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The World's Heritage: A Complete Guide to the Most Extraordinary Places [Paperback]

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Aug 2009

A unique guide to every UNESCO World Heritage site. The global list has proved a valuable tool in the battle to preserve the world’s heritage. Managed by the World Heritage Committee with strict criteria, only the world’s most spectacular and extraordinary sites making it onto the List.

Major sites
Details of all 878 UNESCO sites including….the remarkable Dazu Rock Carving of China……the last substantial expanse of monsoon forest in Thailand, the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex….Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania which contains the highest mountain in Africa one of the largest volcanoes in the world….one of the greatest Mayan temples Tikal in Guatemala…the legendary Acropolis in Athens…..the ancient Nabataean city of Petra in Jordan….the unique ecosystem of the Serengeti, Tanzania.

• Over 650 colour photographs
• Descriptions of 878 UNESCO World Heritage sites
• Location map for every 878 site

The World Heritage List includes properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. In 1972 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Convention concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage. Since then 878 sites have been inscribed onto the List 679 of which are cultural, 174 natural and 25 mixed properties in 145 countries.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (6 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007300158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007300150
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 16.2 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"As any self respecting monument knows, you haven't made it until you've garnered UNESCO status. From the Acropolis to the lesser known El Jem Coliseum, this gives you a tantalising taste of all 878 World Heritage sites." Wanderlust

"although you might never witness the majesty of the Grand Canyon or the Acropolis, at least you can take a peek and understand why they've made this prestigious list." ABTA Magazine

Book Description

A complete guide to the most extraordinary places

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars world wonders in the palm of your hand 31 Oct 2009
You could visit a world heritage site every week and still be going 16 years later. So while a 'coffee table' style book might showcase a few of the most glorious, it wouldn't give you the wonderful 'dip-ability' of this book.

A quick flick and I get a fine introduction to the cultural importance of the Pyramids. But a few pages later I also find out about 'Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump' a site where native Americans killed buffalo by running them off a cliff for millennia.

Fascinating. And there are 876 more like this.

I think this book is a quite brilliant introduction to the world's most sublime natural and cultural heritage sites. I'll be dipping for years to come.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars World Heritage 23 April 2011
At 832 pages this is quite a volume with 878 sites listed.It sounds impressive but to be honest overall I was disappointed. The photos are in colour but a number of them are disappointing.Some appear somewhat old and pale and are lacking life and sparkle given that they are of such important and spectacular sites. I guess that is why the book is relatively cheap. There is not a lot of detail written on each site but enough to give an introduction. The index lists sites by country but each country is not then divided into regions - just a list of site names and page numbers to locate them. So you will have to jump from page to page to follow sites in one country.The book itself lists the sites year by year that they became UNESCO sites -an idea I found irritating as you jump from one type of site and country to another - strange.I think I would prefer to sit in bed with a laptop and use a Heritage website than hold this heavy volume.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to world heritage sites. 13 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase
Excellent introduction to the world heritage sites (or more corectly places inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List). There are descriptions of over 800 sites, with pictures of most. They are arranged in the date they were added to the list (hence four starts rather than five) rather than by country, but there is a by country index at the end. The book is reasonably priced and is much better that things like "1000 places to see before your knees give out" or whatever.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All my future holidays in one book! 3 Oct 2009
I love this book. Got it a few weeks ago and it's now my favourite bedtime read for dreaming of my next holiday. I find myself trying to work out how many sites I can fit in during a week long break. The book is ordered by the year the site was inscribed onto the UNESCO list and it's so good to have every site in one book. Can be quite tricky to find some sites as there are so many but there's a nice mapping section at the front and two indexes at the back to help. The text is not dumbed down thankfully but is still easy to read and informative. The pictures are really good as well.

The only thing I'd quite like to see are little tick boxes on each site for the ones I've been to!!! That's a minor point as it's one of those books you just want to keep picking up and flicking through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Heritage Sites in handy reference form 2 Feb 2011
The nice thing about this book is that it has all the sites and you can browse through them chronologically. Nice to have them all in one place. It is also all UNESCO approved. They just release a app version for iPhone and iPad too apparently so if you have one of those thingies you can get it on that as well... also handy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Amber
Verified Purchase
I have received it as a Christmas gift and it could not be better! It is a comprehensive compedium of all attractions listed on UNESCO list. Although they are just briefly described, book is an excellent source of inspiration and a starting point to further reading and planning.
The only comment is that some photographs could be a bit better, I have visited many of the places already and some photographs in the book do not do them justice. Nevertheless it is an amazing book and well worth buying.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but hard to navigate 9 Sep 2010
By Grue
I borrowed this from the library - I like to try-before-I-buy! It's smaller than I anticipated, and quite chunky - I was expecting more of a traditional coffee-table book.

The photography and detailed descriptions are well thought-out, but I was disappointed/surprised that the places are listed in the order that they were designated as heritage sites. It's therefore very difficult to flick through to find a particular site - it's more of a "dipping-in" book for casual browsers. I wouldn't be disappointed if I received it as a gift, but I won't be purchasing it now that I've had a flick through.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Very informative. A great introduction to UNESCO and a big influence on my list of future travel destinations as well.
Published 15 months ago by F van Rijn
1.0 out of 5 stars Worse 'guide' book I have ever read
I think the editors sat down and asked themselves "what's the worse possible way to organise this book?" The answer - list the sites chronologically. Read more
Published 23 months ago by J. P. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars A Travel "Wish-List"
A fantastic book that should form the basis of any travel plans. Also would make a fantastic "Wish List" of places to visit.
Published on 20 Sep 2011 by Owen H
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
An Interesting book , a bit disappointed in its condition when it arrived but as its a present to myself didnt get round to sending it back. Read more
Published on 28 Nov 2010 by J. Bird
3.0 out of 5 stars Essential
Everyone should own this - it is essential if planning an epic journey. However new sites are added regularly, it would be great if the published updates instead of having to buy... Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2010 by Nautical
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I love this book, I read two pages every day and start dreaming of my next holiday....
Published on 27 Dec 2009 by Cori73
5.0 out of 5 stars For World voyagers
For those people who are planning a voyage abroad or even in their own country this book gives a complete impression of what there is to see in the world concerning the really... Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2009 by Hugo Van den Bossche
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