Sunday, December 28, 2008

UNESCO Heritage Sites

Living in Kurdistan... or anywhere in Iraq is difficult. One of the things that make it difficult for me (because I live in a relatively safe place with a good job etc etc) is not so much fear... or even boredom, but rather the tauntings of fabulous historic places which cannot be visited. Recently, I had been poring over a little Iraqi guidebook (produced by Iraq When Saddam was a "glorious" field marshall, when I came across beautiful photos of a place called Hatra - a UNESCO World heritage Site - which used to be the capital of the first Roman Empire. I then found out that, while probably only about an hour from Erbil, I cannot go there as it is in Ninevah (near Mosul close to the Syrian border). Not good!
So while in Germany, I decided if I couldn't visit the site I really wanted to visit... I would visit a different World Heritage site - Bamberg. It's history and architecture are as old as the rest of Germany - an important link with the Slavs in the 1100s, it prospered and later became a center of enlightenment in Southern Germany; but what really sets it apart is that is isn't reconstructed from the original stones (like much of the region), it was undamaged by the world wars. Fuzzy pictures taken at dusk:

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