Travelers who love history and nature are well versed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, often going out of their way to visit sites on the list. Officially known as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, this specialized agency of the U.N. is based in Paris and has 195 member states and nine associate members. The sites inscribed on the World Heritage List cover diverse ground and include natural wonders, preserved ancient sites, cultural significant cities, and historical locations. The site may be an entire city or city center, or a small location.
The Travel Buzz Media bloggers talk about some of the interesting UNESCO sites that they’ve visited, hoping to inspire you to find one on your next travels. Take a look at some of our favorites:
A One-Day Visit to Maritime Greenwich (London) England, A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Suzanne from Boomeresque straddles both hemispheres as she talks about her visit to the Prime Meridian, a UNESCO site in London. It took numerous trips to London before she finally made it there, but it sounds like she’s glad she did.
My fellow geography geeks know Greenwich, England to be the location of the Prime Meridian or zero degrees longitude, the imaginary line dividing the east and west hemispheres of the world. This line, runs through the Old Royal Observatory, established in 1695 on a hill in Greenwich, outside the pollution of the coal fires that heated London homes at that time. The Royal Astronomers appointed to the Royal Observatory were charged with observing and mapping the stars and moon in order to provide mariners with an accurate way of measuring longitude on their long sea voyages.
UNESCO Site: Visiting Malbork Castle, Poland
Mary Jo from Traveling with MJ visited Malbork Castle in Poland while on a port call on a cruise. She was eager to visit the Castle and explains why she thinks this is a great UNESCO site to visit, whether on a cruise or independently.
The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, most often referred to as simply Malbork Castle, is a fortified monastery on the Nogat River, that dates back to the 13th century. When it was completed in 1406, it was the world’s largest brick castle, housing around 3,000 brothers in arms, and it retains that title today. It fell into ruin for some time, but in the 19th century, efforts were taken to restore the medieval Gothic brick castle. Restorations were required again after WWII and today this impressive castle is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites (added in 1997).
Grand Canyon National Park and UNESCO Heritage Site
Noel from Travel Photo Discovery uses his photo skills to tempt us with a visit to the Grand Canyon, not only a UNESCO site but also one of the most popular national parks in the United States. If you’ve only seen in flying over, it’s time to see it by land.
Established as a world heritage site in 1979, the Grand Canyon is also considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This amazing attraction has been the top tourist destination in Arizona and is visited by over five million people annually from all around the world. For travelers coming from around the world wanting to experience the best of the United States, the Grand Canyon is typically at the top of their bucket list and highlight in visiting a US national park.
71 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You’ve Perhaps Visited And Did Not Know It
Kerwin has crisscrossed the world so many times, he’s visited UNESCO sites without even knowing it. His list reminds us that we can be more mindful when we travel and take some extra time to visit some of these sites.
A World Heritage Site is one that UNESCO has listed as a place of special significance and this can be for many reasons. At the time of this writing the UNESCO site shows 1,052 different properties all over the world. I know you’ve visited a few of them without knowing it too as many of them are national Parks in the U.S. such as Yellowstone, the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and places such as Westminster Abbey, Versailles and the Acropolis in Athens to name a few.
Suomenlinna: UNESCO Heritage Site in Helsinki
Betsy and Pete spent some time in Finland this summer and learned about its history with a visit to this UNESCO site. The island is reachable by ferry and water bus, but Betsy and Pete enjoyed it perfectly by private boat.
One of seven World Heritage sites in Finland, Suomenlinna (literally, “Finnish castle”) has been a garrison protecting Helsinki and its harbor since the mid-18th century.
Falling under the flags of three countries – Sweden (1748-1808), Russa (1808-1918) and independent Finland (1918 – present), Suomenlinna has also been home to civilian residents throughout its history.