Fotoeins Fotografie

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Alhambra, Sierra Nevada, Granada, Andalucia, Spain,

UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Around the World

Since 1995, I’ve been fortunate to experience significant travel: first as green graduate student on my first (of many) trips to Chile; followed by the opportunity to live and work in 3 countries on 3 continents inside a span of 10 years. I didn’t give much thought about their relative importance at the time, but I’m lucky to have visited a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS).

UNESCO World Heritage logo, Wikimedia CC3 license

WHS World Wide

I’ve described separately UNESCO sites in Germany I’ve visited so far. Here below is a selection of WHS from other parts of the world:

  1. Australia: Blue Mountains (Katoomba)
  2. Australia: Fremantle Prison
  3. Australia: Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens (Melbourne)
  4. Australia: Sydney Opera House
  5. ( Austria: Hallstatt )
  6. ( Austria: Salzburg Old Town )
  7. ( Austria: Vienna Old Town )
  8. Argentina: Iguazú Falls, Iguazú National Park
  9. Brazil: Iguaçu Falls, Iguaçu National Park
  10. Brazil: Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves (Curitiba)
  11. China: Historic Centre of Macao
  12. Czech Republic: Historic Centre of Prague
  13. Czech Republic: Kutná Hora
  14. Denmark: Kronborg Castle (Helsingør)
  15. France: Historic Site of Lyon
  16. Germany: 30+ sites
  17. Italy: Cinque Terre
  18. México: Historic Centre of México City
  19. México: San Miguel de Allende
  20. New Zealand: Te Wāhipounamu (South Island)
  21. Spain: Alhambra, Generalife, & Albayzín (Granada)
  22. Spain: Cathedral, Alcázar & Archivo de Indias (Sevilla)
  23. Sweden: Skogskyrkogården (Stockholm)
  24. United Kingdom: Old & New Towns of Edinburgh (Scotland)
  25. USA: Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
  26. USA: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island)
  27. USA: Taos Pueblo (New Mexico)

Australia: Greater Blue Mountains Area

After moving to Chile in 2006, I traveled across the southern Pacific to Australia several times over the subsequent five years. My friends in Sydney were very kind to take me on the drive west from Sydney for a weekend in Katoomba and the Blue Mountains National Park. Surrounded by the eucalyptus mist, there’s good reason why there’s a big blue aura.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Three Sisters, Kings Tableland, Blue Mountains, Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia,

Three Sisters (Blue Mountains) wrapped in a winter rainstorm – 8 Jul 2007 (A510).

Australia: Fremantle Prison (Convict Sites)

Many first-time visitors will focus on Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru, or the Great Barrier Reef, which means I’ve made my way to the Perth area in Western Australia, fulfilling a promise I made to friends years before. There is great maritime history and tradition in Fremantle outside of Perth, and I’ve gone on a remarkable guided historical tour of the city’s prison which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Australian Convict Sites.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Fremantle Prison, Australia Convict Sites, UNESCO World Heritage, Fremantle, Perth, SA, Australia,

Fremantle Prison – 14 Sep 2012 (450D).

Australia: Royal Exhibition Building (Melbourne)

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens, Carlton, Melbourne, VIC, Australia,

Royal Exhibition Building – 28 Dec 2006 (A510).

Australia: Sydney Opera House

I have to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge (a.k.a., “The Coathanger”) whenever I’m in Sydney. They’re not going anywhere, but whenever I’m in the city, I always take the train to Circular Quay, because when I disembark onto the station’s platform, the view immediately assures me they’re still there

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Opera House, Sydney Cove, Sydney, Australia,

Late-afternoon light, as seen from Sydney Cove – 12 May 2013 (450D).

Argentina: Iguazu National Park

Tip: spend at least two days, with the 1st day on the Brazilian side at Foz do Iguçu (Iguacu Falls), and the 2nd day on the Argentinian side at Las Cataratas del Iguazú (Iguazu Falls).

