1.         Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany) (C 1156)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2006-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Four-lane bridge construction project in the core zone of the World Heritage property

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Halting of the bridge project

Corrective measures identified

a) Discussions with all stakeholders to find alternative solutions so as to ensure the safeguarding of the outstanding universal value of the property;

b) Review without delay the projects in the core zone taking into account the results of the visual impact study.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

a) Discussion with stakeholders from July 2006 to February 2007;

b) Review of projects in the core zone: ongoing until a solution is found.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1156/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1156/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

No specific monitoring mission to the property, but to the Cultural Committee of the German Parliament (World Heritage Centre, September 2006) and to the Court in Dresden (World Heritage Centre, November 2006)

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Four-lane bridge construction project in the core zone of the World Heritage property

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1156/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

As a follow-up to the inclusion of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger a number of actions were taken to redress the situation:

a) The City Council of Dresden halted the construction procedures. The Land Sachsen however requested that the procedure be continued in accordance with the public vote. The city therefore went to court (Oberverwaltungsgericht) about this matter and the case is currently pending. Both the German Delegate to the World Heritage Committee and the representative of the World Heritage Centre were asked to attend a hearing of the court in Bautzen (not open to the public) on 8 November 2006 which proposed a mediation process including a moderated procedure to find alternative solutions in accordance with the Decision of the Committee (30 COM 7B.11 Paragraph 7);

b) Furthermore, the Cultural Committee of the German Parliament reviewed the overall situation with regard to the Dresden bridge project and called for a hearing on 28 September 2006. The German Delegate to the World Heritage Committee, representatives of the German Foreign Office and a representative of the World Heritage Centre were invited to participate to reply to questions on substance and procedure of the case;

c) The City in its letter dated 30 January 2007 to the World Heritage Centre confirmed that it is interested to continue the mediation process to find a solution which would protect the World Heritage values;

d) Following the hearing at the court in Bautzen, an expert workshop was organized chaired by the German Delegate to the World Heritage Committee with international experts including experts nominated by ICOMOS and UNESCO. The workshop on 24 January 2007 concluded again that the current bridge proposal (Waldschlösschen) could not be maintained as already pointed out in the visual impact study, written by the Institute of Urban Design and Regional Planning of the Technical University of Aachen and submitted in April 2006. Even a design change at this location could not be accommodated in maintaining the values for which the site was inscribed in the World Heritage List. The Ambassador Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO informed the World Heritage Centre on 14 February 2007 “that all interested parties ought to work in the framework of a moderated workshop on new perspectives to find a solution on the issue of the “Waldschlösschenbrücke”. Such a workshop should establish the foundations and a framework for a new planning process with regard to the issue.” Such a workshop would need to address location, design and future traffic volume.

No further information was received at the time of the preparation of this document.

However on 13 March 2007, the Centre received the decision of the court case in Bautzen (Sächsisches Oberverwaltungsgericht) between the city of Dresden and the Land Sachsen. The court concluded that the public vote for the construction of the bridge has to be implemented. The full documentation of the court case is currently being reviewed by the Centre and ICOMOS.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7A.27

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.77, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), and in particular that the construction project of the Waldschlösschen Bridge would irreversibly damage the values and integrity of the property in accordance with Paragraph 179 (b) of the Operational Guidelines,

3. Notes with satisfaction that extensive consultation took place in 2006 and 2007 between different stakeholders, including the State Party authorities, the Land Sachsen, the city of Dresden as well as international experts, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre;

4. Also notes the decision of the City Council of Dresden to immediately halt the bridge project after the receipt of Decision 30 COM 7B.77 as well as the court case between the City of Dresden and the Land Sachsen about this matter;

5. Taking into account the fact that the judicial process has been exhausted, requests the State Party to continue its efforts to find an appropriate solution to protect the outstanding universal value and integrity of the World Heritage property, taking up the alternative proposals discussed at the moderated workshop of May 2007, and others, and to submit these proposals for evaluation by the Advisory Bodies by, at the latest, 1 October 2007;

6. Decides to apply the reinforced monitoring mechanism in monitoring the state of conservation of the property, subject to the procedures in Document WHC-07/31 COM/5.2 and Decision 31 COM 5.2;

7. Also decides to delete the property from the World Heritage List, in conformity with Paragraphs 192-198 of the Operational Guidelines, in the event that the construction of the bridge has an irreversible impact on the outstanding universal value of the property, as discussed at the 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), and further decides, in the event that an alternate proposal is adopted by the State Party, to request the State Party, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, to submit a report that examines the impact of such a proposal on the outstanding universal value of the property, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

8. Decides to retain the Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany) on the List of World

Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-07/31.COM/7A and WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.3),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: