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World Heritage Sites II: 12 More of the World’s Greatest Places

Travel the world as you discover more of the most unforgettable works of architecture, archaeological ruins, feats of engineering, masterworks of art, and the greatest natural wonders of our planet.
World Heritage Sites II: 12 More of the World’s Greatest Places is rated 3.3 out of 5 by 9.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing. The first series was much better, closer to being unassuming and natural. This one is assuming (and we all know about the word “assume” - which is not a flattering position) - this one went straight to the exaggeration of that all too familiarity lately of things directed “at” someone with implications of superior knowledge of personal things and attempting to psychologically and scientifically justify supporting and even being a part of cruel and heartless things.
Date published: 2024-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More, please!! I've watched both of Professor Jacobs's courses on World Heritage Sites and have enjoyed them exceedingly, finding the balance of history, sociology, geography, and "touring" compelling and fascinating. Would love to see another course on more places; I may never visit any of these but am so glad to be an armchair traveler, and learner, through Professor Jacobs's presentations.
Date published: 2024-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from enjoyable course I've done both of his courses now and they are excellent. Jacobs is an excellent lecturer with a pleasant voice and articulation. I would suggest even more photos and a more in-depth guidebook rather than just "fast facts."
Date published: 2024-06-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from nil We haven' received it yet so it is hard to do a review
Date published: 2024-06-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Introduction to Very Interesting Places I enjoyed learning about the cultures, histories and physical characteristics of some wonderful places. The course inspired me to find out more about many of these interesting sites.
Date published: 2024-06-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from AAA Baseball vs Major League Good, but as the title implies, these places were not good enough to be in the Major Leagues
Date published: 2024-05-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Far better than #1 This was far better than #1 which in iself is a big plus. Of course more pictures, even stills would be welcome, and Jacobs voices does tend to drone on...still it was enjoyable and well done.
Date published: 2024-05-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from what a disappointment Expecting video adventures with commentary like so many other Wondrium courses instead, we get staid pictures and video of the speaker discussing the pictures. This is not up to Wondrium's general presentation standards. I am very disappointed.
Date published: 2024-05-09
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Overview

UNESCO continues to bring attention to World Heritage sites across our planet—places that hold global significance for all of humankind. This course visits treasures of human genius and nature, such as: the legendary Great Wall(s) of China, the Norwegian Fjords, India’s astonishing Himalayan Railways, sacred Bagan of Myanmar, splendorous Samarra of Iraq, and Brazil’s Futurist Capital: Brasília, and so much more.

About

Justin M. Jacobs

I've spent my life studying places that help tell us what it is to be human, where we have come from, and where we're going.

INSTITUTION

American University

Justin M. Jacobs is a Professor of History at American University. He earned a PhD in History from the University of California, San Diego. At American University, he teaches courses on Chinese and Japanese history, the Silk Road, and voyages of exploration. He is the author of The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures; Xinjiang and the Modern Chinese State; and Plunder? How Museums Got Their Treasures. He has also written for major newspapers such as The Washington Post.

By This Professor

World Heritage Sites II: 12 More of the World’s Greatest Places
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World Heritage Sites: Exploring the World’s Greatest Places
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World Heritage Sites II: 12 More of the World’s Greatest Places

Trailer

Ethiopia’s Rock-Hewn Churches

01: Ethiopia’s Rock-Hewn Churches

Begin the course with the astonishing churches of Lalibela, carved entirely from a single mass of volcanic rock. Trace the fascinating story of how Christianity was introduced in Ethiopia, and the traditions of stone carving that produced the rock-hewn churches. Travel the site of the 11 churches, and marvel at their elaborate architecture and the superlative artwork that adorns them.

32 min
The West Norwegian Fjords

02: The West Norwegian Fjords

Norway’s fjords, waterways within massive fissures in the country’s coastal mountains, are renowned throughout the world for their dramatic scenery. Explore the geography and geology of the fjords, and their vital role in Norway’s history, in commerce and transport. Experience the sublime natural beauty of the Sognefjord, the Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, and their distinct landscapes.

30 min
The Great Wall(s) of China

03: The Great Wall(s) of China

Discover that the “Great Wall of China” is in fact a series of discontinuous walls, built across different centuries and routes. Learn about the earliest of the walls, and the geopolitical reasons for building them. Then focus on the iconic walls of the Ming Dynasty, so famous today. Study their structural features, the areas where they were built, and how the walls were manned and defended.

