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Archive for the ‘World Heritage Site of the Week’ Category

Ethiopian Visa Requirements to Visit the Konso Cultural Landscape

July 17th, 2011
This month's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the newest additions to the list. Ethiopia's Konso Cultural Landscape was just designated as a World Heritage Site this year. The Konso Cultural Landscape is the ancestral homeland of the Konso people, a group of farmers and herders living in South Central Ethiopia. According to UNESCO, the site "constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adapted to its dry hostile environment. The landscape demonstrates the shared values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities." In addition to showcasing the Konso people's traditional lifestyle, the Cultural Landscape also contains funeral monuments called wagas. These wooden statues are carved in th


A Chinese Visa: Your Key to Enter the Forbidden City

April 17th, 2011
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site was the home of the last two great Chinese dynasties: the Ming and the Qing. Once, the Forbidden City was the center of the Chinese empire. Nobody could enter or leave without the permission of the emperor, hence the name. The last emperor of China was kicked out of the palace in 1924, and the Forbidden City is now the Palace Museum, open to anyone who can pay the fees. Still, it continues to impress and delight visitors. Part of the Forbidden City's grandeur comes simply from its scale. It is the largest palace complex in the world, and took 15 years to build. When the trees were cut down for the main hall, records indicate that the massive trunks were too big for workers to move.  Instead, they had to wait for floods to wash them


Get an Indian Visa to Visit Manas National Park

April 3rd, 2011
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best places in the world to see a variety of endangered animals, including the elusive tiger. Manas National Park is located in the Himalayan foothills in Assam, next to the border with Bhutan. It's not just a national park, it's also a Project Tiger Reserve and an elephant reserve. The tiger population within the park is the second-highest in all of India. Tigers aren't the only big cats here, either. Leopards and clouded leopards are also present, as well as a variety of smaller wild cats. The park encompasses both grassland and forest habitats, so the wildlife is quite diverse. In addition to the tigers, notable forest animals include the slow loris, several different types of langurs, sloth bears and an unusual armo


Get a Russian Visa to Visit Lake Baikal

March 27th, 2011
Here are some fun facts about Russia's Lake Baikal, this week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site: Lake Baikal was formed about 30 million years ago, making it the world's oldest lake. At 1,700 meters deep, it's also the deepest lake in the world. Over 20% of the world's unfrozen fresh water is found inside Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is home to many species of plants and animals that are found nowhere else on earth. Because of its rich biodiversity, it is often called the "Galapagos of Russia." The lake is formed by the deepest continental rift in the world. UNESCO added Lake Baikal to the World Heritage List in 1996, calling it "the most outstanding example of a freshwater ecosystem." In addition to the lake itself, the surrounding landscape is a striking mix of mountai


Brazilian Visa Requirements to Visit the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

March 20th, 2011
This week's featured World Heritage Site is a gorgeous church built in the Rococo style. The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos is located in the city of Minais Gerais, an old prospector's town. During the 18th century, more than 30,000 people moved here hoping to make their fortune. The church was built to serve them. At least according to legend, the striking interior is the masterpiece of crippled sculptor Aleijadinho. Aleijadinho was the son of a Portuguese carpenter and his slave. Immensely talented, he unfortunately fell prey to leprosy or a similar illness as a young man. The name "Aleijadinho" is a nickname that means "the little cripple." However, his disease didn't stop him from sculpting. He carved the statues inside the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos with chisels