13 Most Famous World Heritage Sites

The Great Wall – China

Stretching over 21,000 kilometers, the Great Wall of China is one of history’s most impressive architectural feats. It started being built in the 3rd century BC, but constructions carried on all the way up to the 17th century AD.

It was mainly built as fortifications against the invasion of the people from the Eurasian Steppe, but also for border control and tax collection for Silk Road goods. The Great Wall was added to the heritage list in 1987 and receives over 10 million visitors per year.

Fei Yang / Getty Images

Machu Picchu – Peru

Machu Picchu was built in AD 1450 by the Inca Empire and stands 2,430 meters above sea-level. It’s the most visited tourist attraction in Peru receiving nearly 1.5 million people every year.

The city was abandoned by the Incas during the Spanish conquest, and it was only made known to the outside world in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. It was added to the list in 1983 and boasts around 200 structures of religious, astronomical, and ceremonial value.

Jesse Kraft / EyeEm / Getty Images

Stonehenge – England

Built approximately between BC 3,700 and BC 1,600, Stonehenge is one of the most sophisticated prehistoric stone circles in the world. The stones weigh around 25 tons each with a height of roughly 4 meters.

They are a great example of the Bronze Age and Neolithic mortuary practices, being continuously used for over 2,000 years. During the summer solstice, the area is still used as a place of worship, particularly by Neo-Druids. The site receives nearly 1.6 million visitors every year and was added to the list in 1986.

Peter Adams / Getty Images

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