Civilisation/World Heritage Sites

From Quiz Revision Notes
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World Heritage Sites are designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance.

Following a project to save the treasures of Nubia including the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae from land which would be flooded by the Aswan High Dam, UNESCO initiated a draft convention to protect cultural heritage. The convention came into force in 1975.

In 1978, Quito and Krakow were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO.

As of September 2023, a total of 1,199 World Heritage Sites (933 cultural, 227 natural, and 39 mixed properties) exist across 168 countries.

Countries with most World Heritage Sites

Italy 59
China 57
Germany 52
France 52
Spain 50

Tentative Lists

A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination. A State Party is a country that has adhered to the World Heritage Convention.

List of World Heritage in Danger

The List of World Heritage in Danger is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action. As of February 2023, there are 55 sites.

An asterisk (*) following the name of a site in the tables below indicates that a site is on The List of World Heritage in Danger.

UK and overseas territories World Heritage Sites

There are 33 sites in the UK and overseas territories.

The Giants Causeway and the Jurassic Coast are natural rather than cultural properties. St Kilda is one of only 39 global locations to be awarded mixed World Heritage Status for both natural and cultural significance.

Location Name Comments
England and Scotland Frontiers of the Roman Empire Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall. Hadrian’s Wall is 118-km-long and was built c122 CE at the northernmost limits of the Roman province of Britannia. The Antonine Wall is 60-km long and was started by Emperor Antonius Pius in 142 CE as a more northerly defense against the “barbarians”.
England Blenheim Palace Seat of the Duke of Marlborough in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Designed by John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Completed in 1722 as a present to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory at Blenheim in 1704. The surrounding park was created by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
England Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church St Augustine's Abbey was a Benedictine monastery. St Martin's Church is the oldest church in England still in regular use. Canterbury Cathedral was the site of the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170 and in consequence became a mecca for pilgrims.
England City of Bath Bath is named after its baths built for the Roman settlement of Aquae Sulis. In addition to the Roman remains Bath is known for its Georgian architecture designed by such as Robert Adam.
England Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape Created and shaped by the deep mining of copper and tin in the 18th and 19th centuries. The landscape includes mines, engine houses, smallholdings, ports, harbours, canals, railways, tramroads, and industries allied to mining together with the new towns and villages needed for the workers.
England Derwent Valley Mills Located in Derbyshire. Birthplace of the factory system in the early 18th century including Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill plus workers’ housing. The area went into decline once steam power replaced water power in industrial production.
England Dorset and East Devon Coast An important area for fossils amidst a continuous sequence of rock formations spanning the Mesozoic Era spanning 185 million years and as such is significant in terms of geology and palaeontology. Also known as the Jurassic Coast.
England Durham Castle and Cathedral Durham Cathedral (11th/12th century) houses the relics of St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede and was a centre for pilgrimage. The Norman castle was the residence of the prince-bishops of Durham.
England The English Lake District A picturesque mountainous area in North West England covering c2,292 square kms which includes, as the name suggests, many lakes plus large houses, gardens and parks. Noted for having inspired Romantic poets.
England Ironbridge Gorge The world's first bridge constructed of iron spans the River Severn in Shropshire. It was a centre of the 18th century Industrial Revolution.
England Jodrell Bank Observatory Opened in 1945 in northwest England this is one of the world's leading radio astronomy observatories.
England Maritime Greenwich A collection of buildings in Greenwich, London and the surrounding parkland. The buildings include The Queen's House designed by Inigo Jones, the Royal Naval College designed by Christopher Wren and the Old Royal Observatory. The park was originally designed by André Le Nôtre.
England Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret's Church Westminster Palace was rebuilt in 1840 in neo-Gothic style after a fire in 1834. 11th century Westminster Hall survived the fire. St Margaret’s Church is the parish church of the Parish of Westminster. Westminster Abbey was built in the 11th century by Edward the Confessor and has been the site of all coronations since then.
England Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Created in 1759 along the River Thames amid landscaped gardens and houses extensive botanic collections. Buildings include two large iron framed glasshouses - the Palm House and the Temperate House, the Orangery, Queen Charlotte's Cottage, the folly temples, Rhododendron Dell, William Chambers' pagoda and Syon Park House.
England Saltaire A well-preserved industrial village built in the 19th century on the river Aire. Includes Mill buildings, employees' housing, the Dining Room, Congregational Church, Almshouses, Hospital, School, Institute, and Roberts Park.
England Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites Located in Wiltshire, these are the most famous Neolithic monuments in the world with Avebury being the largest known and Stonehenge being the most sophisticated example. The associated sites include the Avenue, the Cursuses, Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, Windmill Hill, the West Kennet Long Barrow, the Sanctuary, Silbury Hill, the West Kennet and Beckhampton Avenues, and the West Kennet Palisaded Enclosures.
England Studley Royal Park including the ruins of Fountains Abbey An 18th century designed landscape created around the ruins of the Cistercian Fountains Abbey, in Yorkshire. Includes the ruins of the 12th century abbey and water mill, the Jacobean mansion of Fountains Hall, St Mary’s Church designed by William Burges in 1871 and Georgian water gardens by the River Skell.
England Tower of London Construction of the Tower of London begun with the White Tower shortly after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century and was added to until the 16th century. The Crown Jewels have been housed at the Tower since the 17th century. The Tower is also notorious for being the site of torture and execution, particularly during the 16th century.
Scotland The Forth Bridge A railway bridge across the Firth of Forth which had the world’s longest span (541m) when it opened in 1890.
Scotland Heart of Neolithic Orkney A group of Neolithic monuments on Orkney - the large chambered tomb of Maes Howe, two ceremonial stone circles known as the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar and the settlement of Skara Brae.
Scotland New Lanark An 18th century village built by philanthropist Robert Owen for his cotton-mill workers. Includes the cotton mill buildings, the workers' housing, an educational institute and school.
Scotland Old and New Towns of Edinburgh Old Town is dominated by Edinburgh Castle and development of New Town was begun in the 18th century with architects, including John and Robert Adam, Sir William Chambers and William Playfair. Old Town buildings include the Palace of Holyrood, the early 17th century restored mansion house of Gladstone's Land, the Canongate Tolbooth and St Giles Cathedral.
Scotland St Kilda An archipelago in the Outer Hebrides comprising the islands of Hirta, Dun, Soay and Boreray which is home to large colonies of rare and endangered species of birds, especially puffins and gannets. There is evidence of 2000 years of human activity in the region.
Wales Blaenavon Industrial Landscape An important area for coal mining and iron working in South Wales. The site includes the Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit plus the social infrastructure of the early industrial community such as workers’ terraced housing, St. Peter’s Church, the Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall and St. Peter’s School.
Wales Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd Castles of Beaumaris and Harlech plus the fortified complexes of Caernarfon and Conwy constructed by Edward I.
Wales Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal An innovative 18km long aqueduct and canal completed in the early 19th century to a design by Thomas Telford.
Wales The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales An industrial landscape in Snowdonia, Northwest Wales created by the slate quarrying and mining industry during the Industrial Revolution from the 1780s onwards. Interlinked components include quarries and mines, slate processing sites, settlements, country houses and gardens, ports, harbours and transport systems.
Northern Ireland Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast A formation of c40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea on the Antrim coast. Believed to have been caused by volcanic activity during the Tertiary period (50–60 million years ago).
Bermuda Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda An example of an early English colonial town in the New World which also incorporates a dockyard and military elements such as fortifications, barracks and officer’s dwellings.
Gibraltar Gorham’s Cave Complex Four caves with archaeological and paleontological deposits providing evidence of Neanderthal occupation on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar.
Pitcairn Islands Henderson Island A small remote and uninhabited coral atoll in the eastern South Pacific with exceptional biological diversity, with four endemic species of land birds, ten taxa of endemic vascular plants and large breeding seabird colonies.
Saint Helena Gough and Inaccessible Islands South Atlantic islands which, being mammal free, are home to large colonies of seabirds. Gough has 2 endemic species of land birds (gallinule and the Gough rowettie) plus 12 endemic species of plants. Inaccessible has 2 birds, 8 plants and at least 10 endemic invertebrates.

