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Magnificent seven; Broaden your horizons with a visit to one of these World Heritage Sites.

1TAJ MAHAL, India. IT is one of the most romantic landmarks in the world - the white marble marvel built for love. The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is widely considered one of the most beautiful places in the world and stands as a symbol of eternal love. More than two million visitors a year flock here, with most tourists visiting in the cooler months of October, November and February. 2PETRA, Jordan. HERE is where big screen archaeologist Indiana Jones and his dad discovered the resting place of the Holy Grail. Petra is a historic city cut from the very rock on which it stands. Al Khazneh, the Treasury building, is the image that most carry away, its columns and carvings emerging from the face of a canyon cliff. Established around the 6th century BC as the capital of the Nabataeans, Petra is an enduring symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited attraction. 3GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, USA. NOTHING prepares you for the scale of the Grand Canyon. Whether you're trekking through it on foot or horseback, or flying over it on a helicopter tour, it's simply grand. For the ultimate high, step out on the Sky Bridge at Grand Canyon West, a glass-bottomed walkway which juts out over 65ft from the canyon wall, with a drop of 3,600ft beneath your feet. The wider Grand Canyon National Park is one of America's oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. 4ABU SIMBEL, Egypt. YOU'VE seen them countless times on TV documentaries. The Abu Simbel temples are carved out of rock in Nubia, where they are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser. The twin temples were constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate victory at the Battle of Kadesh. The complex was relocated block by block to its present site in 1968 to save it from the threat of flooding. Today, thousands of tourists visit the temples daily. 5VENICE, Italy (right). VENICE, the city of mystery and romance. Step out on the pathways which line the maze of canals and you'll be lost in no time. But that's the secret to really discovering the capital of Italy's Venetocorner with grand architecture, pavement cafes and small shops filled with curios, Make time for St Mark's Square, although you'll find the terrace restaurants here absurdly expensive, and the Basilica which is as gorgeous inside as it is impressively decorative on the exterior. A ride on a gondola is high on most wish lists, but you can do it cheaper on the bustling vaporetti water buses. 6GREAT BARRIER REEF, Australia. THIS coastal beauty spot is a natural wonder and home to the world's largest collection of coral reefs. Visitors can find 400 different types of coral there, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. The reef is also home to species such as the dugong (sea cow), the large green turtle and giant clams more than 120 years old. It is one of the seven wonders of the natural world and is larger than the Great Wall of China. It is also the only living thing on Earth visible from space. The marine park stretches more than 1,800 miles and is almost parallel to the Queensland coast. 7BLENHEIM PALACE, UK. BLENHEIM Palace near Oxford was named a World Heritage Site in 1987 for its architectural importance. The design and building of the palace between 1705 and 1722 represented the beginning of a new style of architecture and the romantic landscaped park was designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown and covers more than 2,000 acres. The site was a gift from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory in 1704 over French and Bavarian troops. A jousting tournament takes place from May 4 to May 6 and the Blenheim Palace Flower Show is held in June.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 14, 2013
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