the beautiful world heritage sites
THE RIDEAU CANAL CANADA
. Over 200 kilometres in length this waterway joins the Canadian cities of Ottawa on the Ottawa River and Kingston on Lake Ontario. Operated by Parks Canada the canal encompasses sections of the rivers Rideau and Cataraqui along with a few lakes. Originally built with military purposes in mind today it is mainly used for boating and was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2007.
MOSI OA TUNYA
. Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe the Mosi oa Tunya are regarded among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Part of Zambezi River the 108m high falls produce the largest curtain of falling water anywhere on the planet and were declared a World Heritage Site in 1989.
IGUAZU NATIONAL PARK ARGENTINA
. Iguazu National Park is surrounded by the subtropical forest and is centred around the mighty Iguazu Falls whose name is derived from the local dialect meaning big water . The falls comprise of 275 individual drops running over a distance of 2.7km along the border of Brazil and Argentina. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984.
LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK ARGENTINA
. At over 7200 square kilometres Los Glaciares National Park is situated in the southern Argentinian Andes. This park is exceptionally beautiful with mountains lakes and woods. After Antarctica and Greenland the park plays host to the planet s third largest ice cap. This was designated as a World Heritage site in 1981.
. A huge spiritual centre for the propagation of Islam in Africa during the 15th and 16th centuries this site contains three globally renowned mosques Sidi Yahia Djingareyber and Sankore. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1988.
HISTORIC SANCTUARY OF MACHU PICCHU PERU
. Machu Picchu is the unique testimony of the urban Inca Empires power and achievement from the middle of the 15th century. Situated 2430 metres above sea level the terraces and ruins of this once great city look over the tropical mountain forest below and is considered to be the most beautiful locations in the the Peruvian Andes. This was designated as a World Heritage site in 1983.
. Acropolis in Greek means The sacred Rock the high city. Dating from the 5th century BC The Acropolis of Athens is a complex of ancient building and structures the most famous of which is the Parthenon (pictured above). This was designated as a World Heritage site in 1987.
GREAT WALL OF CHINA
. One of the most ambitious man made structures on earth the Great Wall of China has a history that dates back to 220 BC when it was made for the protection of the Chinese Empire by Qin Shi Huang the first emperor of China. With estimates placing the entire length of the wall at over 21000km construction continued up till 17th century making it the largest military structure in the world. In 1987 it was designated as World Heritage Site.
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS ECUADOR
. Situated 900km off the west coast of Ecuador the Galapagos are an archipelago of 18 major volcanic islands that are host to a unique collection of flora and fauna. Central to the studies of the naturalist Charles Darwin the Gal?pagos and the waters that surround them are now part of national park. This spectacular location was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1978.
. Lying 350km from Bangalore Hampi is situated amid the ruins of Vijayanagar the former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire. Believed to have been the second most populous city on earth around 1500 Vijayanagar plays host to numerous monuments to the city s former glory the best know of which is Virupaksha Temple. The ruins have been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1986.
GREAT BARRIER REEF AUSTRALIA
. Featuring 400 types of coral 4000 types of mollusk and 1500 species of fish the Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system on earth. It was made a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia.
GOREME NATIONAL PARK AND THE ROCK SITES OF CAPPADOCIA TURKEY
. Nestled amongst the fairy chimney rock formations and with dwellings dating back to the 4th century carved directly into the rock faces the historic Turkish town of Cappadocia is famed for it s early Christian churches and Byzantine art. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1985.
RICE TERRACES OF THE PHILIPPINE CORDILLERAS PHILIPPINES
. Hugging the topography of the local mountains this complex series of tired rice fields are more than two thousand years old. Representing a delicate balance between local framing heritage and nature the site was given World Heritage status in 1995.
. Angkor is an archaeological site which contains the remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 15th century. Best known amongst it may historic treasures are the Temple of Angkor Wat and at Angkor Thom the Bayon Temple. It was designated as World Heritage Site in 1992.
. As famed for its stunning craved architecture as it is for it archaeological importance the city of Petra is located between the Red and Dead Seas. Dating to pre historic times it is undoubtedly the Al Khazneh (pictured here) that is best know among its historic marvels having featured in such film asIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The city was given the World Heritage status in 1985.
RAPA NUI NATIONAL PARK CHILE
. Also referred to as Easter Island the location is best known for the monumental statues calledmoaicreated by the early Polynesian settlers between the 10th and 16th centuries. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995.