Selected World Heritage Sites


Botswana Okavango Delta Delta in north-west Botswana comprising permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. Home to a wide variety of wildlife, including all of the big five game animals.
DR Congo Virunga National Park* Includes the Rwenzori mountains and the active volcanoes Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Mountain gorillas are found in the park.
Egypt Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur Memphis was the first capital of Ancient Egypt. The Pyramid of Khufu is the largest Egyptian pyramid and is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing. The site also includes the Great Sphinx of Giza.
Egypt Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae Contains the Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and the Sanctuary of Isis at Philae. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968 to higher ground to avoid it being submerged by Lake Nasser, the Aswan Dam reservoir. The island of Elephantine in the Nile is part of the site.
Eritrea Asmara: A Modernist African City After 1935, Asmara underwent a large-scale programme of Modernist construction under the Italian colonial occupation.
Ethiopia Aksum The Aksumite kingdom lasted from the 1st to the 8th centuries CE. Several stelae survive in the town of Aksum. The Church of Saint Mary of Zion claims to contain the original Ark of the Covenant.
Ethiopia Lower Valley of the Awash Contains important groupings of paleontological sites. The Lucy specimen was discovered in the valley in 1974.
Ethiopia Rock-hewn churches of Lalibela Contains eleven medieval monolithic churches that were carved out of rock in the late-12th and early 13th centuries.
Kenya Lake Turkana National Parks* Lake Turkana is the most saline of the African Great Lakes and is the world's largest permanent desert lake.
Libya Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna * Leptis Magna was a prominent city of the Carthaginian Empire and was enlarged by Septimius Severus, who was born there and later became emperor.
Mali Timbuktu * Timbuktu was an important Islamic city on the Saharan trade route. The site includes three mosques and sixteen mausoleums.
Mali Old Towns of Djenne * Djenne is famous for its distinctive adobe architecture, most notably the Great Mosque.
Morocco Medina of Fez Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital. The medina contains the University of Al-Qarawiyyin which was founded in 857.
Morocco Historic City of Meknes The imperial city was created by the Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 17th century. It is surrounded by high walls with great doors.
Senegal Island of Goree The island lies 2 km from the main harbour of Dakar. From the 15th to the 19th century, it was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast.
Seychelles Aldabra Atoll The atoll is comprised of four large coral islands surrounded by a coral reef. Largely untouched by humans for the majority of its existence, it is home to the largest giant tortoise population in the world.
South Africa Fossil Hominid Sites (Cradle of Humankind) Containing a complex system of limestone caves, the site is home to the largest concentration of human ancestral remains anywhere in the world.
South Africa Robben Island The island lies 11 km from Cape Town. In the late 20th century it was a maximum security prison for political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela from 1964 to 1982.
Sudan Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region Five archaeological sites on both sides of the Nile in an arid area considered part of Nubia. The sites represent cultures of the second kingdom of Kush. They include tombs, with and without pyramids.
Tanzania Ngorongoro Conservation Area Includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai Gorge paleontological site. Approximately 25,000 large animals live in the crater.
Tanzania Serengeti National Park The park is well known for the largest annual animal migration in the world of over 1.5 million blue wildebeest and 250,000 zebras.
Tanzania Stone Town of Zanzibar Stone Town is located on the western coast of Unguja. It is an outstanding example of a Swahili trading town.
Tunisia Dougga / Thugga Before the Roman annexation of Numidia, Thugga had existed for more than six centuries and was, probably, the first capital of the Numidian kingdom. It flourished under Roman rule.
Uganda Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi * The Kasubi Tombs in Kampala is the site of the burial grounds for four kabakas (kings of Buganda) and other members of the Baganda royal family.
Zimbabwe Great Zimbabwe National Monument The ruins of Great Zimbabwe are a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries. According to legend, the city was the capital of the Queen of Sheba.
Zambia / Zimbabwe Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls One of the world’s largest waterfalls, on the Zambezi River. Mosi-oa-Tunya means "The Smoke That Thunders".


