unesco world heritage city

Before I set out to work on this project - by that I mean consciously focusing on capturing doors in Malta and Gozo - I thought there were many more green doors dotted around the islands; in fact, I thought that various shades of green were the most popular colour choice for apertures, especially those of a certain era. I was so wrong. Besides the bottle green version, there aren’t that many that I have documented. This pair of twin doors, save the door knockers, is quite striking. 

Valletta, Malta

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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.

Split - Croatia 

Split is the second largest city in Croatia and the largest city in the Dalmatia region. The city was first built around retired emperor Diocletian’s Palace, in an area that now makes up half of the Old Town area. The city was one of the most important economic hubs along the Adriatic shoreline. 

After being occupied by the Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, Hungarians, Austrians, French and Germans, Split became a part of the Republic of Croatia. Since then, the city has somewhat re-branded itself as a vibrant tourist destination. The city boasts historical churches, Roman ruins, art galleries, museums and a beautiful harbour. The city centre is protected by a UNESCO world heritage listing. 

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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

Ghardaïa (غرداية‎‎) is located in northern-central Algeria in the Sahara Desert and lies along the left bank of the Wadi M'zab, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s part of a pentapolis, a hilltop city amongst 4 others, built almost a thousand years ago. It was founded by the Mozabites, a Muslim Ibadi sect of non-Arabic Muslims, including Berbers. It’s a major center of agricultural date production and the manufacture of rugs and cloths. Divided into 3 walled sectors, it’s a fortified town. At the center lies the historical Mʾzabite area, with a pyramid-style mosque and an arcaded square. Distinctive white, pink, and red houses, made of sand, clay and gypsum, rise in terraces and arcades. In her 1963 book, La force des choses the French existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir described Ghardaïa as “a Cubist painting, beautifully constructed”.

The Hercules monument in Kassel’s Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kassel is a city located on the Fulda River in Hessen, Central Germany, pop.: 195 000. The former capital of the state of Hessen-Kassel has many palaces and parks. It’s also known for the Documenta exhibitions of contemporary art. The city’s name is derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, castle of the Chatti, a German tribe that had lived in the area since Roman times. Kassel was first mentioned in 913 AD. A deed from 1189 certifies that it had city rights. It was a center of Calvinist Protestantism in Germany. Fortifications were built to protect the Protestant stronghold against Catholic enemies. In 1685, it became a refuge for 1700 French Huguenots, fleeing prosecution. In the late 18th century, Hesse-Kassel became infamous for selling mercenaries (Hessians) to the British crown to help suppress the American Revolution and to finance the construction of palaces and the Landgrave’s opulent lifestyle. In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm lived there. They collected and wrote most of their fairy tales there. After the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the Wilhelmshöhe   castle above the city. During WW1, the German military headquarters were located there. The most severe bombing of Kassel in WW2 destroyed 90% of the downtown area - some 10,000 people were killed, 150,000 were made homeless. Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, whereas factories survived the attack generally undamaged. Post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, and large parts of the city area were completely rebuilt in the style of the 1950s. In 1949, the interim parliament eliminated Kassel in the first round as a city to become the provisional capital of West Germany (Bonn won).

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Berat, Albania (Unesco world heritage) by Frans Sellies

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The Treasury at Petra is simply jaw dropping. Pictures can’t do justice what this looked liked with the daylight disappearing. The colors were glowing and somehow the stars aligned and no tourists were around. Absolutely crazy. Indiana Jones dreams fulfilled.

You can see the bullet holes pretty clearly at the urn near the top where travelers and soldiers tried to unleash the hidden treasure rumored to be inside. Unfortunately there’s no vast complex inside as portrayed in Indiana Jones. 

25 remarkable things you did not know about Macedonia

It was 25 years ago today that Macedonia celebrated independence from the failed state of Yugoslavia. To mark the occasion, here are 25 things you did not know about the Balkan country.

1. That’s the ‘Republic of Macedonia’ to you

The country has had some controversy around its name, with Greece also laying claim to the title of Macedonia for one of its northern regions, much of which fell within the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. The dispute is still a hot potato, which is why Macedonia is officially known as the Republic of Macedonia and was entered into the EU and Nato as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – or FYROM for short.

2. It’s high

There are more than 50 lakes and 34 mountains higher than 2,000 metres. It has the fifth highest average elevation of any country in Europe (741m), behind Andorra (highest), Switzerland, Austria and Turkey.

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German Town Tuesday: Quedlinburg

We have selected the UNESCO World Heritage city of Quedlinburg, located on the edge of the Harz Mountains in Sachsen-Anhalt, for our final German Town Tuesday. This more than 1000-year-old city is always worth a visit, but it is especially at Christmastime that it comes to life. The Christmas Market on the town square bordered by half-timbered houses is world famous. The houses on Castle Hill even form an Advent Calendar, with a door on each house for each day of Advent.

Quedlinburg was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1994, the first city in the former East  Germany to be recognized with the distinction. The city, with its medieval cityscape and more than 1,300 half-timbered houses, was largely spared damage in WWII. The castle and church, the burial site of the first German King, Henry the Fowler, made the town an important center of the Ottonian dynasty in the Middle Ages. Today, it is a stop on the Romanesque Road, a photographer’s dream, and a starting point for exploring the Harz Mountains.

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Déjà vu / Hidden in the forest by Masako Ishida

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />location : Kozan-ji Temple, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site , Kyoto city, Kyoto Prefecture 

世界遺産 高山寺本堂 Kozan-ji temple Main Hall

Kozan-ji is an ancient temple said to have been established in the 8th century. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. The temple was restored in the 12th century by the high priest Myoe. At that time, the residence of a member of the Imperial family was moved here as Sekisui-in, which is designated as a National Treasure. In the spacious precinct of Kozan-ji is the Butto (a pagoda built for the purpose of Buddhist worship), designated as an Important Cultural Property. The precinct also contains the oldest tea field in Japan, which is believed to have been first planted by Myoe. Among the treasures housed here is the Choju-Jinbutsu-giga, a set of four picture scrolls (a form of ancient Japanese scroll painting) dating from around the 10th and 11th centuries. This set of picture scrolls is designated as a National Treasure. The original is currently stored in Tokyo National Museum. On exhibit at Sekisui-in are precise replicas of the original. - Japan national tourism organization

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The Ultimate Wine Hotel: The Yeatman In Porto, Portugal

Lots of places these days call themselves wine hotels. Few of them earn that claim as fully as the Yeatman in the port-wine-production center of Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the Douro River from the beguiling old city of Porto, deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read more >