Abbey of Fontenay in Burgundy

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

The cloister © Jjpetite/cc-by-sa-4.0

The cloister © Jjpetite/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Abbey of Fontenay is a former Cistercian abbey located in the commune of Marmagne, near Montbard, in the département of Côte-d’Or in France. It was founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118, and built in the Romanesque style. It is one of the oldest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in Europe, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Of the original complex comprising church, dormitory, cloister, chapter house, caldarium, refectory, dovecote and forge, all remain intact except the refectory and are well maintained. The Abbey of Fontenay, along with other Cistercian abbeys, forms a connecting link between Romanesque and Gothic architecture.   read more…

Carpet Museum of Iran in Tehran

1 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Wojciech Kocot/cc-by-sa-4.0

Very interesting. While a Persian carpet with the motif of an orgy can be admired in the museum, thousands of women are currently being abused and/or killed outside the museum because they no longer want to wear a headscarf and stand up for women’s rights. It is not against Islam, but against the repressive mullah regime, a completely legitimate request that is supported by millions of activists around the world.
Picture © Wojciech Kocot/cc-by-sa-4.0

Located in Tehran, Iran, beside Laleh Park, and founded in 1976, the Carpet Museum of Iran exhibits a variety of Persian carpets (UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists) from all over Iran, dating from the 16th century to the present.   read more…

Theme Week Ticino – Bellinzona

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

Bellinzona and Castelgrande castle in the foreground © Ealgiuas/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bellinzona and Castelgrande castle in the foreground © Ealgiuas/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bellinzona is a municipality, a historic Swiss town, and the capital of the canton of Ticino in Switzerland. The town is famous for its three castles (Castelgrande, Montebello, Sasso Corbaro) that have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2000. The town lies east of the river Ticino, at the foot of the Alps. It stretches along the river valley, surrounded by the southern ranges of the Lepontine Alps to the east and west, and by the Lugano Prealps to the south.   read more…

Theme Week Ticino

24 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Bay of Lugano © SamuelFerrara/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bay of Lugano © SamuelFerrara/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ticino, sometimes Tessin, officially the Republic and Canton of Ticino or less formally the Canton of Ticino, is one of the 26 cantons forming the Swiss Confederation. It is composed of eight districts and its capital city is Bellinzona. It is also traditionally divided into the Sopraceneri and the Sottoceneri, respectively north and south of Monte Ceneri. Red and blue are the colours of its flag.   read more…

Fiordland National Park in New Zealand

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

Milford Sound © Bernard Spragg. NZ

Milford Sound © Bernard Spragg. NZ

Fiordland National Park occupies the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It is by far the largest of the 13 national parks in New Zealand, with an area of 12,607 square kilometres (4,868 sq mi), and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. The park is administered by the Department of Conservation.   read more…

Chefchaouen in Morocco

14 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  13 minutes

© R.asma/cc-by-sa-3.0

© R.asma/cc-by-sa-3.0

Chefchaouen, also known as Chaouen, is a city in northwest Morocco. It is the chief town of the province of the same name, and is noted for its buildings in shades of blue. Chefchaouen is situated just inland from Tangier and Tétouan. It was founded as a military outpost shortly before the Spanish Reconquista of Granada, and its population grew quickly with Muslim and Jewish immigrants fleeing from Spain. The economy is based on a traditional agro-pastoral system with olive and fig plantations; numerous water mills for grinding grain and olives; a handicrafts sector focusing on leather, iron, textiles and carpentry; and summer-dominated tourism. The city of Chefchaouen is located at about 600 metres (2,000 ft) above sea level in the foothills of the Kaʻala mountain in the western part of the Rif mountain range, in northwestern Morocco. The province of Chefchaouen is among the largest in Morocco, with an area of 3,443 km² (1,329 sq mi). It is bordered by five provinces – Tétouan Province to the northwest, Larache Province to the west, Al Hoceïma Province to the east, Taounate Province to the south, Ouezzane Province to the southwest – and the Mediterranean Sea to the northeast. The Province of Chefchaouen belongs to the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region and consists of one urban commune (the municipality of Chefchaouen) and 27 rural communes, giving the province a rural character.   read more…

Thebes in Egypt

12 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome (Sceptre nome) and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city during many periods of ancient Egyptian history. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found. In 1979, the ruins of ancient Thebes were classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.   read more…

Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan

11 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Giovanni Dall'Orto

© Giovanni Dall’Orto

Santa Maria delle Grazie (“Holy Mary of Grace”) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent. Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza ordered the construction of a Dominican convent and church at the site of a prior chapel dedicated to the Marian devotion of St Mary of the Graces. The main architect, Guiniforte Solari, designed the convent (the Gothic nave), which was completed by 1469. Construction of the church took decades. Duke Ludovico Sforza decided to have the church serve as the Sforza family burial site, and rebuilt the cloister and the apse, both completed after 1490. Ludovico’s wife Beatrice was buried in the church in 1497.   read more…

Essaouira on the Atlantic Ocean

8 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  14 minutes

© flickr.com - Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

Essaouira, known until the 1960s as Mogador, today the name of the island off the coast of the city, is a port city in the western Moroccan region of Marakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. It has 77,966 inhabitants as of 2014. The foundation of the city of Essaouira was the work of the Moroccan ‘Alawid sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah, who made an original experiment by entrusting it to several renowned architects in 1760, in particular Théodore Cornut and Ahmed al-Inglizi, who designed the city using French captives from the failed French expedition to Larache in 1765, and with the mission of building a city adapted to the needs of foreign merchants. Once built, it continued to grow and experienced a golden age and exceptional development, becoming the country’s most important commercial port but also its diplomatic capital between the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The entire old town (Medina) of Essaouira was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001.   read more…

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