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Culture

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Neues Palace Potsdam, Germany

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.When Egypt built the Aswan Dam it would have covered important ancient ruins under the waters of the Lake Nasser. It took an international effort to have those sites removed piece by piece and relocated to the safety of other locations or museums. From this situation arose the concept of creating a movement to prevent other important historical sites of humanity from being lost forever.World Heritage Sites fall under two classications, cultural or natural. Each need to meet certain criteria to become a World Heritage Site. Cultural sites are usually associated with a recorded history of the human race. It may be buildings, masterpieces of art, historical remnants of  past civilizations and human achievements presently in existence. Natural sites are places of natural phenomena or traces of natural events that record earths natural history and evolving process.

Sites must have some qualifying criteria to be nominated and inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

I. To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;

II. o exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

III. To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;

IV. To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;

V. To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;

VI. To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;

VII. To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;

VIII. o be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;

IX. To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Today over 186 United Nation member countries and 4 non-members support the convention concerning the protection of world cultural and natural heritage. Since its beginning in 1972 the World Heritage list has grown to 1154 properties in 167 countries or states. 422 of those sites are located in Europe and Italy has the more sites than any other country in the world with 58.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites…

Venice’s San Marcos Cathedral and the Doges Palace.

European Sites listed by Country

🇦🇩 Andorra

Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley ( 2004 Cultural)

🇨🇾 Cyprus

Paphos (1980 Cultural)
Choirokoitia (Cultural)
Painted Churches in the Troodos Region (Cultural)

🇪🇪 Estonia

Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn  (Cultural)
Struve Geodetic Arc  ( 2005 Cultural)

🇫🇷 France

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay  (Cultural)
Chartres Cathedral  (Cultural)
Palace and Park of Versailles  (Cultural)
Vézelay, Church and Hill  (Cultural)
Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley (1979 Cultural)
Palace and Park of Fontainebleau (1981 Cultural)
Amiens Cathedral  (Cultural)
Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange  (Cultural)
Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments  (1981 Cultural)
Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay  (Cultural)
From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt  (1982 Cultural)
Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge  (Cultural)
Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance in Nancy  (Cultural)
Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe (Cultural)
Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve (1983 Natural)
Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct) (Cultural)
Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne (Cultural)
Strasbourg – Grande île (Cultural)
Paris, Banks of the Seine (Cultural)
Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims (Cultural)
Bourges Cathedral (Cultural)
Canal du Midi (Cultural)
Pyrénées – Mont Perdu  (Cultural)
Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France (Cultural)
Historic Site of Lyons  (Cultural)
Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs (Cultural)
Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion  (Cultural)
The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes  (Cultural)
Belfries of Belgium and France  (Cultural)
The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape  (Cultural)
Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret  (Cultural)
Bordeaux, Port of the Moon (Cultural)
Fortifications of Vauban  (Cultural)
Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island Natural France
Episcopal City of Albi  (Cultural)
Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps  ( 2011 Cultural)
Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin (Cultural)
Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars (Cultural)
Climats, terroirs of Burgundy (Cultural)
Strasbourg, Grande-Île and Neustadt  (Cutural)
Cordouan Lighthouse (2021 Cultural)
The Great Spa Towns of Europe (2021 Cultural)
Nice, Winter Resort Town of the Riviera (2021 Cultural)
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe  ( 2021 Natural)

🇩🇪 Germany

Aachen Cathedral  (Cultural)
Speyer Cathedral (1981 Cultural)
Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square  (Cultural)
St Mary’s Cathedral and St Michael’s Church at Hildesheim  (Cultural)
Pilgrimage Church of Wies (Cultural)
Hanseatic City of Lübeck  (Cultural)
Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl (Cultural)
Cologne Cathedral  (Cultural)
Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier  (Cultural)
Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Cultural)
Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch (Cultural)
Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin  (Cultural)
Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz (Cultural)
Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg  (Cultural)
Maulbronn Monastery Complex (Cultural)
Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management  System (Cultural)
Town of Bamberg  (Cultural)
Völklingen Ironworks  (Cultural)
Messel Pit Fossil Site  (Natural)
Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau  (Cultural)
Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg  (Cultural)
Classical Weimar  (Cultural)
Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin (Cultural)
Wartburg Castle  (Cultural)
Monastic Island of Reichenau  (Cultural)
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen  (Cultural)
Upper Middle Rhine Valley  (Cultural)
Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar (Cultural)
Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen  (Cultural)
Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof (Cultural)
Berlin Modernism Housing Estates  (Cultural)
Fagus Factory in Alfeld  (Cultural)
Margravial Opera House Bayreuth  Cultural Germany
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (Cultural)
Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski  (Cultural)
The Wadden Sea  (Natural)
Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps  ( 2011 Cultural)
Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus (Cultural)
Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura  (Natural)
Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau (Cultural)
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe   ( 2007 Natural)
Water Management System of Augsburg (2019 Cultural)
Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region (2019 Cultural)
Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Danube Limes (Western Segment) (2021 Cultural)
Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt (2021 Cultural)
The Great Spa Towns of Europe (2021 Cultural)
Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Lower German Limes (2021 Cultural)
ShUM Sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz (2021 Cultural)

