These New World Heritage Sites Of UNESCO Will Astound You!

By Sameer Kapoor on Dec 08, 2015
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While the World is busy inventing new places of comfort and modernity, let us go back into the alleys of past and see the new world heritage that have been added on UNESCO’s list! You'll have all the more reasons to travel around the world. Here’s the list:

1. The Forth Bridge, Scotland

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Iconic, historic and dynamic, the spectacle of Scotland’s Forth bridges is a wonder of the modern world. Towering over the turbulent waters of the Firth of Forth, the structures represent the pinnacle of design and engineering.

2. Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars, France

Image Source: Wikipedia

According to UNESCO, the sites bear "clear testimony to the development of a very specialised artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise". The sparkling wine of champagne is produced via secondary fermentation in the bottle. This makes champagne "bubbly" owing to the containment of carbon dioxide. These sites in Champagne, a region in north-east France, are recognised for producing the drink that bears the area's name.


3. Ephesus, Turkey

Image Source: Wikipedia

Ephesus, the Ancient City located in Seluk district of İzmir province, joined UNESCO’s World Heritage List. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. It was built in the 10th century BC and is considered one of the most famous heritage site.

4. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale, Italy

Image Source: Wikipedia

Located on the northern coast of Sicily, Arab-Norman Palermo includes a series of nine civil and religious structures dating from the era of the Norman kingdom of Sicily (1130-1194): two palaces, three churches, a cathedral, a bridge, as well as the cathedrals of Cefalú (pictured) and Monreale. Collectively, they are an example of a social-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures on the island which gave rise to new concepts of space, structure and decoration.

5. Baptism Site - Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Jordan

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Situated on the eastern bank of the River Jordan, nine kilometres north of the Dead Sea, the archaeological site consists of two distinct areas: Tell Al-Kharrar, also known as Jabal Mar-Elias (Elijah’s Hill) and the area of the churches of Saint John the Baptist near the river. Situated in a pristine natural environment the site is believed to be the location where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist.

6. The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy, France

Image Source: Wikipedia

Climats, terroirs of Burgundy comprise 1,247 vineyard parcels and the commercial towns of Beaune and Dijon. The vineyards are distinct from one another due to their specific natural conditions such as soil and microclimate. They cover the Cte de Nuits and Cte de Beaune south of Dijon.


7. Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement, Denmark

Image Source: Wikipedia

Christiansfeld a Moravian Settlement was founded in 1773 by the Moravian Church, following a strict city plan. From the German village of Herrnhut, the first Moravian missions were directed to the Dano-Norwegian Empire. Christiansfeld is the best-preserved example of such settlements in Europe.

8. The Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand, Denmark

Image Source: Wikipedia

Located about 30 km northeast of Copenhagen, this cultural landscape encompasses the two hunting forests of Store Dyrehave and Gribskov, as well as the hunting park of Jgersborg Hegn Jgersborg Dyrehave. This is a designed landscape where Danish kings and their court exercised par force hunting, or hunting with hounds, which reached its peak from the Middle Ages to the end of the 16th century.

9. Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site, Norway

Image Source: Wikipedia

The industrial towns of Rjukan and Notodden in Telemark county in Norway are outstanding examples of a ground-breaking industrial development and a testament to the social transformation that took place in the Western world at the beginning of the 20th century.

10. Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus, Germany

Image Source: Wikipedia

Both the Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus districts of Hamburg, Germany made the World Heritage list this time around for their roles in the ramping up of international trade in the late 19th century - Speicherstadt as a large and historic warehouse district, and Kontorhaus as a port-related business office complex.

11. Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape, Turkey

Image Source: Wikipedia

Located on an escarpment of the Upper Tigres River Basin that is part of the so-called Fertile Crescent, the fortified city of Diyarbakir and the landscape around has been an important centre since the Hellenistic period, through the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman times to the present. The site encompasses the Amida Mound, known as İkale (inner castle), the 5.8km-long city walls of Diyarbakir and has now become the most popular world heritage site to visit.

12. Rock Art in the Hail Region of Saudi Arabia

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Petroglyphs and inscriptions dating back 10,000 years mark the rock faces in the Hail region of Saudi Arabia, in particular the Jabel Umm Sinman at Jubbah and the Jabal al-Manjor and Raat at Shywaymis. UNESCO has previously stated that this "stands as one of the most fascinating and largest rock art sites of the world.”


13. San Antonio Missions, United States of America

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The site encompasses a group of five frontier mission complexes situated along a stretch of the San Antonio River basin in southern Texas, as well as a ranch located 37 kilometres to the south. It includes architectural and archaeological structures, farmlands, residencies, churches and granaries, as well as water distribution systems. The complexes were built by Franciscan missionaries in the 18th century and illustrate the Spanish Crown’s efforts to colonize, evangelize and defend the northern frontier of New Spain.

