Old City of Dubrovnik (Croatia) (C 95ter)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1979
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 142,053
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total Amount of the postwar major restoration programme coordinated by UNESCO: USD 80,000,000
Previous monitoring missions
November 1996: fact-finding mission; November 2015: joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Armed conflict (issue resolved)
- Earthquake in September 1996 (issue resolved)
- Need to extend the buffer zone
- Large project in the vicinity of the property
- Cruise ship tourism
- Carrying capacity of the property
- Planned Sport and recreation centre with golf course and tourist settlement (issue resolved)
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018
On 1 December 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95/documents/ and reports the following:
- The Ministry of Culture and Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities will prepare an Action Plan, including detailed directives for preservation and conservation practices to ensure structural stability of the city walls and the removal of previous inappropriate interventions;
- Following a participatory process and workshops, the first phase initial concept for the Management Plan was completed and adopted by the City Council in August 2017. A draft version of the Management Plan is expected to be ready by the end of 2018;
- The University of Dubrovnik has completed the first phase of the strategy for tourism development and regulations on cruise tourism, consisting of situational analysis of tourism in Dubrovnik and a review of the strategy’s compatibility with the Management Plan. An Action Plan will be developed and provided to the World Heritage Centre;
- A national workshop was held in September 2017 in collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Office, with the participation of the Ministry of Culture and other authorities responsible for risk management. A working group will prepare a detailed Risk Preparedness Action Plan for submission to the World Heritage Centre;
- As requested by the Committee, the City has suspended the Bosaka 2, Lazeretto and Komarda Landing Stage projects and has commissioned Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs);
- As requested by the Committee, the City of Dubrovnik has confirmed that it will ensure that the construction zones for the Sports and recreation centre and tourist resort are at least 50m from the Mount Srđ ridgeline and that the project zone is not visible from the core of the old city. The HIA is yet to be approved by the Ministry of Culture but once finalised it will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
- After careful analysis, the Ministry of Culture has decided to replace the Orlando Column with a replica; the original will be restored and exhibited in the museum. Solutions are being developed to address the impact of cooling systems on the historic facades, while the restoration of the historic sewage system will commence in 2018. Projects for the tunnel from Port of Gruž and for the pedestrian zone around the historic core have been temporarily suspended to allow the new city administration to familiarise itself with the project documentation.
A retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) was transmitted to the World Heritage Centre on 1 February 2017.
A revised minor boundary modification proposal was transmitted to the World Heritage Centre in response to Decision 41 COM 8B.41, which referred the proposal back to the State Party, seeking clarification regarding the management of the buffer zone, and how this will be addressed in the Management Plan in order to provide effective protection of the property.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The efforts of the State Party to address conservation needs at the property are noted, although there has been only limited tangible progress. Positive steps have been taken to develop an action plan for conservation and repair of inappropriate interventions, while the workshop on risk preparedness has led to the creation of a working group for the development of an action plan. The need to develop guidelines on conservation, providing strict rules for conservation, restoration and maintenance, is a matter of urgency in order to prevent the structural instability of the city walls; a matter which the Committee has previously raised with the State Party and which was particularly emphasized in the 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission report.
Regrettably, only minor progress has been made with the development of the Management Plan, which has, to date, not progressed beyond the scoping stage, with completion expected at the earliest by the end of 2018. In view of the pressures on the property through increasing cruise tourism, development projects and conservation needs, the Management Plan for the property and its buffer zone, the tourism strategy, and regulations on cruising tourism are a priority and should be expedited. No information was provided on the preparation of an interpretation strategy, which therefore remains to be addressed.
The suspension of the projects Bosanka 2, the Lazaretto and the Komarda Landing Stage are welcomed. Full HIAs should be undertaken in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, and comprehensive project details should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
Although the State Party has reported precautions to ensure that the “Sports and recreation centre with golf course and tourism settlement Bosanka North and Bosanka South” project does not affect the OUV of the property, further project information, such as amended plans for the golf course, relevant documentation, and the HIAs, have not been provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies. This lack of information is cause for concern and the State Party should not commence project activities before the details have been reviewed.
The replacement of the Orlando Column with a replica and the display of the original in a museum is accepted as a necessary and appropriate intervention, which was foreshadowed by the 2015 mission report. The proposed restoration of the historic sewage system has the potential to affect significant engineering structures and archaeological features, and further information on this project should be provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before works commence.
The minor boundary modification will be examined by the World Heritage Committee under item 8 of the Agenda (Document WHC/18/42.COM/8B.Add).
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.20
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.50, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
- Notes the positive steps taken to develop an action plan for conservation and repair of inappropriate interventions to the city walls, as well as the creation of a working group to develop a Risk Preparedness Action Plan for the property, and encourages the State Party to develop, as a matter of priority, guidelines on conservation, providing strict rules for conservation, restoration, and maintenance to prevent the structural instability of the city walls;
- Regrets that only minor progress has been achieved with the development of the Management Plan, which, to date, has not progressed beyond the scoping stage, and requests the State Party to increase efforts to:
- Prepare the Management Plan for the property and its buffer zone, incorporating the tourism strategy and regulations on cruise tourism,
- Ensure that the Management Plan incorporates the necessary regulatory and management measures to allow the proposed buffer zone to act effectively as an added layer of protection for the inscribed property,
- Prepare an interpretation strategy;
- Welcomes the suspension of the projects Bosanka 2, the Lazaretto and the Komarda Landing Stage, and recalls the need for full Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) to be undertaken in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, and also requests the State Party to submit comprehensive project details to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
- Also notes the information provided on the “Sports and recreation centre with golf course and tourism settlement Bosanka North and Bosanka South” project with regard to the minimum distance of 50m, and recalls its request for further project information, such as the amended plans for the golf course, relevant documentation, and the HIAs, to be provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to commencement of project works;
- Further requests the State Party to submit project information, including an HIA, undertaken in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs, regarding the proposed restoration of the historic sewage system for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to commencement of project works;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 8B.37
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Documents WHC/18/42.COM/8B.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/INF.8B1.Add,
- Approves the proposed buffer zone for the Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia;
- Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:
- Taking into account the fact that development outside the buffer zone may still have an adverse impact on the property, including development on the Srđ plateau and within Bosanka, consistent with paragraph 112 of the Operational Guidelines,
- Finalising, approving and implementing the Management Plan for the property to ensure that the buffer zone is able to provide effective protection for the Outstanding Universal Value of the property,
- Introducing legislation which limits, or prohibits, the passage and mooring of boats, ships and yachts (except for the passage of small boats transporting visitors to the island of Lokrum) in the coastal area between the old city and Lokrum island, in accordance with the proposed revision of the boundaries of the buffer zone,
- Submit the Management Plan, tourism strategy and maritime navigation regulations, when available, to the World Heritage Centre for consideration.