Traveling with OWHC Scholarship was such a great experience! When you are documenting your travels, you get deeper insights and you get to know the destination very well. It was interesting to learn more about UNESCO and to compare how it is lived or present in different countries.

Anyways, there are much more cultural heritage sites in Europe than in the US – even if it is a large country. Of course, you find more natural heritage sites like the bigger national parks, but cultural sites are rare. That makes the work of institutions like the Philadelphia Global Association even more important. It feels like US-American people are not so aware of UNESCO and I think it is important to raise this awareness, also in combination with the SDG and sustainability in general. While in Regensburg or Bamberg (almost) the whole old town is part of UNESCO, the American metropolises only have single UNESCO sites. The Bavarian cities promote themselves as UNESCO tourist cities, while this promotion doesn’t even exist in the US. However, every city had an important impact for the citizens, either it is the independence of a whole nation or a gardening culture that influenced the people and their way of living a lot. All those historical and cultural facts have an impact for our future. We do have to preserve our democracy and liberty that people fought for hundred years ago. We do have to protect our planet, get back to urban and local gardening and create liveable cities. We do have to be aware of what UNESCO means: UNESCO engages people everywhere to foster understanding and respect for each other and our planet – and especially in times of war, uncertainty and climate change, this awareness is valuable!

Thanks OWHC for this great experience! It was an honor to have the liberty to create my liberty ID.


#6: Boston

September 02-06, 2022

After taking the Flixbus from NYC for about 5 hours (my longest bus ride during my travels), I arrived in Boston – my final stop. NYC was great but took a lot of energy. That’s why I didn’t feel so good and did not visit everything I wanted to see in Boston – but what I experienced was very nice.

The city is best known for Harvard University and MIT. However, Boston also has a lot to offer culturally and historically. The Boston Tea Party and the Freedom Trail come to mind. As the largest and probably most expensive city in New England (and the US), the architecture of the city is very influenced by Europe (makes sense of course regarding the European settlers).

It was super sad that I didn’t get to see a lot… But since the weather got pretty bad at the end, saying goodbye was not so hard. One day I would love to come back and make up for what I missed in Boston…


#5: New York City

August 25 – September 01, 2022

New York was impressive. All those impressions had to be processed first. That’s why it took me while to publish this post….


NYC. Big apple. The city that never sleeps. This city has many names and stereotypes. I think everyone associates New York City or even the USA with the Statue of Liberty, but probably not everyone knows that it is part of UNESCO. So here’s a little explanation: The US Declaration of Independence was signed in Philly but honored 100 years later with the Statue of Liberty in NYC. As a symbol of the migration of people from many countries into the US in the 19th & 20th century, the statue represents different values such as liberty, human rights or the abolition of slavery. On a trip with the Staten Island ferry you can admire the landmark and even look at the whole skyline from the water.

The second UNESCO sight is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and its impressing view of the rotunda and skylight from the ground floor. As it is part of the 20th century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wrightthe museum in New York has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List besides eight other major works. During my visit, I was not only able to view the overworldly building, but also an exhibition of Vasily Kandinsky and other exciting artists.

The city that never sleeps is extremely exciting but can also become tiring. That’s why I looked for some green spots: Compared to Bamberg, one cannot speak of a garden culture here. Many European parks, such as those in London or Paris, served as models for the Central Park. The Highline Park was created by converting an elevated railway line and enhances the district through urban greening. Both examples were constructed artificially but serve people as recreation in the big urban jungle. I have found some other green spots like Little Island, Bryant Park or Hudson River Park but I never escaped the crowds. I guess, that’s what living in a city of 8 million people must be like…




Many people. Many possibilities. There are so many things to discover in New York. I can’t even list everything I’ve experienced here. It’s best if I give a few examples: I figured out it is definitley worth visiting a broadway musical – we went to Moulin Rouge and even if I am not really into musicals, I enjoyed it a lot! You know the Brooklyn Bridge from various Instagram pictures and it is indeed very impressive in live. There are so many tall buildings and view points to look at the skyline. I ended up choosing Rockafeller Center. No matter if you stand in front of the huge buildings or look down on them: It is breathtaking. You simply have to see this city. It has always been a dream for me to visit the city that never sleeps.


Thanks to OWHC for making dreams come true!

#4: Philadelphia

August 22-25, 2022

When I told my friends that I was flying to Philadelphia, most of them didn’t immediately know what to associate with the city. To be honest, I didn’t know much more about Philly either, except that Independence Hall is located there and that I had a great-aunt in New Jersey. But: this city is definitely underestimated!


