UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) is a division of the United Nations which, among other things, selects and designates properties around the world as World Heritage Sites. Nominations are made from the countries and are then considered based on the property’s historical, cultural, or natural value. With the UNESCO label comes responsibility to preserve the property and sometimes monetary incentives.
As of 2011 there are 936 properties around the world. Some of the places are rather obscure but many are major tourist destinations or attractions. To date, I have visited only about 10% of the World Heritage Sites (and I consider myself well-traveled).
In this series of posts, I will present my favorites, broken down into managable groups of ten. These groups are further subdivided into an A and a B section, each of which contains five (5) World Heritage Sites. Group 1 represents my all-time favorites, Group 2 the next-favorite, etc. Within each group the sites are presented randomly and are not ranked — it’s so hard to pick between excellent things. I will post daily in a countdown fashion so that I will begin with my least favorite places, and so on down to Group 1. Obviously you may disagree with the list but if you haven’t put some of these places on your Bucket List, you should. Many of these sites are on the majority of travelers’ “important places to visit” list.
Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church, Canterbury, England — This cathedral figured significantly in English history. It is a convenient day trip to the east from London.
Cathedral, Alcazar and Archivo de Indias in Seville, Spain — Seville is the capital and largest city in Andalusia, a province in southeastern Spain. It makes a convenient base of operations for an exploration of this part of Spain.
City of Luxembourg, its Old Quarters and Fortifications, Luxembourg — The charming Old City is a great place to stroll and to enjoy the history of this tiny country.
Historic Center (Chora) with the Monastery of St John “the Theologian” and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos, Greece — This island, just off the shore of Turkey, figures prominently in Christianity because of the presence of St John.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica — The island of Dominica has preserved large areas of the country as national parks. In this regard, it has been dubbed “the Nature Isle.”.