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The ruins of the ancient city of Aksum are found close to Ethiopia's northern border. They mark the location of the heart of ancient Ethiopia, when the Kingdom of Aksum was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. The massive ruins, dating from between the 1st and the 13th century A.
Long after its political decline in the 10th century, Ethiopian emperors continued to be crowned in Aksum. The Awash valley contains one of the most important groupings of palaeontological sites on the African continent. The remains found at the site, the oldest of which date back at least 4 million years, provide evidence of human evolution which has modified our conception of the history of humankind. The most spectacular discovery came in , when 52 fragments of a skeleton enabled the famous Lucy to be reconstructed.
A prehistoric site near Lake Turkana, the lower valley of the Omo is renowned the world over. The discovery of many fossils there, especially Homo gracilis , has been of fundamental importance in the study of human evolution. Tiya is among the most important of the roughly archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo region, south of Addis Ababa. The site contains 36 monuments, including 32 carved stelae covered with symbols, most of which are difficult to decipher.
They are the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture whose age has not yet been precisely determined. The fortified historic town of Harar is located in the eastern part of the country on a plateau with deep gorges surrounded by deserts and savannah. The walls surrounding this sacred Muslim city were built between the 13th and 16th centuries.
Harar Jugol, said to be the fourth holiest city of Islam, numbers 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and shrines, but the townhouses with their exceptional interior design constitute the most spectacular part of Harar's cultural heritage.
The impact of African and Islamic traditions on the development of the town's building types and urban layout make for its particular character and uniqueness. Konso Cultural Landscape is an arid property of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia.
It constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations more than years adapted to its dry hostile environment. The landscape demonstrates the shared values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities. The site also features anthropomorphic wooden statues - grouped to represent respected members of their communities and particularly heroic events - which are an exceptional living testimony to funerary traditions that are on the verge of disappearing.
Stone steles in the towns express a complex system of marking the passing of generations of leaders. James Island and Related Sites present a testimony to the main periods and facets of the encounter between Africa and Europe along the River Gambia, a continuum stretching from pre-colonial and pre-slavery times to independence. The site is particularly significant for its relation to the beginning of the slave trade and its abolition.
It also documents early access to the interior of Africa. The site consists of four large groups of stone circles that represent an extraordinary concentration of over 1, monuments in a band km wide along some km of the River Gambia. Together the stone circles of laterite pillars and their associated burial mounds present a vast sacred landscape created over more than 1, years.
It reflects a prosperous, highly organized and lasting society. The remains of fortified trading-posts, erected between and , can still be seen along the coast of Ghana between Keta and Beyin. They were links in the trade routes established by the Portuguese in many areas of the world during their era of great maritime exploration.
To the north-east of Kumasi, these are the last material remains of the great Asante civilization, which reached its high point in the 18th century. Since the dwellings are made of earth, wood and straw, they are vulnerable to the onslaught of time and weather. Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, retaining its traditional functions.
Built in coral stone and mangrove timber, the town is characterized by the simplicity of structural forms enriched by such features as inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors. Lamu has hosted major Muslim religious festivals since the 19th century, and has become a significant centre for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures. The Mijikenda Kaya Forests consist of 10 separate forest sites spread over some km along the coast containing the remains of numerous fortified villages, known as kayas, of the Mijikenda people.
The kayas, created as of the 16th century but abandoned by the s, are now regarded as the abodes of ancestors and are revered as sacred sites and, as such, are maintained as by councils of elders. The site is inscribed as bearing unique testimony to a cultural tradition and for its direct link to a living tradition. The Fort, built by the Portuguese in to the designs of Giovanni Battista Cairati to protect the port of Mombasa, is one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction.
The Fort's layout and form reflected the Renaissance ideal that perfect proportions and geometric harmony are to be found in the human body. The property covers an area of 2. Situated north-west of the town of Migori, in the Lake Victoria region, this dry-stone walled settlement was probably built in the 16th century CE.
The Ohinga i. Thimlich Ohinga is the largest and best preserved of these traditional enclosures. It is an exceptional example of the tradition of massive dry-stone walled enclosures, typical of the first pastoral communities in the Lake Victoria Basin, which persisted from the 16th to the midth century. The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga consists of a royal city and burial site, and an ensemble of sacred places. It is associated with strong feelings of national identity, and has maintained its spiritual and sacred character both in ritual practice and the popular imagination for the past years.
It remains a place of worship to which pilgrims come from Madagascar and elsewhere. Situated within a cluster of forested granite hills and covering an area of They reflect the comparatively scarce tradition of farmer rock art, as well as paintings by BaTwa hunter-gatherers who inhabited the area from the late Stone Age. The Chewa agriculturalists, whose ancestors lived there from the late Iron Age, practised rock painting until well into the 20th century.
The symbols in the rock art, which are strongly associated with women, still have cultural relevance amongst the Chewa, and the sites are actively associated with ceremonies and rituals. Inhabited since B. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was one of the centres for the propagation of Islam.
Its traditional houses, of which nearly 2, have survived, are built on hillocks toguere as protection from the seasonal floods. Home of the prestigious Koranic Sankore University and other madrasas , Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual capital and a centre for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although continuously restored, these monuments are today under threat from desertification. The dramatic m pyramidal structure of the Tomb of Askia was built by Askia Mohamed, the Emperor of Songhai, in in his capital Gao.
It bears testimony to the power and riches of the empire that flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries through its control of the trans-Saharan trade, notably in salt and gold. It is also a fine example of the monumental mud-building traditions of the West African Sahel. The complex, including the pyramidal tomb, two flat-roofed mosque buildings, the mosque cemetery and the open-air assembly ground, was built when Gao became the capital of the Songhai Empire and after Askia Mohamed had returned from Mecca and made Islam the official religion of the empire.
In the district of Port Louis, lies the 1, m2 site where the modern indentured labour diaspora began. Between and , almost half a million indentured labourers arrived from India at Aapravasi Ghat to work in the sugar plantations of Mauritius, or to be transferred to Reunion Island, Australia, southern and eastern Africa or the Caribbean.
The buildings of Aapravasi Ghat are among the earliest explicit manifestations of what was to become a global economic system and one of the greatest migrations in history. Le Morne Cultural Landscape, a rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. The fortified city of Mozambique is located on this island, a former Portuguese trading-post on the route to India.
Its remarkable architectural unity is due to the consistent use, since the 16th century, of the same building techniques, building materials stone or macuti and decorative principles. Most of these well-preserved engravings represent rhinoceros,. The site also includes six painteelephant, ostrich and giraffe, as well as drawings of human and animal footprintsd rock shelters with motifs of human figures in red ochre. The objects excavated from two sections, date from the Late Stone Age.
The site forms a coherent, extensive and high-quality record of ritual practices relating to hunter-gatherer communities in this part of southern Africa over at least 2, years, and eloquently illustrates the links between the ritual and economic practices of hunter-gatherers. The historic centre of the city, an important crossroads of the caravan trade, is divided into 11 quarters with irregular shapes.
The site is marked by ancestral cultural, commercial and handicraft traditions still practiced today and presents exceptional and sophisticated examples of earthen architecture. The Sukur Cultural Landscape, with the Palace of the Hidi Chief on a hill dominating the villages below, the terraced fields and their sacred symbols, and the extensive remains of a former flourishing iron industry, is a remarkably intact physical expression of a society and its spiritual and material culture.
The dense forest of the Osun Sacred Grove, on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo, is one of the last remnants of primary high forest in southern Nigeria. Regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility Osun, one of the pantheon of Yoruba gods, the landscape of the grove and its meandering river is dotted with sanctuaries and shrines, sculptures and art works in honour of Osun and other deities.
The sacred grove, which is now seen as a symbol of identity for all Yoruba people, is probably the last in Yoruba culture. It testifies to the once widespread practice of establishing sacred groves outside all settlements. From the 15th to the 19th century, it was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast. Ruled in succession by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, its architecture is characterized by the contrast between the grim slave-quarters and the elegant houses of the slave traders.
Today it continues to serve as a reminder of human exploitation and as a sanctuary for reconciliation. Founded as a French colonial settlement in the 17th century, Saint-Louis was urbanised in the midth century. It was the capital of Senegal from to and played an important cultural and economic role in the whole of West Africa.