•   UNESCO WHS listing, Argentina

Cataratas del Iguacu, Iguacu Falls, Argentina,

Near the Devil’s Mouth, Cataratas del Iguazú, Iguazú Falls, Argentina – 15 June 2007 (A510).

Brazil: Iguaçu National Park

Personal tip: spend at least two days, with the 1st day on the Brazilian side at Foz do Iguaçu (Iguacu Falls), and the 2nd day on the Argentinian side at Las Cataratas del Iguazú (Iguazu Falls).

•   UNESCO WHS listing, Brazil

Foz do Iguacu, Cataratas do Iguacu, Brazil,

Foz do Iguaçu, Cataratas do Iguaçu, Brazil – 13 Jun 2007 (A510).

Brazil: Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves

Visiting portrait-and-fashion photographer and friend Paula in Curitiba in southern Brazil, I’m taken on a drive east from the city into the Atlantic rain forest next to the Serro do Mar mountains to Santuário Nhundiaquara and Morretes. The forested area is a protected area and recognized heritage location.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Conjunto Marumbi, Santuário Nhundiaquara, Serro do Mar, Paraná, Brazil,

Conjunto Marumbi, Santuário Nhundiaquara, Serro do Mar, Paraná state – 10 Jul 2011 (450D)

China: Historic Centre of Macao (澳門)

It’s less than one hour on the ferry from Hong Kong, and I’m in the other former European colony bordering China next to the South China Sea. In Macau, I see signs in Chinese, English, and Portuguese. Called 澳門 (“Oh-moon”) meaning “gates to the bay or inlet”, Macao (also, Macau) is the other Special Administrative Region of the P.R.C.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

South view from the Ruins of St. Paul, Macau,

South view of the city from the Ruins of St. Paul – 29 Jun 2012 (450D).

Czech Republic: Historic Centre of Prague

I’ve visited this open-air museum of a city over a dozen times. When I’m away for too long, I ache for her, like a lost lover, and it’s why I wrote this love letter to Praha.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Morning moon over Prague Castle, Prague,

Waning-gibbous moon over Pražský hrad (Prague castle) in morning light – 7 Oct 2009 (450D).

Czech Republic: Kutná Hora

It might surprise some to know the famous “bone church” in Sedlec is not included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing for Kutná Hora. The listing includes the Church of St Barbara in the old town’s centre and the Cathedral of Our Lady in Sedlec (shown below).

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, Chrám Nanebevzetí Panny Marie, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic,

Cathedral of Our Lady (Chrám Nanebevzetí Panny Marie) in Sedlec – 3 Aug 2013 (450D).

Denmark: Kronborg Castle (Helsingør)

In the Danish town of Helsingør (Elsinore), Kronborg Slot or Kronborg Castle keeps watch over the narrowest portion of Øresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden, and is the inspiration for Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, which gives this castle its unofficial name of “Hamlet’s castle”.

•   UNESCO WHS listing.

Kronborg Slot, Helsingør, Sjælland (Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Zealand), Denmark,

Elsinore’s Hamlet castle – 30 Jun 2008 (450D).

France: Historic Site of Lyon

Lyon is a home of French gastronomy and the historical home to French cinematography with the Lumière brothers. As an introduction to southern France, I’m completely charmed by the city, her people and their neighbourhoods, and traditional French cuisine.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Fourvière, Louis XIV, Place Bellecour, Lyon, France,

From Place Bellecour, Louis XIV looks over to Fourvière – 13 Jun 2010 (450D).

Italy: Cinque Terre

After a week-long workshop in Rapallo on the Ligurian Riviera, I have the entire Saturday to travel along the Cinque Terre route and coastline by train and on foot. I’m at all five key stops: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore; I easily envision spending a few days in each of the five villages.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy,

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre – 21 Jun 2008 (450D).

