14 September 2010

Response to 1.b.

Though World Heritage sites can be naturally occurring, most of them are man-made, and referred to as Cultural Heritage sites. These specific sites are designated with such distinction not based on aesthetics alone, but also because of the importance of the history surrounding the site, it's influence on ancient and modern life, and it's universal applicability, that is, how it influences cultures from all regions of the world.

One site I wish to focus on is the Historic Centre of Siena. The gothic architecture is not only fascinating to me, but also had substantial influence on architecture and art throughout Europe. The Piazza del Campo looks to be a fascinating centre, and the Cathedral of Siena is a stunning Roman Catholic church.

A second site of importance are the Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia. These burial sites are not only some of the earliest known burial grounds in the northern Mediterranean civilization, but they also display large wall paintings that reveal aspects of life, death and religion in ancient Etruscan culture. The universal impact of this site is for the uniqueness of the tombs, which are unlike any other in design and structure. Also, burial sites have long been of importance to humankind, and a great deal of cultural knowledge can come from studying the grave sites of any civilization.

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