The location of the town on an island at the mouth of the Senegal River, its regular town plan, the system of quays, and the characteristic colonial architecture give Saint-Louis its distinctive appearance and identity. Fishing and shellfish gathering have sustained human life in the 5, km2 property, which is formed by the arms of three rivers. The site comprises brackish channels encompassing over islands and islets, mangrove forest, an Atlantic marine environment, and dry forest.
The site is marked by shellfish mounds, some of them several hundreds metres long, produced by its human inhabitants over the ages. Burial sites on 28 of the mounds take the form of tumuli where remarkable artefacts have been found. They are important for our understanding of cultures from the various periods of the delta's occupation and testify to the history of human settlement along the coast of West Africa.
The Bassari, Fula and Bedik peoples settled from the 11th to the 19th centuries and developed specific cultures and habitats symbiotic with their surrounding natural environment. The Bassari landscape is marked by terraces and rice paddies, interspersed with villages, hamlets and archaeological sites.
The Bedik villages are formed by dense groups of huts with steep thatched roofs. The site is a well-preserved multicultural landscape housing original and still vibrant local cultures. The Taung Skull Fossil Site, part of the extension to the site inscribed in , is the place where in the celebrated Taung Skull — a specimen of the species Australopithecus africanus — was found. Makapan Valley, also in the site, features in its many archaeological caves traces of human occupation and evolution dating back some 3.
The area contains essential elements that define the origin and evolution of humanity. Fossils found there have enabled the identification of several specimens of early hominids, more particularly of Paranthropus, dating back between 4. Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base.
Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th century such as the maximum security prison for political prisoners, witness the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression and racism. Mapungubwe is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is an open, expansive savannah landscape at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers. Mapungubwe developed into the largest kingdom in the sub-continent before it was abandoned in the 14th century.
What survives are the almost untouched remains of the palace sites and also the entire settlement area dependent upon them, as well as two earlier capital sites, the whole presenting an unrivalled picture of the development of social and political structures over some years. The , ha Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape of dramatic mountainous desert in north-western South Africa constitutes a cultural landscape communally owned and managed.
This site sustains the semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood of the Nama people, reflecting seasonal patterns that may have persisted for as much as two millennia in southern Africa. It is the only area where the Nama still construct portable rush-mat houses haru om and includes seasonal migrations and grazing grounds, together with stock posts. The pastoralists collect medicinal and other plants and have a strong oral tradition associated with different places and attributes of the landscape.
They developed a specific ethnobotanical knowledge, cultural practices and a worldview related to the geographical features of their environment. The Koutammakou landscape in north-eastern Togo, which extends into neighbouring Benin, is home to the Batammariba whose remarkable mud tower-houses Takienta have come to be seen as a symbol of Togo. In this landscape, nature is strongly associated with the rituals and beliefs of society. The 50,ha cultural landscape is remarkable due to the architecture of its tower-houses which are a reflection of social structure; its farmland and forest; and the associations between people and landscape.
Many of the buildings are two storeys high and those with granaries feature an almost spherical form above a cylindrical base. Some of the buildings have flat roofs, others have conical thatched roofs. They are grouped in villages, which also include ceremonial spaces, springs, rocks and sites reserved for initiation ceremonies. The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi constitute a site embracing almost 30 ha of hillside within Kampala district.
Most of the site is agricultural, farmed by traditional methods. At its core on the hilltop is the former palace of the Kabakas of Buganda, built in and converted into the royal burial ground in Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. It is a major example of an architectural achievement in organic materials, principally wood, thatch, reed, wattle and daub. The site's main significance lies, however, in its intangible values of belief, spirituality, continuity and identity.
The remains of two great East African ports admired by early European explorers are situated on two small islands near the coast. From the 13th to the 16th century, the merchants of Kilwa dealt in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian crockery, Persian earthenware and Chinese porcelain; much of the trade in the Indian Ocean thus passed through their hands. It retains its urban fabric and townscape virtually intact and contains many fine buildings that reflect its particular culture, which has brought together and homogenized disparate elements of the cultures of Africa, the Arab region, India, and Europe over more than a millennium.
On the eastern slopes of the Masai escarpment bordering the Great Rift Valley are natural rock shelters, overhanging slabs of sedimentary rocks fragmented by rift faults, whose vertical planes have been used for rock paintings for at least two millennia. The spectacular collection of images from over shelters over 2, km 2 , many with high artistic value, displays sequences that provide a unique testimony to the changing socio-economic base of the area from hunter-gatherer to agro-pastoralist, and the beliefs and ideas associated with the different societies.
Some of the shelters are still considered to have ritual associations with the people who live nearby, reflecting their beliefs, rituals and cosmological traditions. The ruins of Great Zimbabwe — the capital of the Queen of Sheba, according to an age-old legend — are a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries. The city, which covers an area of nearly 80 ha, was an important trading centre and was renowned from the Middle Ages onwards.
Khami, which developed after the capital of Great Zimbabwe had been abandoned in the midth century, is of great archaeological interest. The discovery of objects from Europe and China shows that Khami was a major centre for trade over a long period of time.
The area exhibits a profusion of distinctive rock landforms rising above the granite shield that covers much of Zimbabwe. The large boulders provide abundant natural shelters and have been associated with human occupation from the early Stone Age right through to early historical times, and intermittently since. They also feature an outstanding collection of rock paintings. The Matobo Hills continue to provide a strong focus for the local community, which still uses shrines and sacred places closely linked to traditional, social and economic activities.
In a mountainous site of extraordinary beauty, the ruins of the first capital of the Hammadid emirs, founded in and demolished in , provide an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city. The mosque, whose prayer room has 13 aisles with eight bays, is one of the largest in Algeria. With its square enclosure and orthogonal design based on the cardo and decumanus , the two perpendicular routes running through the city, it is an excellent example of Roman town planning.
On the shores of the Mediterranean, Tipasa was an ancient Punic trading-post conquered by Rome and turned into a strategic base for the conquest of the kingdoms of Mauritania. It comprises a unique group of Phoenician, Roman, palaeochristian and Byzantine ruins alongside indigenous monuments such as the Kbor er Roumia, the great royal mausoleum of Mauretania.
The Kasbah is a unique kind of medina, or Islamic city. It stands in one of the finest coastal sites on the Mediterranean, overlooking the islands where a Carthaginian trading-post was established in the 4th century BC. There are the remains of the citadel, old mosques and Ottoman-style palaces as well as the remains of a traditional urban structure associated with a deep-rooted sense of community. They testify to the importance of the site, a trading port, over the centuries.
The site was the capital of the Dilmun, one of the most important ancient civilizations of the region. It contains the richest remains inventoried of this civilization, which was hitherto only known from written Sumerian references. The listed buildings include residences of wealthy merchants, shops, storehouses and a mosque. The site is the last remaining complete example of the cultural tradition of pearling and the wealth it generated at a time when the trade dominated the Gulf economy 2nd century to the s, when Japan developed cultured pearls.
The Dilmun Burial Mounds, built between and BCE, span over 21 archaeological sites in the western part of the island. Six of these sites are burial mound fields consisting of a few dozen to several thousand tumuli. In all there are about 11, burial mounds, originally in the form of cylindrical low towers. The other 15 sites include 17 royal mounds, constructed as two-storey sepulchral towers.
The burial mounds are evidence of the Early Dilmun civilization, around the 2nd millennium BCE, during which Bahrain became a trade hub whose prosperity enabled the inhabitants to develop an elaborate burial tradition applicable to the entire population.
These tombs illustrate globally unique characteristics, not only in terms of their number, density and scale, but also in terms of details such as burial chambers equipped with alcoves. The church, baptistry, basilicas, public buildings, streets, monasteries, houses and workshops in this early Christian holy city were built over the tomb of the martyr Menas of Alexandria, who died in A.
Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the period of the Middle and New Kingdoms. With the temples and palaces at Karnak and Luxor, and the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, Thebes is a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height. Tucked away amid the modern urban area of Cairo lies one of the world's oldest Islamic cities, with its famous mosques, madrasas, hammams and fountains.
Founded in the 10th century, it became the new centre of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century. The capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples and pyramids. In ancient times, the site was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The mountain is known and revered by Muslims as Jebel Musa.
