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Share your World Heritage story with the rest of the World

#OurWorldHeritage is a social media campaign where people are invited to share their unique World Heritage stories and experiences with our global community. The competition started in February and ended in March 2016. More than 2500 posts on Instagram were received with the hashtag #OurWorldHeritage.

Thanks to all participants!

Top 5 Winners

Diana Farisah Rahman

Taj Mahal

Rank Top#5

“Last year I gave myself a challenge to visit a country I've never been to. Through India and Taj Mahal I have realized that World Heritage Sites are hopes for some people. For local communities who protect and live around the sites, for indigenous people who have a strong connection to the sites, or for children who see the sites as an inspiration to build their dreams. We know that World Heritage Sites have Outstanding Universal Values for humanity. Hence, I think they suppose to give outstanding impacts for the humanity as well.”

Erika Locatelli

Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe

Rank Top#5

"...there are some places that steal your heart... the Royal Necropolis of Meroe in #Sudan is one of them! Still unknown to the most, this mysterious and unique country has so many precious sites to be discovered!? There are some breath-taking landscape, bright colours, extremely friendly people and unique atmosphere here that make me feel at home (although I comes from Italian mountains )!

Eduardo Gorlat

Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada

Rank Top#5

“The Alhambra is more than a series of beautiful buildings; it is literally an anthology of lyric verse, its pages always open and its words waiting to be transformed into jewels of sound. The Alhambra is a source of inspiration to all who visit it”

Elena Tatiana Chis

Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Rank Top#5

“After the rain and fog always comes the sun It's that moment when you have an entire look over this masterpiece of architecture and landscape mixture who made possible the creation of this amazing place You try to reflect and relive the long time ago moments.”

Sarah Ducatel

Acropolis, Athens

Rank Top#5

"For #ourworldheritage #contest #unesco I chose the Acropolis of Athens, the fabulous symbol of a past that will never cease to fascinate me. I have long studied when I was in the faculty of archeology. When I finally saw for the first time, I was amazed and deeply moved. My best memory is when I came up on the Philopappos Hill in the late afternoon. I could see the beauty of multiple colors that took the stone as the sun descended until the spotlight of the Parthenon lit up for the night. It was a magical moment... October 2015."

Top 10

Elena Tatiana Chis

The Great Wall

Rank Top#10

“After a day of thousand steps you feel closer to the moon Enjoying the beauty that surrounds us.”

Ismael Ramirez

Galápagos Islands

Rank Top#10

“Hiking the tallest hill in Galapagos, the Cerro Crocker is located in the Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos. I worked with a group of talented scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station to preserve the archipelago as pristine as possible. This hike lasted 3-4 hours and the view was stunning!”


Lake Baikal

Rank Top#10

“Вспоминая Байкал, Our Lake Baikal, memory #OurWorldHeritage #NaturalHeritage We are taking rest in hydrogen sulfide baths after swimming in the lake Outside air temperature is 10 degrees, the baths water temperature is 45 degrees”

Jessica Rose Myers

Archaeological Site of Volubilis

Rank Top#10

“Ruins of the 3rd Century Roman Basilica in the stunning town of Volubilis - Fun fact: While I love learning languages, French and Arabic are not two that I know (yet). I had the hardest time communicating in Morocco until I discovered this trick: I simply spoke Spanish with a French accent! I certainly sounded ridiculous but I was able to finally communicate effectively, and after all, the best parts of exploring and travel revolve around communication.”

John Christian Dinco

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Rank Top#10

“Location: Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. I was on the first grade when I first saw the beauty of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras on the cover of my Social Studies book. The cover photo gave me a feeling of awe that there was such a thing like this which really existed. I wanted to go there immediately, but I didn’t know how.

I considered it a dream come true that after two decades, I saw the resplendence of the 2000-year old terraces using my naked eyes. It was no longer a dream. It was no longer a picture. It was reality. The beauty that was carved into the mountains of Ifugao by my ancestors healed my longing soul.

The terraces, however, currently faces an array of problems from deforestation to climate change to globalization. Current generation of farmers are already at the twilight of their lives and with most of the younger generation already looking for greener pastures in terms of career elsewhere, it is safe to ask the question: who will take care of our heritage? As a young Filipino who has high dreams for my country, I believe that it is my responsibility to spark awareness among my countrymen about this looming issue. The rice terraces are not just a source of food; they are living diaries which tell us about the stories of the past—stories of struggles triumph and pain. Embedded on the terraces are layers of tales about the lives of the pre-colonial Filipinos who fought for the preservation of our culture. Protecting heritage sites is the same as protecting the soul of the place and its identity. If we value these things now, we will be able to pass it on to the next generation with little pieces ourselves attached to it. From there, our own stories are also preserved. I want the next generation to still experience what I experienced. I want the world to know that my country has its own indigenous identity which struggles to survive in this fast-changing world. #OurWorldHeritage #UNESCO #WorldHeritage #Asia ”

