The 2011 National Historic Landmark Photo contest winners

The National Park Service has announced the winners of their 2011 National Historic Landmark photo contest, honoring 13 amazing images from some of the most iconic historical locations in the U.S.

The winning image was shot by Eric Vondy of Phoenix, Arizona who took his photo at the Pecos National Historic Park in New Mexico. The photo, which is shown here, captures the Pecos Mission Church, which dates back to 17th century Spanish colonies that were established throughout the region. The photograph also serves as a great reminder that America’s history extends back to well before the country was officially founded. Twelve other images were awarded “Honorable Mention” status for capturing such important places as Valley Forge, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and Abraham Lincoln’s Home.

National Historic Landmarks are sites across the United States that have been designated as being particularly important to the history of the country. Roughly 2500 sites, including buildings, objects, structures, or locations, have been given this special distinction by the Secretary of the Interior for their importance on a local, state, or national level. Chances are, no matter where you are in the U.S., you’ll find one of these landmarks is not far away.

To review all of the finalists in this year’s photo contest, check out the National Park Service‘s official Flickr page. You’ll not only find some great photos, but some amazing destinations to visit yourself.

[Photo credit: Eric Vondy]