The entire area is sacred to three world religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The Monastery, founded in the 6th century, is the oldest Christian monastery still in use for its initial function. Its walls and buildings of great significace to studies of Byzantine architecture and the Monastery houses outstanding collections of early Christian manuscripts and icons. The rugged mountainous landscape, containing numerous archaeological and religious sites and monuments, forms a perfect backdrop to the Monastery.
A large fortified city under the influence of the Parthian Empire and capital of the first Arab Kingdom, Hatra withstood invasions by the Romans in A. The remains of the city, especially the temples where Hellenistic and Roman architecture blend with Eastern decorative features, attest to the greatness of its civilization. The ancient city of Ashur is located on the Tigris River in northern Mesopotamia in a specific geo-ecological zone, at the borderline between rain-fed and irrigation agriculture.
The city dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. From the 14th to the 9th centuries BC it was the first capital of the Assyrian Empire, a city-state and trading platform of international importance. It also served as the religious capital of the Assyrians, associated with the god Ashur.
The city was destroyed by the Babylonians, but revived during the Parthian period in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Samarra Archaeological City is the site of a powerful Islamic capital city that ruled over the provinces of the Abbasid Empire extending from Tunisia to Central Asia for a century. Located on both sides of the River Tigris km north of Baghdad, the length of the site from north to south is It testifies to the architectural and artistic innovations that developed there and spread to the other regions of the Islamic world and beyond.
Erbil Citadel is a fortified settlement on top of an imposing ovoid-shaped tell a hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot in the Kurdistan region, Erbil Governorate. Written and iconographic historical records document the antiquity of settlement on the site — Erbil corresponds to ancient Arbela, an important Assyrian political and religious centre — while archaeological finds and investigations suggest that the mound conceals the levels and remains of previous settlements.
Situated 85 km south of Baghdad, the property includes the ruins of the city which, between and BCE, was the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It includes villages and agricultural areas surrounding the ancient city. Its remains, outer and inner city walls, gates, palaces and temples, are a unique testimony to one of the most influential empires of the ancient world. Seat of successive empires, under rulers such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon represents the expression of the creativity of the Neo-Babylonian Empire at its height.
The city's association with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the Hanging Gardens—has also inspired artistic, popular and religious culture on a global scale. As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs.
It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham's sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ's tomb. Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia.
Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture. Built in the early 8th century, this exceptionally well-preserved desert castle was both a fortress with a garrison and a residence of the Umayyad caliphs. The most outstanding features of this small pleasure palace are the reception hall and the hammam , both richly decorated with figurative murals that reflect the secular art of the time.
Most of this archaeological site, which started as a Roman military camp and grew to become a town from the 5th century, has not been excavated. It contains remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods end of 3rd to 9th centuries AD and a fortified Roman military camp. The site also has 16 churches, some with well-preserved mosaic floors. Particularly noteworthy is the mosaic floor of the Church of Saint Stephen with its representation of towns in the region.
Two square towers are probably the only remains of the practice, well known in this part of the world, of the stylites ascetic monks who spent time in isolation atop a column or tower. Um er-Rasas is surrounded by, and dotted with, remains of ancient agricultural cultivation in an arid area.
Situated in a pristine natural environment the site is believed to be the location where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist. It features Roman and Byzantine remains including churches and chapels, a monastery, caves that have been used by hermits and pools in which baptisms were celebrated, testifying to the religious character of the place.
The site is a Christian place of pilgrimage. The city of Anjar was founded by Caliph Walid I at the beginning of the 8th century. The ruins reveal a very regular layout, reminiscent of the palace-cities of ancient times, and are a unique testimony to city planning under the Umayyads.
This Phoenician city, where a triad of deities was worshipped, was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period. It retained its religious function during Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter attracted thousands of pilgrims. Baalbek, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee.
The ruins of many successive civilizations are found at Byblos, one of the oldest Phoenician cities. Inhabited since Neolithic times, it has been closely linked to the legends and history of the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. Byblos is also directly associated with the history and diffusion of the Phoenician alphabet. According to legend, purple dye was invented in Tyre. This great Phoenician city ruled the seas and founded prosperous colonies such as Cadiz and Carthage, but its historical role declined at the end of the Crusades.
There are important archaeological remains, mainly from Roman times. The Qadisha valley is one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world. Its monasteries, many of which are of a great age, stand in dramatic positions in a rugged landscape. Nearby are the remains of the great forest of cedars of Lebanon, highly prized in antiquity for the construction of great religious buildings.
A colony of the Greeks of Thera, Cyrene was one of the principal cities in the Hellenic world. It was Romanized and remained a great capital until the earthquake of A thousand years of history is written into its ruins, which have been famous since the 18th century. Leptis Magna was enlarged and embellished by Septimius Severus, who was born there and later became emperor. It was one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman Empire, with its imposing public monuments, harbour, market-place, storehouses, shops and residential districts.
A Phoenician trading-post that served as an outlet for the products of the African hinterland, Sabratha was part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.
On the borders of Tassili N'Ajjer in Algeria, also a World Heritage site, this rocky massif has thousands of cave paintings in very different styles, dating from 12, B. They reflect marked changes in the fauna and flora, and also the different ways of life of the populations that succeeded one another in this region of the Sahara. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement. Its domestic architecture is characterized by a vertical division of functions: the ground floor used to store supplies; then another floor for the family, overhanging covered alleys that create what is almost an underground network of passageways; and, at the top, open-air terraces reserved for the women.
Founded in the 11th and 12th centuries to serve the caravans crossing the Sahara, these trading and religious centres became focal points of Islamic culture. They have managed to preserve an urban fabric that evolved between the 12th and 16th centuries. Typically, houses with patios crowd along narrow streets around a mosque with a square minaret.
They illustrate a traditional way of life centred on the nomadic culture of the people of the western Sahara. Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13th—14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom.
The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina — madrasas, fondouks , palaces, residences, mosques and fountains - date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in , Fez has retained its status as the country's cultural and spiritual centre. Founded in —72 by the Almoravids, Marrakesh remained a political, economic and cultural centre for a long period.
Its influence was felt throughout the western Muslim world, from North Africa to Andalusia. It has several impressive monuments dating from that period: the Koutoubiya Mosque, the Kasbah, the battlements, monumental doors, gardens, etc. The ksar , a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers.
Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Ouarzazate province, is a striking example of the architecture of southern Morocco. The sultan turned it into a impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today. The Mauritanian capital, founded in the 3rd century B. Extensive remains of these survive in the archaeological site, located in a fertile agricultural area.
Volubilis was later briefly to become the capital of Idris I, founder of the Idrisid dynasty, who is buried at nearby Moulay Idris. After the Reconquest, the town was rebuilt by Andalusian refugees who had been expelled by the Spanish. This is well illustrated by its art and architecture, which reveal clear Andalusian influence.
Essaouira is an exceptional example of a lateth-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world. The Portuguese fortification of Mazagan, now part of the city of El Jadida, km southwest of Casablanca, was built as a fortified colony on the Atlantic coast in the early 16th century.
It was taken over by the Moroccans in The fortification with its bastions and ramparts is an early example of Renaissance military design. The surviving Portuguese buildings include the cistern and the Church of the Assumption, built in the Manueline style of late Gothic architecture. The Portuguese City of Mazagan - one of the early settlements of the Portuguese explorers in West Africa on the route to India - is an outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures, well reflected in architecture, technology, and town planning.
Located on the Atlantic coast in the north-west of Morocco, the site is the product of a fertile exchange between the Arabo-Muslim past and Western modernism. It also encompasses older parts of the city dating back to the 12 th century. The new town is one of the largest and most ambitious modern urban projects built in Africa in the 20th century and probably the most complete.
The older parts include Hassan Mosque begun in and the Almohad ramparts and gates, the only surviving parts of the project for a great capital city of the Almohad caliphate as well as remains from the Moorish, or Andalusian, principality of the 17 th century. The oasis of Bahla owes its prosperity to the Banu Nebhan, the dominant tribe in the area from the 12th to the end of the 15th century. The ruins of the immense fort, with its walls and towers of unbaked brick and its stone foundations, is a remarkable example of this type of fortification and attests to the power of the Banu Nebhan.
The protohistoric site of Bat lies near a palm grove in the interior of the Sultanate of Oman. Together with the neighbouring sites, it forms the most complete collection of settlements and necropolises from the 3rd millennium B. The property includes five aflaj irrigation systems and is representative of some 3, such systems still in use in Oman. The origins of this system of irrigation may date back to AD , but archaeological evidence suggests that irrigation systems existed in this extremely arid area as early as BC.
