Each year, UNESCOinscribes new sites on its World Heritage List in recognition of their timelessvalue to humanity. The 37th session of the World Heritage Committee has resultedin 19 outstanding additions, including sites of cultural, natural or mixedsignificance.
AlZubarah Archaeological Site, Qatar
The excavated remains of the walled town testify to the site’s brilliantpast that contributed to the emergence of modern day Gulf States. As aflourishing pearling and trading center at the turn of the 19th century,Al Zubarah enabled the region’s major coastal centers to grow and graduallygain independence .
Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora ,Ukraine
Located in the southwestern part of the CrimeanPeninsula, at the outskirts of Sevastopol, the well-preserved ruins of Taurica arean outstanding testimony to the colony’s winemaking tradition and a splendidmix of Greek, Roman and Byzantine influences dating back to 5th century BC.
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Germany
The marvelous 2.4 square kilometer (590 acres)landscape park in Kassel is truly a feat of engineering that took about 150years to complete. While the size of the park aptly reflects the grandeur ofthe Monarchy of those days (the construction began in 1696), its complex systemof impressive water features is a highly artistic demonstration of Baroque andRomantic aesthetics.
Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces,China
The reservation zone of Honghe HaniTerraced Fields covers 16,500 ha in China’sSouthern Yunnan province and forms such an unearthly landscape that it looksmore of an extraterrestrial creation than the work of a human hand. It ishowever the Hani people who developed a complex system of channels that bringwater from the mountaintops to the multicolored terracescascading down the slopes.
Fujisan, sacred place and source of artisticinspiration, Japan
Thesolitary, snow-capped stratovolcano and numerous sacred sites in its vicinity havebeen an inspiration for artists at least from the 11th century andhad an undeniable impact on the development of the Western artistic heritage.
Golestan Palace, Iran
The lavish complex used to serve as an officialresidence of the royal Qajar family and belongs to the oldest groups ofbuildings in Teheran. It constitutes an intriguing fusion of traditional Persian arts with Westerninfluences in architecture and technology.
Hill Forts of Rajasthan, India
This newcomer to the UNESCO World Heritage listincludes a group of six elevated forts with major urban centers, palaces, memorials,temples and other sites enclosed within impressive defensive walls, some up to20 kilometers in circumference. They serve as a brilliant example of Rajputmilitary hill architecture and a testimony to the prominence of the princelystates over centuries.
Historic Centre of Agadez, Niger
Known as the gateway to the desert, Agadez wasfounded around the fourteenth century and quickly became a key passage for themedieval caravans trade. The historic center of the city retains traces of elaborateancestral traditions still practiced today and boasts a large group of well-preservedearthen dwellings and religious buildings, including a 27m high mud brick minaret, thehighest structure of this kind in the world.
Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong, DPRK
The 12 enlisted sites scattered across Kaesong(palaces, schools, tomb complexes, observatories, defensive walls, gates andothers) brilliantly reflect the political and cultural transition, as well as integrationof Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist concepts that followed Korea’s unification under theKoryo Dynasty.
Levuka Historical Port Town, Fiji
The beach front town set among coconut and mangotrees was the firstcolonial capital of Fiji and as such, boasts a number of Fiji’s “firsts:”the first bank, post office, school, private members club, hospital, town hall,municipal government, as well as newspaper and hotel, both still in operation. Cededto the British in 1874, it is a relatively rare example of a late colonial porttown that developed with distinctive cultural contributions from indigenouscommunity.
Xinjiang Tianshan, China
The inscription of Xinjiang Tianshan really comes asno surprise. The four components (Tomur, Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbukuke andBogda) that total 606,833 ha and are part of an immense mountain system ofCentral Asia, boast a stunning array of physical geographic features, numerous endemicflora species, a scenically varied c
olor palette and striking contrasts.
Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany, Italy
The Medici villas, nearFlorence, are a series of rural building complexes owned by members of the prominentMedici family between the 15th century and the 17th century. As an example ofarchitecture outstanding in its innovative form and function, yet beautifullyharmonized with the pastoral Tuscan landscape, the villas became a lastingreference for princely residences throughout Europe and an important contributionto the deep appreciation of nature in the Renaissance era.
Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, Canada
Red Bay is a fishing village on the southern coastof Labrador and a former site of several whaling stations, established byBasque mariners in the 16th century. The discovery of forsaken production equipment,temporary living quarters, whale bonedeposits and sunken whaling galleons makes Red Bay one of the most important underwaterarchaeological sites in the Americas as it provides the earliest and bestpreserved indication of the European whaling tradition.
University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia, Portugal
As one of the world’s oldest centers of learning incontinuous operation and the oldest such institution of Portugal, University ofCoimbra has developed a distinctive set of architectural, ceremonial andcultural traditions that over years affected the development and values of otherhigher education institutions in the Portuguese-speaking world.
Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Polandand Ukraine, Poland and Ukraine
Scattered on both sides of the Polish-Ukrainianborder, the 16 wooden EasternCatholic / Orthodox churches constitute an example of a distinct building technique(the tserkvas are built of horizontal wooden logs on a tri-partite plan) that’sinterwoven with integrated elements of local symbolism and traditions held byseveral ethnic groups.
El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar BiosphereReserve, Mexico
The dormant volcanic Pinacate Shield stretching next to the giant dunes ofthe Gran Altar Desert make up for 714,566 hectares of dramatic contrasts andbreathtaking panoramas. Black and red lava flows, craters, shifting heaps ofsand, arid granite massifs, together with diverse endemic fauna and floracommunities, come as a real treat for a science-oriented visitor.
Mount Etna, Italy
As the most active stratovolcano in the world, toweringdreadfully over the east coast of Sicily, Mount Etna is unquestionably a fearfulicon. It’s worthwhile to remember,however, that its continuous eruptive history has exerted a major influence onthe development of scientific disciplines and supported important endemicecosystems.
Namib Sand Sea, Namibia
Namib Sand Sea is theonly coastal desert whose dune fields are influenced by fogs, originatingoffshore from the collision of cold and warm air currents. While the fog posesa serious hazard to ships, it is a major source of moisture for the unique desertlife. Spreading over an area of over three million hectares and complete withstriking contrasts in form and color, the desert is truly a marvel of natureand a feast for the eye.
Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs),Tajikistan
Covering more than 2.5million hectares, right where the highest Eurasian mountain ranges meet, Tajik NationalPark is one of the loneliest and most strikingly beautiful places onearth, virtually unaffected by human presence and particularly precious forplate tectonics research.