The World Heritage Committee has inscribed the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, comprising the West Lake and the hills surrounding its three sides, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The inscribed landscape has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. It comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.
These additions have been made to improve the landscape west of the city of Hangzhou to the south of the Yangtze river.

The West Lake has influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries and bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of vistas reflecting an idealised fusion between humans and nature.

A total of 35 nominations, including natural, cultural and mixed properties are being reviewed by the Committee, which is holding its 35th session at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The session will end on 29 June.

Photographs: UNESCO Media Service
B-rolls: UNESCO Media Service
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