Using gravity, water is channelled from underground sources or springs to support agriculture and domestic use. The fair and effective management and sharing of water in villages and towns is still underpinned by mutual dependence and communal values and guided by astronomical observations. Numerous watchtowers built to defend the water systems form part of the site reflecting the historic dependence of communities on the aflaj system.
Threatened by falling level of the underground water table, the aflaj represent an exceptionally well-preserved form of land use. The property, which is located on the east coast of the Sultanate of Oman, includes the ancient city of Qalhat, surrounded by inner and outer walls, as well as areas beyond the ramparts where necropolises are located.
The city developed as a major port on the east coast of Arabia between the 11th and 15th centuries CE, during the reign of the Hormuz princes. The site also includes Latin, Greek Orthodox, Franciscan and Armenian convents and churches, as well as bell towers, terraced gardens and a pilgrimage route. This site is located a few kilometres south-west of Jerusalem, in the Central Highlands between Nablus and Hebron.
The Battir hill landscape comprises a series of farmed valleys, known as widian , with characteristic stone terraces, some of which are irrigated for market garden production, while others are dry and planted with grapevines and olive trees. The development of terrace farming in such a mountainous region is supported by a network of irrigation channels fed by underground sources.
A traditional system of distribution is then used to share the water collected through this network between families from the nearby village of Battir. This place became a site of pilgrimage for the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The town was sited at the crossroads of trade routes for caravans travelling between southern Palestine, Sinai, Eastern Jordan and the north of the Arabian Peninsula. Although the subsequent Ottoman Period heralded an extension of the town to the surrounding areas and brought numerous architectural additions, particularly the raising of the roof level of houses to provide more upper stories, the overall Mamluk morphology of the town is seen to have persisted with its hierarchy of areas, quarters based on ethnic, religious or professional groupings, and houses with groups of rooms organized according to a tree-shaped system.
Formerly known as Hegra it is the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan. It features well-preserved monumental tombs with decorated facades dating from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. The site also features some 50 inscriptions of the pre-Nabataean period and some cave drawings. Al-Hijr bears a unique testimony to Nabataean civilization. This property was the first capital of the Saudi Dynasty, in the heart of the Arabian Penisula, north-west of Riyadh.
Founded in the 15th century, it bears witness to the Najdi architectural style, which is specific to the centre of the Arabian peninsula. Historic Jeddah is situated on the eastern shore of the Red Sea. From the 7th century AD it was established as a major port for Indian Ocean trade routes, channelling goods to Mecca. It was also the gateway for Muslim pilgrims to Mecca who arrived by sea.
A lake once situated at the foot of the Umm Sinman hill range that has now disappeared used to be a source of fresh water for people and animals in the southern part of the Great Narfoud Desert. Jabal al-Manjor and Raat form the rocky escarpment of a wadi now covered in sand. They show numerous representations of human and animal figures covering 10, years of history. In the eastern Arabian Peninsula, the Al-Ahsa Oasis is a serial property comprising gardens, canals, springs, wells and a drainage lake, as well as historical buildings, urban fabric and archaeological sites.
They represent traces of continued human settlement in the Gulf region from the Neolithic to the present, as can be seen from remaining historic fortresses, mosques, wells, canals and other water management systems. With its 2. Al-Ahsa is also a unique geocultural landscape and an exceptional example of human interaction with the environment.
Tombs, with and without pyramids, temples, living complexes and palaces, are to be found on the site. Since Antiquity, the hill of Gebel Barkal has been strongly associated with religious traditions and folklore. The largest temples are still considered by the local people as sacred places. The Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe, a semi-desert landscape between the Nile and Atbara rivers, was the heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century B.
The property consists of the royal city of the Kushite kings at Meroe, near the River Nile, the nearby religious site of Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra. It was the seat of the rulers who occupied Egypt for close to a century and features, among other vestiges, pyramids, temples and domestic buildings as well as major installations connected to water management. Their vast empire extended from the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa, and the property testifies to the exchange between the art, architectures, religions and languages of both regions.
Founded in the 3rd millennium B. In the Middle Ages, it was the centre of a flourishing craft industry, specializing in swords and lace. The city has some monuments from different periods of its history — one of the most spectacular is the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary.
Bosra, once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, was an important stopover on the ancient caravan route to Mecca. A magnificent 2nd-century Roman theatre, early Christian ruins and several mosques are found within its great walls. An oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus, Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.
From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences. Located at the crossroads of several trade routes from the 2nd millennium B.
The 13th-century citadel, 12th-century Great Mosque and various 17th-century madrasas, palaces, caravanserais and hammams all form part of the city's cohesive, unique urban fabric, now threatened by overpopulation. These two castles represent the most significant examples illustrating the exchange of influences and documenting the evolution of fortified architecture in the Near East during the time of the Crusades 11th - 13th centuries.
With further construction by the Mamluks in the late 13th century, it ranks among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles. It retains features from its Byzantine beginnings in the 10th century, the Frankish transformations in the late 12th century and fortifications added by the Ayyubid dynasty late 12th to midth century.
Some 40 villages grouped in eight parks situated in north-western Syria provide remarkable testimony to rural life in late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period. Abandoned in the 8th to 10th centuries, the villages, which date from the 1st to 7th centuries, feature a remarkably well preserved landscape and the architectural remains of dwellings, pagan temples, churches, cisterns, bathhouses etc.
The relict cultural landscape of the villages also constitutes an important illustration of the transition from the ancient pagan world of the Roman Empire to Byzantine Christianity. Vestiges illustrating hydraulic techniques, protective walls and Roman agricultural plot plans furthermore offer testimony to the inhabitants' mastery of agricultural production.
The impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa, a huge amphitheatre which could hold up to 35, spectators, are found in the small village of El Jem. This 3rd-century monument illustrates the grandeur and extent of Imperial Rome. Carthage was founded in the 9th century B. From the 6th century onwards, it developed into a great trading empire covering much of the Mediterranean and was home to a brilliant civilization. In the course of the long Punic wars, Carthage occupied territories belonging to Rome, which finally destroyed its rival in B.
A second — Roman — Carthage was then established on the ruins of the first. Under the Almohads and the Hafsids, from the 12th to the 16th century, Tunis was considered one of the greatest and wealthiest cities in the Islamic world. Some monuments, including palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas and fountains, testify to this remarkable past.
This Phoenician city was probably abandoned during the First Punic War c. The remains constitute the only example of a Phoenicio-Punic city to have survived. The houses were built to a standard plan in accordance with a sophisticated notion of town planning. Founded in , Kairouan flourished under the Aghlabid dynasty in the 9th century. Despite the transfer of the political capital to Tunis in the 12th century, Kairouan remained the Maghreb's principal holy city.
Its rich architectural heritage includes the Great Mosque, with its marble and porphyry columns, and the 9th-century Mosque of the Three Gates. Sousse was an important commercial and military port during the Aghlabid period — and is a typical example of a town dating from the first centuries of Islam.
With its kasbah, ramparts, medina with the Great Mosque , Bu Ftata Mosque and typical ribat both a fort and a religious building , Sousse was part of a coastal defence system. Before the Roman annexation of Numidia, the town of Thugga, built on an elevated site overlooking a fertile plain, was the capital of an important Libyco-Punic state.
It flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule, but declined in the Islamic period. The impressive ruins that are visible today give some idea of the resources of a small Roman town on the fringes of the empire. The Cultural Sites of Al Ain Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas constitute a serial property that testifies to sedentary human occupation of a desert region since the Neolithic period with vestiges of many prehistoric cultures.
Remarkable vestiges in the property include circular stone tombs ca B. Hili moreover features one of the oldest examples of the sophisticated aflaj irrigation system which dates back to the Iron Age. The property provides important testimony to the transition of cultures in the region from hunting and gathering to sedentarization. Surrounded by a fortified wall, the 16th-century city of Shibam is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction.
In the 7th and 8th centuries the city became a major centre for the propagation of Islam. This religious and political heritage can be seen in the mosques, 14 hammams and over 6, houses, all built before the 11th century. Zabid's domestic and military architecture and its urban plan make it an outstanding archaeological and historical site.
