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Nature Travel Uncategorized

Meet the Newest UNESCO World Heritage Sites

What do the #Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Great Barrier Reef in #Australia have in common? All have been designated as #UNESCO World Heritage Sites, meaning they’re among the most important places on planet Earth.

United Nations #Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (#UNESCO) status is given only to cultural and natural sites that are considered to be of outstanding value to #humanity. The designation protects them from ever being altered. Today there are 1,092 UNESCO sites around the #world.

To be included on the list, sites must meet at least one out of 10 selection #criteria. Some of the criteria include examples of human creative genius, #testimony to cultural #tradition, natural phenomena or beauty, and major stages of Earth’s history. Every site is considered to be universal, belonging to all the people of the world, irrespective of where they #live.

Ready to see which incredible locales made the cut for 2018? The 20 newest #UNESCO members are…

 

#1 Aasivissuit – Nipisat, Denmark

The #Arctic Circle might not have been on your travel bucket list before, but it certainly should be now.

In the central part of West #Greenland you’ll find the secrets to more than 4,000 years of human history. This sprawling piece of land is not only visually stunning, with rocky mountains that tumble down to green pastures and #glacially blue rivers, but #archaeologically significant.

Paleo-Inuit and Inuit peoples used this as their hunting ground for sea and land #animals, as well as a spot for seasonal #migrations of animals.

Today, the site is still a hunting ground for modern-day Inuit tribes who hunt caribou. It is also one of the best spots in the world for catching the #Northern #Lights.

 

#2 Central Sikhote-Alin – Russian Federation

Early morning on Bikin River, part of the Sikhote-Alin mountain range, which contains one of the richest and most unusual temperate forests of the world.
Early morning on Bikin River, part of the Sikhote-Alin #mountain range, which contains one of the richest and most unusual temperate #forests of the world. V.Kantor

This mountain range in Russia is a unique blend of taiga and #subtropic landscapes, meaning the flora and fauna is particularly spectacular.

In this forest you can find brown bear and lynx, common in cold #climates, as well as tigers and Himalayan bears, which live more in the south. The land was expanded this year to include another 60 miles of#territory to the north, which has additional species from southern #Manchuria like the Amur tiger, #Siberian musk deer, wolverine and sable.

#3 Al-Ahsa Oasis – Saudi Arabia

At-Tehamiyah village remains at the AL-Ahsa Oasis in Saudi Arabia.
At-Tehamiyah village remains at the AL-Ahsa Oasis in Saudi Arabia.IPOGEA

The term “oasis” is used to describe a respite from #harsh conditions —  but do oases actually exist? Very much so.

Oases are fertile spots in deserts where water is found, and the #AL-Ahsa Oasis in Saudi Arabia is the largest one in the world. On the Arabian Peninsula, this historic and striking #spot has archaeological sites that prove continued human settlement from as far back as the #Neolithic Age (about 12,000 years ago). It also has 2.5 million date palms, historic #fortresses, #mosques and canals.

 

 

#4 Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley – Mexico

The Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, part of the Mesoamerican region, is an arid or semi-arid zone with the richest biodiversity in all of North America.
The Tehuacán-Cuicatlán #Valley, part of the #Mesoamerican region, is an arid or semi-arid zone with the richest biodiversity in all of North #America.Diana Hernandez
Whoever said there’s no life in the #desert has never been to this corner of the world. This valley within the central state of #Puebla is #designated as arid and semi-arid, yet is teeming with some of the richest biodiversity on the continent. #Imagine cacti for days; this is one of the main centers of #diversification for cacti. Columnar cacti, agaves, yuccas and oaks stretch out as far as the eye can see.

The Tehuacán-Cuicatlán #Valley is part of a #Biosphere Reserve that is believed to be the original habitat of Mesoamerica.