Top 15

Chiara Bocchio


Rank Top#15

“#OurWorldHeritage #unesco Here is a #nofilter picture of me in front of el Khasneh al Faroun in the #worldheritage site of #Petra. In November 2014, I had the unique chance to visit and experience this outstanding site. What did impress me more of Petra? Although it could appear impossible because of the arid area in which it is located, Petra has been inhabitated since prehistoric times and it is a testimony of past #civilizations! The red #sandstone landscape, the rock-cut temples and tombs, the contrast between the #lightblue colour of the sky and the #red sandstone cliff, the sound of #wind blowing through the Siq, and last but not least the strong honour and #hospitality traditions embedded in the local community and the #Bedouin tribes made me live an unforgettable experience. The time I spent in #Jordan, in its World Heritage sites, led me to embrace even more the concept that #culturaldiversity is the spice of our #Humanity, and for this reason we should protect it.”

Katarzyna Goszcz

Historic Centre of Kraków

Rank Top#15

“We are participants of Academy of Heritage in Kraków, Poland. Marvelous Historic Center of Kraków is on UNESCO World Heritage List. We care about Heritage, we care about Culture, we care about Art. We believe we can make others to do the same! :)”

Participants:Joanna Jurczyk - with a great help of taking photo, Maciej Czekaj-Słowikowski, Marta Lewosiuk, Ewa Halbryt, Robert Bartkowski, Magdalena Łuków vel Broniszewska, Joanna Pińkowska, Małgorzata Sokołowska, Kuba Krajewski, Izabela Paszko and Martyna Dąbrowska.

Alexander Holm Viborg

Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)

Rank Top#15

“UNESCO World Heritage Site Hiroshima Peace Memorial. The most unique and touching World Heritage Site and place on Earth I've ever been to. Sitting on that bench, thinking about what happent on August 6. 1945, was very emotional. Reflecting upon my visit today and the current escalating conflict between the two Koreas, I hope we can restore World peace without the use of Nuclear weapons - Let the Atomic Bomb Dome be a reminder of that to all of us.”

Meirisa Hilda Sukasa

Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout

Rank Top#15

“Living in Netherlands brought me to here: #kinderdijk, #rotterdam "Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, belonging to the municipality of Molenwaard, in the province South Holland, about 15 km east of Rotterdam"-wikipedia-

Lensed by @asganrz, I was also wearing #kebaya (Indonesian traditional dress for women). Thic picture for me means the interconnection between #indonesia #netherlands #ourWorldHeritage...”


Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region

Rank Top#15

“Our World Heritage story begins when you jump off a mountain in a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve! First, you look left to the crystal-clear waters of ancient Lake Ohrid and their every shade of blue. Then, you gaze right at majestic Ohrid Town with its 2,000 years of secret stories on every crooked corner. Beneath you is Studenchishte Marsh, the last of the lake's wetlands and the life-support for its unique ecosystem, perhaps the most diverse of any inland water on Earth by surface area. And behind you is National Park Galicica, a wilderness massif full of niche habitats where Balkan chamois, brown bear, wolves and even Balkan lynx roam. You fly like this as if in a dream. For a brief period, you are part of the sky. Yet you know you must eventually return to Earth. Return to the world of people and destruction. Return to the plans to drain and concrete Studenchishte Marsh, to replace Lake Ohrid's natural beaches with artificial copies, to tarmac the coast with an express road north to south, and to cut apart the mountain home of those precious species with a ski-resort. You know these plans will desecrate the beauty you currently see and bring death to a region that is currently so filled with the diversity of life. If you could resist them, perhaps that would be a way to truly learn to fly, not just with a parachute like you are wearing now… Slowly, against your will, you begin to descend. You wonder what you will see the next time you jump from this mountain, whether one day you will no longer be able to look.”

Read the terms and conditions of the competition

What were we looking for?

Entries to the competition were evaluated keeping in mind the following criteria


We were looking for creative stories and passionate storytellers!


We wanted to know what made this experience special or memorable


We looked at the composition and aesthetics of the photographs submitted.


Top 5

Selected entries in the Top 5 will receive a free UNESCO gift bag with a complimentary copy of the publication, World Heritage in Europe Today

Top 15

Selected entries in the Top 15 are showcased on the World Heritage Centre’s website as part of the #OurWorldHeritage competition.

Read our new publication

World Heritage in Europe Today, a UNESCO publication, brings together the experience, challenges and success stories of the thousands of people who are directly involved with World Heritage in Europe - a region which accounts for close to half of the World Heritage List.

Read more

Terms and Conditions

The following Terms and Conditions apply to the “Our World Heritage” photo contest, organized by UNESCO. By participating in the contest, the candidates accept the full terms and conditions contained herein.


