Südwestrundfunk (SWR) was founded in 1998, when its two predecessors, Südwestfunk and Süddeutscher Rundfunk, merged. Today, SWR is one of the largest media groups in Germany and the second largest broadcasting corporation in the Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations (ARD) in Germany.
The documentaries in the series entitled "Treasures of the World - Heritage of Mankind" use the most compelling images and narratives to convey the dramatic, exciting stories of the world`s cultural and natural heritage, while at the same time providing essential historical information. They capture the “genus loci." They pinpoint the mood of the historic site – be it a town or a palace, a temple or a landscape – in image and in sound. The films aim to breathe life into history, awakening the viewer`s imagination and recreating a vibrant time and place in the ancient ruins of the past. SWR made the first film in the series in 1995 and by this year, they will have produced more than 400 of these special documentary films. And this important series will continue into the future.
Through these films, SWR is fulfilling one of the primary legal obligations for a public television station, to inform its viewers about civilization, history, and the foundations of humanity. Or, simply said, to tell the story of world civilization to the world’s people. In addition to the films themselves, a permanent archive of the footage and the completed films has been established. In this way “Treasures of the World – Heritage of Mankind” is being preserved and will be accessible to new generations.