Afghanistan Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam * The 65m tall minaret was built in the 12th century entirely of fired bricks. It is completely covered with geometric decoration in relief enhanced with a Kufic inscription in turquoise tiles.
Afghanistan Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley * The landscape represents the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries characterized ancient Bakhtria. Two monumental statues known as the Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
Bangladesh The Sundarbans The Sundarbans mangrove forest lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site.
China China Danxia The landscapes are characterized by spectacular red sandstone cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls.
China Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area The Giant Buddha of Leshan was carved out of a hillside in the 8th century, and at 71 m high it is the largest Buddha in the world.
China Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas The site features sections of the upper reaches of the Yangtze, Mekong and Salween which run approximately parallel, north to south, through steep gorges.
China The Great Wall The Great Wall is a series of fortifications that was continuously built from the 3rd century BCE to the 17th century CE on the northern border of China. The official length of the wall is 21,196 km.
China Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor The burial site of Qin, who died in 210 BCE surrounded by the famous terracotta warriors, is at the centre of a complex designed to mirror the urban plan of the capital, Xianyang. It is located in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province.
China Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang The Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing known as the Forbidden City was constructed between 1406 and 1420 by the Ming emperor Zhu Di. The complex consists of 980 buildings.
China Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area Located in Hunan Province, the site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow quartzite sandstone pillars and peaks.
China Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa Former winter palace of the Dalai Lama, in Tibet. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces, is built on Red Mountain. Norbulingka was the summer palace.
China Mogao Caves Situated along the Silk Road in Gansu province, the 500 cave sanctuaries are famous for their statues and wall paintings, spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art.
China Mount Tiashan Mount Tai (‘shan’ means ‘mountain’) is one of the Sacred Mountains of China. It has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as one of the most important ceremonial centres of China.
China The Grand Canal The canal runs from Beijing in the north to Huangzhou in the south, over a distance of 1,776 km. Construction started in the 5th century BC. The canal connected the Yellow River in the north with the Yangtze River in the south, which made it easier to transport grain from the south to the centers of political and military power in the north.
China Cultural Landscape of Old Tea Forests of the Jingmai Mountain in Pu’er This cultural landscape was developed over a thousand years by the Blang and Dai peoples following practices that began in the 10th century.
Cambodia Angkor Angkor Archaeological Park contains the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple.
India Ellora Caves Located in Maharashtra, Ellora is one of the largest rock-cut Hindu temple cave complexes in the world. The 34 caves open to the public are sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
India Taj Mahal Mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra on the bank of the River Yamuna in the 17th century for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
India Agra Fort 16th century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. Built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565, it served as the main residence of the rulers of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638.
India Group of Monuments at Hampi Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar in the 14th century. Conquered by the Deccan Muslim confederacy in 1565, the city was pillaged and destroyed.
India Great Living Chola Temples A group of Chola dynasty era Hindu temples in the state of Tamil Nadu built in the 11th and 12th centuries. Includes the Brihadishvara Temple at Thanjavur.
India Red Fort Complex Red Fort is a historic fort in Old Delhi that served as the main residence of the Mughal Emperors. Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned construction of the Red Fort in 1638, when he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi.
India The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It features the world's largest stone sundial.
India Sundarbans National Park The park is part of the Sundarbans on the Ganges Delta and is adjacent to the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh.
India Mountain Railways of India Consists of three railways: the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railways, and the Kalka Shimla Railway.
Indonesia Borobudur Temple Compounds Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, located in Java. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha.
Indonesia Prambanan Temple Compounds Hindu temples, dating from the 9th century, located in Java. Dedicated to the Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva). The temples are decorated with reliefs illustrating the Indonesian version of the Ramayana epic.
Iran Bam and its Cultural Landscape The origins of Bam can be traced back to the Achaemenid period. The Arg-e Bam citadel is the largest adobe building in the world. The entire building was a large fortress containing the citadel, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 2003.
Iran Persepolis Founded by Darius I c. 518 BCE, Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. The palace complex was built on a huge terrace, partly artificially constructed and partly cut out of a mountain.
Iran Bisotun The principal monument of this archaeological site is Behistun Inscription, a bas-relief and cuneiform inscription ordered by Darius I, The Great on a cliff at Mount Behistun.
Iran Golestan Palace The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779.
Iraq Babylon Situated 85 km south of Baghdad, Babylon was the capital city of the ancient Babylonian Empire. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Israel Masada Masada is a rugged natural fortress in the Judaean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It was destroyed by the Roman army in 73 CE.
