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Top 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are now more than 900 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and recently the popular travel site Tripadvisor listed the top 10 most popular according to their users' ratings. Here are the results, with India's Taj Mahal in the #1 position:
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. It is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and stands as a symbol of eternal love. Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles.
Petra is a historic and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is known for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourism attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.
Palmyra was an ancient Syrian city, In the old times it was an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 180 km southwest of the Euphrates at Deir ez-Zor. It has long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The earliest documented reference to the city by its Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur (which means "the town that repels" in Amorite and "the indomitable town" in Aramaic.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the United States' oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world. The park covers 1,902 mi (4927 km) of unincorporated area in Coconino County and Mohave County. Most visitors to the park come to the South Rim, arriving on Arizona State Route 64.
Abu Simbel temples (??? ????) are two massive rock temples in Nubia, southern Egypt on the western bank of Lake Nasser about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).
Prambanan is the ninth century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, Indonesia, dedicated to Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator, the Sustainer and the Destroyer. The temple compound located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta city on the boundary between Yogyakarta and Central Java province. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, currently is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and is one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia.
Venice is a city in northern Italy known both for tourism and for industry, and is the capital of the region Veneto, with a population of about 272,000 (census estimate 1 January 2004). Together with Padua, the city is included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population 1,600,000). The name is derived from the ancient tribe of Veneti that inhabited the region in Roman times. The city historically was the capital of an independent city-state.
Siena (also widely spelled Sienna in English) is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 169,000 international arrivals in 2008. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the palio.
Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile annexed in 1888, Easter Island is widely famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people. It is a World Heritage Site (as determined by UNESCO) with much of the island protected within the Rapa Nui National Park.
The Dolomites are a section of the Alps. They are located for the most part in the province of Belluno, the rest in the provinces of Bolzano-Bozen and Trento (all in north-eastern Italy). Conventionally they extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana).