It's summer holiday season and off, so it's time to start thinking about that trip that deserves special preparation and planning. China, America, Africa or Europe have jewels that do not always appear in travel catalogs but that deserve to be known. The Unesco World Heritage Committee decided the 19 new sites on the list of World Heritage Sites, among which are the remains of the Spanish city of Medina Azahara Caliphate. Unesco has included thirteen cultural sites to the list of World Heritage Sites, and three in the list of natural and other three in mixed.
Ancient city of Qalhât (Oman)
This site includes the remains of the ancient city of Qalhat, located on the eastern coast of the sultanate of Oman. It is surrounded by inner and outer walls, and we can still see the remains of some necropolis outside the fortifications. Between the 11th and 15th centuries, under the rule of the princes of Hormuz, Qalhât became an important port city on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its archaeological remains today are a unique testimony of its kind on how were the maritime trade of Eastern Arabia to East Africa and India, and even China and Southeast Asia.
Naumburg Cathedral (Germany)
The construction of this cathedral started from 1028 and is considered an exceptional testimony to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages. Romanesque structure, flanked by two gothic choirs, is indicative of a transition style between the late Romanesque and early Gothic. Western jubé, dating from the first half of the thirteenth century, reflecting changes in religious practice and the inclusion of science and nature in the visual arts. This jubé as well as real-size sculptures of the founders of the cathedral, are works of art due to the workshop known as "Master of Naumburg”.
Caliphate city of Medina Azahara in Cordoba (Spain)
This archaeological site includes the majestic ruins of the palatial city built in the mid-tenth century by the Umayyad dynasty that was seat of the Caliphate of Córdoba. After a prosperous period of nearly eighty years, Medina Azahara was sacked during the 1009-1010 civil war of succession that broke the power of the caliphs. The remains of the city fell into oblivion for over a thousand years, until its rediscovery in the first third of the twentieth century. This urban site includes numerous infrastructures -spaces, bridges and hydraulic systems- as well as buildings, decorative elements and objects of daily use that allow to know more thoroughly the epoch of maximum splendor of the disappeared western Islamic civilization of al-Ándalus.
Border archaeological site of Hedeby and Danevirke (Germany)
Hedeby is an archaeological site with vestiges of an old emporium showing street tracings, as well as buildings, cemeteries and a port built during the first millennium of our era and the beginning of the second. The site is surrounded by a segment of the Danevirke, line of fortifications that crosses the Isthmus of Schleswig, which separates the Jutland Peninsula from the rest of the European continent. Due to its exceptional situation between the Franco Empire, to the south, and the Kingdom of Denmark, to the north, Hedeby became an important axis of trade between Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, on the one hand, and between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, on the other hand. The abundance of archaeological material of the site and its excellent conservation have made Hedeby an essential place to be able to interpret the historical and socioeconomic evolution of Europe in the time of the Vikings.
The "sansa" Buddhist monasteries in the mountains of Korea
The Sansa are Buddhist monasteries scattered in the mountains of the southern provinces of the Korean Peninsula. Founded between the seventh and ninth centuries, seven monasteries-temples site members have common features, typically Korean in their spatial distribution. These buildings are formed by a covered central patio, called madang, which is flanked by four buildings: the Buda room, the pavilion, the reading room and the bedroom. Possessors of a large number of architectural elements, objects, documents and exquisite shrines, these monasteries have survived to this day and are still places where daily practice Buddhism.
Chiribiquete National Park (Colombia)
Located northwest of the Colombian Amazon, Chiribiquete National Park is the largest protected natural territory of the whole country. A feature of the site is the presence of tepuis, large high and isolated rock formations, vertical slope and flat tops, which dominate the jungle. On the walls of some 60 caves located at the foot of these elevations there are more than 75,000 paintings whose execution dates back to about 20,000 years before our era. Presumably related to a cult of the jaguar, symbol of power and fertility, these pictorial expressions represent hunting scenes, warriors, dancers and ceremonies. The indigenous communities that are not directly present in this site consider it sacred territory.
Sites hidden Christians in the region of Nagasaki (Japan)
Located northwest of the island of Kyushu, the 12 constituent elements of this serial site are composed of ten villages, Hara castle and cathedral, built between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. All these places are witnesses of the oldest activities of Christian missionaries and settlers at the time of his encounter with Japan, prolonged later stage proscription of Christianity and persecution of their followers, and the phase of revitalization of communities Christians after the end of the prohibition in 1873. This site constitutes a unique testimony of the specific cultural tradition that emerged from the clandestine life of Christians in the Nagasaki region, who secretly transmitted their faith throughout the period of proscription of Christianity in Japan.
Located in the Wuling Mountains in Guizhou province (southwest China), Fanjingshan has an altitude of between 500 and 2,570 meters above sea level, which favors the diversity of vegetation types and relief. It is an island of metamorphic rocks in a sea of karst, home to many species of plants and animals that originated in the tertiary period, between 65 million and 2 million years ago. The isolation of the site has led to a high degree of biodiversity with endemic species, such as the Fanjingshan fir (Abies fanjingshanensis) and the flat-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi), and endangered species, such as the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) , the musk deer of the forest (Moschus berezovskii) and the pheasant of Reeve (Syrmaticus reevesii). Fanjingshan has the largest and most contiguous primitive beech forest in the subtropical region.