Besides being the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century, the city played an important role in the Arab and Muslim world for many centuries because of its Islamic university. The 65m-tall Minaret of Jam is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century. Covered in elaborate brickwork with a blue tile inscription at the top, it is noteworthy for the quality of its architecture and decoration, which represent the culmination of an architectural and artistic tradition in this region.
Its impact is heightened by its dramatic setting, a deep river valley between towering mountains in the heart of the Ghur province. The cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley represent the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries characterized ancient Bakhtria, integrating various cultural influences into the Gandhara school of Buddhist art.
The area contains numerous Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries, as well as fortified edifices from the Islamic period. The site is also testimony to the tragic destruction by the Taliban of the two standing Buddha statues, which shook the world in March The Royal Exhibition Building and its surrounding Carlton Gardens were designed for the great international exhibitions of and in Melbourne.
It features well-preserved monumental tombs with decorated facades dating from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. The site also features some 50 inscriptions of the pre-Nabataean period and some cave drawings. Al-Hijr bears a unique testimony to Nabataean civilization. This property was the first capital of the Saudi Dynasty, in the heart of the Arabian Penisula, north-west of Riyadh. Founded in the 15th century, it bears witness to the Najdi architectural style, which is specific to the centre of the Arabian peninsula.
Historic Jeddah is situated on the eastern shore of the Red Sea. From the 7th century AD it was established as a major port for Indian Ocean trade routes, channelling goods to Mecca. It was also the gateway for Muslim pilgrims to Mecca who arrived by sea. A lake once situated at the foot of the Umm Sinman hill range that has now disappeared used to be a source of fresh water for people and animals in the southern part of the Great Narfoud Desert.
Jabal al-Manjor and Raat form the rocky escarpment of a wadi now covered in sand. They show numerous representations of human and animal figures covering 10, years of history. In the eastern Arabian Peninsula, the Al-Ahsa Oasis is a serial property comprising gardens, canals, springs, wells and a drainage lake, as well as historical buildings, urban fabric and archaeological sites.
They represent traces of continued human settlement in the Gulf region from the Neolithic to the present, as can be seen from remaining historic fortresses, mosques, wells, canals and other water management systems. With its 2. Al-Ahsa is also a unique geocultural landscape and an exceptional example of human interaction with the environment. Tombs, with and without pyramids, temples, living complexes and palaces, are to be found on the site. Since Antiquity, the hill of Gebel Barkal has been strongly associated with religious traditions and folklore.
The largest temples are still considered by the local people as sacred places. The Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe, a semi-desert landscape between the Nile and Atbara rivers, was the heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century B.
The property consists of the royal city of the Kushite kings at Meroe, near the River Nile, the nearby religious site of Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra. It was the seat of the rulers who occupied Egypt for close to a century and features, among other vestiges, pyramids, temples and domestic buildings as well as major installations connected to water management.
Their vast empire extended from the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa, and the property testifies to the exchange between the art, architectures, religions and languages of both regions. Founded in the 3rd millennium B.
In the Middle Ages, it was the centre of a flourishing craft industry, specializing in swords and lace. The city has some monuments from different periods of its history — one of the most spectacular is the 8th-century Great Mosque of the Umayyads, built on the site of an Assyrian sanctuary. Bosra, once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, was an important stopover on the ancient caravan route to Mecca. A magnificent 2nd-century Roman theatre, early Christian ruins and several mosques are found within its great walls.
An oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus, Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.
Located at the crossroads of several trade routes from the 2nd millennium B. The 13th-century citadel, 12th-century Great Mosque and various 17th-century madrasas, palaces, caravanserais and hammams all form part of the city's cohesive, unique urban fabric, now threatened by overpopulation. These two castles represent the most significant examples illustrating the exchange of influences and documenting the evolution of fortified architecture in the Near East during the time of the Crusades 11th - 13th centuries.
With further construction by the Mamluks in the late 13th century, it ranks among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles. It retains features from its Byzantine beginnings in the 10th century, the Frankish transformations in the late 12th century and fortifications added by the Ayyubid dynasty late 12th to midth century.
Some 40 villages grouped in eight parks situated in north-western Syria provide remarkable testimony to rural life in late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period. Abandoned in the 8th to 10th centuries, the villages, which date from the 1st to 7th centuries, feature a remarkably well preserved landscape and the architectural remains of dwellings, pagan temples, churches, cisterns, bathhouses etc. The relict cultural landscape of the villages also constitutes an important illustration of the transition from the ancient pagan world of the Roman Empire to Byzantine Christianity.
Vestiges illustrating hydraulic techniques, protective walls and Roman agricultural plot plans furthermore offer testimony to the inhabitants' mastery of agricultural production. The impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa, a huge amphitheatre which could hold up to 35, spectators, are found in the small village of El Jem. This 3rd-century monument illustrates the grandeur and extent of Imperial Rome. Carthage was founded in the 9th century B.
From the 6th century onwards, it developed into a great trading empire covering much of the Mediterranean and was home to a brilliant civilization. In the course of the long Punic wars, Carthage occupied territories belonging to Rome, which finally destroyed its rival in B. A second — Roman — Carthage was then established on the ruins of the first. Under the Almohads and the Hafsids, from the 12th to the 16th century, Tunis was considered one of the greatest and wealthiest cities in the Islamic world.
Some monuments, including palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas and fountains, testify to this remarkable past. This Phoenician city was probably abandoned during the First Punic War c. The remains constitute the only example of a Phoenicio-Punic city to have survived.
The houses were built to a standard plan in accordance with a sophisticated notion of town planning. Founded in , Kairouan flourished under the Aghlabid dynasty in the 9th century. Despite the transfer of the political capital to Tunis in the 12th century, Kairouan remained the Maghreb's principal holy city. Its rich architectural heritage includes the Great Mosque, with its marble and porphyry columns, and the 9th-century Mosque of the Three Gates.
Sousse was an important commercial and military port during the Aghlabid period — and is a typical example of a town dating from the first centuries of Islam. With its kasbah, ramparts, medina with the Great Mosque , Bu Ftata Mosque and typical ribat both a fort and a religious building , Sousse was part of a coastal defence system.
Before the Roman annexation of Numidia, the town of Thugga, built on an elevated site overlooking a fertile plain, was the capital of an important Libyco-Punic state. It flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule, but declined in the Islamic period. The impressive ruins that are visible today give some idea of the resources of a small Roman town on the fringes of the empire. The Cultural Sites of Al Ain Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas constitute a serial property that testifies to sedentary human occupation of a desert region since the Neolithic period with vestiges of many prehistoric cultures.
Remarkable vestiges in the property include circular stone tombs ca B. Hili moreover features one of the oldest examples of the sophisticated aflaj irrigation system which dates back to the Iron Age. The property provides important testimony to the transition of cultures in the region from hunting and gathering to sedentarization.
Surrounded by a fortified wall, the 16th-century city of Shibam is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. In the 7th and 8th centuries the city became a major centre for the propagation of Islam.
This religious and political heritage can be seen in the mosques, 14 hammams and over 6, houses, all built before the 11th century. Zabid's domestic and military architecture and its urban plan make it an outstanding archaeological and historical site. Besides being the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century, the city played an important role in the Arab and Muslim world for many centuries because of its Islamic university. The 65m-tall Minaret of Jam is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century.
Covered in elaborate brickwork with a blue tile inscription at the top, it is noteworthy for the quality of its architecture and decoration, which represent the culmination of an architectural and artistic tradition in this region. Its impact is heightened by its dramatic setting, a deep river valley between towering mountains in the heart of the Ghur province.
The cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley represent the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries characterized ancient Bakhtria, integrating various cultural influences into the Gandhara school of Buddhist art.
The area contains numerous Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries, as well as fortified edifices from the Islamic period. The site is also testimony to the tragic destruction by the Taliban of the two standing Buddha statues, which shook the world in March The Royal Exhibition Building and its surrounding Carlton Gardens were designed for the great international exhibitions of and in Melbourne.
The building and grounds were designed by Joseph Reed. The building is constructed of brick and timber, steel and slate. The property is typical of the international exhibition movement which saw over 50 exhibitions staged between and in venues including Paris, New York, Vienna, Calcutta, Kingston Jamaica and Santiago Chile. All shared a common theme and aims: to chart material and moral progress through displays of industry from all nations.