Israel Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev The Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta are linked directly with the Mediterranean terminus of both the Incense Road and spice trade routes.
Japan Itsukushima Shinto Shrine Itsukushima is an island in the Seto inland sea. The present shrine dates from the 12th century. The site is best known for its "floating" torii gate.
Japan Himeji-jo Hilltop castle complex constructed of wood with white plastered earthen walls. It is the finest surviving example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture.
Japan Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) Genbaku Dome was the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded in 1945. It has been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing.
Japan Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration The site surrounding Fujisan (Mount Fuji) consists of 25 sites including Sengen-jinja Shinto shrines.
Japan Yakushima Yakushima is a primeval temperate rainforest extending from the centre of the almost round-shaped, mountainous Yakushima Island.
Jordan Wadi Rum Protected Area Wadi Rum is a valley cut into sandstone and granite rock. The combination of 25,000 rock carvings with 20,000 inscriptions trace the evolution of human thought.
Jordan Petra Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and was the capital of the Nabateans. It became a major caravan centre for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India.
Laos Town of Luang Prabang Luang Prabang is known for both its rich architectural and artistic heritage that reflects the fusion of Lao traditional urban architecture with that of the colonial era.
Laos Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhuang – Plain of Jars The Plain of Jars contains thousands of undecorated stone jars used for funerary practices in the Iron Age.
Lebanon Baalbek Baalbek was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period. The Baalbek temple complex includes two of the largest and grandest Roman temple ruins: the Temple of Bacchus and the Temple of Jupiter.
Lebanon Byblos Byblos has been continuously inhabited since c. 5000 BCE. Byblos is directly associated with the history and diffusion of the Phoenician alphabet.
Lebanon Tyre Tyre was a great Phoenician city that reigned over the seas and founded prosperous colonies such as Cadiz and Carthage.
Malaysia Kinabalu Park Located on the west coast of Sabah, it is dominated by Mount Kinabalu. It is one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna.
Myanmar Bagan The city was the capital of the Bagan Kingdom from the 9th to 13th centuries. Thousands of Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains.
Nepal Kathmandu Valley The site is inscribed as seven Monument Zones – the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan.
Nepal Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in the gardens of Lumbini during the 6th or 5th century BCE. Lumbini soon became a place of pilgrimage.
Pakistan Fort and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore The Lahore Fort and the Shalimar Gardens, constructed by Shah Jahan, are outstanding examples of Mughal artistic expression at its height.
Pakistan Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol The Buddhist monastic complex of Takht-i-Bahi (Throne of Origins) was founded in the early 1st century and was in use until the 7th century.
Palestine Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem Bethlehem is in the West Bank, 10 km south of Jerusalem on the site identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus.
Saudi Arabia Hegra Archaeological Site (Al-Hijr / Mada’in Salih) The site constitutes the Nabataean Kingdom's second largest city after Petra. First World Heritage site in Saudi Arabia.
South Korea Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes Jeju is the largest island in South Korea. A lava tube is a natural tunnel within a solidified lava flow, formerly occupied by flowing molten lava.
South Korea Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty Built over five centuries from 1408 to 1966, the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty form a collection of 40 tombs scattered over 18 locations. Joseon was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea
Sri Lanka Ancient City of Sigiriya Sigiriya (“Lion Rock”) is an ancient rock fortress and the ruins of the capital built by King Kassapa I in the 5th century.
Sri Lanka Sacred City of Kandy Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhala kings. It is also the site of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha).
Syria Site of Palmyra * Palmyra was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. The ruins of the Temple of Bel were considered among the best preserved at Palmyra. During the Syrian civil war in 2015, the Islamic State (IS) destroyed large parts of the ancient city.
Syria Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din * Crac des Chevaliers was built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to 1271 and is one of the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles. The Qal’at Salah El-Din (Fortress of Saladin) is a medieval castle.
Thailand Historic City of Ayutthaya Founded in the 14th century, Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese army in the 18th century. The ruins are characterized by the remains of tall prang (reliquary towers) and Buddhist monasteries.
Uzbekistan Historic Centre of Bukhara Bukhara is located on the Silk Road and is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia. The historic centre of Bukhara contains numerous mosques and madrasas.
Uzbekistan Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures Samarkand is located on the Silk Road and is considered the crossroads of world cultures with a history of over two and a half millennia. Registan square was the city's ancient centre.
Vietnam Ha Long Bay Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. The name Hạ Long means "descending dragon".
Vietnam Complex of Hue Monuments Hue was the capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The Imperial City is a walled enclosure within the city of Hue.
Yemen Old Walled City of Shibam * The city is surrounded by a fortified wall. Known for its mudbrick-made high-rise buildings, it is known as the “Manhattan of the Desert”.
Yemen Socotra Archipelago The archipelago consists of Socotra and three other islands. The site is of universal importance because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna including the dragon blood tree.
China / Kazakhstan / Kyrgyzstan Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor The Tianshan corridor is one section or corridor of the extensive Silk Roads network and extends across around 5,000 km.


