Photo: Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

13 Additions to the UNESCO World Heritage List (and One Deletion)

Belgium Burkina Faso China Germany Kyrgyzstan South Korea Netherlands Peru Insider Guides
by Carlo Alcos Jul 11, 2009
World Heritage Site chasers rejoice: you now have 13 more destinations to add to your list. And one to remove.

Fresh off the World Heritage Committee’s press, 13 new places around the world have been granted the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. There was also one subtraction from the list, and a few were shifted over to the List of World Heritage in Danger.

13 additions to keep your eye out for

Two natural sites and 11 cultural sites make up the newbies. Here they are:

1. The Wadden Sea (natural) – Spanning Germany and The Netherlands, this intertidal ecosystem is one of the largest remaining where natural processes continue undisturbed.

2. The Dolomites (natural) – I was a bit surprised this dramatic mountain range in the Italian Alps wasn’t already on the list…but there you have it.

3. Stoclet House – A “total work of art” in Belgium.

4. The Ruins of Loropéni – This old stone fortress, found to be at least 1000 years old, is the first World Heritage Site listed in Burkina Faso.

5. Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande – This Cape Verde town was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics.

6. Mount Wutai, China – 5 peaks. 53 monasteries. 500+ statues. One spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

7. Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System – A water-channeling “masterpiece of creative genius” in Iran, which dates back to the 5th century BC.

8. Sulamain-Too Sacred Mountain – Too sacred for you? Maybe. This mountain sits at the crossroads of important routes on the Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan.

9. The Sacred City of Caral-Supe – A 5000-year-old archaeological site in Peru. It’s the oldest centre of civilization in the Americas.

10. The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty – South Korea is home to these 40 tombs, built between 1408 and 1966 to honour the memory of their ancestors.

11. The Tower of Hercules – This Spanish lighthouse has guarded the entrance of La Coruña Harbour since the late 1st century.

12. La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle – Two Swiss towns well-known for…what else, watchmaking.

13. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal – An 18km innovative aqueduct in northeast Wales, completed in the early 1800s.

And one subtraction

In addition, there was a subtraction. The Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany lost its UNESCO World Heritage status as a result of a 4-lane bridge being constructed in the middle of the landscape.

For more details on the above places, and for other modifications to the list, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Centre website.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites feature in many articles at Matador Trips. For sites in Asia, have a read of 13 of Asia’s Most Spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Tai Shan: A Sacred Climb.

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