Inaugurated in , the Sydney Opera House is a great architectural work of the 20th century that brings together multiple strands of creativity and innovation in both architectural form and structural design. A great urban sculpture set in a remarkable waterscape, at the tip of a peninsula projecting into Sydney Harbour, the building has had an enduring influence on architecture.
These shell-structures are set upon a vast platform and are surrounded by terrace areas that function as pedestrian concourses. The property includes a selection of eleven penal sites, among the thousands established by the British Empire on Australian soil in the 18 th and 19 th centuries. Around , men, women and children were sent to Australia over 80 years between and , condemned by British justice to transportation to the convict colonies.
Each of the sites had a specific purpose, in terms both of punitive imprisonment and of rehabilitation through forced labour to help build the colony. The Australian Convict Sites presents the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts. The Budj Bim lava flows provide the basis for the complex system of channels, weirs and dams developed by the Gunditjmara in order to trap, store and harvest kooyang short-finned eel — Anguilla australis.
The highly productive aquaculture system provided an economic and social base for Gunditjmara society for six millennia. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is the result of a creational process narrated by the Gunditjmara as a deep time story, referring to the idea that they have always lived there. From an archaeological perspective, deep time represents a period of at least 32, years. The ongoing dynamic relationship of Gunditjmara and their land is nowadays carried by knowledge systems retained through oral transmission and continuity of cultural practice.
Situated in the suburbs of Bagerhat, at the meeting-point of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, this ancient city, formerly known as Khalifatabad, was founded by the Turkish general Ulugh Khan Jahan in the 15th century. Evidence of the rise of Mahayana Buddhism in Bengal from the 7th century onwards, Somapura Mahavira, or the Great Monastery, was a renowned intellectual centre until the 12th century.
Its layout perfectly adapted to its religious function, this monastery-city represents a unique artistic achievement. With its simple, harmonious lines and its profusion of carved decoration, it influenced Buddhist architecture as far away as Cambodia. Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century.
Situated on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia, the Temple of Preah Vihear is dedicated to Shiva. The Temple is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an metre long axis and dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. Nevertheless, its complex history can be traced to the 9th century, when the hermitage was founded.
This site is particularly well preserved, mainly due to its remote location. The site is exceptional for the quality of its architecture, which is adapted to the natural environment and the religious function of the temple, as well as for the exceptional quality of its carved stone ornamentation.
The property comprises more than a hundred temples, ten of which are octagonal, unique specimens of their genre in South-East Asia. Decorated sandstone elements in the site are characteristic of the pre-Angkor decorative idiom, known as the Sambor Prei Kuk Style. Some of these elements, including lintels, pediments and colonnades, are true masterpieces. The art and architecture developed here became models for other parts of the region and lay the ground for the unique Khmer style of the Angkor period.
Seat of supreme power for over five centuries , the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its landscaped gardens and many buildings whose nearly 10, rooms contain furniture and works of art , constitutes a priceless testimony to Chinese civilization during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang consists of buildings constructed between —26 and It contains an important library and testifies to the foundation of the last dynasty that ruled China, before it expanded its power to the centre of the country and moved the capital to Beijing.
This palace then became auxiliary to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. This remarkable architectural edifice offers important historical testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty and to the cultural traditions of the Manchu and other tribes in the north of China.
No doubt thousands of statues still remain to be unearthed at this archaeological site, which was not discovered until Qin d. The small figures are all different; with their horses, chariots and weapons, they are masterpieces of realism and also of great historical interest. Situated at a strategic point along the Silk Route, at the crossroads of trade as well as religious, cultural and intellectual influences, the cells and cave sanctuaries in Mogao are famous for their statues and wall paintings, spanning 1, years of Buddhist art.
Scientific work at the site, which lies 42 km south-west of Beijing, is still underway. So far, it has led to the discovery of the remains of Sinanthropus pekinensis , who lived in the Middle Pleistocene, along with various objects, and remains of Homo sapiens sapiens dating as far back as 18,—11, B.
The site is not only an exceptional reminder of the prehistorical human societies of the Asian continent, but also illustrates the process of evolution. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty — , when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only by its architectural significance. The palaces and temples which form the nucleus of this group of secular and religious buildings exemplify the architectural and artistic achievements of China's Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Situated in the scenic valleys and on the slopes of the Wudang mountains in Hubei Province, the site, which was built as an organized complex during the Ming dynasty 14th—17th centuries , contains Taoist buildings from as early as the 7th century.
It represents the highest standards of Chinese art and architecture over a period of nearly 1, years. The Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,m.
Also founded in the 7th century, the Jokhang Temple Monastery is an exceptional Buddhist religious complex. Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace, constructed in the 18th century, is a masterpiece of Tibetan art. The beauty and originality of the architecture of these three sites, their rich ornamentation and harmonious integration in a striking landscape, add to their historic and religious interest.
The Mountain Resort the Qing dynasty's summer palace , in Hebei Province, was built between and It is a vast complex of palaces and administrative and ceremonial buildings. Temples of various architectural styles and imperial gardens blend harmoniously into a landscape of lakes, pastureland and forests. In addition to its aesthetic interest, the Mountain Resort is a rare historic vestige of the final development of feudal society in China.
The temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th—5th centuries B. Built to commemorate him in B. The cemetery contains Confucius' tomb and the remains of more than , of his descendants. The small house of the Kong family developed into a gigantic aristocratic residence, of which buildings remain. The Qufu complex of monuments has retained its outstanding artistic and historic character due to the devotion of successive Chinese emperors over more than 2, years.
Mount Lushan, in Jiangxi, is one of the spiritual centres of Chinese civilization. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Confucianism, where the most eminent masters taught, blend effortlessly into a strikingly beautiful landscape which has inspired countless artists who developed the aesthetic approach to nature found in Chinese culture. Ping Yao is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city, founded in the 14th century.
Its urban fabric shows the evolution of architectural styles and town planning in Imperial China over five centuries. Of special interest are the imposing buildings associated with banking, for which Ping Yao was the major centre for the whole of China in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Classical Chinese garden design, which seeks to recreate natural landscapes in miniature, is nowhere better illustrated than in the nine gardens in the historic city of Suzhou.
They are generally acknowledged to be masterpieces of the genre. Dating from the 11thth century, the gardens reflect the profound metaphysical importance of natural beauty in Chinese culture in their meticulous design. The Old Town of Lijiang, which is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity. Its architecture is noteworthy for the blending of elements from several cultures that have come together over many centuries.
Lijiang also possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today. The Summer Palace in Beijing — first built in , largely destroyed in the war of and restored on its original foundations in — is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.
The Temple of Heaven, founded in the first half of the 15th century, is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. In its overall layout and that of its individual buildings, it symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven — the human world and God's world — which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship.
The steep hillsides of the Dazu area contain an exceptional series of rock carvings dating from the 9th to the 13th century. They are remarkable for their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The two traditional villages of Xidi and Hongcun preserve to a remarkable extent the appearance of non-urban settlements of a type that largely disappeared or was transformed during the last century.
Their street plan, their architecture and decoration, and the integration of houses with comprehensive water systems are unique surviving examples. It represents the addition of three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning to the Ming tombs inscribed in and Constructed for the founding emperors of the Qing Dynasty and their ancestors, the tombs follow the precepts of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui theory.
They feature rich decoration of stone statues and carvings and tiles with dragon motifs, illustrating the development of the funerary architecture of the Qing Dynasty. The three tomb complexes, and their numerous edifices, combine traditions inherited from previous dynasties and new features of Manchu civilization.
The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties These works, entirely devoted to the Buddhist religion, represent the high point of Chinese stone carving. Construction of the Dujiangyan irrigation system began in the 3rd century B. This system still controls the waters of the Minjiang River and distributes it to the fertile farmland of the Chengdu plains. Mount Qingcheng was the birthplace of Taoism, which is celebrated in a series of ancient temples.
The Yungang Grottoes, in Datong city, Shanxi Province, with their caves and 51, statues, represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries. The Five Caves created by Tan Yao, with their strict unity of layout and design, constitute a classical masterpiece of the first peak of Chinese Buddhist art.
The site includes archaeological remains of three cities and 40 tombs: Wunu Mountain City, Guonei City and Wandu Mountain City, 14 tombs are imperial, 26 of nobles. All belong to the Koguryo culture, named after the dynasty that ruled over parts of northern China and the northern half of the Korean Peninsula from BC to AD Wunu Mountain City is only partly excavated.