Austria Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn The residence of the Habsburg emperors. Designed by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Nicolaus Pacassi. Begun as a reconstruction of a destroyed hunting lodge in the 17th century and greatly expanded over the following centuries. Its gardens housed the world’s first zoo in 1752.
Azerbaijan Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower The Walled City of Baku on the shores of the Caspian Sea was founded on a site inhabited since the Palaeolithic period. It has been continuously occupied since at least the 7th century BCE. Important structures include the 12th century Maiden Tower and Murad’s Gate.
Belgium La Grand-Place, Brussels A cobbled rectangular market square in Brussels which dates back to the 12th century and features buildings emblematic of municipal and ducal powers, and the old houses of corporations. The most famous landmark is the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall).
Bosnia and Herzegovina Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar Mostar stands on the Neretva River and over time was under control of the Ottoman Empire and then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The result is a multicultural urban settlement with influences of pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architecture. Stari Most (Mostar Bridge) collapsed during the Bosnian War but was rebuilt in 2004.
Bulgaria Rila Monastery Founded in the 10th century by the hermit St John of Rila and became a monastic centre. Destroyed and rebuilt in the mid-19th century.
Croatia Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian Landmarks include the ruins of the 3rd/4th century Palace of Diocletian, a medieval cathedral, 12th and 13th century Romanesque churches and medieval fortifications plus 15th-century Gothic palaces.
Cyprus Paphos Inhabited since the Neolithic period Paphos was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Remains include villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs together with some notable mosaics.
Czechia Historic Centre of Prague Developed between the 11th and 18th centuries. Monuments in central Prague include Hradcany Castle, St Vitus Cathedral and Charles Bridge.
Denmark Kronborg Castle The Royal castle of Kronborg at Helsingør (Elsinore) overlooks the Sund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden, and is world-renowned as the setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Denmark Roskilde Cathedral Scandinavia's first Gothic cathedral was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and has been the mausoleum of the Danish royal family since the 15th century.
Denmark Viking-Age Ring Fortresses Constructed between about 970 and 980 CE, the five fortresses were positioned strategically near important land and sea routes.
France Canal du Midi Designed by Pierre-Paul Riquet and built between 1667 and 1694, the canal is a 360km network of navigable waterways which link the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. There are 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels, etc.) on the canal including the Saint-Ferréol dam on the Laudot River.
France Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne A fortified settlement since the pre-Roman period, it became a medieval town with a castle as defensive walls. A restoration campaign was carried out in the second half of the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc.
France Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay Built between the 11th and 16th centuries a Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael sits on a small rocky islet between Normandy and Brittany. Known as the “Wonder of the West”.
France Palace and Park of Fontainebleau A former 12th century Royal hunting lodge enlarged and embellished in the 16th century by Francis I. Important historical events which happened there include the repeal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and the abdication of Napoleon I in 1814.
France Palace and Park of Versailles Located south-west of Paris, the Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Significant outbuildings include the Orangerie, the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon. The gardens were designed by Le Nôtre. The peace treaty which ended the First World War was signed in the Hall of Mirrors in June 1919.
France Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct) A Roman aqueduct built in the 1st century to take water across the Gardon River into the city of Nimes.
France Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley There are 147 prehistoric sites dating from the Palaeolithic and 25 decorated caves in the Vézère valley with the most significant being the Lascaux Cave. This was discovered in 1940 and is decorated with hunting scenes which show some 100 animal figures.
Georgia Gelati Monastery Founded in 1106, the Monastery of Gelati is a masterpiece of the Golden Age of medieval Georgia.
Germany Cologne Cathedral Gothic cathedral begun in 1248 and not completed until 1880. Artifacts include the Shrine of the Magi.
Germany Hanseatic City of Lübeck A major trading centre for northern Europe, Lübeck was the capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League. Public monuments include the Holstentor brick gate.
Germany Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier Standing on the Moselle River, Trier was a Roman colony from the 1st century and one of the capitals of the Tetrarchy at the end of the 3rd century. Roman era structures include the Moselle Bridge, the Barbara Baths, the Porta Nigra, the lgel Column, Imperial Baths and Aula Palatina. The Porta Nigra is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. The cathedral is the oldest church in Germany with construction beginning in the 4th century – although it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.
Greece Acropolis, Athens Following victory over the Persian Empire 5th century BCE Athens embarked on an ambitious building programme initiated by the statesman Pericles. The most important monuments on the Acropolis (Greek for ‘high city’) are: the Parthenon, built by Ictinus, the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, the entrance to the Acropolis, designed by Mnesicles and the temple Athena Nike.
Greece Archaeological site of Delphi A sanctuary to the god Apollo, it was the home of the most famous oracle of ancient Greece, known as the Pythia. The development of the sanctuary and oracle began in the 8th century BC. Delphi was considered to be the centre of the world (omphalos) because according to myth, it was the meeting point of two eagles released by Zeus, one to the East and one in the West.
Greece Archaeological site of Olympia Site of the Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia every four years beginning in 776 BCE. The holding of the Games were marked by a sacred truce. The sanctuary was the centre of worship of Zeus and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia made by Phidias around 435 BCE was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Greece Meteora Rock formation hosting one of the largest complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. Twenty-four of these monasteries were built from the 11th century onwards on 'columns of the sky'.
Greece Mount Athos A spiritual centre for Orthodox Christianity since 1054 housing c. 20 monasteries. The 'Holy Mountain' is forbidden to women and children.
Iceland Surtsey A new volcanic island formed by eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967 which is c. 32 km from the south coast of Iceland.
Iceland Vatnajokull National Park – Dynamic Nature of Fire and Ice The National Park covers an area of over 1,400,000 ha, nearly 14% of Iceland's territory and has ten volcanoes, eight of which are subglacial.
Ireland Bru na Boinne – Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne The Brú na Bóinne Complex consists of 3 prehistoric burial mounds: Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, on the north bank of the River Boyne 50 km north of Dublin.
Ireland Skellig Michael Sceilg Mhichíl (aka Skellig Michael) is an isolated island in the Atlantic with a small early religious settlement which was dedicated to St Michael somewhere between 950 and 1050.
Italy Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annuziata The well-preserved remains of the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum which were overwhelmed when Mount Vesuvius erupted on 24 August 79 CE. Also included are the Villa of the Mysteries (west of Pompeii), the Villa of the Papyri (west of Herculaneum) plus the Villa A (Villa of Poppaea) and Villa B (Villa of Lucius Crassius Tertius) (both in Torre Annunziata).
