Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The 2015 World Heritage Site List


Mission  Concepcion
San Antonio Missions, Texas
Hello Everyone:

It is that time of the year when the United Nations Economic, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Organization releases its annual list of newly inscribed World Heritage Sites.  This year the WHO has added twenty-four new sites and three significant extensions.  They span the globe and are awaiting your visit.  Shall we take a tour around the world?

Blue and John Crow Mountains
Our first stop is the island of Jamaica and the Blue and John Crow Mountains.  This spectacular mountain range is the nation's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Located in the southeastern part of the island, the mountain range is a wonderful mixed cultural and natural site.  The Blue and John Crow Mountains once served as refuge for indigenous Tainos fleeing slavery and later Maroons (escaping African slaves).  Together, they formed the Nanny Town Heritage Route, "a network of trails, hiding places and settlements" which allowed them to survive and "develop a spiritual practice connected to the mountain.  The site also offers a lovely constellation of endemic plant species."

Tusi Sites

Our next stop is the People's Republic of China and the Tusi Sites.  Located in southwest China, this mountainous region includes the remains of several tribal cultures dating from between the 13th and 20th centuries.  The government in Beijing appointed tribal leaders as "Tusi"hereditary leaders who permit ethnic minorities to continue their way of life that date back to the 3rd century B.C.E.

Christianfeld, Moravian Church settlement
Christianfeld, Denmark
Leonard Frank
Our third stop is in Denmark at the Christianfeld Moravian Church settlement. The settlement was founded in 1773 and is a well-known planned settlement of the Moravian Church.  The settlement was planned and built to represent the Protestant urban ideal centered on a church square.  The buildings are still in use by the Moravian Church.

Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars, France

Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars in France-#historichappyhour insisted blogger feature this World Heritage site. Cheers

Susa, Iran

In honor of the headline agreement between Iran, the United States and its European allies the next stop on our World Heritage Sites tour is Susa, Iran.  Susa is one of two sites in Iran inscribed on the World Heritage list.  The site includes King Ardeshir's palace on the Shavur River in the lower Zargros Mountains and archeological mounds on the eastern side of the river.  Susa also contains layers of urban settlements from the fifth millennium B.C.E through the 13th century

Necropolis of Beit She'arim
Chaifa, Israel
This is for blogger's mom.  From Iran we head over to Chaifa, Israel where the Necropolis of Beit She'arim is located.  Beginning in the second century B.C.E., this necropolis was the main Jewish burial site outside of Jerusalem under the leadership of Rabbi Judah the Patriarch following the failure of the second revolt against the Roman Empire 132-135 C.E. The catacombs present Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew inscriptions.

Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution
Blogger is excited about this next stop because yours truly wrote her master's thesis on modern Japan.  The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining is a testament to the country's rapid industrialization from the mid-nineteenth through the twentieth centuries. Japan's newest World Heritage site includes eleven properties, mostly in southwestern Japan.

Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System, Mexico
From Japan we travel to Mexico and the Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System. This stunning sixteenth century aqueduct, spanning the states of Hidalgo and Mexico features arcaded aqueduct bridges, canals, springs and distribution tanks as well as the tallest single-level arcade constructed in an aqueduct.  The aqueduct was launched by Franciscan friar Padre Tembleque and is referred to, by UNESCO, as  "an example of the exchange of influences between the European tradition of Roman hydraulics and traditional Mesoamerican construction technique, including the use of adobe."

Forth Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland
The next stop on our world heritage tour is Edinburgh, Scotland where the Forth Bridge is located.  The Forth Bridge was opened in 1890 and is the world's longest multi-span cantilevered bridge in the world. It is still in use ferrying passengers and freight across the Forth River estuary. Famous for its "forthright and unadorned display of its structural components," UNESCO lauded it for "Innovative in style, materials and scale...(and) an important milestone in bridge design and construction during the period when railways came to dominate long-distance land travel."

Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape
 Our last regular stop is the Fray Bento Cultural-Industrial Landscape in Uruguay. This meat-processing factory was built in 1859 as an industrial complex near the Uruguay River, west of the city of Fray Bentos.  The site presents the full scope of the meat processing industry and includes the buildings and equipment used to ship meat to Europe

Ruins of Hatra, Iraq
Blogger must alert you to two ancient cities that have been listed by UNESCO as endangered World Heritage Sites: Hatra, Iraq and Sana'a Yemen.  Both cities boast a rich ancient cultural heritage and are currently endangered from continuous conflict in the region.  Hatra, Iraq was listed as World Heritage Site in 1985 and rose to power under the Parthian Empire.  It later served as the capital of the first Arab Kingdom.  Sana'a, Yemen's Old City dates to the 16th-century and features the 12th-century al-Mahdi Mosque.  These sites are in danger of destruction unless steps are taken to protect them.
Sana'a, Yemen

This is just a sample of this year's class of World Heritage Sites.  These places and so many more contribute to our global cultural heritage in ways that we cannot imagine. Please take a minute to enjoy the images and hopefully plan to visit them in the future. You can see more picture on pinterest.

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