Tag Archives: unesco

Things to See in France: Mont Saint-Michel Travel Attractions 27 JUL 2017

One of the earliest recognised UNESCO World Heritage Sites, France’s famed Mont Saint-Michel island commune in Normandy stands as one of France’s most recognizable landmarks, not to mention one of its most popular tourist destinations.

Situated about 1 km off the country’s northwestern coast, the tidal island crowned by its great Romanesque abbey supports a small population of around 50 permanent residents, all living within the boundaries of this medieval walled city.

Inaccessible during high tide, this fortified position has been held since Roman times, and in addition to its position as a place of worship since the 11th century,  The Mont as a strategic stronghold stands legendary as having been unconquered during the Hundred Years’ War, not to mention its successful 1433 defense against a full scale English assault.

Of course the reverse of this unconquerable nature wasn’t entirely missed either, with the tidal island also spending a fair bit of its history as prison stronghold for some of the Kings of France.

A team over at Great Big Story put together this great little primer on the fabulous Mont Saint-Michel:

No wonder it is one of France’s most visited tourist attractions.

Related Link: Wikipedia | Forbes | About France | YouTube

Things to See in Czech Republic: Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc Travel Attractions 21 AUG 2015

The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument in the Czech Republic, built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia (now in the Czech Republic) between 1714 and 1716. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way.

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It is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “one of the most exceptional examples of the apogee of central European Baroque artistic expression”.

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At nearly 115-feet tall, the Holy Trinity Column is topped by a gilded sculpture of the Archangel Gabriel, with the Assumption of the Virgin resting beneath. Three tiers descend on all sides from the pillar, decorated with cartouches, reliefs of the 12 apostles, and 18 stone sculptures of major saints intermingling with Moravian favorites. The base of the column also houses an entire chapel.

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Unfortunately the Holy Trinity Column’s visionary architect creator, Wenzel Render, died not long after work began. A builder named Franz Thoneck took up Render’s mantle, only to die himself while working on the column. Then came Johann Wenzel Rokický, who passed away before its completion, as did Augustin Scholtz.

After claiming the lives of four master craftsman, a fifth man named Johann Ignaz Rokický was finally able to complete the divinely-inspired monument to perseverance in the face of Death… though not before the man in charge of gilding the Virgin Mary perched atop the column would fall irrecoverably ill from his contributions to the project.

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Related Link: Wikipedia | Atlas Obscura

World Wonders: Zhangjiajie National Park (China) Travel Attractions 10 AUG 2013

Years of erosion by vegetation and expanding ice carved Zhangjiajie National Park’s narrow, terraced sandstone pillars, some of which climb over 200 meters! The park’s steep cliffs and plunging gullies also make the perfect home for more than 100 vertebrate species, including scaly anteaters, giant salamanders, and sprightly rhesus monkeys.

Meanwhile, the damp subtropical climate nourishes diverse, sometimes unusual, flora, like dove trees for instance.

Known as “living fossils,” these white-flowered trees are actually survivors of the fourth glacial period 2.5 million years ago.

Zhangjiajie National Park—China’s first national park—is one of many within the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area in Hunan Province, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhangjiajie_National_Forest_Park