🇮🇹 Italy

Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Italy Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci  (1980 Cultural)
Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (1979 Cultural)
Historic Centre of Florence  (Cultural)
Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany  (Cultural)
Venice and its Lagoon  (Cultural)
Piazza del Duomo, Pisa  (Cultural)
Castel del Monte  (Cultural)
18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex  (Cultural)
Historic Centre of San Gimignano  (Cultural)
The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera  (Cultural)
City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto  (Cultural)
Historic Centre of Siena  (Cultural)
Historic Centre of Naples   (Cultural)
Crespi d’Adda  (Cultural)
Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta  (Cultural)
The Trulli of Alberobello  (Cultural)
Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna  (Cultural)
Historic Centre of the City of Pienza  (Cultural)
City of Verona  (Cultural)
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy  (Cultural)
Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua  (Cultural)
Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia  (Cultural)
Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)  (Cultural)
Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena  (Cultural)
Historic Centre of Urbino  (Cultural)
Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (Cultural)
Costiera Amalfitana  (Cultural)
Archaeological Area of Agrigento  (Cultural)
Villa Romana del Casale  (Cultural)
Su Nuraxi di Barumini  (Cultural)
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula  (Cultural)
Villa Adriana (Tivoli)  (Cultural)
Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands)  (Natural)
Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites (Cultural)
Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) (Cultural)
Villa d’Este, Tivoli  (Cultural)
Val d’Orcia (Cultural)
Sacri Mont of Piedmont and Lombardy  (Cultural)
Monte San Giorgio  (Cultural)
Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia  (Cultural)
Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica  (Cultural)
Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli  (Cultural)
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (Cultural)
The Dolomites  (Natural)
Mantua and Sabbioneta  (Cultural)
Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.)  (Cultural)
Mount Etna  (Natural)
Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (Cultural)
Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps  ( 2011 Cultural)
Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (Cultural)
Venetian Works of Defence: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar (Cultural)
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe   ( 2007 Natural)
Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene (2019 Cultural)
Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles (2021 Cultural)
The Great Spa Towns of Europe (2021 Cultural)
The Porticoes of Bologna (2021 Cultural)

🇱🇻 Latvia

Historic Centre of Riga  (Cultural)
Struve Geodetic Arc ( 2005 Cultural)

🇱🇹 Lithuania

Vilnius Historic Centre  (Cultural)
Kernavė  Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė)  (Cultural)
Curonian Spit  (Cultural)
Struve Geodetic Arc  ( 2005 Cultural)

🇲🇹 Malta

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum (1980 Cultural)
City of Valletta (1980 Cultural)
Megalithic Temples of Malta (Cultural)

🇲🇩 Moldova

Struve Geodetic Arc  ( 2005 Cultural)

🇸🇲 San Marino

San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano  (Cultural)

🇷🇸 Serbia

Stari Ras and Sopoćani (1979 Cultural)
Studenica Monastery  (Cultural)
Medieval Monuments in Kosovo  (Cultural)
Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius  (Cultural)

🇪🇸 Spain

Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain  (Cultural)
Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct (Cultural)
Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias  (Cultural)
Historic Centre of Cordoba  (Cultural)
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada  (Cultural)
Burgos Cathedral  (Cultural)
Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid (Cultural)
Works of Antoni Gaudí  (Cultural)
Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)  (Cultural)
Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches (Cultural)
Mudejar Architecture of Aragon  (Cultural)
Historic City of Toledo  (Cultural)
Garajonay National Park  (Natural)
Old City of Salamanca  (Cultural)
Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville  (Cultural)
Old Town of Cáceres  (Cultural)
Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture  (Mixed)
Poblet Monastery  (Cultural)
Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza (Cultural)
Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida  (Cultural)
Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe  (Cultural)
Route of Santiago de Compostela  (Cultural)
Historic Walled Town of Cuenca  (Cultural)
La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia  (Cultural)
Las Médulas (Cultural)
Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona  (Cultural)
San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries  (Cultural)
Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula  (Cultural)
Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco  (Cultural)
University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares  (Cultural)
San Cristóbal de La Laguna  (Cultural)
Palmeral of Elche  (Cultural)
Roman Walls of Lugo  (Cultural)
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí  (Cultural)
Archaeological Site of Atapuerca  (Cultural)
Aranjuez Cultural Landscape  (Cultural)
Vizcaya Bridge  (Cultural)
Teide National Park  (Natural)
Tower of Hercules (Cultural)
Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana  (Cultural)
Pyrénées – Mont Perdu  (Cultural)
Doñana National Park  (Natural)
Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde (Cultural)
Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija (Cultural)
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe   ( 2007 Natural)
Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape (2019 Cultural)
Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and Sciences (2021 Cultural)

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast  (Natural)
Jodrell Bank Observatory (2019 Cultural)

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland

St Kilda  (Mixed)
Heart of Neolithic Orkney  (Cultural)
Old and New Towns of Edinburgh  (Cultural)
New Lanark (Cultural)
The Forth Bridge (Cultural)