Tag Archives: world heritage

Historic City of Yazd

The City of Yazd is located in the middle of the Iranian plateau, 270 kilomtres southeast of Isfahan, close to the Spice and Silk Roads. It bears living testimony to the use of limited resources for survival in the desert. Water is supplied to the city through a qanat system developed to draw underground water. The earthen architecture of Yazd has escaped the modernization that destroyed many traditional earthen towns, retaining its traditional districts, the qanat system, traditional houses, bazars, hammams, mosques, synagogues, Zoroastrian temples and the historic garden of Dolat-abad.

Since 2017 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Gian Luca for the postcard.

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Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa’a)

Most of this archaeological site, which started as a Roman military camp and grew to become a town from the 5th century, has not been excavated. It contains remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods (end of 3rd to 9th centuries AD) and a fortified Roman military camp. The site also has 16 churches, some with well-preserved mosaic floors. Particularly noteworthy is the mosaic floor of the Church of Saint Stephen with its representation of towns in the region. Two square towers are probably the only remains of the practice, well known in this part of the world, of the stylites (ascetic monks who spent time in isolation atop a column or tower). Um er-Rasas is surrounded by, and dotted with, remains of ancient agricultural cultivation in an arid area.

Since 2004 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Luca for the postcard.

Birka and Hovgรฅrden

The Birka archaeological site is located on Bjรถrkรถ Island in Lake Mรคlar and was occupied in the 9th and 10th centuries. Hovgรฅrden is situated on the neighbouring island of Adelsรถ. Together, they make up an archaeological complex which illustrates the elaborate trading networks of Viking-Age Europe and their influence on the subsequent history of Scandinavia. Birka was also important as the site of the first Christian congregation in Sweden, founded in 831 by St Ansgar.

Since 1993 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Doris for the postcards.

Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany

Twelve villas and two gardens spread across the Tuscan landscape make up this site which bears testimony to the influence the Medici family exerted over modern European culture through its patronage of the arts. Built between the 15thย and 17thย centuries, they represent an innovative system of construction in harmony with nature and dedicated to leisure, the arts and knowledge. The villas embody an innovative form and function, a new type of princely residence that differed from both the farms owned by rich Florentines of the period and from the military might of baronial castles. The Medici villas form the first example of the connection between architecture, gardens, and the environment and became an enduring reference for princely residences throughout Italy and Europe. Their gardens and integration into the natural environment helped develop the appreciation of landscape characteristic Humanism and the Renaissance.

Since 2013 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to me for the postcard.

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Lโ€™Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

At the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, the remains of an 11th-century Viking settlement are evidence of the first European presence in North America. The excavated remains of wood-framed peat-turf buildings are similar to those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland.

Since 1978 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Karine for the postcard.

Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesรบs Nazareno de Atotonilco

The fortified town, first established in the 16th century to protect the Royal Route inland, reached its apogee in the 18th century when many of its outstanding religious and civic buildings were built in the style of the Mexican Baroque. Some of these buildings are masterpieces of the style that evolved in the transition from Baroque to neoclassical. Situated 14 km from the town, the Jesuit sanctuary, also dating from the 18th century, is one of the finest examples of Baroque art and architecture in the New Spain. It consists of a large church, and several smaller chapels, all decorated with oil paintings by Rodriguez Juรกrez and mural paintings by Miguel Antonio Martรญnez de Pocasangre. Because of its location, San Miguel de Allende acted as a melting pot where Spaniards, Creoles and Amerindians exchanged cultural influences while the Sanctuary of Jesรบs Nazareno de Atotonilco constitutes an exceptional example of the exchange between European and Latin American cultures. Its architecture and interior decoration testify to the influence of Saint Ignacio de Loyolaโ€™s doctrine.

Since 2008 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Marco for the postcard.

Mistaken Point

This fossil site is located at the south-eastern tip of the island of Newfoundland, in eastern Canada. It consists of a narrow, 17 km-long strip of rugged coastal cliffs. Of deep marine origin, these cliffs date to the Ediacaran Period (580-560 million years ago), representing the oldest known assemblages of large fossils anywhere. These fossils illustrate a watershed in the history of life on earth: the appearance of large, biologically complex organisms, after almost three billion years of micro-dominated evolution.

Since 2016 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Karine for the postcard.