Some travelers make it a point to check off items in their World Heritage Sites bucket list and with over one thousand designated sites all over the world, it’s an exciting challenge to take on! Here are ten sites worth visiting:
The iconic Alcazar sits in Seville, a royal palace built by Moorish Muslim kings during Spain’s Dark Ages. It is the oldest royal palace in Europe, still in use as the royal residence of the Spanish royal family in Seville.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Get up before the sun rises and watch the morning unfold behind the majestic Angkor Wat. The largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat served as the capital of the Khmer Empire under King Suryavarman II. Its origins can be traced back to its foundation as a Hindu temple but is now recognized as a Buddhist temple.
Forbidden City, China
Previously known as the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government, the Forbidden City also served as the imperial palace from the Ming dynasty up to the Qing dynasty. The complex covers 980 buildings and it houses the world’s largest collection of ancient wooden structures.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
With over 3,000 individual reefs, 900 islands and an abundance of marine life, the world’s largest coral reef definitely has a lot to boast of. It’s also the only living thing on earth visible from the outer space!
Machu Picchu, Peru
One of South America’s well-known destinations, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century structure representing the Inca civilization. Many tourists report altitude sickness when climbing the mountain peaks but this challenge hasn’t deterred most of the visitors given the breathtaking view.
The rose-hued carved architecture is the most noticeable feature of the Lost City, but did you know that it once served as the centre of a caravan trade? The innovative Nabateans who built this structure also created a water system that will control floods and store water for drought.
The name Pamukkale means “cotton castle”, pertaining to white and blue terraces of water. While visitors won’t be allowed access to some terraces, you can still swim in the smaller pools.
St. Peter’s Square, Vatican
Located right in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, the open space is where people attend as an audience to receive the Pope’s blessing. It is dated back to 1656, as redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, an Italian architect and artist.
Many theories and myths have been said about this prehistoric rock formation but some archaeologists believe it once served as a burial ground. Others believe it once held astronomical significance for its people. The stone circle is a significant and interesting part of a history that left no written records, leaving most people curious about its true function.
Taj Mahal, India
A mausoleum constructed for a Mughal emperor’s beloved wife, Taj Mahal stands proud and beautiful along Agra’s Yamuna River. It features both Mughal and Persian designs, including white marble with semi-precious stones. The walls are also designed with calligraphy, reflective tiles and marble lattice.
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