First of all: Why is Philly a UNESCO City? As already teased in the post about Washington, Philly is actually the city of the American Declaration of Independence. It was signed in the Independence Hall on 4th of July 1776. Liberty Bell is the name of the bell that was rung when the American Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time in Independence Square in Philadelphia. Both landmarks can be found in the city’s Historic District. There are not many UNESCO cultural sites in the USA, more natural world heritage ones. In Philly, however, American independence was declared. That makes the city doubly exciting. To represent UNESCO even more in the US, there is an important institution: The GPA….


… My highlight was the meeting with Zabeth from the Philadelphia Global Association (GPA) (connected by Moni in Regensburg). This non-profit organization was also created to assist international cooperations, to promote the development of an international consciousness within the region and to enhance the region’s global profile. Zabeth and her colleagues Andrew and Sylta showed me around and welcomed me so warmly! First we’ve been to an offical flag raising in front of the city hall and in terms of the 31th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. We also met Sheila there who gave a speech as city representative. This event was really emotionally and I was luckily part of it! Many Ukrainien people wore their traditional dresses.

Afterwards I’ve been introduced to a really impressing project. Philadelphia is the first US city to launch a campaign to promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In cooperation with many other partners, Global Philadelphia Association places murals all over the city to raise SDG awareness and they make the city even more colourful than it already is. Those art works are painted on canvasses so they are “movable”, which is pretty smart. The vision of the SDG Mural Project is that the murals become part of the city and the day-to-day life in Philly. Each SDG is accomponied by a research project by outstanding scholars at the top local universities. With the help of the SDG Public Art Project Map (& Anderw) I found two of the art works and I really love the idea of this project. I think it’s important to raise awareness of the SDGs, especially in the US, and the project connects different actors, which makes for a great symbiosis.

Picture 1&2 – SDG Gender Equality
Picture 3 – SDG Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions (a portait of Thurgood Marshall, the first Afro-American judge on the US Supreme Court)

Besides the project, there is a lot (street) art in this city. I’m very impressed by Philadelphia’s creativity and vibe. I feel there is so much diversity in this city. Either you find it along the Cherry Street Pier with many different art galleries, the Queen village or in the Italian District. Furthermore, you’ll find interesting and historical facts on information boards places across the city. I really enjoyed my stay in Philly and would be happy to come back one day. Pictures speak louder than words at this point.



#3: Washington D.C.

August 19-22, 2022

I left Regensburg last Friday and headed up to Washington D.C., where my US trip began. My flight from Munich was easy and the jetlag not as bad as expected. So I had enough energy to do some sightseeing on my first weekend in the United States.

A big plus in Washington is that all the museums in front of the Capitol are for free! What a pleasure! As a big fan of modern art I visited the Hirshhorn Museum and its beautiful sculputure garden. One highlight was the wish tree in front of the building by Yoko Ono. Furthermore, the museum hosted a nice exhibition of the well-known and Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama. This impressing lady worked primarily in sculpture and installation and it was such a nice experience to see her work. Afterwards, I went to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History which was pretty crowded but worth the visit.

Before I left to Philly on Monday, I had the chance to visit the US Capitol. The guided tours there are also for free but you had to book a timeslot before the visit. The US Capitol is the national stage of the United States and the place where the country finds its common ground. Within the Congress American people are represented and even during the Revolutionary War the building continued to be built to make a statement of hope. This building is one of the landmarks of Washington D.C. and a symbol for the American democracy. Even if it is not a world heritage sight, it counts as a National Historic Landmark. The tour was really interesting and a great insight into the American history. The rotunda is the center of the building and the place where the dome can be found. There is also a painting showing the signing of the American Declaration of Independence which introduces my visit to the city, where it was signed: Philadelphia! (to be continued…)


#2: Regensburg

August 15-18, 2022

Not only Bamberg is compared to Italy. Regensburg is called “the northest town of Italy” – and when you stroll through the city on a summer night, you won’t disagree. Small beautiful streets, many restaurants, bars and a little bit of Dolce Vita. Fortunately the gorgeous old town wasn’t destroyed so much by World War II.


In 2006 the Old Town with  “Stadtamhof” (the district across the Danube) and its 1500 monumental buildings were added to the UNESCO List. Since last year, Regensburg even has its second World Heritage title. It is part of the Donaulimes which marks the part of the Roman military border along the Danube.
Anyways, the UNESCO title is very important for the sustainable development of the city. It not only serves to preserve the Roman-influenced old town, but also makes it attractive and worth living in. With a population of around 160.000, Regensburg is also a successful business location.


