What Does It Take to be a World Heritage Site?

August 11, 2017

Have you ever walked across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco? Taken a picture by the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Climbed the Great Wall in China? Explored the ancient temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia? Or traveled to the Egyptian pyramids? Besides being popular tourist destinations, these sites are also World Heritage sites.

What is a World Heritage site you ask?

It’s a natural or man-made structure or place that has been determined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as culturally important and something that should be protected. In other words, this group has decided that these sites need some extra attention and it would be a shame if we didn’t all do our best to make sure they’re around for generations to come (that’s your kids and their kids and so on!).

In July, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee met in Krakow, Poland to decide which of the thirty-three nominated sites would be added to the list of World Heritage site. Twenty-one sites were added to the existing 1,052 sites on the list.

So, what were some of these sites? Here are just a few that we couldn’t resist sharing:

Turkey: The city of Aphrodisias and the marble quarries near the city.

China: The pedestrian-only island of Kulangsu (also known as Gulangyu)

By Jakob Montrasio [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Georgia: The Gelati Monastery played an important role in science and education.

By Ihor Burliai (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Croatia, Italy, Montenegro: Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th Centuries included a number of forts to protect the area from possible enemy attacks.

By IlirikIlirik (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
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