SIAN KA AN MEXICO
. Once the home to a Mayan civilization the name of this place means Origin of the Sky. Situated on the eastern coast of the Yucat?n peninsula this rich biosphere of marshes tropical forests and reef play host to a variety of flora and fauna. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.
MEMPHIS AND ITS NECROPOLIS THE PYRAMID FIELDS FROM GIZA TO DAHSHUR EGYPT
. This archaeological site on the Giza Plateau includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx several cemeteries a workers village and an industrial complex. This was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1979.
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY CANAL RING AREA OF AMSTERDAM INSIDE THE SINGELGRACHT NETHERLANDS
. Built during the late 16th and early 17th century this ensemble consists of a wide network of canals in concentric arcs that was conceptualised to extend the city of Amsterdam by way of draining the local swampland. Designated a World Heritage Site in 2010.
ANCIENT CITY OF SIGIRIYA SRI LANKA
. The ruins of a capital city built by King Kashyapa I (473 to 495 AD). With portions of the ancient city located atop a 180m high granite peak known as the Lion s Rock the city is famed for its staircases and galleries. This site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982.
GIANT S CAUSEWAY AND CAUSEWAY COAST UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND
. Made up of 40000 black basalt columns jutting from the sea on Northern Ireland s Antrim plateau the Giant s Causeway has been as much encapsulated in local legends as it has been studied by geologists. Formed through volcanic activity during the Tertiary period 50 60 million years ago it was declared as World Heritage Site in 1986.
WADDEN SEA DENMARK GERMANY AND NETHERLANDS
. Said to be the worlds number one unbroken system featuring intertidal sand and mud flats this vast site straddles Netherlands Germany and Denmark. Characterised by a wide range of flora and fauna it contains mussel beds mudflats beaches dunes and sandbars. This site was declared a World Heritage Site in 2009.
TEMPLE OF APOLLO EPICURIUS AT BASSAE GREECE
. Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1986 this temple is said to have been built during the middle of the 5th century BC and is dedicated to Greek God Apollo. It represents a combination of Archaic and Doric styles.
PALACE AND PARK OF VERSAILLES FRANCE
. The residence of French kings starting from Louis XIV and ending at Louis XVI this palace park combination is seen as the archetype royal residence and features contributions from sculptors and landscape architects from several generations. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1979.
MAYA SITE OF COPAN HONDURAS
. The ruins of Copan were discovered by Diego Garca de Palacio in late 16th century and are regarded among the most significant remains of the Mayan civilisation especially the public squares and ruined citadel. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1980.
TAOS PUEBLO NEW MEXICO
. Still a vibrant community hub for the local tribe of Pueblo Indians the adobe settlements of Taos Pueblo are located in a small tributary of the Rio Grande. Established as a settlement in the late 13th century it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1992.
STONEHENGE AVEBURY AND ASSOCIATED SITES WILTSHIRE
. Arguably the best known groups of megaliths in the world these standing stone structures have intrigued both astronomers and archaeologists for years. A testimony to both the beliefs and mechanical ingenuity of prehistoric man the sites were given World Heritage status in 1986.
BOROBUDUR TEMPLE COMPOUNDS INDONESIA
. This Buddhist temple dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries was constructed in three tiers comprising a base in the shape of a pyramid featuring five concentric square terraces and a stupa at the top. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1991
TOWER OF LONDON LONDON
. Exemplary of the Norman military architecture this tower started life as a castle constructed on the Thames to safeguard London by William the Conqueror. Over the years as the structures purpose changes became a symbol of Britain s royal history and now plays host to the famed crown jewels. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988.
COSTIERA AMALFITANA ITALY
. Nestled between cobalt blue waters of the Mediterranean and the Lattari Mountains lies picturesque hillside towns such as Amalfi and Ravello. Prized for the dazzling versatility of the inhabitants in adapting to their environment this region of the Italian coastline is as rich in local cultural history as it is in citrus and olive groves. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1997.
KREMLIN AND RED SQUARE RUSSIA
. Straddling both cultural and political importance the Kremlin and Red Square have become global icons of the city of Moscow. The city itself can trace its roots back to the time when the Finno Ugric people settled here in the 2nd century BC. This site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1990.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK UNITED STATES
. Located in Wyoming Yellowstone National Park is famed for its vast forests and geothermal features such as Old Faithful. A natural habitat for a vast number of unique species it was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1978.
