Unesco puts Vienna’s historic centre on ‘in danger’ list; The Local

Austria – Historic Centre of Vienna
The historic centre of Vienna has been added to Unesco’s list of sites in danger due to a high-rise project that the body says will undermine the area’s value.

The project, still in its developmental phase, is set to extend over an area of 6,500 square metres just south of the famous 19th century Stadtpark with bisects the Wien river.

The plans include a huge hotel, luxury apartments in a high-rise tower, fitness and sports facilities, a new conference venue and a 1,000 square-metre indoor skating rink.

Open-air areas accessible to the public are also planned, which the city said will represent an architectural “improvement” in the area, giving it an “attractive” and “modern” feel.

The project, set to break ground in 2019, will also “enhance Vienna as capital of music”, the city’s ruling Social Democratic and Green party coalition said.


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Pianist Lang Lang shows CNBC the best of Beijing, China; Tania Bryer & Lucy Handley; CNBC

China – Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing

Beijing is a city of contrasts. It’s a place steeped in over 3,000 years of history that’s positioned itself firmly in the future. It’s a crowded metropolis of nearly 22 million people that still offers peaceful places of relaxation.

CNBC’s “Trailblazers” presenter Tania Bryer discovered China’s capital Beijing through the eyes of one of its most famous residents, the musical superstar pianist Lang Lang. Together they explored the venues that inspired his music, his favorite places to eat dumplings and Peking duck, and Beijing’s maze of backstreets known as hutongs.

Olympic virtuoso

Lang Lang is now a global superstar, a rare classical to mainstream cross-over artist. He’s sold millions of albums, topped numerous charts, and is the go-to virtuoso for royalty, presidents and world leaders.

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A road trip through Sicily is a trip across centuries; Siobhan Starrs; AP

Italy – Archaeological Area of Agrigento

Sicily sits at the toe of Italy’s boot, just 3.2 kilometers from the mainland, at its closest point, and a short ferry ride from the town of Messina. But our gateway to Sicily was on the other side of the island, flying into the capital Palermo.

We have holidayed in Italy before, but now with my partner and our 6-year-old daughter Kitty in tow, and two weeks at our disposal, we were ready for a road trip. Sicily’s size, culture, food and weather make it an enticing destination.

Located in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been of strategic importance from ancient times. The Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Saracens and Normans are just a few of the civilizations that invaded, each leaving their mark.

A rainy day led us to Palermo’s Royal Palace.

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Three Must Visit Places in Italy; Your Amazing Places

Italy – The Trulli of Alberobello

The Italian Peninsula, or better known as Apennine Peninsula, is the central however the smallest peninsula out of the three largest peninsulas of Southern Europe. It has always been a great tourist attraction but what calls the attention of the travelers are not just the capital and the biggest cities anymore, but the small places by the coast with an outstanding charm and nature. If you are a food and wine lover, an adventurous and an explorer, you just simply cannot miss those three must visit places in Italy.

1. Alberobello

Alberobello is a small town which is a province of Bari, Southern Italy. It’s been famous over the year for its fairytale like Trulli huts, beehive-shaped houses made of limestone rocks. Its name derives from the primitive oak forest Arboris Belli, which means ‘’beautiful trees”. This town it’s a UNESCO world heritage since 1996.

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A hunchback’s dream: Returning Paris’ Notre Dame to glory; AFP

France – Paris, Banks of the Seine

Victor Hugo would be appalled to see the ravages inflicted by time, pollution and weather on his beloved Notre Dame, the soaring cathedral that adorns the heart of Paris.

The celebrated French novelist wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame, published in 1831, largely to draw attention to the glories of Gothic architecture, which in his day was often neglected or disfigured by modern additions.

With its twin towers, stained-glass windows, gargoyles and flying buttresses ― a colossal achievement that took more than a century to complete ― the cathedral is a Unesco World Heritage site that draws between 12 and 14 million visitors each year.

