Classification of attractions and landmarks
Kinds of classification
Wondermondo has classified the extremely diverse array of landmarks of the world in several ways:
- Categories - classification by the characteristics and origin of landmarks. Currently Wondermondo divides landmarks in three large groups with 119 categories.
- Values - classification by the values which make the landmark unique. Below are outlined nine such values.
- Location - classification by the geographical location of landmarks. Described in the section Countries.
- Rank - classification by the uniqueness and popularity of landmarks. Described in the section Maps.
Each of the landmarks listed by Wondermondo excels due to certain values. Some are exceptional due to unique art values, others - due to specific importance to science, but some - due to unexplained mysteries linked with them.
In this site there have been identified the following values of landmarks:
Pont du Gard aqueduct, France.
ignis, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0
- Geology - landmark provides unique knowledge about the geological formation and history of Earth;
- Biology - landmark provides unique knowledge about the organisms, life in general and the history of the development of life;
- Meteorology - landmark provides unique knowledge about the climate of Earth and/or represents unusual climatic and atmospheric phenomena;
- Archaeology - through the findings in this landmark there has been obtained unique knowledge about the past of humanity;
- Architecture - landmark represents unique achievement in the design of structures;
- History - landmark is linked to important historical events or has provided unique historical knowledge;
- Art - landmark contains unique artworks;
- Visual - landmark represents exceptionally impressive or unusual sight;
- Unexplained - landmark is captivating due to unexplained mysteries.
Wondermondo hates classification and categorization. World is too beautiful and too diverse and it is interesting just because it can not be fully comprehended. Who has heard about the classification of wonders?
Morning Glory, Queensland. Definitely a wonder - but in which category it belongs?
Wikimedia Commons by Mick Petroff, 11 August 2009, CC-BY-SA-3.0
But the enormous number of wonders without any classification would lead to chaotic congregation of information. And there is little sense for information if it can not be found. Thus Wondermondo offers own system of classification.
Categorisation of the wonders of the world is complex issue as there many ways making these wonders amazing and unique. It is not possible to categorise them solely by their genesis, outer looks or by their use.
Throughout many years of work (already before the creation of this website) Wondermondo has created a list of the categories of world's landmarks and attractions. Currently it includes 119 categories in 4 levels (see the list of categories here). It is not complete so far and will be updated upon the necessity.
Many landmarks of the world fit into several categories. One principle though has remained strict - every valuable monument of the world would fit at least into one of these categories.
Geological and meteorological landmarks
Value of these landmarks is defined by geological, meteorological and astronomical phenomena.
- Impact craters - detectable scars on the surface of Earth left by a body coming from the outer space. Category includes also meteorites - natural objects from the outer space.
- Sites of meteorological phenomena - locations with unusual meteorological conditions or phenomenona.
- Volcanoes - most interesting volcanoes - openings or ruptures in the Earth's crust, where hot magma and/or gases are (or were) emitted.
- Rock formations - visually and / or scientifically interesting natural rock surfaces. Includes cliffs, gorges, rock stacks, natural arches, monoliths and many other kinds of rock outcrops.
- Caves - natural underground spaces which are large enough for human to enter.
- Springs - natural sites where water, other liquids and/or gases reach the surface of the Earth, including locations under water.
- Waterfalls - locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.
- Rare natural materials - locations, where are found rare minerals, rocks and other substances. Category includes finds of unique gemstones.
- Geographical extremes - geographical landmarks with extreme parameters, e.g. world's tallest cliff, windiest place.
The value of these landmarks is created by any of life forms on Earth - except for man made landmarks.
- Ecosystems - areas with unique, uniform environmental conditions and specific communities of life.
- Trees - the most impressive and interesting separate trees of the the world.
- Fossil finds - locations where are found remains or traces of life forms of outstanding value for science. Includes subcategory for finds of early hominids and humans.
- Biological extremes - biological landmarks with extreme parameters, e.g. world's tallest tree, northernmost forest.
Man made landmarks
The value of these landmarks has been created by man. Major part of these landmarks are tangible (buildings, earthworks, artworks), but sites of legends form a part of intangible heritage.
- Settlements - locations where permanently or temporary on a regular basis lives or lived a community of people.
- Fortifications - structures which have been built for military defence.
- Houses - structures which primarily have been constructed and / or used for human habitation. Category includes also mansions, palaces, multiapartment houses, hotels.
- Religious architecture - structures which have been built for worship and/or which serve for religious purposes.
- Public buildings - structures constructed to provide social services. This category f.e. includes markets, shops, government and educational buildings, hospitals, museums, theatres, observation towers.
- Industrial and infrastructure heritage - structures which are constructed to provide technical and production services. Includes roads, railway stations, telecommunication structures, hydropowerplants, agricultural terraces, mines, factories, scientific infrastructure.
- Parks and gardens - locations where plants are planted according to plan to provide enjoyment and also for scientific research of plant communities.
- Cemeteries - locations where the remains of deceased people are interred.
- Monuments and memorials - structures which have been built to commemorate some person (including mythological persons) or event.
- Cairns and mounds - man made piles of rocks or heaps of earth or debris. Most of these landmarks are archaeological monuments.
- Petroglyphs and rock art - mostly prehistoric man made art on natural materials - mostly on rock surfaces and stones, but sometimes also on living trees. Includes geoglyphs - large figures on flat ground or hill slopes.
- Rock cut architecture and sculptures - outstanding rock cut architecture and large rock cut sculptures. In order to be included in this category landmarks should be made of single piece of natural stone without moving this material from its original place.
- Megaliths - structures made of large stones by ancient cultures, without any mortar or cement. In general this does not include structures built by developed and well expressed cultures like the Romans or Maya but rather the more ancient cultures.
- Sites of legends - folktales which are grounded historically and geographically. This category includes sites with (reportedly) hidden treasure, ghost sites, locations with cryptozoological phenomena.
- Man made extremes - man made landmarks with extreme parameters, e.g. world's tallest building, oldest city.