The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced 34 newly inscribed sites treasured for their outstanding universal value
Biodiverse rainforests in Japan and a mountainous valley in Iran are among the 34 newly inscribed sites around the world that UNESCO treasures for their outstanding universal value.
The committee that decides which sites are UNESCO-listed didn’t meet in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so the new list is longer than usual. Once a site is added, it is entitled to funds and advice on ways to maintain it.
Only five of the new sites are natural, while the rest are cherished for their cultural value. The slate landscape of northwest Wales is among the newly inscribed natural sites, prized because of the impact slate quarrying and mining had on the area during the Industrial Revolution from the 1780s to 1914.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany did well, scooping up UNESCO status for six sites, which include an artist’s colony in Darmstadt and the cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, which are historically known for their Jewish culture, architecture and cemeteries. The German spa towns of Bad Ems, Baden-Baden and Bad Kissingen are also now prized by UNESCO, along with 11 other European towns including Bath in the UK.
Further afield, the Trans-Iranian Railway, a 1,394km route encompassing 360 bridges and 224 tunnels dating from the 1920s, is now on the list. Other highlights include a decorative Indian temple, the maritime Chinese city of Quanzhou and rock art in Saudi Arabia.
See the full list below. Perhaps it’s time to update your bucket list?
Colonies of Benevolence, Belgium/the Netherlands
Cordouan Lighthouse, France
Nice, Winter Resort Town of the Riviera, France
Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Germany
Frontiers of the Roman Empire: The Lower German Lines, Germany, the Netherlands
Frontiers of the Roman Empire: The Danube Limes (Western Segment), Austria, Germany, Slovakia
ShUM Sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, Germany
The Porticoes of Bologna, Italy
The Works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana: Human Centered Urban Design, Slovenia
The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales, United Kingdom
Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White Sea, Russia
Padua’s 14th Century Fresco Cycles, Italy
Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and Sciences, Spain
Roșia Montană Mining Landscape, Romania
The Great Spa Towns of Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom
Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands, Georgia
Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China
Jomon Prehistoric Sites in northern Japan
Amami-Oshima Island, Tokunoshima Island, the northern part of Okinawa Island and Iriomote Island, Japan
Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats, South Korea
Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex, Thailand
Dholavira: a Harappan City, India
Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana, India
Settlement and Artificial Mummification of the Chinchorro Culture in the Arica and Parinacota Region, Chile
Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil
Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex, Peru
The Work of Engineer Eladio Dieste: Church of Atlántida, Uruguay
Sudanese Style Mosques, Ivory Coast
Ivindo National Park, Gabon
As-Salt, the Place of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality, Jordan
Trans-Iranian Railway, Iran
Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat, Iran
Ḥimā Cultural Area, Saudi Arabia
Arslantepe Mound, Turkey
Love travel quizzes, events and competitions? Then sign up today for free so you don’t miss out!