BID List

What’s in my Before I Die list? The entire UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites! Nothing less!!

It currently has 1031 entries! And usually, 10 to 20 new sites are listed every year. It is hard to keep up.

If you don’t know the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, I recommend you to visit the UNESCO website and dream!! Their inspiring mission statement is “to reflect and preserve the world’s cultural and natural diversity of outstanding universal value”.

 

(map from the UNESCO site) 

Weirdly enough, until a few years back, I didn’t realize that I was so into World Heritage sites. I had been to quite a few without realizing it. I was born and raised in the Loire Valley (which is of course on the list), I lived in Paris for years and spent too much time on the Seine banks (on the list) stuck in traffic, I lived in London and cycled everyday to work, passing by Tower bridge and the Tower of London (the latter being on the list as well!) and I now live in Luxembourg city which is of course on the list as well! I’ve been surrounded pretty much all my life by World Heritage sites!!

I think that the next logical step would be for me to be hired by the UNESCO as a photographer to go visit all the sites and take pictures to update their website!!! (wishful thinking!!)

 

But let’s be real, I know I probably won’t get to see all the sites and I’m ok with it. A few reasons to that:

– Some are unaccessible, like the Surtsey Island which is pretty much forbidden to mankind or the Gough and Inaccessible Islands which are, well, pretty much inaccessible!

– Some are in countries where it might be a bit too dangerous to travel to. I consider that the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria is off limit, at least at the time being.

– Rarely, the UNESCO has to delist a site when preservation has failed. Only 2 sites so far have been delisted but if a site is destroyed by war or else, the risk is that it gets delisted, if damages are irreversible. The list now is not set in stone.

– There are currently 46 sites classified as endangered. I doubt I’ll make it to Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Mali before it’s too late for those…

– There is also a matter of travel style. For example, we missed Xanthos-Letoon in Turkey on our way back from Pamukale because we chose to fully enjoy the latter instead of rushing to the next site. Of course I hope to have a chance to go back but I don’t regret the decision!

– I also have some preferences: Natural sites, ancient cities, medieval constructions, churches… those I love! But I must admit I’m not so keen on the sites which are part of the industrial era so these are not on my priority list. And if I am indeed really looking forward to go to Poland, I don’t think I could ever visit Auschwitz, it would be too difficult for me.

– And probably most importantly, there are maybe too many! 1,031 as of this year. This would mean visiting circa 100 per year for 10 years for ex. It is achievable if it’s a full time occupation and have the money but otherwise it seems unrealistic or at least it is for me at the moment. So back to the idea of being hired by the UNESCO?!  😉

 

But I want to keep on dreaming and I want to keep on trying my best to enjoy as many as possible of these natural and cultural sites. Here is below an extract of the list by countries we have visited. In blue you will see the sites we have visited so far,  a bit over 100 of them. I will update a often as possible!

And I will link to the corresponding post as soon as done.

 

Austria

  • Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg
  • Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn
  • Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape
  • Semmering Railway
  • City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg
  • Wachau Cultural Landscape
  • Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape *
  • Historic Centre of Vienna
  • Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps *

Belgium

  • Flemish Béguinages
  • La Grand-Place, Brussels
  • The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainaut)
  • Belfries of Belgium and France * 3
  • Historic Centre of Brugge
  • Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels)
  • Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons)
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai
  • Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex
  • Stoclet House
  • Major Mining Sites of Wallonia

Canada

  • L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
  • Nahanni National Park #
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park
  • Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek # * 5
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
  • SGang Gwaay
  • Wood Buffalo National Park
  • Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks # 6
  • Historic District of Old Québec
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Old Town Lunenburg
  • Waterton Glacier International Peace Park *
  • Miguasha National Park
  • Rideau Canal
  • Joggins Fossil Cliffs
  • Landscape of Grand Pré
  • Red Bay Basque Whaling Station
  • Mistaken Point

Cyprus

Czech Republic

  • Historic Centre of Český Krumlov
  • Historic Centre of Prague
  • Historic Centre of Telč
  • Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora
  • Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec
  • Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape
  • Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž
  • Holašovice Historical Village Reservation
  • Litomyšl Castle
  • Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc
  • Tugendhat Villa in Brno
  • Jewish Quarter and St Procopius’ Basilica in Třebíč

