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Showing posts with the label UNESCO World Heritage

Alcala de Henares

Calle Mayor
The Roman Empire found its way to Spain in the first century BC and they built a settlement in Alcalá de Henares. They called it, Complutum. The Visigoths drove the Romans away and they in turn were given the boot by the Moors in 711. The Moors named their new conquest, Al-Qal'at, which means citadel. Alcalá de Henares means citadel on the river Henares.
Alcalá was recaptured from the Moors in 1118 and became part of the bishopric of Toledo. It was in the early 16th century when Cardinal Jimenez de Cisneros conceived the idea of a univeristy town and laid the groundwork for a university with the specific purpose of training students as administrators for the church and the state. For years the Universidad de Alcalá was the center of higher education in Spain until it was moved to Madrid in 1836 and Alcalá was left to languish. Thanks to the forward thinking group of citizens called the Sociedad de Condueños (Society of Joint Owners) who bought several of the universit…

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

West Gate and Three Storied Pagoda
Kiyomizu-dera has one of the most enviable locations in Kyoto. Set in the wooded hills of eastern Kyoto, it has a commanding view of the city that was once the capital of Japan.  Kiyomizu-dera or the Pure Water Temple has been around since 778. It was named after the Otowa waterfall which flows down from a spring in the mountain above the hills. It is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Kita Hosso sect. 
Kiyomizu Stage
The Hondo or Main Hall was built in 1633. It has an impressive veranda known as the Kiyomizu Stage. It hangs 13 meters above the hillside and is supported by wooden pillars which were assembled without using a single nail. It is held together by wooden braces. The floor of the stage is made of cypress boards. The Hondo is considered a national treasure and is a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site.
The pillars supporting the stage
It's a quite a climb up the hill to the temple halls but there are several spots to stop and rest along…

New UNESCO World Heritage Sites for Ireland

Poulnabrone dolmen in The Burren
Gadling reports that Ireland has recently proposed seven sites to be included in the Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage nomination. Among these are The Burren and Western Stone Forts which I just visited last week (an article appears below). The other five sites are the Historic Center of Dublin, the Céide Fields and North West Mayo Boglands, The Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape, Early Medieval Monastic Sites, and the Royal Sites of Ireland including Cashel and Tara Complex.

I'm happy to read this report as Ireland is one beautiful country with supernatural scenery and rich history.  The inclusion of its seven sites in the Tentative List would be well deserved.

For more on this story follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/348cacb

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Image by Charie