.0

Palio di Siena on Piazza del Campo © flickr.com – Mirco/cc-by-sa-2.0

Piazza del Campo is the main public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza. At the northwest edge is the Fonte Gaia. The twice-a-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the piazza. The piazza is also the finish of the annual road cycling race Strade Bianche.   read more…

Nieuwpoort in West Flanders

24 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Nieuwpoort on Yser river © Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0

Nieuwpoort on Yser river © Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0

Nieuwpoort is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Nieuwpoort proper and the towns of Ramskapelle and Sint-Joris. On 1 January 2008 Nieuwpoort had a total population of 11,062. The total area is 31.00 km² which gives a population density of 350 inhabitants per km². In Nieuwpoort, the Yser flows into the North Sea. It is also the home of a statue created by Jan Fabre called Searching for Utopia. The Stadshalle Grain Hall (market hall) with its belfry was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France site, owing to its historical civic (not religious) importance and its architecture.   read more…

Theme Week Latvia

23 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Historic centre of Riga, an UNESCO World Heritage Site © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Historic centre of Riga, an UNESCO World Heritage Site © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; and is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia covers an area of 64,589 km² (24,938 sq mi), with a population of 1.9 million. The country has a temperate seasonal climate. Its capital and largest city is Riga. Latvians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts; and speak Latvian, one of the only two surviving Baltic languages. Russians are the most prominent minority in the country, at almost a quarter of the population.   read more…

Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve in Brandenburg

20 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  5 minutes

Glambecker Mühle © Uckermaerker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Glambecker Mühle © Uckermaerker/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, often shortened to Schorfheide, is a biosphere reserve in the German State of Brandenburg near the Polish border. The reserve was established on 1 October 1990 following the German Reunification and is under the protection of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme. It stretches over the German districts of Barnim, Uckermark, Märkisch-Oderland and Oberhavel and incorporates an area of 1,291 square kilometres (498 sq mi). Notable towns are Eberswalde, Joachimsthal and Friedrichswalde. The core area of the reserve is formed by the Schorfheide forest, one of the largest cohesive woodlands in Germany.   read more…

Aït-Benhaddou in Morocco

6 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

© ER Bauer/cc-by-2.5

© ER Bauer/cc-by-2.5

Aït Benhaddou is a historic ighrem or ksar (fortified village) along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh in Morocco. It is considered a great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.   read more…

Castel del Monte in Apulia

8 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  13 minutes

© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

Castel del Monte (Italian for “Castle of the Mountain”; Barese: Castìdde du Monte) is a 13th-century citadel and castle situated on a hill in Andria in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. It was built during the 1240s by King Frederick II, who had inherited the lands from his mother Constance of Sicily. In the 18th century, the castle’s interior marbles and remaining furnishings were removed. It has neither a moat nor a drawbridge and some considered it never to have been intended as a defensive fortress; however, archaeological work has suggested that it originally had a curtain wall. Described by the Enciclopedia Italiana as “the most fascinating castle built by Frederick II”, the site is protected as a World Heritage Site since 1996. It also appears on the Italian version of the one cent Euro coin.   read more…

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