Denmark

  • Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church
  • Roskilde Cathedral
  • Kronborg Castle
  • Ilulissat Icefjord
  • Wadden Sea *
  • Stevns Klint
  • Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement
  • The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand

Egypt

  • Abu Mena
  • Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis
  • Historic Cairo
  • Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur
  • Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae
  • Saint Catherine Area
  • Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley)

France

  • Chartres Cathedral
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay
  • Palace and Park of Versailles (a fun itinerary related to Louis XIV can be found here!) 
  • Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley
  • Vézelay, Church and Hill
  • Amiens Cathedral
  • Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments
  • Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay
  • Palace and Park of Fontainebleau
  • Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange
  • From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt 
  • Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe
  • Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve
  • Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance in Nancy
  • Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)
  • Strasbourg – Grande île
  • Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims
  • Paris, Banks of the Seine
  • Bourges Cathedral
  • Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
  • Canal du Midi
  • Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne
  • Pyrénées – Mont Perdu *
  • Historic Site of Lyons
  • Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  • Belfries of Belgium and France * 8
  • Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion
  • The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chaconnes (a very special itinerary here)  
  • Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs
  • Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret
  • Bordeaux, Port of the Moon
  • Fortifications of Vauban
  • Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems
  • Episcopal City of Albi
  • Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island
  • Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps *
  • The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape
  • Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin
  • Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche
  • Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars
  • Climats, terroirs of Burgundy
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement * For a full list and the Cité Radieuse, click: here 

Germany

  • Aachen Cathedral
  • Speyer Cathedral
  • Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square
  • Pilgrimage Church of Wies
  • Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl
  • St Mary’s Cathedral and St Michael’s Church at Hildesheim
  • Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire * 10
  • Hanseatic City of Lübeck
  • Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin
  • Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch
  • Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System #
  • Maulbronn Monastery Complex
  • Town of Bamberg
  • Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg
  • Völklingen Ironworks
  • Messel Pit Fossil Site
  • Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau
  • Cologne Cathedral
  • Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
  • Classical Weimar
  • Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
  • Wartburg Castle
  • Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
  • Monastic Island of Reichenau
  • Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen
  • Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar
  • Upper Middle Rhine Valley
  • Dresden Elbe Valley Delisted 2009
  • Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski *
  • Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen
  • Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof
  • Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany *
  • Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
  • Wadden Sea *
  • Fagus Factory in Alfeld
  • Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps *
  • Margravial Opera House Bayreuth
  • Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
  • Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey
  • Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus

Holy See

  • Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura * 11
  • Vatican City

Italy

  • Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
  • Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci
  • Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura*13
  • Historic Centre of Florence
  • Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
  • Venice and its Lagoon
  • Historic Centre of San Gimignano
  • The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera
  • City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto
  • Crespi d’Adda
  • Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta14
  • Historic Centre of Naples
  • Historic Centre of Siena
  • Castel del Monte
  • Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna
  • Historic Centre of the City of Pienza
  • The Trulli of Alberobello
  • 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex
  • Archaeological Area of Agrigento
  • Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
  • Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua
  • Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena
  • Costiera Amalfitana
  • Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)
  • Residences of the Royal House of Savoy
  • Su Nuraxi di Barumini
  • Villa Romana del Casale
  • Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia
  • Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula
  • Historic Centre of Urbino
  • Villa Adriana (Tivoli)
  • Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites
  • City of Verona
  • Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands)
  • Villa d’Este, Tivoli
  • Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)
  • Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
  • Monte San Giorgio*
  • Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia
  • Val d’Orcia
  • Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica
  • Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
  • Mantua and Sabbioneta
  • Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes*
  • The Dolomites
  • Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.)
  • Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps*
  • Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany
  • Mount Etna
  • Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
  • Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale

Kenya

  • Lake Turkana National Parks
  • Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest
  • Lamu Old Town
  • Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests
  • Fort Jesus, Mombasa
  • Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley

Luxembourg

  • City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications

Mauritius

  • Aapravasi Ghat
  • Le Morne Cultural Landscape

Netherlands

  • Schokland and Surroundings
  • Defence Line of Amsterdam
  • Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao
  • Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout
  • Ir.D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station)
  • Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder)
  • Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House)
  • Wadden Sea*
  • Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht
  • Van Nellefabriek