Italy Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua Created in Padua in 1545 this was the world's first botanical garden and it has kept its original layout – a circular central plot, symbolising the world, surrounded by a ring of water. Its collection includes 6,000+ species of plants.
Italy Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci On the north wall of the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie is ‘The Last Supper’, painted between 1495 and 1497 by Leonardo da Vinci. The complex, including the Church and Convent, was built from 1463 onwards by Guiniforte Solari and later modified by Bramante.
Italy Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna Ravenna was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire (402-476), served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy (493-540) and an Exarchate of the Byzantine Empire (584-751). Its 8 existing 5th and 6th century monuments are the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Neonian Baptistery, the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, the Arian Baptistery, the Archiepiscopal Chapel, the Mausoleum of Theodoric, the Church of San Vitale and the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe.
Italy Historic Centre of Florence Flourishing under the Medici family during the Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, Florence’s architectural gems include the 14th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Church of Santa Croce, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi gallery, and the Palazzo Pitti. It also boasts many artistic works of great masters such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli and Michelangelo.
Italy Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura The World Heritage site which covers the whole historic centre of Rome within the city walls at their widest extent in the 17th century, as well as the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. The site includes some of the major monuments of antiquity such as the Roman Forums, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, the Colosseum plus the religious and public buildings of papal Rome.
Italy Historic Centre of Siena Siena developed on three hills connected by three major streets forming a Y-shape and intersecting in the Piazza del Campo and has a distinctive Gothic style which is illustrated by the Sienese Arch.
Italy Mount Etna Mount Etna is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world.
Italy Piazza del Duomo, Pisa The Piazza del Duomo in Pisa is the home to a group of monuments known the world over – the cathedral, the baptistry, the campanile (bell tower aka the 'Leaning Tower') and the cemetery erected between the 11th and 14th centuries.
Italy Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) This site comprises 15km of the eastern Ligurian coast between Levanto and La Spezia. Cinque Terre is the collective name for the five villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Portovenere was an important commercial and cultural centre dating back to the Roman period, and is dominated by the Doria Castle. The three islands off the coast at Portovenere - Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, have the remains of early monastic establishments.
Italy Rock drawings in Valacamonica A collection of prehistoric petroglyphs on the Lombardy plain – more than 140,000 symbols and figures carved in the rock over a period of 8,000 years and depicting themes connected with agriculture, navigation, war and magic.
Italy Venice and its Lagoon The city of Venice and its lagoon was founded in the 5th century and is spread over 118 small islands. Venice became a major maritime power in the 10th century and defended its trading markets against the commercial undertakings of the Arabs, the Genoese and the Ottoman Turks. The city contains architectural masterpieces and the works by some of the world's greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese.
Malta Megalithic Temples of Malta Seven megalithic temples are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo, On Gozo - two temples of Ggantija are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures. On Malta are the temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien plus the Ta'Hagrat and Skorba complexes.
Malta City of Valletta The capital of Malta was ruled successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St John. It is home to 320 monuments, all within an area of 55 ha, which makes it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world. These include the 16th century cathedral of St John, the Palace of the Grand Master, the Auberge de Castile et Léon, the Auberge de Provence, the Auberge d’Italie, the Auberge d’Aragon and the Infirmary of the Order and the churches of Our Lady of Victory, St Catherine and il Gesù.
Montenegro Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor Boka Kotorska Bay, a natural harbour on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro. A large number of the monuments (including four Romanesque churches and the town walls) were seriously damaged by an earthquake in 1979 but have been restored with UNESCO’s help.
Netherlands Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout A series of preserved windmills plus dykes, reservoirs and pumping stations which helped drain the land for agriculture and settlement.
Norway Bryggen Bryggen is the old wharf area of the Hanseatic League port of Bergen with c. 62 original wooden buildings remaining from the post-Medieval period.
Norway Urnes Stave Church The wooden church was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is an outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden (stave) architecture.
Norway West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord Situated in south-western Norway, north-east of Bergen, Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord are considered to represent the archetypical fjord landscape.
Poland Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork This 13th century medieval brick castle was restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries and again after being damaged in World War II. It was the seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order from 1309.
Poland Historic Centre of Kraków Krakow on the River Vistula was the former capital of Poland. It is an urban complex formed by: the medieval chartered City of Krakow, the Wawel Hill complex, and the town of Kazimierz with the suburb of Stradom.
Poland Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines Wieliczka and Bochnia salt mines and Wieliczka Saltworks Castle began in the 13th century and have hundreds of kilometers of galleries with works of art, underground chapels and statues sculpted in the salt. There is an underground tourist route.
Portugal Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon The 15th century monastery of the Hieronymites (aka Jerónimos Monastery) is located at the entrance to Lisbon harbour. Nearby is the Belem Tower (aka Tower of Saint Vincent), a fortification which was built between 1514 and 1519 to commemorate Vasco da Gama's voyages of discovery.
Russia Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments The foundations of the fortress of St Peter and Paul were laid by Peter the Great in May 1703 and became the base for the building of the city of St Petersburg. It has numerous canals and 400+ bridges. Significant buildings include the Admiralty, the Winter Palace, the Marble Palace and the Hermitage. The city was at the centre of the October Revolution of 1917, was known as Leningrad under the Soviet Union and survived a prolonged siege during World War II.
Russia Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow The Kremlin is the oldest part of Moscow having been begun as early as the 12th century and developed further until the 16th century. It was the residence of the supreme power until the capital of Russia moved to St. Petersburg in the early 18th century. Red Square lies beneath the Kremlin’s east wall. At its south end is the 16th century Pokrovski Cathedral (aka Cathedral of St Basil the Blessed), built to commemorate the victory of Ivan the Terrible over the Kazan Khanate. Its decorative domes were added in the 17th century.
Russia Lake Baikal Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15 million ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve.