 

#5 Qalhat – Oman

Bibi Maryam Mausoleum in the ancient city of Qalhat, which developed as a major port on the east coast of Arabia between the 11th and 15th centuries.
Bibi Maryam Mausoleum in the ancient city of Qalhat, which developed as a major port on the east #coast of #Arabia between the 11th and 15th centuries.QDP/MHC

A walled ancient city, #Qalhat was originally developed as a port on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, where it thrived as a city between the 11th and 15th #centuries CE. Today, visitors can find remnants of the walls, and the hauntingly #beautiful #Bibi #Maryam #Mausoleum, as well as necropolises beyond the city limits.

The architectural styles also show evidence of the trade routes between #Arabia, East Africa, India, China and Southeast Asia. Fun fact: Marco Polo and Ibn #Battuta both had visits to #Qalhat in the 13th and 14th centuries, respectively.

 

 

#6 Pimachiowin Aki – Canada

Pimachiowin Aki ("The Land That Gives Life") is a forest landscape crossed by rivers and studded with lakes, wetlands, and boreal forest. It forms part of the ancestral home of the Anishinaabeg, an indigenous people.
#Pimachiowin Aki (“The Land That Gives Life”) is a forest landscape crossed by rivers and studded with lakes, wetlands, and boreal forest. It forms part of the #ancestral home of the Anishinaabeg, an #indigenous people.Pimachiowin Aki

Located in the #Boreal Forest between #Manitoba and Ontario is a lush, blanketed forest landscape, zigzagged by rivers and pocketed with lakes and #wetlands.

The area is also home to the indigenous #communities of the Anishinaabeg people, who respect all forms of life and honor the gifts of the land (the translation of Pimachiowin Aki is “land that gives life”), meaning nothing is wasted and pacifism is the ruling #ethos.

The Anishinaabe First Nations, of which there are #four, have been working in tandem with the Ontario and Manitoba governments for more than 15 years to get the area #designated as a #UNESCO site.

 

 

#7 Hedeby and the Dannevirke – Germany

The archaeological site of Hedeby consists of the remains of roads, buildings, cemeteries and a harbour dating back to the 1st and early 2nd millennia CE. It is enclosed by part of the Danevirke, a line of fortification separating the Jutland Peninsula from the European mainland.
The archaeological site of #Hedeby consists of the remains of roads, buildings, cemeteries and a harbour dating back to the 1st and early 2nd #millennia CE. It is enclosed by part of the Danevirke, a line of fortification separating the Jutland #Peninsula from the #European mainland.Rainer Heidenreich/Archäologisches Landesamt Schleswig-Holstein

With an #archaeological history that dates back to the 1st and 2nd millennia CE, Hedeby holds the remains of an #ancient trading town with a unique position between the Frankish Empire in the south and the Danish #Kingdom in the north.

It was once the hub between #Europe and #Scandinavia. Today, it is a thoughtfully preserved site that has helped researchers better understand Europe during the age of the #Vikings.

 

#8 Chiribiquete National Park – Colombia

Located in the north-west Colombian Amazon, Chiribiquete National Park features more than 75,000 wall paintings, dating from 20,000 BCE to the present day.
Located in the north-west Colombian #Amazon, #Chiribiquete National Park features more than 75,000 wall paintings, dating from 20,000 BCE to the #present day.Jorge Mario Álvarez Arango
Shrouded by #Colombia’s section of the Amazon is one of the country’s largest protected areas, with striking natural features like table-top #mountains, sandstone plateaus, and deep, enigmatic and inaccessible forest.

These tabletop mountains have more than 60 #rock shelters at their bases, featuring more than 75,000 paintings that date back from 20,000 BCE.

The paintings are linked to the #worshipping of the #jaguar, and depict hunting scenes, battles, dances and ceremonies.

 

#9 Caliphate City of Medina Azahara – Spain

The Caliphate city of Medina Azahara was built in the mid-10th century by the Umayyad dynasty as the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba.
The Caliphate city of Medina #Azahara was built in the mid-10th century by the Umayyad dynasty as the seat of the #Caliphate of#Cordoba.M. Pijuán/Madinat al-Zahra Archaeological Site (CAMaZ)

Constructed in the mid 10th century by the #Umayyad dynasty, the city of Medina Azahara was once the seat of the Caliphate of #Cordoba. A civil war put an end to the Caliphate in 1010, after which the city’s ruins were left forgotten for nearly 1,000 #years.