Wandu Mountain City, one of the capitals of the Koguryo Kingdom, contains many vestiges including a large palace and 37 tombs. Some of the tombs show great ingenuity in their elaborate ceilings, designed to roof wide spaces without columns and carry the heavy load of a stone or earth tumulus mound , which was placed above them. Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade, was under Portuguese administration from the midth century until , when it came under Chinese sovereignty.
With its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the historic centre of Macao provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West. The site also contains a fortress and a lighthouse, the oldest in China. It bears witness to one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and the West, based on the vibrancy of international trade.
It testifies to the golden age of early Chinese culture, crafts and sciences, a time of great prosperity of the Chinese Bronze Age. A number of royal tombs and palaces, prototypes of later Chinese architecture, have been unearthed on the site, including the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area, with more than 80 house foundations, and the only tomb of a member of the royal family of the Shang Dynasty to have remained intact, the Tomb of Fu Hao. The large number and superb craftsmanship of the burial accessories found there bear testimony to the advanced level of Shang crafts industry.
Kaiping Diaolou and Villages feature the Diaolou, multi-storeyed defensive village houses in Kaiping, which display a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms. There are four groups of Diaolou and twenty of the most symbolic ones are inscribed on the List.
These buildings take three forms: communal towers built by several families and used as temporary refuge, residential towers built by individual rich families and used as fortified residences, and watch towers.
Built of stone, pise , brick or concrete, these buildings represent a complex and confident fusion between Chinese and Western architectural styles. Retaining a harmonious relationship with the surrounding landscape, the Diaolou testify to the final flowering of local building traditions that started in the Ming period in response to local banditry. Fujian Tulou is a property of 46 buildings constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries over km in south-west of Fujian province, inland from the Taiwan Strait.
Set amongst rice, tea and tobacco fields the Tulou are earthen houses. Several storeys high, they are built along an inward-looking, circular or square floor plan as housing for up to people each. They were built for defence purposes around a central open courtyard with only one entrance and windows to the outside only above the first floor.
The most elaborate structures date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings were divided vertically between families with each disposing of two or three rooms on each floor. In contrast with their plain exterior, the inside of the tulou were built for comfort and were often highly decorated.
They are inscribed as exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization, and, in terms of their harmonious relationship with their environment, an outstanding example of human settlement. With its five flat peaks, Mount Wutai is a sacred Buddhist mountain.
The cultural landscape is home to forty-one monasteries and includes the East Main Hall of Foguang Temple, the highest surviving timber building of the Tang dynasty, with life-size clay sculptures. It also features the Ming dynasty Shuxiang Temple with a huge complex of statues representing Buddhist stories woven into three-dimensional pictures of mountains and water. Overall, the buildings on the site catalogue the way in which Buddhist architecture developed and influenced palace building in China for over a millennium.
Mount Wutai, literally, 'the five terrace mountain', is the highest in Northern China and is remarkable for its morphology of precipitous slopes with five open treeless peaks. Temples have been built on this site from the 1st century AD to the early 20th century. Mount Songshang is considered to be the central sacred mountain of China. At the foot of this metre high mountain, close to the city of Dengfeng in Henan province and spread over a 40 square-kilometre circle, stand eight clusters of buildings and sites, including three Han Que gates - remains of the oldest religious edifices in China -, temples, the Zhougong Sundial Platform and the Dengfeng Observatory.
Constructed over the course of nine dynasties, these buildings are reflections of different ways of perceiving the centre of heaven and earth and the power of the mountain as a centre for religious devotion. The historical monuments of Dengfeng include some of the best examples of ancient Chinese buildings devoted to ritual, science, technology and education.
The West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, comprising the West Lake and the hills surrounding its three sides, has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. It comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.
These additions have been made to improve the landscape west of the city of Hangzhou to the south of the Yangtze river. The West Lake has influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries and bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of vistas reflecting an idealised fusion between humans and nature.
From this base, Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty that ruled China over a century, extending its boundaries across Asia. The religious debate that took place here resulted in the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism over north-east Asia, a cultural and religious tradition still practised in many areas today. The site was planned according to traditional Chinese feng shui in relation to the nearby mountains and river. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River.
Over the past 1, years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces. The inhabitants worship the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, forests and other natural phenomena including fire. They live in 82 villages situated between the mountaintop forests and the terraces.
The resilient land management system of the rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both visually and ecologically, based on exceptional and long-standing social and religious structures. It took shape between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD and remained in use until the 16th century, linking multiple civilizations and facilitating far-reaching exchanges of activities in trade, religious beliefs, scientific knowledge, technological innovation, cultural practices and the arts.
The thirty-three components included in the routes network include capital cities and palace complexes of various empires and Khan kingdoms, trading settlements, Buddhist cave temples, ancient paths, posthouses, passes, beacon towers, sections of The Great Wall, fortifications, tombs and religious buildings.
The Grand Canal is a vast waterway system in the north-eastern and central-eastern plains of China, running from Beijing in the north to Zhejiang province in the south. Constructed in sections from the 5th century BC onwards, it was conceived as a unified means of communication for the Empire for the first time in the 7th century AD Sui dynasty.
Its purpose was to unify national administration, while allowing ethnic minorities to retain their customs and way of life. The sites of Laosicheng, Tangya and Hailongtun Fortress that make up the site bear exceptional testimony to this form of governance, which derived from the Chinese civilization of the Yuan and Ming periods.
Located on the steep cliffs in the border regions of southwest China, these 38 sites of rock art illustrate the life and rituals of the Luoyue people. In a surrounding landscape of karst, rivers and plateaux, they depict ceremonies that have been interpreted as portraying the bronze drum culture once prevalent across southern China. This cultural landscape is the only remains of this culture today. Kulangsu is a tiny island located on the estuary of the Chiu-lung River, facing the city of Xiamen.
With the opening of a commercial port at Xiamen in , and the establishment of the island as an international settlement in , this island off the southern coast of the Chinese empire suddenly became an important window for Sino-foreign exchanges. Kulangsu is an exceptional example of the cultural fusion that emerged from these exchanges, which remain legible in its urban fabric. The most exceptional testimony of the fusion of various stylistic influences is a new architectural movement, the Amoy Deco Style, which is a synthesis of the Modernist style of the early 20th century and Art Deco.
Located in the Yangtze River Basin on the south-eastern coast of the country, the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu about 3,, BCE reveal an early regional state with a unified belief system based on rice cultivation in Late Neolithic China. These ruins are an outstanding example of early urban civilization expressed in earthen monuments, urban planning, a water conservation system and a social hierarchy expressed in differentiated burials in cemeteries within the property.
The property includes several group and individual tombs - totalling about 30 individual tombs - from the later period of the Koguryo Kingdom, one of the strongest kingdoms in nowadays northeast China and half of the Korean peninsula between the 3rd century BC to 7th century AD. The tombs, many with beautiful wall paintings, are almost the only remains of this culture.
Only about 90 out of more than 10, Koguryo tombs discovered in China and Korea so far, have wall paintings. Almost half of these tombs are located on this site and they are thought to have been made for the burial of kings, members of the royal family and the aristocracy. These paintings offer a unique testimony to daily life of this period. Situated in Kaesong city, in the south of the country, the site consists of 12 separate components, which together testify to the history and culture of the Koryo Dynasty from the 10th to 14th centuries.
The monuments inscribed also include an astronomical and meteorological observatory, two schools including one dedicated to educating national officials and commemorative steles. The integration of Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist and geomantic concepts is manifest in the planning of the site and the architecture of its monuments.
The town and its low line of buildings set among coconut and mango trees along the beach front was the first colonial capital of Fiji, ceded to the British in It is a rare example of a late colonial port town that was influenced in its development by the indigenous community which continued to outnumber the European settlers. Thus the town, an outstanding example of late 19th century Pacific port settlements, reflects the integration of local building traditions by a supreme naval power, leading to the emergence of a unique landscape.
This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques. The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B. During the Gupta period 5th and 6th centuries A.
The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence. These 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff, not far from Aurangabad, in Maharashtra.
Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A. Not only is the Ellora complex a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit but, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.
An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between and by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries.
