Aug 11, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites have been deemed to be of such important cultural and natural value that they need to be preserved and protected for future generations to enjoy. John and I have visited these and many others, the rest are all on my “Bucket List!” For more location on the World Heritage list check or

1. The Statue of Liberty: A must visit for all Americans. It has become a symbol of freedom to people all over the world. A gift from France, the Roman Goddess of Freedom sits on Liberty Island in New York Harbor and has welcomed thousands of immigrants to our shore.

2. Iguazu National Park, Argentina and Brazil: The spectacular Iguazu waterfalls are located in a tropical rainforest forming the border between Argentina and Brazil. The falls are 265 high and nearly 9000 feet long and made up of many cascades.

3. Brugge, Belgium: The quaint city of Brugge is an excellent example of a place that has preserved its historic center with many Gothic buildings clustered around the town square. One of the many fascinating things to see is the Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child” in the Church of Our Lady.

4. Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. The massive site has the remains of the various capitals of the Khmer Empire that spanned from the 9th to the 15th century. Most impressive is Ta Prohm Temple with huge roots laced around the buildings.

5. The Rideau Canal, Canada: The 125-mile canal system was constructed during the 1800s. The system connects Ottawa, Canada’s capital to Kingston on Lake Ontario. The 1800s was the canal building era in North America and the Rideau is the only canal from the era that is still fully operational with most of its structures still in use.

6. Easter Island, Chile: The island, also known as Rapa Nui, was most likely settled by Polynesians around AD 300. They established a culture that was free from outside contact for several centuries during which they carved enormous stone figures called moai. How they were able to do this and why is still the topic of much controversy.

7. Prague, Czech Republic: Prague is home to many historical structures that span from the 11th to the 18th century including Hradcani Castle high on the hill above the Vltava, the Charles Bridge and the amazing Astronomical Clock. Many of the buildings were erected in the 14th century during the time of Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor.
8. Machu Picchu, Peru: The Inca city high in the Andes has jaw-dropping views of the valleys below. Referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” there is still a debate as to the exact purpose of the difficult to reach site. It is one of the few places not discovered and looted by the Spanish Explorers.

9. Bath, England: Founded by the Romans as a thermal spa, Bath became an important center during in the Middle Ages. Bath is the oldest of England’s principal tourist destinations and has been welcoming visitors for centuries

10. Hoi An, Vietnam: Hoi An was a trading town from the 10th to the 19th century. Because the old city escaped the ravages of the wars it is well preserved and shows the influence of local and foreign cultures.