Visiting a UNESCO World Heritage site is like a dream come true for most people! There are many of them in different parts of the world. Some of the most popular are Vatican City, The Taj Mahal, Venice or The Great Barrier Reef. But do you know some of the lesser known ones? Below are some fascinating but less-known UNESCO World Heritage sites.
How about a vacation in a large city? Chan Chan is the largest city of the pre-Columbian era! Located in the La Libertad region west of Trujillo, Peru, it is now an archaeological site. It is an ancient city which was once home to the Chimu people. They were the South American Indians who maintained the largest political system in Peru before the Incas. Built around 850 A.D., it lasted for more than 600 years and existed until the Chimu people were conquered by the Incas.
This site consists mainly of walled compounds or palaces which housed plazas, storerooms and burial platforms for royal families. Discover the Chimu culture through its architecture and the high reliefs of its walls. Its carvings represent birds, fish, small mammals, crabs, turtles and nets to catch sea creatures. In 1986, Chan Chan was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site and its conservation plan was approved by the Peruvian Government in 1998.
Travel back in time and discover the Bronze Age with the ancient city of Hattusa in Turkey! With its ruins located near Bogazkale, it was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986, it was surrounded by agricultural fields, hill lands for pasture and woods. In ancient times, the woods were more abundant than the smaller ones still found outside the city.
The citizens of this ancient city had a good supply of timber to build houses and other structures. In the fields, they were provided with wheat, barley and lentils. They also harvested flax, but their clothing was mainly made from sheep wool. They hunted deer in the forest, however it was mostly a luxury which only the nobility could enjoy. So, mainly domestic animals provided them with meat.
Dazu Rock Carvings, China
Fans of carvings? Do not miss a visit to the Dazu Rock Carvings found in 75 different sites in China! Get the chance to see over 50,000 statues dating back to 700 A.D. They are mostly located in the Dazu District. The carvings are mainly influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. They were listed as World Heritage sites in 1999 due to their aesthetic quality and rich diversity of secular and religious subject matter. They also shed light on the daily life in China during that period.
Some of the Dazu Rock Carvings are rock-cut cave shrines, while others are rock reliefs carved in open rock faces. Highlights of the rock grotto are found on Mount Baoding and Mount Beishan. Don’t miss the chance to take pictures of the colourful statues depicting gods and goddesses from Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist mythology.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Canada
Want to see the great outdoors? Discover Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Canada! Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it is a large prairie of 73.29 km2. It is also home to the museum of Blackfoot culture. The Joe Crow Shoe Sr. Lodge is dedicated to the memory of Joe Crow Shoe Sr. from the Piikani Nation in South Alberta, who helped in the development of this site.
This buffalo jump was used by indigenous peoples of the plains for over 5500 years to hunt buffalos by driving them off the 11-metre high cliff. The Blackfoot people drove the buffalos from a grazing area in the Porcupine Hills, dressed up as coyotes and wolves. Enjoy even more action with the action packed slots at Regal Wins, such as: Tarzan Slot, Jurassic World Slot or Alaskan Fishing Slot. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is listed as a World Heritage site because it bears testimony to prehistoric life and the customs of aboriginal people.
These are only some of the little-known World Heritage sites around the world. There are many such sites that are not that popular but are still very fascinating and are definitely worth a visit.