Tag Archives: unesco

Visit Wales and its 641 castles – a mixture of gothic, medieval, and Victorian styles

With its rolling hills and numerous royal conquests, there’s no place where history comes alive in such a lush setting as it does in Wales. Everywhere you look, the evidence of kings, queens, conflict and empire call to you. There are more than 600 castles – 641 to be precise – so even without trying you’ll come across a few. Even the country’s young capital has one – right in the heart of the city. Cardiff Castle mixes medieval and Victorian gothic architectural styles to thrilling effect.

These proud battlements are a historical legacy that is testament to a tumultuous past, and to the indomitable spirit of the fighting Welsh – these castles were built for a reason.

When the Romans withdrew, the separate Welsh kingdoms were left to squabble and spar for centuries until the Normans landed in the 11th century. But the Welsh proved unwilling subjects even then. It was not until Edward I – the famous subduer of William “Braveheart” Wallace – launched his war of subjugation two centuries later that Wales finally fell to England’s boot.

Edward consolidated his victory with the impressive castles you can still visit today. Most are in excellent repair, with walls as solid now as when their first stones went in the ground.

Beaumaris – the biggest castle Edward built and a truly imposing military fortress. It is located on the island of Anglesey, separated from mainland Wales by the Menai Strait, which is home to Prince William in his duties as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot.

William is most intimately connected to the most majestic of the Unesco castles, the stunningly preserved Caernarfon Castle. This is where his father, Prince Charles, was invested as the Prince of Wales – and where, one day, William is likely to follow suit.

 

Keep reading: The Guardian - Discover the proud history of Wales

 

 

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Google brings 130 World Wonders online – explore with photos, videos, and street view

The Google World Wonders Project is a platform which brings world heritage sites of the modern and ancient world online.

Journey to more than 130 world heritage sites across the globe—like Stonehenge, the Palace and Garden of Versailles, temples of ancient Kyoto or The White City of Tel-Aviv.

With videos, photos and in-depth information, you can now explore the world wonders from your armchair just as if you were there. Advancements in our camera technologies allow us to go off the beaten track to photograph some of the most significant places in the world so that anyone, anywhere can explore them.

The World Wonders Project also presents a valuable resource for students and scholars who can now virtually discover some of the most famous sites on earth. The project offers an innovative way to teach history and geography to students all over the world.

Together with partners including UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund and Cyark, the World Wonders Project is preserving the world heritage sites for future generations.

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Start exploring the World Wonders Project and share your favorite places you’ve visited using the hashtag #worldwonders

 

via World Wonders Project

 

Screenshot of the site:

 

 

And, clicking on the Wonder – Three Castles in Bellinzona, Switzerland:

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UNESCO World Heritage Map

This large format full-color map features the World Heritage sites and brief explanations of the World Heritage Convention and the World Heritage conservation programmes, as well as superb photos of World Heritages sites with explanatory captions.

 

Learn more and view past mapsWorld Heritage Maps