. This unique series of hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the fjord is famed for its historic and cultural importance. This was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979.
TAJ MAHAL INDIA
. The Taj Mahal the white marble mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal in Agra is widely recognised as the jewel of the Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world s heritage. This site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983.
VENICE AND ITS LAGOON ITALY
. Home to a blend of maritime power and stunning architectural beauty stretching back to the middle ages the city of Venice with its splendid piazzas bridges and palaces has long been a cultural European hotspot. The city and its lagoon were declared a World Heritage Site in 1987.
SOCOTRA ARCHIPELAGO YEMEN
. Described as the most alien looking place on Earth Yemen s Socotra Archipelago is blessed with an incredible richness of plant and animal life. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008.
PRE HISPANIC CITY OF CHICHEN ITZA MEXICO
. A blend of cultural influences and the architectural styles UNESCO describe Chichen Itza as one of the important examples of the Mayan Toltec civilization on Mexicos Yucat?n peninsula. Occupied for a millennia the site boasts several stunning structures such as the Warriors Temple El Castillo (pictured) and the circular observatory known as El Caracol. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
. Yosemite National Park is well known for its spectacular granite cliffs waterfalls clear streams giant sequoia groves and wildlife. Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
ROCK ISLANDS SOUTHERN LAGOON PALAU
. Spanning a 1000 square km the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon comprises of a 445 densely vegetated limestone islands surrounded by coral reefs. Located to the south of Babeldaob in the western Pacific Ocean the lagoon network boasts a dazzling mixture of local wildlife as well as the remains of island communities dating back three thousand years. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 2012.
HA LONG BAY VIETNAM
. Ha Long Bay is a popular destination in Qu?ng Ninh Province. Ha Long Bay includes some 1600 islands and islets most of which are limestone. This exceptionally beautiful and appealing site was designated a World Heritage Site in 1994.
HIERAPOLIS PAMUKKALE TURKEY
. Formed from thermal springs in the cliffs the naturally occurring terraced basins of Pamukkale (meaning Cotton Palace) have long attracted visitors. The thermal spa of Hierapolis was founded at the site in the 2nd century BC offering today s visitors not a chance to marvel at the natural geological formations created by the calcite laden waters but at also at the ruins of the once great baths. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1998.
TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK NEW ZEALAND
. Famed for its spectacular landscape and it diverse ecosystem Tongariro National Park was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1990 and three years later it was became the first site to be inscribed in the revised list of cultural landscapes.
TRINIDAD AND THE VALLEY DE LOS INGENIOS CUBA
. Founded as a staging point for the further conquest of the Americas the Cuban city of Trinidad is located in the central province of Sancti Spritus. Despite its exploratory origins the city owes it wealth and architecture to rapid expansion of the regions sugar industry in the late 18th century prompting to the construction of notable buildings such as the Palacio Brunet and the Palacio Cantero. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988.
NATURAL AND CULTURO HISTORICAL REGION OF KOTOR MONTENEGRO
. With is natural harbour on Montenegro s Adriatic coast Kotor has long been a centre of excellence known for its masonry and religious iconography. Made a World Heritage Site in 1979 UNESCO helped with the restoration of four of the town s Romanesque churches following an earthquake the same year.
PORTOVENERE CINQUE TERRE AND THE ISLANDS ITALY
. In 1997 Portovenere Cinque Terre and the Islands (Palmaria Tino and Tinetto) were designated as a World Heritage Site. Terraced extensively for the cultivation of vines and olive trees Portovenere Cinque Terre and the Islands are known as much for for their extraordinary landscapes as they are for the settlements that have evolved despite the topographical challenges of the area.
. A melting pot of cultures and civilisations Butrint had been inhabited since pre historic times. Transforming from a Greek Colony through Roman occupation and then down through history the site was finally abandoned in the late Middle ages by its Venetian rulers. It was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1992.
ITCHAN KALA UZBEKISTAN
. Surrounding the Khiva oasis the inner town of Itchan Kala with its 10m high adobe walls was a vital resting place for caravans preparing to cross the desert to Iran. Despite there only being a few of the cities original monuments remaining the site is still regarded as an excellent example of central Asian Muslim architecture with the Djuma Mosque and the 19 century palaces being of particular note. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1991