Fraser Island

Flight-Delayed’s top ten: Unesco world heritage sites

Thursday, July 7, 2016

You may have noticed that here at Flight-Delayed we like a good list. Top tips and locations are our thing. So here is your latest installment, in no particular order of importance, our top ten UNESCO world heritage sites to visit. 
You may disagree with our choices but as there are 981 of them we picked some that caught our eye. 
Sign displaying the name of the island: Suomenlina

Photo by Peter Sharples

1.Fortress of Suomenlinna - Finland:

Also known as the fortress of Finland, the group of Islands belongs to the district of Helsinki. It is made up of six separate islands with a population of less than 900.
A short ferry ride (15 minutes or so) from the mainland will take you to this beautiful set of islands in the Baltic sea. Originally intended to defend the Kingdom of Sweden from the Russian Empire, the heavy influence of the two can be seen in the architecture of the island's 200 buildings.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Finland, certain parts of the island are closed off at peak tourist times to help preserve the island.
Fortess of Suomenlina - Finland - Attribution: Michal Pise
Attribution: Photo by Michal Pise CC-BY-2.0

2. Rokslide Cathedral - Denmark

Located on the Island of Zealand, eastern Denmark, Scandinavia's first Gothic Brick Cathedral was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and was declared a world heritage site in 1995.
The Gothic design is acknowledged for the style spreading across Northern European and with one exception it has been the burial place for every Danish King and Queen since the 15th century.
Situated on a small hill top it overlooks the town of Rokslide Fjord.

3. Belize Barrier reef system -  Belize

This one is beautiful and endangered in equal measure. The Belize barrier reef system is home to an array of threatened marine species, including marine turtles and manatees. It is the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere and also unique for the amount of different reefs it has for a the space that it covers.  It was declared a world heritage site in 1996 and is protected by a series of legal measures that enable the maintenance of the area.

4. Maritime Mercantile City, Liverpool - UK

Once the beating heart of the British Empire, Liverpool remains a City of cultural importance with a fascinating history in the heart of the City. The City’s role in the Empire was crucial with the port being used for the mass movement of people, leaving its own dark mark on the history of slavery.  It was integral to trade with the rest of the world and growth of the Empire along with the City being pioneers in dock technology.  Take some time there and delve into the heart of British and world history.

 5. Historic centre of Riga - Latvia

Widely regarded as having the finest collection of art Nouveau buildings in Europe, this 19th century economic hub thrived during the 13th all the way to 15th century due to trading with Central and Northern Europe. Today it stands as one of Europe's best cultural spots. Making it the perfect place to sample the cultural delights of one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

6. Cave art of Northern Spain - Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic

Regarded as humanity's earliest accomplished art, the Altamira and Paleolithic cave art is something to marvel at. With vibrant reds and yellows, the artwork is a major attraction for tourists and the content of many a postcards back home. If you love art and the history of humanity, then get to these caves and indulge in both.

7. Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama - Japan

One of 19 Unesco world heritage sites, the steeply pitched houses with thatched roofs have survived through drastic change since the 1950’s. In doing so, they have preserved the spiritual and material evidence of their long history. For so long cut off from the rest of the world, these houses are rare to come across. Surrounded by the high mountain area Chubu region of Japan these three remote villages were hard to get to for a long time. These three villages are the perfect opportunity to see early human settlements and how they adapted to survive.

8. Fraser Island - Australia

So far on the list we have provided you with examples of historic man made sights. This beauty however, is as natural as the sun in the sky. Fraser Island, or to give it its Aboriginal name - K’gari. At 122 km long or for the unconverted just under 76 miles, it is the longest sand island on earth. Home to spectacular and varied landscapes this natural beauty has more than 250 km of
clear sandy beaches with long uninterrupted ocean beaches and some of the most naturally unique sights in the world.

9. City of Valletta - Malta

Situated between two of the finest harbours in the Mediterranean, this fortified city offers 320 monuments, making it one of the largest concentrated historic areas in the world.
The city is draped in history and has been ruled through the centuries by various people. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the order of the Knights of St.John have all ruled over this historic city.

10. Central Amazon conservation complex - Brazil

It is home to the largest protected area in the Amazon Basin and protects threatened species. These include giant Arapaima fish, the black caiman and two species of river dolphin. It is also one of the richest bio-diverse areas on the planet and contains the majority of ecosystems recorded in the Amazon.
So there you have our top ten UNESCO sites. We deem all sights equally important and fascinating and you can find the full list here.;
That’s all for now gang. Until next time.
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