It is known especially for its rathas temples in the form of chariots , mandapas cave sanctuaries , giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. On the shores of the Bay of Bengal, bathed in the rays of the rising sun, the temple at Konarak is a monumental representation of the sun god Surya's chariot; its 24 wheels are decorated with symbolic designs and it is led by a team of six horses.
Built in the 13th century, it is one of India's most famous Brahman sanctuaries. The churches and convents of Goa, the former capital of the Portuguese Indies — particularly the Church of Bom Jesus, which contains the tomb of St Francis-Xavier — illustrate the evangelization of Asia. These monuments were influential in spreading forms of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art in all the countries of Asia where missions were established. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri the City of Victory was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years.
The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. The austere, grandiose site of Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Its fabulously rich princes built Dravidian temples and palaces which won the admiration of travellers between the 14th and 16th centuries.
Conquered by the Deccan Muslim confederacy in , the city was pillaged over a period of six months before being abandoned. The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between and Only about 20 temples remain; they fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions — Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temple of Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
The 'City of Caves', on an island in the Sea of Oman close to Bombay, contains a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave. The Great Living Chola Temples were built by kings of the Chola Empire, which stretched over all of south India and the neighbouring islands.
The site includes three great 11th- and 12th-century Temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram, built by Rajendra I, was completed in Its m vimana sanctum tower has recessed corners and a graceful upward curving movement, contrasting with the straight and severe tower at Thanjavur.
The Airavatesvara temple complex, built by Rajaraja II, at Darasuram features a m vimana and a stone image of Shiva. The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting. Pattadakal, in Karnataka, represents the high point of an eclectic art which, in the 7th and 8th centuries under the Chalukya dynasty, achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India. An impressive series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary, can be seen there.
One masterpiece from the group stands out — the Temple of Virupaksha, built c. On a hill overlooking the plain and about 40 km from Bhopal, the site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries all in different states of conservation most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B. It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century A.
This tomb, built in , is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art built in , and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.
This site includes three railways. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the first, and is still the most outstanding, example of a hill passenger railway. Opened in , its design applies bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain of great beauty. The construction of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a km long metre-gauge single-track railway in Tamil Nadu State was first proposed in , but due to the difficulty of the mountainous location the work only started in and was completed in This railway, scaling an elevation of m to 2, m, represented the latest technology of the time.
The Kalka Shimla Railway, a km long, single track working rail link built in the midth century to provide a service to the highland town of Shimla is emblematic of the technical and material efforts to disenclave mountain populations through the railway.
All three railways are still fully operational. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.
It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period. The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau.
Within massive sandstone outcrops, above comparatively dense forest, are five clusters of natural rock shelters, displaying paintings that appear to date from the Mesolithic Period right through to the historical period. The cultural traditions of the inhabitants of the twenty-one villages adjacent to the site bear a strong resemblance to those represented in the rock paintings.
A concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties cradled in an impressive landscape which includes prehistoric chalcolithic sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat.
The site also includes, among other vestiges, fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts, agricultural structures and water installations, from the 8th to 14th centuries. The Kalikamata Temple on top of Pavagadh Hill is considered to be an important shrine, attracting large numbers of pilgrims throughout the year. The site is the only complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building, designed by the British architect F. The terminal was built over 10 years, starting in , according to a High Victorian Gothic design based on late medieval Italian models.
Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. It is an outstanding example of the meeting of two cultures, as British architects worked with Indian craftsmen to include Indian architectural tradition and idioms thus forging a new style unique to Bombay.
Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in , with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht Stream of Paradise. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement.
The Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur, is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments. They are monumental examples in masonry of known instruments but which in many cases have specific characteristics of their own. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, they embody several architectural and instrumental innovations.
This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India's historic observatories. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period.
The serial site, situated in the state of Rajastahan, includes six majestic forts in Chittorgarh; Kumbhalgarh; Sawai Madhopur; Jhalawar; Jaipur, and Jaisalmer. The ecclectic architecture of the forts, some up to 20 kilometres in circumference, bears testimony to the power of the Rajput princely states that flourished in the region from the 8th to the 18th centuries. Enclosed within defensive walls are major urban centres, palaces, trading centres and other buildings including temples that often predate the fortifications within which developed an elaborate courtly culture that supported learning, music and the arts.
Some of the urban centres enclosed in the fortifications have survived, as have many of the site's temples and other sacred buildings. The forts use the natural defenses offered by the landscape: hills, deserts, rivers, and dense forests. They also feature extensive water harvesting structures, largely still in use today. Rani-ki-Vav, on the banks of the Saraswati River, was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent, and have been constructed since the 3rd millennium BC.
They evolved over time from what was basically a pit in sandy soil towards elaborate multi-storey works of art and architecture. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; more than principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works.
The fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank 9. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas , shrines, viharas residential and educational buildings and important art works in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of years.
The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions. Chosen from the work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites comprising this transnational serial property are spread over seven countries and are a testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past.
These masterpieces of creative genius also attest to the internationalization of architectural practice across the planet. The walled city of Ahmadabad, founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods.
The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses pols in gated traditional streets puras with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions. The city continued to flourish as the capital of the State of Gujarat for six centuries, up to the present.
The Victorian ensemble includes Indian elements suited to the climate, including balconies and verandas. Unlike other cities in the region located in hilly terrain, Jaipur was established on the plain and built according to a grid plan interpreted in the light of Vedic architecture. The streets feature continuous colonnaded businesses that intersect in the centre, creating large public squares called chaupars. Markets, shops, residences and temples built along the main streets have uniform facades.
The city's urban planning shows an exchange of ideas from ancient Hindu and early modern Mughal as well as Western cultures. The grid plan is a model that prevails in the West, while the organization of the different city sectors chowkris refers to traditional Hindu concepts. Designed to be a commercial capital, the city has maintained its local commercial, artisanal and cooperative traditions to this day. This famous Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, is located in central Java.
It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2, m 2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha. Built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia.
Rising above the centre of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana , dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them.
Excavations here from to led to the discovery of the first hominid fossil at this site. Inhabited for the past one and a half million years, Sangiran is one of the key sites for the understanding of human evolution. The temples are the focus of a cooperative water management system of canals and weirs, known as subak, that dates back to the 9th century.
When FC Sheriff Tiraspol claimed the nation's top flight trophy in , they did so for the 18th time and that's a comfortable domestic record. At the same period in time, closest challengers Zimbru Chisinau had eight wins and those statistics underline Tiraspol's dominance. When the best betting sites compile their odds for the Divizia Nationala, Sheriff can be expected to be out in front and that position is unlikely to change for some time.
Teams such as Zimbru and Sparta Selemet are also in the frame but most tipsters look to Sheriff as the likely bet. The sportsbooks agree but the men from Tiraspol need to be fighting on more than one front.
Success in their native Moldova is almost expected but can the team known as The Wasps make their mark on the Champions League? That's the next big test for a side who regularly make it through to the UCL preliminary rounds. A place in the group phase is the immediate goal and Charles Petro has his part to play as the club targets those aims. If Malawi's national team are to break ground and take their place at the Africa Cup of Nations, The Flames will need to rely on their squad's blend of experience and talented youth.
Prior to the tournament, Malawi had only qualified for AFCON twice - in and - and on both occasions they were eliminated at the end of the group stages. As drew to a close, two games remained in qualification with that trip to South Sudan followed by a home fixture with Uganda.
Playing in big international tournaments is vital for the progress of the national side and it could also provide the platform for Charles Petro to advance his own career. There is a lot of expectation placed on the shoulder of Charles Petro and that may be unfair when he is so young. However, he's widely seen as an accomplished defender with maturity beyond his years and the future may see him play on an even bigger stage.
A switch to South African football may not be seen as a step up in some quarters but a number of Malawi internationals have played here. It wouldn't be a backward step but such a promising talent should really be targeting one of the big leagues in Europe. The German Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A and the English Premier League are potential destinations and, even if Petro were to sign with a club in the lower half of the table, it would be a significant breakthrough.
All of that lies in the months and years that stretch ahead and, at the age of just 19, there are some interesting possibilities for a defender who is composed on the ball and has just opened his goal account for Sheriff Tiraspol. For now, he just has to focus on developing his game in Moldova and if that development continues on an upward trajectory, the future looks exceptionally bright.
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