Spain Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzin, Granada Alhambra (palatine) and the Albayzín (residential) form the medieval part of the City of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the gardens of the Generalife built during the 13th and 14th centuries, a rural home to the Emirs. The city blends Moorish and Andalusian architecture.
Spain Burgos Cathedral The Gothic Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos was begun in the 13th century and was completed in the 15th and 16th centuries after a 200 year hiatus.
Spain Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain Eighteen (Altamira, Peña de Candamo, Tito Bustillo, Covaciella, Llonín, El Pindal, Chufín, Hornos de la Peña, Las Monedas, La Pasiega, Las Chimeneas, El Castillo, El Pendo, La Garma, Covalanas, Santimamiñe, Ekain and Altxerri) decorated Paleolithic (35,000 – 11,000 BP) caves. The cave art in the Cave of Altamira was discovered by Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola in 1879.
Spain Historic Centre of Cordoba Originally founded by the Romans in the 2nd century BC, it was after the Moorish conquest in the 8th century that 300 mosques and other public buildings were constructed in Cordoba. The city’s Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral in the 13th century, under Ferdinand III.
Spain Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid The Escurial Monastery was built at the end of the 16th century and stands at the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, north of Madrid. It was founded by Philip II, and became the seat of power in the last years of his reign. It was designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo, Spanish pupil of Michelangelo and completed by Juan de Herrera after Toledo’s death.
Spain Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias The Kingdom of the Asturias was a Christian outpost in Spain the 9th century. The area around the capital city of Oviedo has many examples of a Pre-Romanesque architectural style: churches of Santa Maria del Naranco, San Miguel de Lillo, Santa Cristina de Lena, the Camara Santa of Oviedo Cathedral and San Julian de los Prados. The Foncalada is a public water fountain located over a well outside the city walls using hydraulic engineering to bring the water to the surface.
Spain Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct A well-preserved Roman aqueduct of Segovia, it was probably built c50 CE, and was in use until 1973. A colossal monument 813m in length with 2 tiers and 221 pillars. Other important monuments in Segovia include: the 11th century Alcázar; Romanesque churches; 15th and 16th century palaces and the 16th century Gothic cathedral, the last such to be built in Spain. The Segovia Mint is the oldest industrial building still existing in Spain.
Sweden Hanseatic Town of Visby The walled town of Visby on the island of Gotland was the main centre of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic from the 12th to the 14th century.
Switzerland Old Town of Berne Berne was founded in the 12th century on the Aare River. The city was expanded over the centuries but always in accordance with the original planned layout with secular and religious public buildings always located at the periphery.
Switzerland Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch An area of c. 82,400 ha covering the most glaciated part of the European Alps with a diverse flora and fauna shaped by the changes in glacial formation. The Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in the Alps.
Turkey Archaeological Site of Troy Troy in Anatolia is famous for its appearance in the epic poems of Homer and is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world. Often considered the starting point of modern archaeology, the first excavations on the mound of Hisarlık (Troy), overlooking the Aegean coast, were undertaken by Heinrich Schliemann in 1870. Multiple excavation campaigns since then have revealed many features from all the periods of occupation in the citadel and the lower town over a period of 4,000 years. These include defensive walls, gates, a paved stone ramp and the lower portions of defensive bastions.
Turkey Ephesus A city whose configuration was dictated by the shifting coastal and riverine shoreline. A Greek colonial settlement which was the site of the Temple of Artemis (completed c550 BCE), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was a capital of the Roman Province of Asia. Monuments from the Roman period include the Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre. the 5th century Basilica of St. John and the pilgrimage site of the House of the Virgin Mary.
Turkey Gobekli Tepe A Neolithic monument site in the Germuş mountains of south-eastern Anatolia featuring distinctive T-shaped pillars carved with images of wild animals dating to between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE.
Turkey Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia on the central Anatolian plateau includes dwellings, rock-hewn cells for monks, churches, troglodyte villages and subterranean cities within the rock formations known as ‘fairy chimneys’.
Turkey Hattusha: The Hittite Capital Hattusha was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. The ruins include five gateways: two in the west, the Lion’s Gate in the south-west, the King’s Gate in the south-east and a procession gate, the Sphinx Gate in the south of the city. The Great Temple from the 13th century BCE is the best-preserved ruin of a Hittite Temple. The rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya is an open-air temple with two natural chambers cut into the bedrock. The walls of the rock chambers are covered with Hittite relief art.
Turkey Nemrut Dag Located in the Eastern Taurus mountain range, Nemrut Dag is the mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 BCE). A number of large statues are erected around the tomb.
Turkey Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk The site covers two hills (or tells) on the Southern Anatolian Plateau which document the story of the development of the settlement over 2000 years (7400-5200 BCE) and it is considered a key to the understanding of human prehistory. One of the features is a unique streetless settlement of houses clustered back-to-back with only roof access into the buildings.
Turkey Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape Pergamon, on the Bakirçay Plain in Turkey’s Aegean region, was founded in the 3rd century BCE as the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid dynasty. It was a major centre of learning in the ancient world. Monuments include temples, theatres, stoa or porticoes, a three-terraced gymnasium, the Great Altar of Pergamon and library. Further developed by the Romans providing important structures including the Asclepion Sanctuary; one of the largest Roman amphitheatres; a great aqueduct; the Trajan Temple and the Serapeum.
Turkey Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex Built in the 1570s, the Selimiye Mosque Complex was commissioned by Selim, designed by the architect Sinan and dominates the skyline of Edirne, a former capital of the Ottoman.
Ukraine Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra The early 11th century Saint-Sophia Cathedral was built during the reign of the Great Prince of Kyiv, Yaroslav the Wise, and is surrounded by monastic buildings constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra comprises unique surface and underground churches from the 11th to the 19th centuries, in a complex of caves on a plateau overlooking the right bank of the Dnieper River.
Belarus / Poland Biaiowieza Forest On the border between Poland and Belarus this is a primary forest including both conifers and broadleaved trees covering a total area of 141,885 hectares. It is home to the largest population of the European bison.
Denmark / Germany / Netherlands Wadden Sea The Wadden Sea is the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world. The 1,143,403 ha site is considered one of the most important areas for migratory birds in the world. Up to 6.1 million birds can be present at the same time, and an average of 10-12 million pass through it each year.
7 Countries The Great Spa Towns of Europe Eleven spa towns, located in seven European countries: Baden bei Wien (Austria); Spa (Belgium); Františkovy Lázně; Karlovy Vary; Mariánské Lázně (Czechia); Vichy (France); Bad Ems; Baden-Baden; Bad Kissingen (Germany); Montecatini Terme (Italy); and City of Bath (United Kingdom).
10 Countries Struve Geodetic Arc Chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea. These are points of a survey, carried out by Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian.