This contest involves the submission of photographs that showcase the photographers personal experience at a World Heritage site, accompanied by a short description of around 50-100 words explaining why this experience is important for the photographer and what is his or her relationship with the depicted World Heritage property (Entries).

The description may be submitted in English and French only. The contest is free of charge.

Participation rules

  1. Any individual from any country can take part. Members of current UNESCO staff (either permanent or temporary) are not eligible to participate.
  2. The Entries are intended to present and promote the principles of the World Heritage Convention. This can include cultural, natural or mixed World Heritage properties (i.e. sites that are inscribed on the World Heritage list (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/)).
  3. There are no limits on the number of Entries that each Entrant can submit. The photo can be prepared using a mobile phone or camera or any other device. Any expenses incurred during submission are to be borne by the Participant.
  4. There is no registration. Entry is determined by the posting of the photo with accompanying story on Instagram and tagging it with the #OurWorldHeritagehashtag. To be eligible, Instagram Entries MUST be set as ‘Public’ so that they are visible to UNESCO.
  5. Entries must be submitted to Facebook or Instagram before 7 March 2016 at 19:00 Paris time (GMT + 2). Entries published after the established deadline shall not be considered. UNESCO shall not bear any responsibility for late or lost Entries due to network failure or any other reason.
  6. Photos must be taken and the accompanying text written by the Entrant him or herself. Photos must have been taken in the last five years, i.e. after 7 March 2011 at a World Heritage property (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/). Photos can be colour-corrected or have filters applied, but should not be digitally manipulated in terms of content and context.
  7. UNESCO reserves the right to exclude Entries that conflict with the principles of the UNESCO Constitution, that have obscene, violent, sexually explicit, sexist or racist content, or which violate any fundamental rights. The Entries must also not invade the rights of privacy of any person, living or deceased.
  8. By submitting their Entries via Instagram and using the #OurWorldHeritage hashtag, the Entrants accept that these Entries may be used by UNESCO as part of its communication tools. By participating, the Entrants declare their agreement that UNESCO may use the material in line with the UNESCO Open Access policy (http://www.unesco.org/open-access/terms-use-ccbysa-en).
  9. Entrants must possess the exclusive rights to Entries and are responsible for having obtained any necessary permission from the subjects shown on the Entries, in accordance with applicable law. UNESCO will not be responsible for any claims or complaints against infringement of rights or damages from third parties relating to the Entries, and the Entrant agrees to indemnify and hold UNESCO harmless in such cases.
  10. After 7 March 2016, the top fifteen (15) Entries will be contacted via the social media profile used to submit the Entry and asked to provide the following information:
    • name of the photographer (Entrant);
    • location of the photo;
    • date of the photo;
    • title; and
    • full name of the person/people appearing on the photo, if applicable.
  11. Shortlisted Entrants will also be asked to sign a Creative Commons license that allows others to use and distribute the photos and texts. The Entrants will retain the right to use their images for whatever purpose they wish, and be attributed for any usage by UNESCO or any another party. Users not agreeing to this license, or failing to respond within one week to UNESCO’s message, will be excluded from the contest. For more information about the license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/.
  12. UNESCO will select the winning Entries on the basis of the following main criteria: (i) creativity, (ii) content (i.e. effectiveness of the entry as a tool to promote the values of World Heritage) (iii) composition (i.e. technical and artistic quality of content). The photo and text will be treated as equally important – a strong photo without accompanying text will not be considered.
  13. Top 5 entries will receive a free UNESCO gift bag with a complimentary copy of the Publication, World Heritage in Europe Today (approximate value 80 Euros). There will be no cash alternatives. Top 10 entries will be showcased on the World Heritage Centre’s website as part of the #OurWorldHeritage competition which UNESCO reserves the right to use in a manner it deems suitable, and published in World Heritage Review magazine at time of UNESCO’s choosing.
  14. UNESCO’s decision will be final. Any attempt by an Entrant to influence the result or subvert the contest will lead to immediate disqualification.
  15. Participation in this contest implies accepting all of the present Terms and Conditions without exception. UNESCO reserves the right to rule on any issue(s) not covered by these Terms and Conditions. In the event that an Entrant should disagree with any decision made by UNESCO, that Entrant will have the right to withdraw his or her Entry.
  16. UNESCO will inform the winners of the results of the challenge. If a winner is unable to be contacted after reasonable attempts have been made to do so, UNESCO reserves the right to select the next best Entry.
  17. UNESCO reserves the right to modify or cancel the contest or any of the arrangements, schedules, plans or other items directly or indirectly related to the contest, at any time and for any reason.
  18. Winners will be entirely responsible for any taxes or charges related to the receipt of any prize.
  19. Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered to be a limitation upon or a waiver of the privileges and immunities of UNESCO.

For any further information, contact us wh-ourworldHeritage@unesco.org

Date Start: Monday, 7 March 2016
Date end: Monday, 7 March 2016