1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die

Overview

Both casual travelers and dedicated history buffs will relish this visitor’s guide to palaces, cathedrals, temples, battlefields, homes of great artists and statesmen—places and monuments that bear witness to thousands of years of human history. Packed with vivid color photos and detailed textual entries 1001 Historic Sites carries its readers off to places that include—

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Overview

Both casual travelers and dedicated history buffs will relish this visitor’s guide to palaces, cathedrals, temples, battlefields, homes of great artists and statesmen—places and monuments that bear witness to thousands of years of human history. Packed with vivid color photos and detailed textual entries 1001 Historic Sites carries its readers off to places that include—

  • Prehistoric Sites: Stonehenge, England; the Lescaux Cave Paintings, France, and others
  • Battlefields: Waterloo, Belgium; Gettysburg, U.S.A.; Hastings, England; Ypres, Belgium, and others
  • Buildings and Monuments: St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow; Nishi Hogan-Ji (Buddhist temple), Kyoto, Japan; St. Paul’s Cathedral, London; the Eiffel Tower, Paris; the Empire State Building, New York City; the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy; the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem; the Pyramids, Egypt; and many others
  • Homes of the Famous and Infamous: Mozart’s Birthplace, Salzburg, Austria; Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, England; Jane Austen’s home, Chawton, England; Hitler’s retreat at Berchtesgaden, near Munich, Germany; and many others

    1001 Historic Sites makes a great book for browsing, an idea-packed source for vacation planning, a handy reference volume for students of history, and a sheer pleasure for the general reader.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this thick travel guide, Cavendish, a veteran travel writer and columnist for History Today magazine, assigns readers enough must-see agendas to fill several lifetimes. Well-organized by region and graced with thorough historical descriptions of each locale, this volume's impressive range incorporates everything from typical tourist destinations like Westminster Abbey, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China, as well as unusual spots like the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Guinness Brewery in Dublin, and the Mercedes-Benz Factory in Stuttgart, Germany. What's missing is the information a tourist would need actually to visit these sites: directions, hours of operation, and other handy tips are overlooked. Probably too heavy handed for a casual tourist, this guide would be most useful for the experienced traveler or history buff.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

This is the latest entry in the publisher's "Must See Before You Die" series, with previous titles having covered such varied topics as movies, gardens, and natural wonders. Hefty but compact, the tome is organized according to five broad geographical regions: the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. After that, things get dicey, as entries appear to be placed at random. To compensate, an "Index of Historic Sites" appears at the very front, with nations listed alphabetically and each nation including its own alphabetized roster of entries. Human-made structures, e.g., buildings, bridges, monuments, and the like, are emphasized. The sumptuous color photographs are accompanied by three to four paragraphs of text describing the particulars of location and construction and a brief history, often with surprising or ironic tidbits. For instance, the notorious Kilmainham Jail in Dublin, aka "the Irish Bastille," was ordered built in the 1790s by one Sir Edward Newenham. This being the era of debtors' prison, the hapless politician was incarcerated within the walls of his own creation shortly thereafter for not paying his bills. Enlivening the book is a certain literary air: snippets of poetry and quotations from belles-lettres immortalizing an architectural gem are frequently presented as call-outs, as in "Yet I remember...the deep midnight, the Bridge of Sighs, the beauty of woman" (Edgar Allan Poe, The Assignation, 1834), which appears in the entry for this famed span in Venice, Italy.
—Michael F. Bemis

From the Publisher

From the Kirkus Reviews Feature interview with Richard Cavendish:

It begins in Dawson

City, a small town

in Canada that

birthed the Klondike

Gold Rush. It ends

with the imposing

stone heads that dominate

Easter Island's

Rapa Nui National

Park. In between, armchair explorers will

find almost 1,000 pages of stunning photographs

and evocative thumbnail sketches of

the world's greatest historical sites.

"It was

absolutely desperate," says historian Richard

Cavendish of his daunting commission to

choose the attractions that would make the

cut.

"When I drew up the original contents list

and set off cheerfully on this job, I realized

that 1,001 places is a hell of a lot of places

when you're trying to write them all down.

We tried to spread them all around the world

to the extent that we could and tried

to make them as varied as possible so they

weren't all stately homes and churches."

Many of the sites correspond to UNESCO's

851 World Heritage Sites, and the book

earned a preface and high praise from Koïchiro

Matsuura, the organization's director

general.

It's a doorstop-sized volume, but

one Cavendish hopes will prove a valuable

resource to travelers around the globe.

"This

isn't a book that anyone will sit down and

read from start to finish," he says. " I think it's

a book that you dip into from time to time

when it's nice to look at a few more entries.

The ideal outcome is that someone reads an

entry and thinks, 'Gosh, that's somewhere

that I would really like to see for myself. ' "

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2008

"Here's a vacation challenge: Visit as many historical sites as you can. If you can't get there by train, plane or boat, let your fingers do the walking through the 960 pages of this colorful, insightful book."

—Carol Parker, The Tampa Tribune, March 23, 2008

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594200505
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 960
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 2.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Richard Cavendish is an authority on Britain's historic heritage and a regular columnist in the British magazine History Today. As both author and editor, he has contributed to many travelers' guidebooks.

Koichiro Matsuura is Director-General of UNESCO.

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