North America

Canada Rideau Canal The canal connects Ottawa to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River at Kingston. It was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States.
Canada L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site At the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, the remains of an 11th century Viking settlement are evidence of the first European presence in North America.
Cuba Old Havana and its Fortification System Havana was founded in 1519 by the Spanish. its old centre retains a mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments.
Dominica Morne Trois Pitons National Park The park is named after its highest mountain and is an area of significant volcanic activity. Features include the Boiling Lake that is filled with bubbling greyish-blue water.
Guatemala Antigua Antigua, the capital of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala, was founded in the early 16th century. In 1773, an earthquake destroyed much of the town, but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins.
Guatemala Tikal National Park Tikal is one of the largest archeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in a rainforest in the department of Peten.
Honduras Maya Site of Copan Copan was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries CE. The Acropolis was the royal complex at the heart of Copan.
Mexico Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza Located on the Yucatan peninsula, Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities. Surviving buildings include the Temple of Kukulcan (El Castillo), the Temple of Warriors, and the ancient observatory building known as El Caracol.
Mexico Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan Teotihuacan is situated 50 km north-east of Mexico City. Built between the 1st and 7th centuries CE, it is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. The city's elite housing compounds were clustered around the Avenue of the Dead.
Mexico Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque Palenque was a Maya city state in southern Mexico. it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. The most famous ruler of Palenque was Pacal the Great.
Mexico Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Alban Oaxaca is best known for its indigenous peoples and cultures. The most numerous and best known are the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs. The monumental centre of Monte Alban is the Main Plaza, that was created through artificial levelling of the mountaintop.
Saint Lucia Pitons Management Area Located near the town of Soufriere, the volcanic spires Gros Piton and Petit Piton are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. Coral reefs cover almost 60% of the site’s marine area.
United States Mesa Verde National Park Located in Colorado, the park protects some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States. Some villages were built on the Mesa top, at an altitude of more than 2,600 metres. The Ancestral Puebloan culture lasted from c. 450 to 1300.
United States Chaco Culture Chaco Culture National Historical Park is located in New Mexico. Chaco Canyon was a major centre of ancestral Pueblo culture between 850 and 1250. Petroglyphs on Fajada Butte at what is now called the Sun Dagger site is the most famous site in Chaco Canyon.
United States Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site Site of a pre-Columbian Native American city near St. Louis. It is the largest prehistoric earthen construction in the Americas north of Mexico. Monks Mound was constructed by the Mississippian culture and is 30 metres high.
United States Grand Canyon National Park The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona and was carved out by the Colorado River. It is 446 km long and over a mile in depth. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site.
United States Yosemite National Park Yosemite is in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Repeated glaciations over millions of years have resulted in a concentration of distinctive landscape features. The indigenous natives of Yosemite called themselves the Ahwahneechee.
United States Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone is located largely in Wyoming and extends into Montana and Idaho. It was the first National Park in the United States. The park is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially the Old Faithful geyser.
United States Carlsbad Caverns National Park The site in New Mexico contains over 100 limestone caves. The largest limestone chamber in the Carlsbad Cavern chamber is known as the Big Room. Lechuguilla Cave is famous for its unusual geology, rare formations, and pristine condition.
United States Mammoth Cave National Park Mammoth Cave, located in Kentucky, has the world's largest network of natural caves and underground passageways. It developed in thick limestone strata capped by a layer of sandstone.
United States Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville Thomas Jefferson designed Monticello, his plantation home, and his ideal 'academical village', which is still the heart of the University of Virginia. Jefferson designed the main house using neoclassical design principles described by Andrea Palladio.
United States Statue of Liberty Made in Paris by the French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel (who was responsible for the steel framework), the copper statue was a gift from France on the centenary of American independence. Inaugurated in 1886, the sculpture stands at the entrance to New York Harbour.


Australia Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef is the world’s most extensive coral reef ecosystem, extending 2,000 km along Queensland's coast.
Australia Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park The park contains the sandstone monolith Uluru / Ayers Rock and the group of large, domed rock formations Kata Tjuta / The Olgas. The traditional owners of the park are the Anangu Aboriginal people.
Australia Greater Blue Mountains Area Inland from Sydney, The Greater Blue Mountains Area consists of sandstone plateaux, escarpments and gorges dominated by temperate eucalypt forest. Includes the Three Sisters rock formation.
Australia Shark Bay Shark Bay is the most westerly point of Australia. It has the largest known area of seagrass and a large population of dugongs.
Marshall Islands Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site Site of 67 nuclear tests carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952).
Micronesia Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia * Nan Madol is a series of more than 100 islets off the south-east coast of Pohnpei that were constructed with walls of basalt and coral boulders. These ruins represent the ceremonial centre of the Saudeleur dynasty.
New Zealand Tongariro National Park The park is a site of mixed cultural and natural values. It contains a number of Maori religious sites and three active volcanoes.

South America

Argentina Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz Province Los Glaciares is an ice cap in the Andes, that feeds numerous glaciers including the Perito Moreno glacier that regularly ruptures into Lake Argentino.
Argentina Cueva de las Manos, Rio Pinturas The site takes its name (Cave of the Hands) from the stencilled outlines of human hands in the cave, but there are also many depictions of animals.
Brazil Pantanal Conservation Area Located within the state of Mato Grosso, the Pantanal is one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems, and is recognised as a Ramsar Site.
Brazil Brasilia Brasilia was founded by President Juscelino Kubitschek in 1960, to serve as the new national capital. It was designed by urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Chile Rapa Nui National Park Rapa Nui is the Polynesian name of Easter Island. The island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. It is famous for its stone statues of ancestors known as “moai”, carved out of volcanic rocks.
Ecuador Galapagos Islands Archipelago of volcanic islands situated 1,000 km west of Ecuador. Known for their large number of endemic species that were studied by Charles Darwin during his voyage in 1835.
Peru Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel standing 2,430 m above sea level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest. It was probably constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti in the 15th century.
Peru Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Palpa The Nasca Lines are geoglyphs created in the Nasca Desert between 500 BCE and 500 CE. They depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures.
Peru City of Cuzco Cuzco developed under the Inca ruler Pachacuti into a complex urban centre. It was the capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century until the 16th century Spanish conquest.
Peru Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa Arequipa was founded by the Spanish in 1540. Most buildings in the historical centre are built from white or pink volcanic rock.
Uruguay Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape The town was founded in 1859. It includes buildings and equipment of the Liebig Extract of Meat Company, which exported meat extract and corned-beef to the European market from 1865.

Delisted World Heritage Sites

Arabian Oryx Sanctuary Removed from the list in 2007 following a decline in the oryx population and the decision by the government of Oman to reduce the size of the sanctuary following the discovery of oil.
Dresden Elbe Valley Removed from the list in 2009 on the basis that the Waldschlosschen Bridge that was under construction would bisect the valley.
Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City Removed from the list in 2021 after UNESCO decided that developments including a planned new football stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock had resulted in a "serious deterioration" of the historic site.

Partially Delisted Sites

UNESCO removed Bagrati Cathedral in Georgia from its World Heritage Sites in 2017, considering its major reconstruction detrimental to its integrity and authenticity. Both it and Gelati Monastery were inscribed as a joint World Heritage Site in 1994.