Guard Tower of Gonju Castle in the Baekje Historic Areas in South Korea – Photo: 123rf.com
Travel can open your eyes to the world and its treasure trove of wonders. World Heritage sites can add a wealth of knowledge to your learning. See these places of exceptional cultural and natural significance in person. Last year, Unesco added 24 new destinations to its World Heritage List. Now, there are a total of 1,031 World Heritage sites inscribed in 163 countries.
The list includes the birthplace of Norway’s industrial revolution, the region where champagne is made, and an important crossroad of cultures in East Asia.
Get your travel buddies in tow, and make your way to these destinations that played a huge part in contributing to the common heritage of mankind.
RJUKAN-NOTODDEN INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE SITE
Credited as the cradle of the modern industrial revolution in Norway, Rjukan-Notodden has played a key role in the country’s economic landscape in the last 100 years.
In 1911, the largest power station in the world at the time, the Vemork hydroelectric plant, was built to harness the energy from the Rjukan Waterfall.
The industrial complex also utilised a green approach to producing fertilisers for the world’s agricultural market. It used natural resources such as air to capture nitrogen to produce artificial fertilisers for the world market.
The groundbreaking industrial development at Rjukan-Notodden is an outstanding example of scientific and technological progress in the 20th century.
BAEKJE HISTORIC AREAS
Where: South Korea
The eight archaeological sites found in the South Korean cities of Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan, were part of the Baekje Kingdom which lasted from 475 CE to 660 CE.
The sites include the Gongsanseong fortress and royal tombs, the Busosanseong Fortress and Gwanbuk-ri administrative buildings, the Jeongnimsa Temple, the Neungsan-ri royal tombs and the Naseong city wall, the Wanggung-ri royal palace and Mireuksa Temple in Iksan.
At its height, the Baejke Kingdom played an important role in the exchange of religious, artistic and technological ideas between the East Asian kingdoms of Korea, China and Japan.
Also read: 6 cheap and good places to eat in Hong Kong
CHAMPAGNE HILLSIDES, HOUSES AND CELLARS
With a history of making wines that dates back even before medieval times, Champagne is a place to visit and learn the history of the artisan production of this iconic wine.
See the rolling green hillsides and vineyards, the underground cellars that served as production sites, and the Champagne houses that serve as sales points.
The region stands as a testament to France’s unique functional urban planning, architecture and heritage in wine-making.
ARAB-NORMAN PALERMO AND THE CATHEDRAL CHURCHES OF CEFALU AND MONREALE
The collection of nine civil and religious structures dates back to the era of Norman Kingdom between the years 1130 AD to 1194 AD.
The site comprises two palaces (The Norman Palace and the Zisa Palace), three churches (Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio and the Church of San Cataldo), cathedrals (Palermo Cathedral, Monreale Cathedral, Cefalu Cathedral) and a bridge (Admiral’s Bridge).
Admire the magnificent architecture which use elements of Latin, Byzantine and Islamic motifs, indicative of the kingdom’s multi-ethnic culture population.
The kingdom was famous for its harmonious diversity in thought, cultural heritage and political life.
AQUEDUCT OF PADRE TEMBLEQUE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM
Located between the towns of Zempoala, Hidalgo and Otumba, this 45km-long aqueduct is noted for having the highest single-level arcade ever built in an aqueduct.
Dating back to the 16th century, the aqueduct was named after the Franciscan friar, Padre Temleque, who initiated its construction. It is celebrated for its architectural design, utilising European technology of Roman hydraulics, and built using Mesoamerican construction techniques.
This article was first published in The Straits Times Classified.
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