Archive | World Heritage Sites

New Acropolis Museum in Greece a tourist hot spot for Athens

Tourists are flocking to the newly opened Acropolis Museum in Athens this summer, despite the annual exodus of Athenians on vacation to Greece’s islands and countryside.

Dimitrios Pantermalis, director of the new Acropolis Museum, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the new museum attracted more than 250,000 visitors from all over the world in the first month since its opening on June 20.

He said, with more than 14,000 square meters of exhibition space, the new museum was about 10 times larger than its predecessor, ensuring many new delights would be discovered among its expanded exhibits.

Unlike the old museum, visitors did not have to queue up and move together along a single route through the building. Now, it was possible to explore the museum in a more relaxed and informal way, with the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of ancient sculptures and artifacts up close. Continue Reading

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Final Countdown for Table Mountain

You have just one day left to cast your vote for Table Mountain in the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign. Currently sitting at number 6 in its category, the majestic icon needs your votes to boost its position before Tuesday July 7, when voting closes.

Table Mountain soared to number five, but now sits at number six in the New 7 Wonders of Nature global rankings, rocketing 23 places from its previous position of 29 three weeks ago.

It is now officially ahead of legendary mountains such as Mount Everest, K2 Mountain and Mount Kilimanjaro but is behind other popular sites including Mount Olympus in Greece and Vesuvius Volcano in Italy.

Table Mountain capetown south africaSouth African celebrities are using their star power to support the cause. The Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, comedian Marc Lottering, radio DJ Natalie Becker and the Proteas cricketers have all cast their vote for Table Mountain.
To qualify for the next round, Table Mountain needs to be ranked in the top 11 of its category – mountains and volcanoes – which has 36 fellow nominees.

Table Mountain is currently ranked sixth out of 37. Other categories include seascapes, lakes, islands, ice formations, waterfalls and forests. Continue Reading

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designates Iowa City as the world’s third City of Literature

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO ) has designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world’s third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

“This is at once a celebration of the literary riches and resources of Iowa City and a spur to action,” said University of Iowa International Writing Program Director Christopher Merrill, who led the UI Writing University committee that submitted the city’s proposal. “We look forward to working with our new partners in the Creative Cities network — to forging dynamic relationships with writers, artists and others committed to the life of discovery. This is a great day for Iowa City.”

Iowa City joins Edinburgh, Scotland, and Melbourne, Australia, as UNESCO Cities of Literature. Other cities in the Creative Cities Network — honoring and connecting cultural centers for cinema, music, crafts and folk arts, design, media arts and gastronomy, as well as literature — include Aswan, Egypt; Santa Fe, N.M.; Berlin, Germany; Montreal, Canada; Popayan, Colombia; Bologna, Italy; Shenzhen, China; and Seville, Spain. Continue Reading

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Azerbaijan, Mexican and Serbian Sites Added to World Heritage List

UNESCO has designated sites in Serbia, Azerbaijan and Mexico as the latest additions to its World Heritage Sites List. Sites in Serbia, Azerbaijan and Mexico are the latest addition to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage Sites List.

The World Heritage Committee, which held its annual review of World Heritage List in Christchurch, New Zealand, said there are now 851 sites in the list.

Joining the list is in eastern Serbia’s Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius. UNESCO describes the site as a Late Roman era fortified palace compound and memorial complex that was commissioned by Emperor Caius Valerius Galerius Maximianus in the late 3rd or early 4th century. It includes fortifications, a palace, basilicas, temples, hot baths and a memorial complex.

Also meeting the criteria is Azerbaijan’s Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, which encompasses three areas of a rocky plateau in the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan which are home to a collection of 6,000 rock engravings stretching over 4,000 years. UNESCO says the site also contains remnants of settlements and burials from humans who lived there during the period after the last Ice Age. Continue Reading

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Bordeaux France listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

bordeaux france listed as a unesco world heritage siteBordeaux has been officially included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 28 2007. This distinction recognises the beauty and unity of style of Bordeaux’s architectural heritage, which has developed harmoniously over the centuries and remained remarkably well-preserved. The Bordeaux World Heritage site is the largest urban entity to be so honored. It covers 1,810 hectares, or half of the city, from the outer boulevards to the banks of the Garonne.

A rich concentration of monuments in a dynamic city
With over 347 historic monuments in a protected area of 150 hectares, as well as 3 churches (Saint-André, Saint-Michel, and Saint-Seurin) that were already listed as World Heritage sites on the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela, Bordeaux had a number of assets to convince the jury. Continue Reading

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