The Danube, as second longest river in Europe, divides the old town and “Stadtamhof”, while the Stone Bridge connects both areas. Before crossing the Stone Bridge, don’t forget to visit the World Heritage Center. It is located in the monumental building “Salzstadel” which has been the center of salt trade in the 17th century. (If you’re hungry afterwards, get a “Kipferl” next to the Salzstadel at the historic Wurstkuchl.)
With being opened as one of the first world heritage centers in Europe in 2011, it just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Therefore an interesting book was published that highlights the museum in a interdisciplinary kind of way. In cooperation with the FH Johanneum Graz, which has also been involved in the concept of the center, it highlights the trends towards world heritage transfer. Additionally the book is accompanied by an exciting exhibition designed by Elisa Wünschter. The young Austrian talent interviewed and focused on people in Regensburg and their thoughts regarding the history, present and future of Regensburg. This exhibition is definitely worth a visit!

A place I call home: Since I came back for this summer, I realized how many creative (and young) people are living in this historical city. I felt lots of energy and a vibrant creative and culture scene. It certainly won’t be boring in Regensburg!

#1: Bamberg

August 14, 2022

Accompanied by my flatmate, I started the first part of my journey last weekend: Bamberg. Almost 30 years ago (in 1993) the Old Town of Bamberg was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. With a total of 142 hectares, three parts of the old town are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the City on the hills (Bergstadt), the Island District (Inselstadt) and the Market Gardeners’ District (Gartenstadt). Beforehand, I talked to the team of the World Heritage Coordination in Bamberg and realised that I was particularly interested in the Market Gardeners’ District…



Urban Gardening has been practised in Bamberg since the Middle Ages and the Market Gardeners’ District forms an important contrast to the otherwise densely built-up Bamberg.

Our first stop was the Market Gardeners’ and Wine-Growers’ Museum, which was redesigned in 2012 by the city of Bamberg and the Urban Gardening project. The museum shows a 19th century market gardener’s house and behind the building you find the historic house garden with regional vegetables, fruit and herbs. For example, a special type of potato is grown there (the “Bamberger Hörnle“). Furthermore, the Bamberg region is the only liquorice growing area north of the Alps.


Not only the inner-city areas are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 2016, the gardening customs, including the culture and people, are part of the intangible cultural heritage. I find this fact particularly exciting, as the trend towards regional and organic grocery shopping is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, of course, it is not only the material cultural heritage that needs to be protected, but also the culture itself. At the same time, however, there are fewer and fewer gardening businesses in Bamberg. The areas are protected by UNESCO and cannot be operated commercially. That is why ideas for alternative agriculture/ gardening and innovative projects are becoming increasingly important. The farms cannot only follow their tradition, but have to go with the changing times. On the one hand, this is a huge challenge for the farms, but at the same time it is important in order to live the sustainability idea of UNESCO.


The Bamberg World Heritage Centre is located directly on the River Regnitz. The exhibition space has a very modern design and explains the UNESCO title in a very interactive kind of way.  In the same building the Bamberg World Heritage Office can be found, which was founded in 2005 and serves as the central coordination body for all issues concerning the World Heritage site.


After the two museums, we strolled a bit through the old town. The island city is also called Little Venice and is really pretty to look at. This district is characterised by half-timbered buildings and by – again – tiny, pretty gardens. The cathedral and the rose garden should not be forgotten either. After all: urban gardening culture is a thing in Bamberg! 


The World Heritage Site in Bamberg is also an important place of learning, or rather a source of knowledge, for young people. Hopefully, the students of the Master’s programme “Monument/Historical Preservation” (Denkmalpflege) will share their knowledge with our world to preserve places like the beautiful Franconian Bamberg.


INTRO: Liberty ID

Hello guys and thanks for reading this blog! I’m Verena, born in Regensburg and I’m luckily among the 9 travellers of the OWHC Young Travelling Scholarship. First a short introduction to my trip with the most important facts:


Especially the younger European/Western generation, to which I belong, has grown up with the self-image of peace and freedom. Interrail, Erasmus, a year abroad. I luckily already had the chance and pleasure to make use of these valuable privileges. The title of my journey is based on the privilege of my freedom to travel. My “Liberty ID” accompanies me from my Bavarian home, across the Atlantic to the United States of America. Therefore, I have designed a stamp for each of the 4 UNESCO cities I am visiting.


In total, I am travelling to 6 cities (including 4 UNESCO World Heritage cities). I start in Germany in mid-August and write about the Bavarian cities of Bamberg and Regensburg. Afterwards, I will fly to the east coast of the USA: from Washington via Philadelphia and New York City to Boston. The focus will be on NYC and Philly as UNESCO cities.



Overall, I would like to make a comparison between the two small German towns and the large American metropolises. Why do these cities belong to UNESCO? What are the historical key facts and how is UNESCO lived there today? What does World Heritage mean for young people? And in the end, can we identify more similarities or differences between the two countries?

Since I have always been enthusiastic about art, this theme will also accompany my journey – it will be colourful and certainly exciting. Stay tuned!