My Missing Countries/ Sites List

Complete List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Missing and Received can be seen HERE

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Albania: Butrint

"Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development."
Source: UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites
The Butrint site is located on a hill, just close to a lake connected to the sea by a canal. It has been inhabited since prehistoric times. A Greek colony was founded there in the late 7th century BC, when the city (called Buthros) was surrounded by fortifications. Roman occupation prompted the development of the city and during the Christian era, it became the seat of a bishopric. Many religious structures were built by the Christians. From the time the Slavs came to the Balkans (7th century) until the founding of the Epirus despotate (after the taking of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204), the city underwent great trials. Its last era of prosperity was under Byzantine administration (Epirus). After a short period of occupation by the Venetians (late 14th century), the city under Ottoman administration was threatened by the marshes that formed around the lake and was abandoned by the population.
This archaeological site is a veritable conservatory of major monuments in ruins from each period of the city's development. Thus, the fortifications bear testimony to the different stages of their construction from the time of the Greek colony until the Middle Ages. The most interesting ancient Greek monument is the theatre, which is fairly well preserved. The major ruin from the paleo-Christian era is the baptistery, built inside the Roman public baths. The floor has a beautiful mosaic decoration. The paleo-Christian basilica was rebuilt in the 9th century and the ruins are sufficiently well preserved to permit analysis of the structure (three naves with a transept and an exterior polygonal apse).
The archaeological site of Jam was successfully nominated as Afghanistan's first World Heritage site in 2002. It was also inscribed in UNESCO's list of World Heritage in Danger, due to the precarious state of preservation of the minaret, and results of looting at the site.

Afghanistan: Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

"The 65m-tall Minaret of Jam is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century. Covered in elaborate brickwork with a blue tile inscription at the top, it is noteworthy for the quality of its architecture and decoration, which represent the culmination of an architectural and artistic tradition in this region. Its impact is heightened by its dramatic setting, a deep river valley between towering mountains in the heart of the Ghur province."
Source: UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites

I have one of these postcards in my collection and will upload the image shortly.
Below is a photo of the Minaret of Jam for curious minds :-)


The minaret was built in the 1190s, entirely of baked bricks. It is famous for its intricate brick, stucco and glazed tile decoration, which consists of alternating bands of kufic and naskhi calligraphy, geometric patterns, and verses from the Qur'an (the surat Maryam, relating to Mary, the mother of Jesus).
It is likely that the Minaret was constructed to commemorate Sultan Ghiyas ud-Din's (1157-1202) victory at Delhi in 1192 over the Ghaznavid Empire, hence the name sometimes given to it, the Victory Tower.
The site of Jam is believed to have been the summer residence of the Ghurid Emperors. There are indications that the mosque to which the minaret was attached was of modest size, and disproportionate to the dimensions of the minaret, contrary to the basic principles of Islamic architecture.
After the death of Ghiyas ud-Din his brother Muiz ud-Din succeeded him. The Ghurid Empire came under intense pressure from its neighbours, the Kharizm, from south of the Aral Sea, and gradually yielded up its territories. Only at the mountainous retreat of Bamiyan did the dynasty survive, until its last ruler was captured and put to death in 1215. The town of Firuzkuh was destroyed by the Mongol Ogoda√Į in 1222.
You can see a very interesting video of Minaret of Jam here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pakistan: Rohtas Fort

"Following his defeat of the Mughal emperor Humayun in 1541, Sher Shah Suri built a strong fortified complex at Rohtas, a strategic site in the north of what is now Pakistan. It was never taken by storm and has survived intact to the present day. The main fortifications consist of the massive walls, which extend for more than 4 km; they are lined with bastions and pierced by monumental gateways. Rohtas Fort, also called Qila Rohtas, is an exceptional example of early Muslim military architecture in Central and South Asia."
Source: UNESCO World Heritage List

Rohtas Fort is an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of central and south Asia, blending architectural and artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian subcontinent to create the model for Mughal architecture and its subsequent refinements and adaptations. The majestic fort, surpassing many other citadels in grandeur and massiveness, is the only example of architecture of the time of Sher Shah Suri. The monument represents a milestone in the history of fort architecture. Its commanding situation, with its awesomely huge walls and trap gates, makes it a unique part of the cultural heritage.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...