Here are 21 new entries for your bucket list.
Following their annual meeting in Turkey, UNESCO have added 21 significant sites — both natural and cultural — to its preservation list.
In order to crack the list, a site must be “of outstanding universal value”, and satisfy at least one out of ten selection criteria, like representing “a masterpiece of human creative genius”; exhibiting “an important interchange of human values”; containing “superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance”; or serving as an outstanding example of “major stages of earth’s history”.
With these 21 new sites, there are now 1,052 places in the world that have managed to satisfy the criteria.
- Antequera Dolmens Site, Spain: Comprised of three megalithic monuments, this site in southern Spain has been hailed as “one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism” by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.
- Antigua Naval Dockyard, Antigua and Barbuda: A group of naval buildings and structures set within a walled enclosure, the dockyard was built by generations of enslaved Africans.
- Archaeological site of Ani, Turkey: This secluded medieval city combines residential, religious and military structures, and presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of medieval architecture.
- Nalanda University, India: The archaeological remains of the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. Nalanda engaged in the organised transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years.
- Archaeological site of Philippi, Greece: Philippi functioned as a “small Rome” after the establishment of the Roman Empire, and eventually became a centre of Christian faith. The remains of its basilicas are said to constitute “an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity”.
- Gorham’s Cave Complex, United Kingdom of Great Britan and Northern Island: These steep limestone cliffs on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar contain four caves with archaeological and paleontogical deposits providing evidence of Neanderthal occupation over a span of more than 125,000 years.
- Nan Madol, Micronesia: A series of 99 artificial islets off the south-east coast of Pohnpei, they harbour the remains of stone palaces, temples, tombs and residential domains built between 1200 and 1500 CE.
- Pampulha Modern Ensemble, Brazil: The centre of a visionary garden city project created in 1940 designed around an artifical lake. The cultural and leisure centre included a casino, a ballroom, the Golf Yacht Club, and the Sao Francisco de Assis church, all designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer.
- Stecci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia: Spanning 30 sites, these cemeteries feature a wide range of decorative motifs and inscriptions representing communities within medieval Europe, as well as locally distinct traditions.
- The architectural work of Le Corbusier, Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland: A bit of a sneaky one, this is actually 17 sites located all over the world, built over the course of a half-century. Le Corbusier’s masterpieces have been selected because they “attest to the internationalisation of architectural practice across the planet”.
- The Persian Qanat, Iran: Agricultural and permanent settlements in the arid regions of Iran are supported by this ancient system of tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of alleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels. They provide “exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilisations in desert areas with an arid climate”.
- Zuojiang Huashan rock art cultural landscape, China: These 38 sites of rock art illustrate the life and rituals of the Luoyue people, and are all that remains of this culture today.
- Archipielago de Revillagigedo, Mexico: This archipelago is part of a submerged mountain range, with the four islands representing the peaks of volcanoes emerging above sea level. An abundance of manta rays, whales, dolphins and sharks can be found here.
- Hubei Shennongjia, China: The largest primary forests remaining in Central China provide habitats for many rate animal species, like the Chinese Giant Salamander, the Golden or Snub-nosed Monkey, the Clouded Leopard, Common Leopard and the Asian Black Bear.
- Lut Desert, Iran: This arid subtropical area is often swept by strong winds, resulting in spectacular examples of aeolian yardang landforms (massive corrugated ridges), providing an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes.
- Mistaken Point, Canada: Marine fossils from the Edicarean Period found here “illustrate a watershed in the history of life on Earth: the appearance of large, biologically complex organisms, after almost 3 billion years of micro-dominated evolution”, according to the Committee.
- Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay, Sudan: A highly diverse system of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, beaches and islets, these provide a habitat for populations of seabirds, marine mammals, fish, sharks, turtles and manta rays, as well as a globally significant population of dugongs.
- Western Tien-Shan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan: A transnational site located in the Tien-Shan mountain system, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. The Committee believes the site is of global importance as a centre of origin for a number of cultivated fruit crops, and home to a great diversity of forest types and unique plant community associations.
- Ennedi Massif, Chad: Thousands of images have been painted and carved into the rock surface of caves, canyons and shelters here, making it one of the largest ensembles of rock art in the Sahara.
- Khangchendzonga National Park, India: The park includes a unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular, snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests, including the world’s third highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga, which is associated with a number of myths and legends.
- The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Made up of three distinct archaeological sites and four wetland marsh areas, The Ahwar is considered to be unique because it is one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, in an extremely hot and arid environment.
Which Brisbane site would you like to see on the World Heritage list? Have your say in the comments below!