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UNESCO World Heritage Committee Adds 30 Sites to World Heritage List

Wednesday, 2 December 1998
access_time 11 min read

Kyoto,Japan - UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, meeting in Kyoto since November 30, has added 30 new sites and one extension to its World Heritage List of cultural and natural sites, bringing the number of listed sites of "exceptional universal value" to 582 in 114 countries.

For the first time, the List includes sites located in Belgium and the Solomon Islands. Among this year's additions, the Committee added the archaeological site of Troy, in Turkey, the Summer Palace in Beijing, China, and the prehistoric rock-art Sites in Portugal's Côa Valley. The 30 new inscriptions, located in 21 countries, include 27 cultural sites, three natural sites and one extension.

AUSTRIA Semmering Railway C (ii) (iv)
The Semmering Railway, built over 41 km of high mountains between 1848 and 1854, is one of the greatest feats of civil engineering of this pioneering phase of railway building. The quality of its tunnels, viaducts and other works have ensured the continuous use of the line up to the present day. It runs past a background of a spectacular mountain landscape containing many fine recreational buildings resulting from the opening up of the area with the advent of the railway.

Flemish Béguinages C (ii) (iii) (iv)
The Beguines were women who entered into a life dedicated to God without retiring from the world. In the 13th century they founded the béguinages, enclosed communities designed to meet their spiritual and material needs. The Flemish béguinages are architectural ensembles composed of houses, churches, ancillary buildings and green spaces organized according to a spatial conception of urban or rural origin, and are built in styles specific to the Flemish cultural region. They bear extraordinary witness to the tradition of the Beguines that developed in north-western Europe in the Middle Ages.

The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault) C (iii) (iv)
The four hydraulic boat-lifts on this short stretch of the historic Canal du Centre are industrial monuments of the highest quality. Together with the Canal itself and its associated structures, they constitute a remarkably well preserved and complete example of a late 19th-century industrial landscape.

La Grand-Place, Brussels C (ii) (iv)
The Brussels Grand-Place is a remarkably homogeneous body of public and private buildings, dating mainly from the late 17th century, whose architecture encapsulates and vividly illustrates the social and cultural quality of this important political and commercial centre.

BOLIVIA El Fuerte de Samaipata C (ii) (iii)
The archaeological site of Samaipata consists of two elements: the hill with its many carvings, believed to have been the ceremonial centre of the ancient town (14th – 16th centuries), and the area to the south of the hill, which formed the administrative and residential quarter. The enormous sculptured rock, dominating the town below, is a unique testimony to prehispanic traditions and beliefs, without parallel anywhere in the Americas.

Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing C (i) (ii) (iii)
The Summer Palace in Beijing, created in the 17th century and extended and embellished for over two hundred years, is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design, integrating the natural landscape of hills and open water with manmade features such as halls, palaces, temples and bridges into a harmonious and aesthetically exceptional whole.

Temple of Heaven -- an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing C (i) (ii) (iii)
The Temple of Heaven, founded in the first half of the 15th century, is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. In its overall layout and in that of its individual buildings, it symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship.

CYPRUS Choirokoitia C (ii) (iii) (iv)
The Neolithic settlement of Choirokhoitia, occupied from the 7th to the 4th millennium BC, is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean. Its remains and the finds from the excavations there have thrown much light on the evolution of human society in this key region. Only part of the site has been excavated, and so it forms an exceptional archaeological reserve for future study.

CZECH REPUBLIC Holašovice Historical Village Reservation C (ii) (iv)
Holašovice is an exceptionally complete and well preserved example of a traditional Central European village, containing a number of high-quality vernacular buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries in a style known as the "South Bohemian Folk Baroque", and preserving a ground plan dating from the Middle Ages.

Gardens and Castle at Kromeríz C (ii) (iv)
Kromeríz stands on the site of an earlier ford across the river Morava, at the foot of the Chriby mountain range dominating the central part of Moravia. The gardens and castle of Kromeríz offer an exceptionally complete and well preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its associated gardens.

Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France C (ii) (iv) (vi)
Santiago de Compostela was the greatest of all goals for countless thousands of pious pilgrims converging there from all over Europe throughout the Middle Ages. To reach Spain pilgrims had to pass through France, and the group of important historical monuments included in this inscription on the World Heritage List mark out the four routes by which they did so.

Historic Site of Lyon C (ii) (iv)
The long history of Lyon, which was founded by the Romans as the capital of the Three Gauls in the 1st century BC and has continued to play a major role in the political, cultural, and economic development of Europe since that time, is vividly illustrated by its urban fabric and by its many fine historic buildings from all periods.

GERMANY Classical Weimar C (iii) (vi)
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the small Saxon town of Weimar witnessed a remarkable cultural flowering, attracting to it many writers and scholars, notably Goethe and Schiller. This development is reflected in the high quality of many of its buildings and of the parks in the surrounding area.

Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula C (iii) (iv)
The Cilento area is a cultural landscape of exceptional quality. Dramatic chains of sanctuaries and settlements along its three east-west mountain ridges vividly portray the historical evolution of the area as a major route for trade and for cultural and political interaction during the prehistoric and medieval periods. It was also the boundary between the Greek colonies of Magna Grecia and the indigenous Etruscan and Lucanian peoples, and so preserves the remains of two very important classical cities, Paestum and Velia.

Historic Centre of Urbino C (ii) (iv)
Urbino is a small hill town that experienced an astonishing cultural flowering in the 15th century, attracting artists and scholars from all over Italy and beyond, and influencing cultural developments elsewhere in Europe. Owing to its economic and cultural stagnation from the 16th century onwards, its Renaissance appearance has been remarkably well preserved.

Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia C (iii) (iv) (vi)
Aquileia, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Early Roman Empire, was destroyed by Attila in the mid-5th century. Most of it still remains unexcavated beneath fields, and as such it constitutes the greatest archaeological reserve of its kind. Its Patriarchal Basilica, an outstanding building with an exceptional mosaic pavement, also played a key role in the evangelization of a large region of Central Europe.

JAPAN Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara C (ii) (iii) (iv) (vi)
The historic monuments of Nara - temples, shrines, the excavated remains of the great imperial palace - provide a vivid picture of the capital of Japan in the 8th century AD, a period of profound political and cultural change.

LEBANON Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab) C (iii) (iv)
The Qadisha Valley is one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world, and its monasteries, many of great age, are positioned dramatically in a rugged landscape. Nearby are the remains of the great forest of the Cedars of Lebanon, which were highly prized for the construction of great religious buildings in Antiquity.

Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan C (ii) (iv)
Tlacotalpan, a Spanish colonial river port on the Gulf coast of Mexico, founded in the mid-16th century, has preserved its original urban fabric to an exceptional degree. Its qualities are to be found in its outstanding townscape of wide streets, colonnaded houses built in an exuberant variety of styles and colours, and many mature trees in the public open spaces and private gardens.

Archeological zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes C (iii) (iv)
Paquimé Casas Grandes, which reached its apogee in the 14th and 15th centuries, played a key role in trade and cultural contacts between the Pueblo culture of the south-western USA and northern Mexico and the more advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica. Its extensive remains, only part of which have been excavated, bear eloquent testimony to the vitality of this culture, well adapted to its physical and economic environment, which would disappear abruptly at the time of the Spanish Conquest.

NETHERLANDS Ir.D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station) C (i) (ii) (iv)
The Wouda Pumping Station in the Province of Friesland opened in 1920. It is the largest steam-pumping station ever built and is still in operation. It represents the apogee of the contribution made by Dutch engineers and architects to the protection of people and their lands against the natural forces of water.

NEW ZEALAND New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands N (ii) (iv)
The New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands consist of five island groups (the Snares, Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, and Campbell Island) in the Southern Ocean south-east of New Zealand. The islands, lying between the Antarctic and Sub-tropical Convergences and the seas, have a high level of productivity, bio-diversity, wildlife population densities and endemism among birds, plants and invertebrates. They are particularly notable for the large number and diversity of pelagic seabirds and penguins that nest there. There are 126 bird species in total including 40 seabirds of which 5 breed nowhere else.

PORTUGAL Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites in the Côa Valley C (i) (iii)
The exceptional concentration of rock engravings from the Upper Palaeolithic period, from 22,000 to 10,000 BC, is the most outstanding example of the early manifestation of human artistic creation in this form anywhere in the world.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION Golden Mountains of Altai N (iv)
The Altai Mountains in southern Siberia form the major mountain range in the western Siberia bio-geographic region and provide the source of its greatest rivers - the Ob and the Irtysh. Three separate areas are inscribed: Altaisky Zapovednik and a buffer zone around the Teletskoye Lake, Katunsky Zapovednik and a buffer zone around Mt. Belukha and the Ukok Quiet Zone on the Ukok Plateau, the total area representing 1,611,457 ha. The region represents the most complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones in central Siberia from steppe, forest-steppe, mixed forest, sub-alpine vegetation and alpine vegetation. The site is also an important habitat for endangered animal species, such as the snow leopard.

SOLOMON ISLANDS East Rennell N (ii)
East Rennell makes up the southern third of Rennell Island, the southernmost island in the Solomon Island group in the western Pacific. Rennell, 86 km long and 15 km wide, is the largest raised coral atoll in the world. The site includes approximately 37,000 ha and a marine area extending three nautical miles to sea. A major feature of the island is Lake Tegano which was the former lagoon on the atoll. The lake, the largest in the insular Pacific (15,500 ha), is brackish and contains many rugged limestone islands and endemic species. Rennell is mostly covered with dense forest with a canopy averaging 20 m in height. The site is under customary land ownership and management.

University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares C (ii) (iv) (vi)
Alcalá de Henares is the first planned university city in the world, founded by Cardinal Ximénez de Cisneros in the early 16th century. It was the original model of the Civitas Dei (City of God), the ideal urban community which Spanish missionaries brought to the Americas, and also for universities in Europe and beyond.

Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias (site extension)
The Cámara Santa, the Basilica of San Julián de los Prados and La Foncalada (a remarkable example of medieval hydraulic engineering underlying a small chapel) at Oviedo are fine religious structures in Romanesque style which complement the three churches of the Kingdom of Asturias already on the World Heritage List.

Rock-Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula C (iii)
The late prehistoric rock-art sites of the Mediterranean seaboard of the Iberian peninsula form an exceptionally large group in which the way of life in a critical phase of human development is vividly and graphically depicted in paintings that are unique in style and subject matter.

SWEDEN Naval Port of Karlskrona C (ii) (iv)
Karlskrona is an outstanding example of a European planned naval city of the late 17th century in which the original plan and many of the buildings have survived intact, along with installations that illustrate its subsequent development up to the present

TURKEY Archaeological Site of Troy C (ii) (iii) (vi)
Troy, with its four thousand years of history, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In scientific terms, its extensive remains are the most significant and substantial demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of the Near-East and the burgeoning Mediterranean world. Moreover, the siege of Troy by Mycenaean warriors from Greece in the 13th century BC, immortalized by Homer in The Iliad, has inspired great creative artists throughout the world since that

UKRAINE L'viv - the Ensemble of the Historic Centre C (ii) (v)
The city of L’viv, founded in the later Middle Ages, flourished as an administrative, religious, and commercial centre for several centuries. It has preserved virtually intact its medieval urban topography, and in particular evidence of the separate ethnic communities who lived there, along with many fine Baroque and later buildings.