A World Heritage Site could be a lake, a forest, an island, a monument or a city, recognized for its symbolic role in history, and which today is a famous tourist attraction.
As of 2013, UNESCO has a total of 981 sites: 759 cultural sites, 193 natural sites and 29 mixed sites, scattered across 160 countries.
The country with the most numerous and most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites is Italy, with 49 sites, followed by China with 45 sites and Spain with 44 sites.
Each site considered by UNESCO a World Heritage Site remains part of the physical territory of the state it belongs to, but it is also under the protection of the international community.
In this article we will reveal some of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites that must be seen at least once in a lifetime:
1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is a Hindu temple in the Angkor region of Cambodia. It was built in the early 12th century for a local King and represents a model of Khmer Architecture of the highest level. It is the most well preserved archaeological site. Since its establishment, Angkor Wat has been the most important religious center, for both Hindu (dedicated to the God Vishnu), and Buddhists. It is the largest religious monumental complex in the world.
2. Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan is an ancient village located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar). Between the 9th and the 13th centuries it was the center of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom which unified the regions that later formed the modern Burma.
3. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevşehir Province. During the prehistoric era the first settlements have been established and the people built underground cities in the volcanic mountains to protect themselves from the wild animals. There are many underground cities in the Cappadocia area of Turkey, but Derinkuyu is the biggest one. Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites and main tourist attractions in Turkey, due to its beautiful landscapes and rich history.
4. Hampi, India
Hampi is a village in the north of Karnataka State, India. It is located near the ruins of Vijayanagara, the hearth of the former Vijayanagara Empire. Older than Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religios site, housing the Virupaksha Temple and many other monuments belonging to the old city.
5. Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Pichu is one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites located on a mountain ridge at about 2,430 meters above sea level, in Peru. Many archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Often referred to as the “Lost city of the Incas”, Machu Picchu is probably the most popular representation of Inca civilization.