Essential Travel Experience #100 – Help preserve a World Heritage Site

     The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is an arm of the United Nations and one of its charges is to identify and designate important historical and cultural sites around the world to be preserved for future generations. They have identified hundreds of places in the world which are worthy of the category and add new locations to the list each year.

   In the United States, the majority of World Heritage Sites are national parks and national historic sites, so I will just include a few photos here since many of these places have been displayed in previous ETEs.

     Yellowstone was this nation’s first national park and certainly deserves the World Heritage designation, with such incredible sights as, Old Faithful,

Old Faithful

the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone,

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

and Morning Glory Pool.

Morning Glory Pool

Yosemite is also a timeless location and its beauty should be preserved for as long as mankind appreciates nature at its best.

Yosemite Valley

Mesa Verde is one of the best places to see the striking evidence of Native American cultures, and Cliff Palace is one of the park’s most dramatic examples.

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde

A few places which are not national parks are Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, another Native American vestige,

Taos Pueblo

the Statue of Liberty, that sentinel in New York City Harbor which greeted so many immigrants into America,

Statue of Liberty

and Independence Hall, Philadelphia, where, in essence, the United States was born.

Independence Hall

In Mexico, Chichen Itza is one of the many World Heritage Sites.

Chichen Itza

In Canada, as in the US, many of the sites are national parks, such as Banff National Park which includes scenes like this one at Bow Lake

Banff National Park

and this one at Moraine Lake, in an area known as the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

Moraine Lake

Many of the World Heritage Sites in North America involve nature, since this continent is particularly well-blessed with unforgettable vistas and rugged natural geology. This concept is even evident in the Caribbean. For instance, Dominica’s lone World Heritage Site is Morne Trois Pitons National Park.

Dominica Waterfall

In Europe, most of the World Heritage Sites are historical and often include an entire Old Town or village. There are too many examples to include them all, but a few will give readers the idea. The historic center of Salzburg is one of Austria’s contributions.

Salzburg, Austria

Brussels’ Grand Place is an obvious choice,

Grand Place

as is the historic center of Bruges.


Cesky Krumlov is another village which has gained entrance into this elite club;

Cesky Krumlov

Mont-St-Michel, in France, is another.


Chartres Cathedral, also in France, is on the list as well.

Chartres Cathedral

In Germany, the Wieskirche is one of its most visited and beautiful churches.


Greece is represented by Delphi,


the Acropolis in Athens,


and the Monastery of St John, on the island of Patmos, among others.

Monastery of St John

Italy has a large number of sites on the list, including the historic centers of Florence,


San Gimignano,

San Gimignano

 and Siena,


The archaeological site of Pompeii is also on the list


as are the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and many other properties in the center of Rome.

The Roman Forum


The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the Netherlands’ contributions.

Kinderdijk Windmills

Krakow’s city center is one of Poland’s sites on the list.


Spain actually has the largest number of World Heritage Sites, places like Segovia, with its glorious Alcazar


and Seville, with its huge Cathedral,


the Alhambra of Granada,


and the historic city of Toledo.


The capital city of Bern is one of Switzerland’s inclusions.


Istanbul’s many city sights are included as well


England is well-represented as well, with sites such as, Stonehenge,


Canterbury Cathedral,

Canterbury Cathedral

Westminster Abbey,

Westminster Abbey

and the city of Bath, with its Roman baths.


China is another country which is well-represented, with sites for the ages, such as the Great Wall  

Great Wall

the Forbidden City, in Beijing,

Forbidden City

the Terra Cotta Warriors, in the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Terra Cotta Warriors

the Summer Palace, in Beijing,

Summer Palace

and the Classical Gardens of Suzhou,


 as well as the eerie landscapes of the Li River. 

Li River

This, of course, is only fraction of the entire World Heritage List. In fact, it’s only a fraction of the heritage sites which we have seen in our travels..

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