From The Pyramids to Pompeii
Take a virtual tour of some of the most recognized and popular cultural heritage sites in the world. No need to pack a bag!
1. The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples and pyramids. In ancient times, the site was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
2. Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, 79 CE, Italy
The impressive remains of the towns of Pompei and Herculaneum and their associated villas, buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, provide a complete and vivid picture of society and daily life at a specific moment in the past that is without parallel anywhere in the world.
3. Borobudur Temple, 9th century CE, Indonesia
This famous Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, is located in central Java. It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 m2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha. The monument was restored with UNESCO's help in the 1970s.
4. Angkor Wat, 12th century CE, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. It was originally founded as a Hindu capital for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.
5. Taj Mahal, 1648, India
An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.
6. Palace and Gardens of Versailles, 1682, France
Listed for the past 30 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palace of Versailles constitutes one of the finest achievements of French art of the 17th century. The former hunting lodge of Louis XIII was transformed and extended by his son Louis XIV who installed here the Court and the government of France in 1682. Up until the French Revolution, a line of kings succeeded each other, each taking his turn to embellish the Palace, The Hall of Mirrors, the King's Grand Apartments, and the gardens. The Palace of Versailles is one of the most visited cultural sites in the world today.
7. Schönbrunn Palace, 1699, Austria
From the 18th century to 1918, Schönbrunn was the residence of the Habsburg emperors. It was designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi and is full of outstanding examples of decorative art. Together with its gardens, the site of the world’s first zoo in 1752, it is a remarkable Baroque ensemble and a perfect example of Gesamtkunstwerk
8. Robben Island, 17th-20th century, South Africa
Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th century such as the maximum security prison for political prisoners - most notably Nelson Mandela - have borne witness to the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression and racism.