Decision : 32 COM 8B.101
Revision of Statements of Signifiance and Statements Outstanding Universal Value - Maritime Greenwich (UK)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Documents WHC-08/32.COM/8B.Add and WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B1.Add,
2. Adopts the following Statement of Significance for Maritime Greenwich, United Kingdom:
Symmetrically arranged alongside the River Thames, the ensemble of the 17th century Queen's House, part of the last Royal Palace at Greenwich, the palatial Baroque complex of the Royal Hospital for seamen, and the Royal Observatory founded in 1675 and surrounded by the Royal Park laid out in the 1660s by André Le Nôtre, reflects two centuries of Royal patronage and represents a high point of the work of the architects Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren, and more widely European architecture at an important stage in its evolution. It also symbolises English artistic and scientific endeavour in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Greenwich town, which grew up at the gates of the Royal Palace, provides, with its villas and formal stuccoed terraces set around Nicholas Hawksmoor's St Alphege's church, a setting and approach for the main ensemble.
Inigo Jones' Queen's House as the first Palladian building in Britain was also the direct inspiration for classical houses and villas all over the country in the two centuries after it was built.
The Royal Hospital, laid out to a master plan developed by Christopher Wren and built over many decades by him and other leading architects, including Nicholas Hawksmoor, is among the most outstanding group of Baroque buildings in England.
The Royal Park is a masterpiece of the application of symmetrical landscape design to irregular terrain by André Le Nôtre.
The Royal Observatory's astronomical work, particularly of the scientist Robert Hooke, and John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, permitted the accurate measurement of the earth's movement and also contributed to the development of global navigation. The Observatory is now the baseline for the world's time zone system and for the measurement of longitude around the globe.
Criterion (i): The public and private buildings and the Royal Park at Greenwich form an exceptional ensemble that bears witness to human artistic and creative endeavour of the highest quality.
Criterion (ii): Maritime Greenwich bears witness to European architecture at an important stage of its evolution, exemplified by the work of great architects such as Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren who, inspired by developments on the continent of Europe, each shaped the architectural development of subsequent generations, while the Park exemplifies the interaction of man and nature over two centuries.
Criterion (iv): The Palace, Royal Naval College, and Royal Park demonstrate the power, patronage, and influence of the Crown in the 17th and 18th centuries and its illustration through the ability to plan and integrate culture and nature into an harmonious whole.
Criterion (vi): Greenwich is associated with outstanding architectural and artistic achievements as well as with scientific endeavour of the highest quality through the development of navigation and astronomy at the Royal Observatory, leading to the establishment of the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as world standards.
3. Recommends that assessment for statements of authenticity and integrity / statements of protection and management should be postponed to the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee (2009) awaiting adoption of a methodology and an agreed format for Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for inscribed properties.