14. Necropolis of Beth She’arim, Israel

Image Source: Wikipedia

Consisting of a series of catacombs, the necropolis developed from the 2nd century BCE as the primary Jewish burial place outside Jerusalem following the failure of the second Jewish revolt against Roman rule. Located southeast of the city of Haifa, these catacombs are a treasury of artworks and inscriptions in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew.

15. Blue and John Crow Mountains, Jamaica

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Blue & John Crow Mountains National Park conserves about 78,000 hectares of tropical rain-forest in the north-east of Jamaica. The park covers the steep mountain slopes in the interior of the parishes of St. Andrew, Portland, St. Thomas and St. Mary.  The region has been noted for having more than 800 species of endemic plants, the world’s second largest butterfly, Papilo Homerus, 200 species of resident and migrant birds and is one of the largest migratory bird habitats in the Caribbean.

16. Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System, Mexico

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dating back to the 16th century, this aqueduct on the Central Mexican Plateau is praised as an example of the exchange of influences between the European tradition of Roman hydraulics and traditional Mesoamerican construction techniques. The aqueduct is 28 miles long and includes "the highest single-level arcade ever built in an aqueduct".

17. Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape, Uruguay

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The Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape is a port area shaped for industrial production processes. In 1899 a company called 'Anglo' started a meat packing plant here on the Uruguay River. It attracted immigrant workers from over 50 countries. The factory (then owned by Liebig) was closed down in 1979.

18. Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining, Japan

Image Source: Wikipedia

Spread across eight prefectures, the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution highlight the country's rapid development into an industrial power in the second half of the 19th century. They are mainly related to iron and steel production, cannon forging, shipbuilding and coal mining. In July 2015, the sites received world heritage status.


19. Susa, Iran

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Located in the south-west of Iran, in the lower Zagros Mountains, the property encompasses a group of archaeological mounds rising on the eastern side of the Shavur River, as well as Ardeshir’s palace, on the opposite bank of the river. The excavated architectural monuments include administrative, residential and palatial structures.

20. Cultural Landscape of Maymand, Iran

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Cultural Landscape of Maymand covers a dry desert valley in Central Iran, which is home to semi-nomadic people. They practice a three phase transhumance system. In winter, they live in troglodytic houses carved out of soft stone rocks. The designated area contains houses, animal shelters, water collection points, agro-pastoral systems and rock-art. This landscape has been visited by throngs of tourists and now is on the verge of becoming one of the most visited unesco world heritage site.

21. Tusi sites, China

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Tusi sites are located in mountainous areas of Tangya in Hubei Province and Hailongtun Fortress in Guizhou Province. Tusi literally means hereditary tribal headmen appointed by Chinese emperors to govern the often unruly ethnic minority regions in the central and western parts of south China, where the specific tribal governance system was adopted from the 13th to the early 20th century. The combination of local ethnic and central Chinese features at the sites exhibits an interchange of values and testifies to imperial Chinese administrative methods, it added.

22. Singapore Botanical Gardens, Singapore

Image Source: Wikipedia

Situated at the heart of the city of Singapore, the site demonstrates the evolution of a British tropical colonial botanic garden that has become a modern world-class scientific institution used for both conservation and education. The cultural landscape includes a rich variety of historic features, plantings and buildings that demonstrate the development of the garden since its creation in 1859.


23. Baekje Historic Areas, South Korea

Image Source: Wikipedia

Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, this property comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475 to 660 CE, including the Gongsanseong fortress and royal tombs at Songsan-ri related to the capital, Ungjin (present day Gongju), the Busosanseong Fortress and Gwanbuk-ri administrative buildings, and the Naseong city wall related to the capital, Sabi (now Buyeo), the royal palace at Wanggung-ri and the Mireuksa Temple in Iksan related to the secondary Sabi capital.

24. Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape, Mongolia

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape is associated with Genghis Khan and the Mongolian nation. It is considered the most sacred mountain in Mongolia, with a fusion of Buddhist and shamanic features.

25. Camino Francés and Routes of Northern Spain

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. The most popular route which gets very crowded in mid-summer) is the Camino Francés which stretches 780 km. (nearly 500 miles) from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago.

26. The Cape Floral Region Protected Areas in South Africa

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Cape floristic region is one of the six floral kingdoms in the world. This biodiversity hotspot in the Western Cape, has the highest concentration of plant species in the world. It contains an estimated 9 500 species, of which 70% do not grow anywhere else in the world. Only 9% of the biome is formally protected.

27. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2003, covered 85,754 hectares. With this extension, the site covers a total surface area of 126,236 hectares (a 46 % increase) and shares a boundary with the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos. The Park’s landscape is formed by limestone plateaux and tropical forests. It features great geological diversity and offers spectacular phenomena, including a large number of caves and underground rivers.

So which one of these new world heritage sites would you like to visit?

* fb cover pic: wikimedia.commons  

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