In the 20th century they were #rediscovered, revealing a surprisingly advanced infrastructure of roads, bridges, buildings and #architectural styles.

 

#10 Fanjingshan – China

Fanjingshan measures between 1,600 and 8,431 feet above sea level and is blanketed with diverse vegetation.
#Fanjingshan measures between 1,600 and 8,431 feet above sea level and is blanketed with diverse #vegetation.Zhou Wenqing/Office of the Leading Group for World Heritage

China’s #Guizhou Province is one of the most visually stunning in the entire nation, and one that remains still largely #undiscovered for #Western tourists. But within the province’s Wuling mountain range is this impressive peak.

#Fanjingshan measures between 1,600 and 8,431 feet above sea level and is blanketed with diverse #vegetation. This monolith is comprised of metamorphic rock surrounded by #karst formations, and is home to many plant and animal species that originated between 65 million and 2 million years ago.

 

#11 Göbekli Tepe – Turkey

In the Germu? mountains of south-eastern Anatolia, these circular and rectangular megalithic structures were erected by hunter-gatherers in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE.
In the Germu? mountains of south-eastern #Anatolia, these circular and rectangular megalithic structures were erected by hunter-gatherers in the #Pre-Pottery #Neolithic age between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE.N. Becke/DAI

Southeastern #Anatolia holds a historic secret. Göbekli Tepe is a collection of structures erected by hunter-#gatherers between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE. Scholars believe the monuments were connected with funeral #rituals; whatever their #purpose, they are nothing short of impressive.

T-shaped pillars are intricately carved with #animal #motifs, which stand out like an oasis in an arid sea of fields.

 

#12 Chaîne des Puys – Limagne, France

Situated in the centre of France, the property comprises the long Limagne fault, the alignments of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes and the inverted relief of the Montagne de la Serre.
Situated in the centre of France, the property comprises the long #Limagne fault, the alignments of the Chaîne des Puys #volcanoes and the inverted relief of the #Montagne de la Serre.Pierre Soissons

Thirty-five #million year sago, approximately when the Alps formed, they left a little something behind: the Limagne fault, which was formed from #continental movement as the Alps began to take shape. These create the West European Rift, a #geological feature that shows experts how the crust of the earth cracks and sinks, which allows magma to rise and push up the surface of the #earth.

This piece of land is integral in explaining how the #continents broke up to begin with, and how they continue to do so.

 

#13 Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region – Japan

Located in the north-western part of Kyushu island, this serial property consists of ten villages, Hara Castle and a cathedral, built between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Located in the north-western part of #Kyushu island, this serial property consists of ten #villages, Hara #Castle and a cathedral, built between the 17th and 19th #centuries.Kyushu Air Lines/Nagasaki Préfecture

During the 17th and 19th #centuries, the #Christian faith was prohibited in Japan. After the ban was lifted in 1873, people were still prohibited from rebuilding Christian #communities. Still, the religion persisted in secret.

On Kyushu island in the Nagasaki region are 10 #villages, Hara’s Castle and a cathedral, all of which were inhabited by Christians in secret during the time of #prohibition.

 

#14 Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains – South Africa

Situated in north-eastern South Africa, the property comprises 40 percent of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, one of the world’s oldest geological structures.
Situated in north-eastern South Africa, the #property comprises 40 percent of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, one of the world’s oldest #geological #tructures.Tonny Ferrar

The Barberton Greenstone Belt is one of the world’s oldest #geological structures, and the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains make up about 40 percent of the area.

These mountains hold the best-preserved #succession of #volcanic and sedimentary rock in the world, dating back more than 3 billion years.

The mountains feature meteor-impact# fallback breccia (rocks that are made up of mixture of different rock fragments), which resulted from the impact of #meteorites that formed more than 4 billion years ago.