Norway

  • Bryggen
  • Urnes Stave Church (while waiting you can check this Stave Church!) 
  • Røros Mining Town and the Circumference
  • Rock Art of Alta
  • Vegaøyan — The Vega Archipelago
  • Struve Geodetic Arc *
  • West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord
  • Rjukan–Notodden Industrial Heritage Site

Portugal

  • Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores
  • Convent of Christ in Tomar
  • Monastery of Batalha
  • Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon
  • Historic Centre of Évora
  • Monastery of Alcobaça
  • Cultural Landscape of Sintra: Here for the Pena Palace and here for the Castle of the Moors or here and here
  • Historic Centre of Oporto
  • Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde*18
  • Laurisilva of Madeira
  • Alto Douro Wine Region
  • Historic Centre of Guimarães
  • Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture
  • Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications
  • University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia

Slovenia

Spain

  • Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada21
  • Burgos Cathedral
  • Historic Centre of Cordoba22
  • Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid
  • Works of Antoni Gaudí 23
  • Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain
  • Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias24
  • Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches
  • Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct
  • Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)
  • Garajonay National Park
  • Historic City of Toledo
  • Mudejar Architecture of Aragon25
  • Old Town of Cáceres
  • Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville
  • Old City of Salamanca
  • Poblet Monastery
  • Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida
  • Route of Santiago de Compostela
  • Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe
  • Doñana National Park
  • Historic Walled Town of Cuenca
  • La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia
  • Las Médulas
  • Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
  • Pyrénées – Mont Perdu*
  • San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries
  • Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde*26
  • Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula
  • University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares
  • Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture
  • San Cristóbal de La Laguna
  • Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco
  • Archaeological Site of Atapuerca
  • Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí
  • Palmeral of Elche
  • Roman Walls of Lugo27
  • Aranjuez Cultural Landscape
  • Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza
  • Vizcaya Bridge
  • Teide National Park
  • Tower of Hercules
  • Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana
  • Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija*
  • Antequera Dolmens Site

Sweden

  • Royal Domain of Drottningholm
  • Birka and Hovgården
  • Engelsberg Ironworks
  • Rock Carvings in Tanum
  • Skogskyrkogården
  • Hanseatic Town of Visby
  • Church Town of Gammelstad, Luleå
  • Laponian Area
  • Naval Port of Karlskrona
  • Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland
  • High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago *
  • Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun
  • Grimeton Radio Station, Varberg (surprisingly super interesting!)
  • Struve Geodetic Arc *
  • Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland

Switzerland

  • Abbey of St Gall
  • Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair
  • Old City of Berne
  • Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona
  • Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  • Monte San Giorgio*
  • Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces
  • Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes*
  • Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona
  • La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning
  • Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps*

Tunisia

  • Amphitheatre of El Jem
  • Archaeological Site of Carthage
  • Medina of Tunis
  • Ichkeul National Park
  • Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis
  • Kairouan
  • Medina of Sousse
  • Dougga / Thugga

Turkey

  • Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia: here, here and here and more to come
  • Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
  • Historic Areas of Istanbul
  • Hattusha: the Hittite Capital
  • Nemrut Dağ
  • Hierapolis-Pamukkale
  • Xanthos-Letoon
  • City of Safranbolu
  • Archaeological Site of Troy
  • Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex
  • Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük
  • Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire
  • Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape
  • Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape
  • Ephesus
  • Archaeological Site of Ani

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

  • Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
  • Durham Castle and Cathedral
  • Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast
  • Ironbridge Gorge
  • St Kilda
  • Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
  • Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey
  • Blenheim Palace
  • City of Bath
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire*30
  • Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church
  • Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church
  • Henderson Island
  • Tower of London
  • Gough and Inaccessible Islands31
  • Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
  • Maritime Greenwich
  • Heart of Neolithic Orkney
  • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
  • Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda
  • Derwent Valley Mills
  • Dorset and East Devon Coast
  • New Lanark
  • Saltaire
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City
  • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
  • The Forth Bridge
  • Gorham’s Cave Complex

United States of America

  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Independence Hall
  • Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek#*33
  • Redwood National and State Parks
  • Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Yosemite National Park#
  • Chaco Culture
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park#
  • Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
  • Taos Pueblo
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Waterton Glacier International Peace Park*
  • Papahānaumokuākea
  • Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point
  • San Antonio Missions

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