1.         Historic Centre of Český Krumlov (Czechia) (C 617)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 10,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January 2005: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; August 2014: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

In 2013, the World Heritage Committee adopted Decision 37 COM 7B.103, noting the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the World Heritage properties concerned, including ‘Historic Centre of Český Krumlov’, and encouraged the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of the World Heritage properties. The state of conservation report presented to the Committee at its 37th session in 2013 pointed out that “as previously announced by the national authorities, according to the time schedule for measures aimed at solving the revolving theatre issue, it cannot be expected that a final solution could be implemented before 2015”.

As by 2022, the issue of the revolving theatre remained unresolved, and in the absence of information on when and how the State Party intended to address it, the World Heritage Centre requested a state of conservation report on the property, which was received on 31 January 2023. The report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/617/documents/ and focusing on recent developments, mainly since 2020, outlines the following:

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

The issue of the removal of the revolving theatre has been the main concern at this property, as reflected in past decisions of the World Heritage Committee. In this context, the information that the lease agreement for the operation of the revolving theatre in the castle park, will expire on 31 December 2023, is welcomed, as is the commitment of the State Party to subsequently completely dismantle the revolving auditorium facilities.

It is noted that a project to construct a replacement theatre adjacent to the Baroque castle park, as recommended by the 2014 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission, is included in the National Investment Plan of the Czech Republic until 2050, but that currently this project is not being actively developed. Should this project proceed in the future, the State Party should be requested to ensure that the design and setting of the revolving theatre in the buffer zone reflect the mission’s recommendations and to conduct a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), in line with the Guidance for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage Context, and submit it together with the detailed project documentation to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies. This should be done, as per Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse.

The proposed renovation of the overall historic park within the framework of the National Investment Plan is to be welcomed, as is the on-going restoration of the Bellaire Pavilion including the re-landscaping of the adjacent site of the revolving theatre, once it is removed.

As requested by the World Heritage Committee in its last decision specifically concerning the state of conservation of the property (Decision 35 COM 7B.88), the State Party developed a draft Retrospective Statement of the OUV of the property, which was adopted by the Committee at its 40th session in 2016 (Decision 40 COM 8E). Furthermore, the State Party completed in 2019 the update of the Management Plan for the property.

However, the State Party does not appear to systematically share information, as per Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, on its intention to undertake or authorise major restorations or new constructions which may affect the OUV of the property, such as the construction of a new building in Hradební Street first notified to the World Heritage Centre in its state of conservation report. In this context, the request already made to the State Party (Decision 35 COM 7B.88) to systematically conduct HIAs for all development projects within and around the property and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, should be reiterated.

Overall, the state of conservation of the property does not raise major concerns, provided that the long-standing issue of the revolving theatre is addressed by its removal and its landscape site is fully restored no later than 30 June 2024.

Decision Adopted: 45 COM 7B.182

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.88 and 37 COM 7B.103 adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the commitment of the State Party to dismantle the revolving theatre from its current location immediately after the expiration of the current lease agreement for its operation in the castle park on 31 December 2023, and requests that this work be accomplished by 30 June 2024;
  4. Notes that a project to construct a replacement theatre adjacent to the Baroque castle park as recommended by the 2014 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission is included in the National Investment Plan of the Czech Republic until 2050, but that this project is currently not being actively developed, and requests the State Party, should this project proceed, to ensure that the design of a new revolving theatre in the buffer zone is in accordance with the mission’s recommendations and to conduct a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the project, in line with the Guidance for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage Context, and submit it together with the detailed project documentation to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Further welcomes the proposed renovation of the overall historic park within the framework of the National Investment Plan and the on-going restoration of the Bellaire Pavilion, including the re-landscaping of the adjacent site of the revolving theatre once it is removed; also requests the State Party to seek the advice of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies prior to decisions being taken on the overall rehabilitation of the castle park;
  6. Further requests the State Party to systematically conduct HIAs as a pre-requisite for all development projects within and around the World Heritage property, in line with the Guidance for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage Context, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Requests finally the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

Decision Adopted: 45 COM 8D

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/8D,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 8D adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online 2021),
  3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the boundaries of their World Heritage properties and commends them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;
  4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are not able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitations of such properties as inscribed remain unclear;
  5. Takes note of the clarifications of boundaries and areas provided by the States Parties for the following properties, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC/23/45.COM/8D:

AFRICA

ARAB STATES

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

6.    Requests the World Heritage Centre to continue the identification and collection of geographic and cartographic information of World Heritage properties in nominations where the required information is not available or not adequate;

7.    Also requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory, to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible, and by 1 December 2023, for their subsequent examination, if the technical requirements are met, by the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee.