UNESCO World Heritage List – My Number

Just quite recently I started to have great interest in UNESCO World Heritage List. The interest was first sparked by the iPad app Fotopedia Heritage – which is a great app and has tons of beautiful pictures. I actually contributed to fotopedia.com for a short amount of time and had some good number of vote-ups (the pictures are picked heavily based on voting system), but I found the punishing system was way too taxing and discouraging, so I left. Bad contributor system, but great app for the rest of us! So check that out.

In my last trip I started to consciously include some world heritage sites into my itinerary. Kinderdijk was probably the first site that I went to consciously based on it being on World Heritage list. Some recent others include Vatican City, the Historic center of Rome, works of Anthoni Gaudi and Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and Edinburgh.

But now I’m curious. How many World Heritage Sites have I actually visited during my travel all this time? So I did a head-count!

Australian convict site, Port Arthur, Tasmania

Australian convict site, Port Arthur, Tasmania

Australia (8 sites)
Great Barrier Reef
Tasmanian Wilderness
Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (NSW-Queensland coast)
Wet Tropics of Queensland (northern Queensland)
Greater Blue Mountains Area
Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
Sydney Opera House
Australian Convict Sites (e.g. Port Arthur, Tasmania)

Austria (2 sites)
Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn
Historic Centre of Vienna

Belgium (1 site)
Historic Centre of Brugge

Cambodia (1 site)

Canada (1 site)
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (Banff)

China (1 site)
Historic Centre of Macao

Czech Republic (1 site)
Historic Centre of Prague

France (3 sites)
Paris, Banks of the Seine
Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
Pyrénées – Mont Perdu * (SHARED WITH SPAIN)

Greece (2 sites)
Acropolis, Athens
Archaeological Site of Delphi

Holy See (2 sites)
Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura * 11 (SHARED WITH ITALY)
Vatican City

Candi Prambanan, Indonesia

Candi Prambanan, Indonesia

Indonesia (4 sites)
Borobudur Temple Compounds
Prambanan Temple Compounds
Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra
Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy

Korea, Republic of (South Korea) (1 site)
Changdeokgung Palace Complex

Malaysia (1 site)
Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca

Netherlands (1 site)
Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout

Spain (2 sites)
Works of Antoni Gaudí
Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (7 sites)
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
City of Bath
Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church
Tower of London
Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
Maritime Greenwich
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

United States of America (1 site)
Yosemite National Park

Viet Nam (1 site)
Ha Long Bay

40 in total!

Granted there are a few that I’m not too proud of. For example I haven’t been inside of the Papal Palace in Avignon because we didn’t have enough time, but I’ve been there in front of it. The natural sites are a bit tricky, since the sites are usually very big, and I’ve usually just been to a small part of it. But I’d count them in. And if I get another chance in the future to revisit those sites with a higher level of appreciation, I totally would!

I was nicely surprised to find that I have been to quite a few world heritage sites in Australia (quite a hard one since there are many more natural sites in Australia than cultural). I’ve lived there for about 8 years (not continuously) and I have explored most of the East/North East coast and South. I haven’t been to the center and West though, and that’s where the rest of the sites are mostly.

Looking at the complete list, looks like the countries that give you the most bang for the bucks are China, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain! They each have tons of sites! The next ones to note are Russia, United Kingdom, India, and Mexico. Considering the size of Mexico in comparison to United States, Mexico has so much more to offer, surprisingly!

For my next trip to Italy in September, I will bag in another 3 sites: Florence, Siena, and Pisa. I’m dying a little inside that I have to skip Cinque Terre in this trip since I won’t have enough time. So close and yet so far! But never mind that, I promise myself to go to Cinque Terre next time for a couple of days just to hike around the lovely beach towns.

And guess what, at the end of the year for my Spain-Gibraltar-Morocco road trip, I will wipe Spain clean! (not really.. too many sites)

I will go to not one, two, or three, but ELEVEN World Heritage sites. 10 in Spain and 1 in Morocco. So I really look forward to that! Looks like my number is going to go up considerably by January next year. Yay.

Expect more World Heritage goodness in my future posts :)

So do you pay attention to World Heritage list?