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Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO’


Algerian Visa Requirements to Rock the Casbah

December 5th, 2010
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Algeria. Algeria's Casbah is the oldest part of the city of Algiers. It has been inhabited since at least the 6th century BC, and in the 16th century it was the capital of the famous Muslim pirate Khair-al-Din, otherwise known as "Barbarossa" or Redbeard. According to Lonely Planet, Barbarossa took control of the city after the people, sick and tired of their Spanish overlords trying to convert them to Christianity, declared themselves subjects of the Ottoman Empire and begged him to throw the Spanish out and claim the city for the Sultan. Built on a hill that overlooks the sea, the city today is mostly residential. Although Algiers is planning to restore the area, many, many of the buildings are in disrepair and the area i

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Mali Visa Requirements to Visit Timbuktu

September 17th, 2010
Like most American children, I grew up hearing the word "Timbuktu" used as shorthand to describe somewhere very exotic and very far away. I had no idea it was a real place until I got older and started studying geography-it might as well have been located in Never-Never Land. Timbuktu is real, and it's actually located in Africa, in the country of Mali. This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site, Timbuktu was once one of Africa's most important centers of trade and learning. Founded by a group of nomads sometime in the 10th century, Timbuktu was originally a place for them to camp with their cattle during the dry season. Over the centuries, it grew, and since it was located near the Niger River and the crossroads of trans-Saharan trade routes for gold, ivory, salt and slaves, it e

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Ethiopian Visa Requirements To Visit Fasil Ghebbi

April 11th, 2010
Can you imagine touring fairy-tale castles in the heart of Africa? This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the Gondar region of Ethiopia. The fortresses of Fasil Ghebbi date to the 16th and 17th centuries, after the Ethiopians made contact with the Portuguese. The Ethiopians may have rejected the Roman Catholic faith introduced by the Portuguese in favor of their own traditional version of Christianity, but they were apparently more impressed by Portuguese architecture.  The castles of Fasil Ghebbi really do look like something out of the Brothers Grimm, leading Gadling to refer to Fasil Ghebbi as "Ethiopia's Camelot." The castles aren't strictly European, of course-they were also influenced by Hindu and Arab architecture as well as Ethiopia's own native buildi

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Vietnam Visa Requirements to Visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

March 28th, 2010
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is  in Vietnam, 500 kilometers south of Hanoi. Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park is located on the site of one of the world's largest karst systems. Karst is a type of terrain that is distinguished by limestone rock formations and caves. Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park  contains 65-70 kilometers worth of caves and underwater rivers. Of the 300 caves and grottoes located in the park, only 20 have been studied and mapped.  The most spectacular of these caves is Phong Nha Cave, which is 7729 meters long.  Although tourists are only allowed to see the first 1,500 meters of the cave,  it is a popular destination due to its numerous grottoes and 13,969 meter-long underground river. Phong Na cave is also filled with fascinating rock f

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World Heritage Site of the Week: Get an El Salvador Visa To See Joya del Cerén

January 2nd, 2010
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in El Salvador, in the shadow of volcanoes.  Thousands of years ago, Joya del Cerén was a small Mayan farming community that was ruled by the larger nearby city of San Andrés. The volcanoes periodically caused problems for Joya del Cerén-the entire area was abandoned once in 250 AD when the nearby Ilopango volcano erupted. Eventually, though, people moved back, built houses and began to farm again. Then, around 590 AD, the Loma Caldera volcano erupted and covered the town in ashes. Joya del Cerén is often called the "Pompeii of the Americas" because of the similarity between the fates of the two towns. If you visit Joya del Ceren, you won't see any of the haunting plaster images of dead victims of the volcano, as you

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