The ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey and the Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica are just two of the 24 newly inscribed World Heritage sites approved by the 39th UNESCO committee in Bonn, Germany recently. From ancient, archaeological sites to complex industrial systems and cultural landscapes, the 2015 list provides no shortage of exciting and intriguing travel ideas for the year, sure to peak even the most veteran travelers’ interests.
1. Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System – Mexico
Constructed in the 16th century and located on the Central Mexican Plateau, this aqueduct was built with support from local indigenous communities. Along with tanks, bridges and a water catchment area, this heritage canal system has the “highest single-level arcade ever built in an aqueduct”.
2. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale – Italy
The nine structures included in this Arab-Norman Palermo are comprised of two palaces, three churches, a cathedral, a bridge, the Cefalù cathedral and the Monreale cathedral. Located on the northern coast of Sicily, this heritage site, dating from the 12th century, depicts the relationships between the Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures that eventually led to new spatial, structural and decorative concepts.
3. Baekje Historic Areas – Republic of Korea
The Busosanseong Fortress and the royal palace at Wanggung-ri are among the eight archaeological sites that make up the Baekje Historic Areas. Found in the mid-west region of the Republic of Korea, these sites, dating from 475 to 660 CE, are an accurate representation of the Baekje Kingdom, a time when the ancient kingdoms in Korea, China and Japan were sharing and exchanging thoughts and ideas on contemporary issues such as artistry, religion and technology.