 

#15 Ivrea – Italy

The industrial city of Ivrea, in the Italian Piedmont region, designed by leading Italian urban planners and architects between the 1930s and the 1960s.
The industrial city of Ivrea, in the Italian #Piedmont region, designed by leading #Italian #urban planners and architects between the 1930s and the 1960s.Maurizio Gjivovich/Guelpa Foundation

Ivrea, an industrial city of the 21st century, sits in the #Piedmont region of Italy and was developed as the #testing ground for #Olivetti, which produced #typewriters, calculators and office computers.

The city consists of a large #factor and administrative #buildings, as well as industrial nits. The city was in operation between the 1930s and the 1960s and shows the ideas of the Community #Movement.

 

#16 Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai – India

The city of Mumbai implemented an ambitious urban planning project in the second half of the 19th century, including the Victorian Neo-Gothic style and then, in the early 20th century, in the Art Deco idiom.
The city of #Mumbai implemented an ambitious urban planning project in the second half of the 19th century, including the #Victorian #Neo-Gothic style and then, in the early 20th century, in the Art Deco idiom.Jehangir Sorabjee/Abha Narain Lambah Associates

During the second half of the 19th century, #Mumbai installed an urban planning project which led to the development of public buildings along the #Oval #Maidan space. The buildings were initially designed in the Victorian Neo-Gothic style, and then in the Art #Deco style in the 20th century. Elements like balconies and verandas were installed to adapt to the Indian #climate.

The Art Deco buildings blend Indian design with Art Deco #imagery, which now has been dubbed Indo-Deco.

 

#17 Naumburg Cathedral – Germany

The Cathedral of Naumburg, whose construction began in 1028, is an outstanding testimony to medieval art and architecture
The #Cathedral of #Naumburg, whose construction began in 1028, is an outstanding #testimony to #medieval art and architectureGuido Siebert/Förderverein Welterbe an Saale und Unstrut

Built in 1028, this #cathedral is one of the best examples of medieval art and architecture. It is characterized by a #Romanesque structure, with two Gothic choirs, which shows the design spillover from the late Romanesque into the early #Gothic period.

The choir and life-size #sculptures of the founders of the Cathedral are part of the style known as the Naumburg Master.

 

#18 Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site – Kenya

Situated north-west of the town of Migori, in the Lake Victoria region, this dry-stone walled settlement was probably built in the 16th century as a fort for communities and livestock.
Situated north-west of the town of #Migori, in the #Lake #Victoria region, this dry-stone walled settlement was probably built in the 16th century as a fort for communities and #livestock. Ephraim Mwangi/National Museums of Kenya

The #Lake Victoria region is home to this dry-stone walled #settlement that was likely built in the 1500s.

Researchers believe that the community served as a fort for #locals and livestock, but that it also defined relationships linked to lineage.

It is the largest and best-preserved of these #traditional #enclosures, which lasted from the 16th to 20th centuries.

#19 Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries – Republic of Korea

The Sansa are Buddhist mountain monasteries located throughout the southern provinces of the Korean Peninsula, established from the 7th to 9th centuries.
The Sansa are Buddhist mountain #monasteries located throughout the southern #provinces of the #Korean Peninsula, established from the 7th to 9th centuries.CIBM

Peppered throughout the southern #provinces of Korea are the Sansa, Buddhist mountain monasteries. Seven temples comprise the #property, which were built from the 7th to 9th centuries.

There is also an open courtyard surrounded by four #buildings, which contain documents, shrines and special objects. The monasteries are still used today for daily #religious practices.

 

#20 Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region – Iran

The fortified structures, palaces and city plans date back to the Sassanian Empire, which stretched across the region, now part of Iran, from 224 to 658 CE.
The #fortified structures, palaces and city plans date back to the Sassanian Empire, which stretched across the region, now part of #Iran, from 224 to 658 CE.B. Sedighi/ICHHTO

This region of Iran holds eight #archaeological sites in three distinct areas. These structures, palaces and city plans date back to the time of the #Sassanian #Empire, which lasted from 224 to 658 CE.

The archaeology shows the influence of Achaemenid and #Parthian cultural traditions. There is also evidence of a significant amount of Roman art, all of which had impact on the #architecture and style of the #Islamic empire.

 

 

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