Budapest, Hungary. The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Budapest since June 24, has inscribed today 9 new sites on the World Heritage List.
The List now numbers 730 sites of "outstanding universal value" in 125 countries. For the first time, a site from Afghanistan appears on the List. The 9 inscriptions this year include only cultural sites.Simultaneously with its inscription on the World Heritage List, the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam, Afghanistan, was also inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. In addition to the 9, two sites already inscribed on the List were extended.
The following is a list of the sites newly inscribed on the World Heritage List, together with the cultural (C) or natural (N) criteria according to which the sites are inscribed.
The 9 cultural sites inscribed this year are:
Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (C ii, iii, iv)
The 65m-tall Minaret of Jam is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century. Covered in elaborate brickwork with a blue tile inscription at the top, it is noteworthy for the quality of its architecture and decoration, which represent the culmination of an architectural and artistic tradition in this region. Its impact is heightened by its dramatic setting, a deep river valley between towering mountains in the heart of the Ghur province.
Saint Catherine Area (C i, iii, iv, vi)
The Orthodox Monastery of St Catherine stands at the foot of the Mount Horeb of the Old Testament, where Moses received the Tablets of the Law. The mountain is known and revered by Muslims as Jebel Musa. The entire area is sacred to three world religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The Monastery, founded in the 6th century, is the oldest Christian monastery still in use for its initial function. Its walls and buildings are very significant in the study of Byzantine architecture and the Monastery houses outstanding collections of early Christian manuscripts and icons. The rugged mountainous landscape, containing numerous archaeological and religious sites and monuments, forms a perfect backdrop for the Monastery.
Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar (C ii, iv)
The medieval towns of Wismar and Stralsund, on the Baltic coast of northern Germany, were major trading centres of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries they became Swedish administrative and defensive centres for the German territories. They contributed to the development of the characteristic building types and techniques of Brick Gothic in the Baltic region, as exemplified in several important brick cathedrals, the Town Hall of Stralsund, and the series of houses for residential, commercial and crafts use, representing its evolution over several centuries.
Upper Middle Rhine Valley (C ii, iv, v)
The 65km-stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, historic towns, and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. It is intimately associated with history and legend and for centuries has exercised a powerful influence on writers, artists and composers.
Tokaji Wine Region Cultural Landscape (C iii, v)
The cultural landscape of Tokaj graphically demonstrates the long tradition of wine production in this region of low hills and river valleys. The intricate pattern of vineyards, farms, villages, and small towns, with their historic networks of deep wine cellars, illustrates every facet of the production of the famous Tokaj wines, the quality and management of which have been strictly regulated for nearly three centuries.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (C i, ii, iii, iv, vi)
The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C., and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period.
Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) (C i, ii, iv, v)
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building.
Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche (C i, ii, iii, iv)
Calakmul, an important Maya site set deep in the tropical forest of the Tierras Bajas of southern Mexico, played a key role in the history of this region for more than twelve centuries. Its imposing structures and its characteristic overall layout are remarkably well preserved and give a vivid picture of life in an ancient Maya capital.
Historic Inner City of Paramaribo (C ii, iv)
Paramaribo is a former Dutch colonial town from the 17th and 18th centuries planted on the coast of tropical South America. The original and highly characteristic street plan of the historic centre remains intact. Its buildings illustrate the gradual fusion of Dutch architectural design with traditional local techniques and materials.
The following are the EXTENSIONS to sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List:
Andrássy Avenue and the Millennium Underground (extension to "Budapest, the Banks of the Danube and the Buda Castle Quarter") (C ii, iv)
The World Heritage site is extended to include the site of Andrássy Avenue (1872-85) and the Millennium Underground railway (1893-96) in Budapest, built in the second half of the 19th century as part of the celebration of the centenary of the Hungarian State. The scheme is a representative example of the implementation of planning solutions associated with the latest technical facilities of the day to meet the requirements of an emerging modern society.
Extension of the Marine Zone of "Cocos Island National Park" (N ii, iv) Cocos Island National Park is extended to include an expanded marine zone of 1,997 km².