Though the French government currently spends €2 million (RM9.7million) a year for maintenance work, the conservation to-do list is growing long.

Gargoyles that have lost their heads have been fixed up with unsightly plastic tubes for water drainage.

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Historic Centre of Vienna inscribed on List of World Heritage in Danger; Unesco

Austria – Historic Centre of Vienna

Krakow, Poland, 6 July—The World Heritage Committee has inscribed the Historic Centre of Vienna on List of World Heritage in Danger due to high-rise projects in the middle of the Austrian capital.

In its decision, the Committee regrets that the Vienna Ice-Skating Club—Intercontinental Hotel project fails to comply fully with previous Committee decisions, notably concerning the height of new constructions, which will impact adversely the outstanding universal value of the site.

Vienna developed from early Celtic and Roman settlements into a Medieval and Baroque city to become the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-19th century Ringstrasse.

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What are some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites around Beijing and China; Eslkevin’s Blog

China – Ancient City of Ping Yao

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China

Here is a list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in China and the year they were inscribed to the list. China has the second most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.

Ancient Buildings in the Wudang Mountains (1994)

Buildings from the Yang, Ming and Qing dynasties located in the Wudang Mountains in Hubei Province, central China.

Ancient City of Pingyao (1997)

The walled city of Pingyao in Shanxi Province dates back to the Western Zhou Dynasty (1054-771 BCE).

Strategically located on the old trade route between Beijing and Xi’an, Pingyao was particular important in the medieval period for banking and money exchange.

China’s first banks or exchange shops (piaohao) were established here.

Read a guide to Pingyao

Site of Xanadu

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Nepal: India’s Little Sister; Cox & Kings Blog

Nepal – Chitwan National Park

The country of Nepal is most readily associated with the Himalayas and Mount Everest. Nestled along the sacred mountain range, this tiny country has a history and tradition harking back to thousands of years. The origin of Nepali culture is heavily linked with ancient Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions. Over the years, it has evolved as a unique mix of Indian, Tibetan and Mongolian cultures.

Though Nepal is aptly called the “roof of the world”, there is much more to this tiny country than just mountains and mountaineering. Granted, a majority of the tourists who visit the country come to climb the Himalayan peaks. But Nepal also has plenty to offer for people interested in culture, religion, spirituality, nature and wildlife.

Places to See around Kathmandu Valley

Pashupatinath Temple

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WWF urgently appeals to World Heritage Committee to protect Europe’s outstanding wetland, Doñana; WWF

Spain – Doñana National Park

Krakow, Poland – Today, Doñana, a rare and outstanding wetland in Europe, is facing a huge threat to its future, as the UNESCO World Heritage Committee comes under pressure to relax its requests on Spain to protect the site.

The Spanish government and other committee members are expected to try to relax what is asked of them, creating an uncertain future for Doñana. WWF experts are appealing to the committee today to resist this pressure.

Doñana is one of Europe’s few outstanding wetlands, and the continent’s most important location for migratory birds. The site harbours over 4,000 types of plants and animals, including threatened birds and the world’s rarest feline species, the Iberian lynx. In addition to its environmental value, the park provides for the wellbeing of 200,000 nearby residents, with jobs from fishing, farming, research and ecotourism.

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Pilgrimage to Ethiopia’s 12th-century Iconic Lalibela Churches; Jenna Belhumeur; Al Jazeera

Ethiopia – Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela

The sacred site is a place of pilgrimage for those in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It is said Lalibela churches were built in only 24 years.

The 11 medieval churches hewn from solid, volcanic rock in the heart of Ethiopia were built on the orders of King Lalibela in the 12th century. Lalibela set out to construct a “New Jerusalem” in Africa after Muslims conquests halted Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

Legend has it that the design and layout of the churches mimic those observed by the king in Jerusalem, which he had visited as a youth. Many place names across the town are also said to originate from the king’s memories of the Biblical city.

The churches were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.