México: Historic Centre of México City

By all accounts, there are as many people packed into the metropolitan region of the Mexican capital city as there are people in all of Canada. It’s something to wrap around in my brain, until I realize there’s no other place I’d rather be when I think of Mexico, her living history, and satisfying early-morning munchies in a taquería in the city’s Coyoacán.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Ciudad de Mexico, Distrito Federal, Mexico,

Zócalo, Plaza de la Constitucion – 9 Mar 2012 (450D).

México: San Miguel de Allende

Thanks to my friends in the D.F., we take off northwest from Mexico City for a weekend in this historical town with beauty, charm, and a lot of expats from both Canada and the US.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Jardin Allende, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico

Jardin Allende – 3 Mar 2012 (450D).

New Zealand: Te Wāhipounamu

Te Wāhipounamu (Māori for “the place of greenstone”) is located in the southwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island, and includes Westland National Park, Mount Cook National Park, and Fiordland National Park. For me, this place is pure magic, especially under clear skies, with her unbelievably deep blues and greens. Even now, I hear from afar her calls with anthems in both Māori and English.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Harrison Cove, Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand,

Calm waters at Harrison Cove, Milford Sound – 25 Jul 2012 (450D).

Spain: Alhambra, Generalife, & Albayzín (Granada)

One of my first introductions to Spain and Andalucía is Granada. What better way for me to see this place is the Alhambra illuminated in the golden hour with the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. I followed this view for some special magic with a nighttime tour of the Alhambra.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Alhambra, Sierra Nevada, Granada, Andalucia, Spain,

Alhambra, with snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the background – 10 May 2009 (450D).

Spain: Cathedral, Alcázar & Archivo de Indias (Sevilla)

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Cathedral, Sevilla, Spain,

Catedral de Santa María de la Sede: largest gothic cathedral in the world – 17 May 2009 (450D).

Sweden: Skogskyrkogården (Stockholm)

I’d been reading about Great Garbo, and it felt like a special moment to visit Stockholm’s forest cemetery and to pay silent respect at her final resting place.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Skogskyrkogarden, Forest Cemetery, Stockholm, Sweden,

Stockholm’s forest cemetery – 25 Jun 2008 (450D).

UK: Old & New Towns of Edinburgh (Scotland)

Were 2 days in Edinburgh enough time? The answer is a big no; I want a full week to explore more of the little side alleys, nooks, and crannies in the old town.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Calton Hill, Canongate Kirk, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland,

Calton Hill from Canongate Kirk – 7 Oct 2012 (450D).

USA: Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

•   In addition to the well-visited South Rim, make the time to go over to the North Rim, which receives only 10% of the total visitors to the entire national park.
•   UNESCO WHS listing

Point Imperial, North Rim, Colorado River, Little Colorado River, Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, USA,

This view from the North Rim’s Point Imperial is the park’s highest view point – 13 Oct 2018 (6D1).

USA: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island)

This was once parkland. This was once a paved highway. Now, it’s all covered by pahoehoe from a recent eruption and lava flow. It’s real, it’s happening; the Big Island is still getting bigger through powerful internal forces from inside our planet.

•   UNESCO WHS listing

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii, USA,

Sitting on the pahoehoe lava, waiting for the afterdark glow: Ka Lae Apuki – 28 Jan 2007 (A510).

USA: Taos Pueblo (New Mexico)

•   Taos Pueblo only indigenous site in U.S. recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
•   UNESCO WHS listing

Taos Pueblo, UNESCO, World Heritage, New Mexico, USA,

Taos Pueblo – 11 Oct 2018 (X70).

April 18 is International Day for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) as approved by UNESCO. The day is also commonly called “World Heritage Day.”

I made all photos above between 2006 and 2018 with a Canon PowerShot A510 (A510), a Canon EOS450D/Rebel XSi (450D), a Canon EOS6D mark1 (6D1), and a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime (X70). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

One Response to “UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Around the World”

  1. Five philosophical phases (LAPC)

    […] must be obeyed: what goes up must eventually come down. When (not “if”) you visit Iguacu Falls, I recommend visiting both sides: visit the Brazilian side of the falls first, followed by a visit […]



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