Hahoe and Yandon were built in 14-15 centuries. They are the most typical examples of historic tribal villages in the Republic of Korea. They are protected by forested mountains and are located near the river and agricultural fields and the location itself reflects the distinctive aristocratic Confucian culture of the early stages of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). This location was chosen in order to provide both physical and spiritual saturation of the surrounding landscape. Residences of heads of families, as well as houses of other members of home clans, gazebos, classrooms, schools and groups of one-storey huts with mud walls and thatched roofs - for peasantry – are located here.
The old fortress of Baku has retained the features of different cultures which influenced the development of the city during its long history: the Zoroastrians, Sassanids, Arabs, Persians, Shirvans, Turkish and Russian. The Inner City - Icheri Sheher - has retained the most part of the surrounding vallum dating back to XII century. Remains of even more ancient buildings dating back to VII-VI centuries BC were found at the base of the Maiden Tower (Kiz-Kalasy), which was also built in the XII century. One of the pearls of architecture of Azerbaijan is the Palace of Shirvanshahs (XV century).
Bam is situated in a desert area on the southern tip of Iranian plateau. The foundation of Bam can be dated back to the Achaemenid period (VI-IV centuries BC). The city reached the peak of its development in VII-XI centuries BC due to the location – the city was situated at the crossroads of important trade routes – and production of silk and cotton goods. Life in the oasis was supported by underground irrigation canals (“ropes”), which are said to be the oldest canals in Iran. The citadel of the ancient city Arc-et-Bam is one of the most obvious examples of a fortified medieval town built with local technologies using clay materials ("chineh").
The city of Bukhara, located on the Silk Road, is more than 2 thousand years old. It is the most holistic example of a medieval city in Central Asia, where there has hardly been any change in urban planning. The tomb of Ismail Samani - a masterpiece of Islamic architecture of X century and numerous madrassas of XVII century are of greatest interest.
Palace Square is filled with palaces and temples of the era of Malla kings – Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 windows, the column featuring a bronze statue of Bhupatindra Malla King, etc. Golden Gate is the high point of decorative art of Nepal. It is the entrance to the main yard of the Palace of 55 windows, and it was created by Ranjit Malla King. The palace was built by Yakshi Malla King in 1427 and restored by Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th century.
Vigan was founded in the XVI century and it is one of the best-preserved examples of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture incorporates traditions of such areas as the Philippines and China, as well as Europe. It all has contributed to the local culture and the image of the city which has no analogues anywhere in the Far East and South East Asia.
The city was founded in the XVI century by the Portugal, and had reached its peak in the XVIII century before the British occupied it. It is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions.
Ancient Derbent was located on the northern borders of the Sassanid Persia. The old fortifications built of stone include two walls which run parallel to each other from the sea to the mountains. The city of Derbent was formed between the two walls and has kept its medieval character up till now. It used to be strategically important until the XIX century.
Melaka and Georgetown were developed through trade and cultural exchanges between the East and the West which took place within the Strait of Malacca for over 500 years. The cities were greatly influenced by both Asia and Europe. Government buildings, churches, parks and fortifications of Melaka prove the fact that the history of these cities began in the early XV century during the era of the Malay sultanate and continued in the beginning of XVI century during the early Portuguese and Dutch periods. Residential buildings and shopping area of Georgetown date back to the British period which began at the end of XVIII century. Melaka and Georgetown are a unique example of architectural traditions and urban landscapes which are nowhere else to be found in the countries of East and South-East Asia.
The Kazan Kremlin dates back to the Muslim period of the Golden Horde and the Kazan Khanate. It was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552 and became a stronghold of Orthodoxy in the Volga region. The Kremlin has retained the planning of an ancient Tatar fortress and became an important center of pilgrimage. It includes outstanding historic buildings of XVI-XIX centuries built on the ruins of earlier constructions dating back to X-XVI centuries.
The city is known as Senkadagalapura and happens to be a sacred site for Buddhists. It used to be the last capital of Sinhala kings who patronized the original culture in the city for more than 2.5 thousand years until the conquest of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. A site of pilgrimage “Temple of Buddha`s Tooth” is also found here.
The Old Town of Lijiang, perfectly adapted to the complex topography of this strategically and commercially important place, preserved its authentic historic appearance. Its architecture combines elements from several cultures that had developed together over many centuries. Lijiang also has an ancient complex system of water supply which is still effectively used.
Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of synthesis of architecture and urban planning of Laotian traditions with the principles brought by European colonial authorities in XIX-XX centuries. This unique and exceptionally well-preserved city illustrates the key era of combining these two different cultural traditions.
Macao used to be a prosperous port of strategic importance in the development of world trade. It was ruled by the Portuguese from ХVI century until 1999, when it came under Chinese sovereignty. The historic centre of Macao, its old streets, residential, religious and public buildings in Portuguese and Chinese styles are a unique example of the combination of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences of the East and the West. There are also a fortress and the oldest lighthouse in China. Overall, Macao is a reminder of one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and Western European countries because of competition in international trade.
This place is inexorably associated with the most important historical and political events of Russia. Moscow Kremlin (XIV – XVII) used to be grand-ducal and then royal residence, as well as the religious center since the XIII century. A masterpiece of Russian Orthodox architecture – St. Basil's Cathedral – is located at the Red Square.
