1.         Cologne Cathedral (Germany) (C 292bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1996

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2004-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

a) Halting of high-rise project;

b) Clear designation of a buffer-zone on both sides of the river, including protection of visual integrity

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

July 2005 to February 2006

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/292/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/292/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

Workshop 14 November 2003

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Urban development pressure through high-rise building project impacting on the visual integrity of the Cathedral as a landmark;

b) Lack of buffer-zone.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/292/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

By letter of 19 January 2006, the authorities responsible for the conservation of the city of Cologne informed the World Heritage Centre that, on 15 December 2005, a decision had been taken by the City Council of Cologne addressing the two requests and benchmarks for corrective measures set by the Committee. The decision was taken to alter the development plan of the Cologne-Deutz area, thus halting the high-rise construction of the other four towers. Any high-rise construction activities at the site of Cologne-Deutz have since ceased, and no further skyscraper has been built.

A moderated planning procedure has been started to design a planning framework that reconciles the urban renewal with the safeguarding of the Cologne Cathedral World Heritage property.

The decision further stated that a 200-hectare buffer zone on the left bank of the river will be put in place to protect the World Heritage property. The authorities informed the Centre that an extension of the buffer-zone to the right bank of the river is only foreseen if the outcome of the moderated planning procedure and the final height planning scheme confirm the need to do so.

The city authorities have started a consultation process with experts to discuss and define the future use and design of the Cologne-Deutz area. UNESCO and ICOMOS were invited to participate in a workshop series which will be finished in May 2006. An ICOMOS expert has been designated to accompany the series of consultation meetings.

Two sessions have been held with the participation of two ICOMOS members. Two of the three architecture firms commissioned to make preliminary plans have presented redesigns, whereas the third firm continued based on the earlier plans which included high-rise buildings (yet reduced to a height of 60 metres). The latter was requested to alter its plans in accordance with the other two firms. The procedure is scheduled to be completed on 12 May 2006.

It seems that the previous controversial development plan will only be officially given up, when a new development plan based on the results of the workshop process is finalized, through legal procedures, which may take time. It is clear that the City of Cologne is seeking a solution corresponding to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee.

ICOMOS carefully reviewed the current buffer zone proposal. The City’s present plan for a buffer zone is not yet in accordance with the request of the Committee (29 COM 7A.29 paragraph 10) insofar as the right side of the Rhine (Deutz) has not been included. The buffer zone on the left side of the Rhine is also problematic as its western boundary runs along a road which was only constructed in the 1950s and therefore has no historical reference. The buffer zone should instead run along the former medieval boundary of the city. Discussions about these different proposals are being held in May 2006 in Cologne. Furthermore an extensive plan prepared by the City of Cologne about the height development inside the buffer zone (i.e. the old town) will also be discussed.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7A.30

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Commends the State Party for progress made with the definition of the buffer zone and requests that the right bank of the river (Deutz side) be also included into the buffer zone of the property;

4. Requests the State Party to submit the modifications to the boundaries in accordance with Chapter III.I of the Operational Guidelines by 1 February 2007;

5. Notes with satisfaction that the high-rise building project was halted to protect the integrity of the property;

6. Recommends that the Vienna Memorandum on "World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture, Managing the Historic Urban Landscape" (2005) be taken into account for any further decisions and planning processes regarding the urban development in Cologne;

7. Further requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with an updated report by 1 February 2007, on the state of conservation of the property, describing the results of the workshops conducted on the future use and design of the Deutz area as well as any further steps undertaken in view of high-rise development and the application of the Vienna Memorandum for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007;

8. Decides to remove Cologne Cathedral (Germany) from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 8C.3

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-06/30.COM/7A and WHC-06/30.COM/7A.Add.Rev),

2. Decides to remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger:

   • Algeria, Tipasa (Decision 30 COM 7A.18)

   • Germany, Cologne Cathedral (Decision 30 COM 7A.30)

   • India, Groups of Monuments at Hampi (Decision 30 COM 7A.24)

   • Senegal, Djoudj Bird Sanctuary (Decision 30 COM 7A.11)

   • Tunisia, Ichkeul National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.12)