The culture of the capital; Jennifer Grech; Times of Malta

Source: The culture of the capital


Hike the Ilulissat Icefjord by taking the Green Trail to Sermermiut then following the Blue Trail, Greenland; Christine Connell; Outbound Collective

Denmark – Ilulissat Icefjord

Hike along the Ilulissat Icefjord and see icebergs from one of the most active glaciers in the world. It’s easy to see why Disko Bay is an UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Hike a 6.9km trail starting from the Old Heliport in Ilulissat and ending at the Quarry in Ilulissat.  Luckily, Ilulissat is a very small town and although this hike starts and ends at different points, it’s very easy to get back to the main part of town just by looking around when you finish the hike.

From the main part of town, take Kussangajaannguaq to Alanngukasik then make a left on Kuunnguarsuk and keep walking until you reach the Old Heliport.  Here, you will see a large sign with maps of all of the trails around the icefjords.

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Bouncers introduced at village church doors; Alex Williams; Premier

Austria – Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape

Security staff are being introduced at the doors of churches in a famous beauty spot, in a bid to ensure disrespectful tourists don’t disturb services and funerals.

The measure has been taken in the popular Austrian village of Hallstatt following concerns that some holidaymakers have been seen whispering and taking photos.

The village, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has now seen security staff posted at entrances of it’s two churches or doors locked once services have begun, to try and deter tourists.

Grave-diggers are also being asked to request that tourists avoid mourners and refrain from using selfie-sticks during funerals.

Pastor Dankfried Kirch was quoted as telling the local newsletter, BezirksRundschau, that visitors are welcomed in during other times and help sheets for guests are now available in Chinese.

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St Isaac’s Cathedral in St Petersburg to be transferred to Orthodox Church; Calvert Journal

Russia – Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments

St Petersburg’s governor has announced that St Isaac’s Cathedral — officially a museum — will be handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Russia’s TASS agency has reported that the Orthodox Church will receive the 49-year lease free of charge, citing a statement by St Petersburg’s Property Affairs Commission. Nikolay Burov, director of St Isaac’s Cathedral Museum, assures that during the transfer period, which could last up to three years, the museum will continue to take responsibility for all maintenance costs.

Among the biggest changes will be the removal of a charge for entering the cathedral, which currently costs 150 — 250 rubles ($2.5 — $4.5), while paid tours will continue.

“Nobody charges people for entering a church,” Orthodox Church spokesman Vladimir Legoyda stated yesterday at a press conference.

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5 Must-Visit Colorful Towns in Mexico; Britt Skrabanek; VIVA

Mexico – Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines

For most of us, Mexico is all about the party beach towns – but we’re here to make a rebuttal. There is a whole other side of this culturally vibrant country outside the typical tourist stomping grounds. So, instead of a repeat trip to yet another all-inclusive beachside resort (admittedly, there are some incredible ones), open your heart to the colorful locales and stunning colonial architecture you’ve been missing out on. Prepare yourself for a magical ride through five of Mexico’s most beautiful towns and cities.


Considered the most romantic city in Mexico, Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage site chock-full of gorgeous colonial buildings, colorful homes speckling hills, narrow alleys akin to Venice, and tree-lined plazas. Sigh.

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An Encounter With Wild Slovakia: The Nine National Parks Of Slovakia;

Slovakia – Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany

The nine national parks of Slovakia house an exceptional array of wildlife including bears, lynx, wildcats, wolf, marmots, and more.

Slovakia is a small country in Central Europe, yet it has some of the most beautiful parks in the whole continent. The nine parks cover a total of 3% of the country’s landmass and have animals such as Eurasian Lynx, brown bear, the golden eagle among others. The government has taken steps to conserve these parks from destruction by human activities. There exist several protected regions within the parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and others. The management of the parks is left to specific government departments.

9. Pieniny National Park –

Pieniny National Park is the country’s smallest national park located in the Northern part near the border with Slovakia.

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Plan to hand control of St Petersburg cathedral to church sparks outcry; Alec Luhn; The Guardian

Russia – Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments

Opponents fear restricted access and loss of funds for maintenance if St Isaac’s Cathedral leaves state hands.

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition against a decision to hand over the running of a popular tourist attraction in St Petersburg from the state to the Russian Orthodox church.

Built between 1818 and 1858, St Isaac’s Cathedral was the most important cathedral in Russia until the Soviets stripped it of its religious trappings in the 1930s and installed an anti-religion museum inside. Regular worship resumed after the fall of communism, with space reserved inside for educational facilities, exhibitions and classical music concerts.

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Austria village churches hire bouncers to block tourists; BBC News

Austria – Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape

A picturesque Austrian village has brought in “bouncers” at its churches in order to stop tourists disturbing services, it’s reported.

Visitors from all over the world flock to the lakeside village of Hallstatt, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and it’s particularly popular with tour groups from Asia. But some have been riling the locals with their eagerness to document church proceedings, even whipping out cameras and selfie sticks during funerals and photographing the mourners, the Heute website reports.

In response, the village’s two churches have started to lock their doors before services begin or put someone at the entrance to block tourists. “Bouncers” are also posted to the local cemetery during funerals, the meinBezirk news portalsays. Church leaders stress that visitors are still welcome at other times.

Parish council head Reinhard Kerschbaumer adds a touch of self-criticism when explaining the problem.

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700 Year Old Alhambra Palace Secrets Revealed; TravelersToday

Spain – Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada

Separate from the city of Granada in Spain, the famous Alhambra palace and all that it contains have been a star attraction of the region for centuries. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Here are some Alhambra palace secrets revealed:

It’s the world’s only still existing medieval Muslim palace. There are other Muslim palaces, but none are as old as the Alhambra which was built starting in the 1300’s. According to Travel + Leisure, people from Granada are very proud of the Alhambra and their city. Every guest is brought to the Alhambra.

It took four generations of Arab rulers to build the Alhambra. The Nasrid Dynasty, which lasted from 1232 to 1492, marked the last period of Muslim rulers in Spain.

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Over 65,000 tourists visit Gobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve; Laman Ismaliyova; Azerbaijan News

Azerbaijan – Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

On a Daliesque rockscape above the Gobustan town of Azerbaijan lie some of the world’s most important petroglyphs – stone and iron-age figures carved thousands of years ago- and now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Settled since the 8th millennium BC, the area contains more than 600,000 distinct paintings, going as far back as 20,000 years to as recent as 5,000 years ago. The rock paintings in the State Historical-Artistic Reserve depict a wide range of figures and scenes, including various hunting scenes, war scenes, trading scenes, and individual animals, and people.

In 2016, over 65,000 tourists visited the Gobustan Reserve, which is located 56 km from Baku.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry told Trend that the number of visitors is more than doubled compared to 2015, while bulk of them are foreigners.

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