Nara was the capital of Japan in 710-784. It prospered and was the source of development of Japanese culture at that time. Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the excavated remains of a large imperial palace give a picture of life in the Japanese capital in VIII century, when radical political and cultural changes took place.
Novgorod, favorably situated on the ancient trade route between Central Asia and Northern Europe, was the first capital of Russia, the center of Orthodox spirituality and Russian architecture in the IX century. Its medieval monuments, churches and monasteries as well as frescoes by Theophanes the Greek (Andrei Rublev's teacher) dating back to the XIV century clearly illustrate the outstanding level of development of architecture.
The palaces and temples at the square are clear examples of Newari architecture which reached its peak during the reign of Malla kings who used to patronize arts. The main attraction of the square is the Royal Palace.
Ping Yao is a uniquely well-preserved example of a traditional Chinese city founded in the XIV century. Its urban development reflects the evolution of architectural styles and town planning of Imperial China over five centuries. The buildings associated with banking are of great interest since Ping Yao used to be the most important center of bank development in the beginning of the XIX-XX centuries.
Ancient Samarkand can be defined as the "crossroads" and "melting pot" of many world cultures. The city was founded in the VII century BC and was called Afrasiab. It experienced the highest rise of development in XIV-XV centuries during the reign of Timurid dynasty. The main attractions of Samarkand are three madrasas at Registan Square, the Great Mosque of Bibi Khanum, a complex of mausoleums of Shahi-Zinda, Gur-Emir Mausoleum and Ulugbek Observatory.
“Venice of the North” with its numerous canals and more than 400 bridges is the result of a great urban project which was started by Peter the Great in 1703. The city happened to be closely associated with the October Revolution of 1917, and was named Leningrad in 1924-991. Its architectural heritage combines such diverse styles as baroque and classicism, what can be seen in the Admiralty, the Winter Palace, the Marble Palace and the Hermitage.
Istanbul was related to major events in the world of politics, religion and art for over two thousand years since it occupied a strategic location on the Bosphorus Strait, between the Balkans and Anatolia, and between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Its masterpieces are the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, the church of Hagia Sophia (VI century) and Suleymaniye Mosque (XVI century). They are now in danger of collapsing due to overcrowding of the city, industrial pollution and uncontrolled urbanization.
From the XIII century to the early XX century Safranbolu used to be a major point on the main caravan trade route (East-West direction). The Old Mosque, Old Bath-houses and madrassas of Suleiman Pasha were built in 1322. During its heyday in the XVII century architecture of Safranbolu influenced the urban development in most parts of the Ottoman Empire.
Borobudur is a Buddhist temple complex of Mahayana Buddhism. Borobudur was built as a huge stupa made in the form of a mandala which happens to be a conceptual design of the universe according to Buddhist ideas. There are 72 small stupas around the central one on the top floor. Each stupa is bell-shaped. There are 504 statues of Buddha and 1460 religious-theme bas-reliefs inside the stupas. Borobudur is a place of pilgrimage and prayers. The monument was completely disassembled and restored under the patronage of UNESCO in 1973-1984.
Ichan-Khala - is the ancient inner city of Khiva oasis protected by 10-meter brick wall. It served as the last stop for caravans before crossing the desert on their way to Iran. Despite the fact that only a small number of old monuments were preserved in the city, it is recognized as a complete and well-preserved complex of the Central Asian Islamic architecture, featuring such prominent monuments as the Juma mosque, mausoleums, madrasas and two magnificent palaces built at the beginning of XIX century by Allakulihan.
The historic town of Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a trading port in South East Asia dating back to the period of XV-XIX centuries. This unique heritage site developed under the influence of local traditions and other cultures.
The city of Hue became the capital of the united Vietnam in 1802. It was the political, cultural and religious center during the era of Nguyen dynasty until 1945. The Huong River (“Flavorous") crossing all parts of the old city - Capital City, the Imperial City , the Forbidden or Purple city and the Inner City - gives special beauty to this unique feudal capital
The mountain residence, the summer palace of Qing Dynasty in Heibei Province, was built between 1703 and 1792. It is a vast complex of palaces and administrative and ceremonial buildings. The temples made in different architectural styles and imperial gardens blend well with the landscape of lakes, meadows and forests. In addition to the aesthetic value, the mountain residence is a rare historic site of the last phase of development of feudal society in China.
Outstanding architectural monuments and ancient blocks of houses are localized in the historic center of Shakhrisabz. They date back to the period of the heyday of the city during the era of Timur and the Timurids in the XIV-XV centuries.
These villages are well known for their houses constructed in the architectural style known as gasshō-zukuri. They are located in the mountainous region which used to be cut off from the rest of the world for a long time in winter. The villages got by cultivation of mulberry trees and raising silkworms. Big houses with abrupt thatched roofs are unique for Japan. Despite the economic changes, the villages of Ogimati, Aynokura and Suganuma are outstanding examples of traditional ways of life, perfectly adapted to the environment and local social and economic
The historic city of Yaroslavl is located at the north-east of Moscow, at the influx of the Kotorosl river into the Volga. It was founded in the eleventh century and later developed into a major commercial center. It is known for its numerous churches of the seventeenth century and for being an outstanding example of urban planning reform undertaken by the order of Catherine the Great in 1763 in Russia. Although the city has retained some remarkable historical buildings till now, it was later rebuilt in the classical style basing on a radial master plan. One of the oldest monasteries of the Upper Volga region dating back to the 16th century – Spassky – is located there as well.