30 min
Mountain Railways of India

04: Mountain Railways of India

Travel to the Indian Himalayas, on some of the world’s most unusual railways. Learn how British colonial railways were built for travel to “hill stations,” away from the lowland’s sweltering heat. Learn about the engineering feats that allowed the trains to scale the steep mountains. Visit the Darjeeling, Shimla, and “Ooty” railways, all with breathtaking views, which still use 19th- and early 20th-century railroad technology.

30 min
Old Havana, Heart of Cuba’s Capital

05: Old Havana, Heart of Cuba’s Capital

Relive the history of this storied New World port, from its founding in 1519 to the 20th century, and get to know the grand plazas, avenues, and sumptuous buildings that make Old Havana an architectural treasure trove. Take in its four defensive forts; the Plaza de Armas; Malecón boulevard; and the colonial mansions, churches, and municipal edifices, which enchant visitors from around the world.

30 min
Bagan, Sacred Landscape of Myanmar

06: Bagan, Sacred Landscape of Myanmar

On the plains of central Myanmar lie the remains of the mighty Bagan Empire, a landscape containing nearly 3,000 Buddhist temples, stupas, and monasteries. Trace the history of Bagan, and its royal tradition of religious monument building. View the superb architecture of the Thatbyinnyu, Ananda, and Shwezigon temples, and others, which comprise one of the most remarkable sights of Southeast Asia.

31 min
Samarra of Iraq and the Abbasid Caliphate

07: Samarra of Iraq and the Abbasid Caliphate

The desert city of Samarra contains the architectural blueprint for the Muslim imperial world. Take the measure of the powerful Abbasid caliphs that ruled in Baghdad, later building Samarra in AD 836 as a showcase city. Explore the remains of the ornate Dar al-Khalifa palace, the luxurious pleasure gardens and waterworks, Abbasid decorative arts, and magnificent mosques that adorn the site.

29 min
China’s Holy Peaks at Mounts Tai and Emei

08: China’s Holy Peaks at Mounts Tai and Emei

Delve into the Chinese tradition of religious pilgrimage on two of its most sacred mountains. First visit Mount Tai, and trace the pilgrims’ route to the top, past auspicious temples, shrines, and inscriptions. Then travel Mount Emei, China’s most important Buddhist mountain. Follow the path to the temples of the Golden Summit, and take in the cliffs, grottoes, and superlative views along the way.

29 min
Japan’s Himeji, the White Heron Castle

09: Japan’s Himeji, the White Heron Castle

Learn about the political and military culture of Japan under the Shoguns that gave rise to castle-building. Track the events that led to the construction of the great Himeji castle, and tour the structure, from the courtyards and watchtowers to the superb six-story keep. Investigate the corridors, switchbacks, and other ingenious features of the edifice designed to confuse and repel intruders.

29 min
Mesa Verde of the American Southwest

10: Mesa Verde of the American Southwest

The rugged Colorado Plateau is home to the astonishing Cliff Palace. Uncover the culture of the Ancestral Puebloans, and their developing architectural forms of pit and stone houses. Study the features of their spectacular cliff dwellings and their courtyard complexes, rooftop plazas, and soaring towers. View the ornate pottery and enigmatic paintings that suggest evidence of religious rituals.

30 min
Brasília, Brazil’s Modernist Capital

11: Brasília, Brazil’s Modernist Capital

In Brazil’s newly commissioned capital city of the 1950s, grasp the ideology that underlay its building, a utopian vision of a city designed to humanely serve all its citizens. Tour the city’s Residential Axis, featuring greenery, parks, and plazas, and its Monumental Axis, with its striking municipal and public buildings. Assess the successes of the project versus its inevitable challenges.

32 min
The Philippine Rice Terraces

12: The Philippine Rice Terraces

Perched on steep mountainsides, the emerald green payohs (rice fields) of the Philippines are stunningly beautiful. Grasp how the development of the rice terraces was connected to Spanish domination of the islands. Learn about the complex techniques of constructing and tending the rice terraces, as they represent a perfect marriage of sophisticated agriculture and landscape engineering.

35 min