UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The Magnificent Himeji Castle by Rekishi no Tabi
Via Flickr:
Himeji Castle’s history began when Akamatsu Sadanori, a supporter of Shogun Ashikaga Takauji , was named military governor of the province of Harima (present-day Hyogo Prefecture) and built a hilltop fortification in 1346 where the castle stands today. After Oda Nobunaga’s forces seized control of the province during the sengoku warring states period, one of his top generals, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, started work on a three storied castle, which soon got a major makeover when Ikeda Terumasa was awarded control over the area following the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Ikeda was a master castle builder and reconstructed the compound into what we see today, constructing the five-storied keep and the walls and structures surrounding the three moats. Honda Tadamasa became lord of the area in 1617 and a year later built the west bailey. The main keep, including the stone foundation, is 46.3m tall and weighs approximately 5,700 tons. 8 of the buildings, including the main keep, are National Treasures and 74 other structures are listed as Important Cultural Properties. Miraculously, Himeji-jō never fell victim to the flames of war or natural disaster and is one of Japan’s 12 original surviving castles. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. The castle underwent major restoration work in 1956 through 1964. However, in order to keep this architectural treasure in pristine condition, a more thorough restoration of the main keep started in October 2009 and it will reopen in March 2015.

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Eram Garden (Bagh-e Eram) - Shiraz, Iran

A historic & traditional Persian garden, it dates back to the 18th century. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Japan by Brave Lemming
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Floating tori in Miyajima, Japan.

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Naqsh-e Jahan Square - Isfahan, Iran

When Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty moved the capital of Persia to Isfahan in 1598, he decided to completely rebuild the city & poured almost all of the country’s artistic & architectural wealth into it, making it the pinnacle of Safavid Persian art & architecture. This led to the Persian proverb, “Esfahan nesf-e jahan - Isfahan is half the world.” The square became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

The square was built between 1598-1629. By building it, Shah Abbas managed to gather the main three components of power in Persia in one place making them easier to control: the power of the clergy represented by the Shah Mosque, the power of the merchants represented by the bazaar, & the power of the monarchy & the Shah himself represented by the Ali Qapu Palace where he lived.

The city has retained much of its former glory with its many beautiful mosques, palaces, bridges, gardens, parks, boulevards, bath houses, minarets, bazaars, & the churches & cathedrals in the historic Armenian quarter.

The Shah Mosque built between 1611-1629 is situated on the south side of the square (1,2,3,4,5,6), the Sheikh Lofollah Mosque built between 1603-1619 on the east side (1,2,3,4,5,6), the Ali Qapu Palace built in 1597 on the west (1), & the Keisaria Gate at the north opens up to the Grand Bazaar.

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This is basically what is being bombed right now or what it would eventually lead to. 

Yemen’s old city of Sana'a, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a distinctive visual character due its unique architectural characteristics, most notably expressed in its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns. These are the oldest cities in the world, culture and historical value so ancient and pristine, that it cannot be found elsewhere. 

4th pic: Wadi Dhar Rock Palace, Yemen

5th pic: Dragon trees on the Yemeni island of Socotra, off the Arabian Peninsula

Last pic: Peninsula At Socotra Island