Destroyed or damaged by Earthquake

Where the earthquake significanly impacted the history of the site and the buildings are remaining today.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Agrigento "The other temples" (apart from those of Hera Lacinia and Concordia) "are much more fragmentary, having been toppled by earthquakes long ago and quarried for their stones."
Ahmadabad Ahmadabad was hit by earthquakes three times in its history (in 1819, 1821 and 2001), all of which caused major damage to the historic monuments of the city. (AB ev)
Aleppo Ancient citadel has been damaged by Feb 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake
Ancient Nara Several times
Angra do Heroismo 1980
Ani devastating earthquakes in 1319 and 1605 (AB ev)
Antigua Guatemala (1763)
Aphrodisias multiple between 350 and 360 CE, 600, 1957 (AB ev)
Arequipa Arequipa Cathedral, damaged by earthquake on June 23 2001
Armenian Monastic Ensembles St. Thaddeus was destroyed at around this time by an earthquake (1319).(AB ev)
Assisi 1997 earthquake
Bagan Bagan, located in an active earthquake zone, had suffered from many earthquakes over the ages, with over 400 recorded earthquakes between 1904 and 1975.... On 24 August 2016, a major earthquake hit central Burma and again did major damage in Bagan; this time almost 400 temples were destroyed. The Sulamani and Myauk Guni (North Guni) were severely damaged. (wiki)
Bam Cultural Landscape (Dec 26 2003)
Belem The Great Lisbon Eartquake of 1755
Berat and Gjirokastra The existing housing of Berat dates mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of the houses suffered from a serious earthquake in 1851, and their upper stories were destroyed. Before the earthquake the buildings were all built in stone. In the reconstruction, however, the upper floors were built in timber, while maintaining the surviving stone structures of the ground floor. (AB Ev)
Biblical Tells Many artifacts from Tell Hatzor were damaged/destroyed in an earthquake in 2008
Bursa and Cumalikizik The most significant event in the more recent history of Bursa is probably the severe earthquake which occurred in 1855 and which destroyed the majority of architectural structures in the city. (AB ev)
Butrint 3rd Century
Chavin 1970
Cuzco 21 May 1950. An "earthquake shook the city, causing the destruction of more than one third of the city's structures." (Wiki) and "The major earthquake that hit Cusco in 1950 badly destroyed the Dominican Priory and Church of Santo Domingo, which were built on top of the impressive Korikancha (Temple of the Sun). The city's Inca architecture, however, survived the earthquake. Many of the old Inca walls were thought to have been lost after the earthquake, but the granite walls of the Koricancha were exposed, as well as many walls throughout the city. While some wanted to restore the buildings to their colonial splendor, some of Cusco citizens urged city officials to retain the exposed walls. Eventually they won out and now tourists from around the world enjoy looking at these ruins within the living city" (Simple Wiki). In 1951 UNESCO was called in to report on actions to be taken - see report
Cyrene (262 + 365, Led to abandonment)
Danube Limes Carnuntum (ID No 31): In 350 Carnuntum was shaken by a severe earthquake, which caused considerable damage to the infrastructure and is archaeologically attested (especially in the Canabae) by destruction layers on the large public buildings. Presumably, a large part of the civilian population migrated due to this catastrophe and because of an incipient climate deterioration in the late 4th century.
Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios Daphni Monastery: It suffered severe damage by earthquakes in 1889 and 1897, and was heavily damaged by the 1999 Athens earthquake. Still being restored.
Dholavira: A Harappan City Dholavira was several times devastated by an earthquake, for instance in Stages IIIA and V of its existence. The earthquake at the end of Stage V, caused the site "to be abandoned for a short period of time." An earthquake in 2001 caused minor damage to the archaeological site. (AB Ev; Nomination text, p. 53, 71, 399)
Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Feb 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake: "UNESCO deplores the collapse of several buildings at the World Heritage site of Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape"
Dubrovnik (1667 and fire)
Fasil Ghebbi 1704
Ferrara 1570
Glacier parks In 1899 an 8.4 earthquake on the coast shattered the glacier into extensive calving; in 1958 an 8.0 earthquake devastated Lituya Bay on the coast (UNEP-WCMC)
Haghpat and Sanahin Sometime around 1130, an earthquake destroyed parts of Haghpat Monastery and it was not restored until fifty years later. It also suffered from a major earthquake in 1988. (wiki)
Huascaran National Park (31 May 1970)
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works April 2014 earthquake in Northern Chile: "The Site Manager defined a new list of priority interventions due to the earthquake, and the State Party requested International Assistance of the World Heritage Fund to design these interventions and implement two of them." (SOC)
Incense Route of the Negev Oboda 630
Jiuzhaigou Valley August 2017
Kasbah of Algiers According to a 1721 document, the palace building of Dar Aziza in the lower Kasbah had three floors before losing one in the 1716 earthquake. (Wiki) The 1716 earthquake caused extreme damage with as many as 20.000 deaths.
Kathmandu Valley 15 January 1934 ("The three towns of Nepal—Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan were severely affected and almost all the buildings collapsed") & 25 April 2015
Kotor Kotor, 15 April 1979
Ksar of Aït Ben Haddou 2023 Marrakesh-Safi earthquake: “.. photos show damaged and cracked buildings. The collective granary which overlooks the ksar was reportedly seriously damaged.”
Lima 1656
Mantua and Sabbioneta May 2012 earthquake damaged the Ducal Palace in Mantua
Medina of Marrakesh 2023 Marrakesh-Safi earthquake: "the Koutoubia mosque's iconic minaret has suffered substantial cracks, while the minaret of the Kharbouch Mosque in Jemaa El Fnaa Square is almost completely destroyed and many sections of the city’s historic walls have collapsed. The worst hit area in the city is reportedly its ancient Jewish quarter—the Mellah—where historic homes have been badly damaged."
Meknes 1755 Lisbon earthquake
Mexico City and Xochimilco Sep 19 1985 earthquake, causing 5,000 deaths in Mexico City Metro area. Plus: • September 19, 2017: 1 abandoned two-storey building (the one at Mina 16 and 2 de Abril) collapsed within the inscribed area. Additionally, there is one where "major damage" is indicated at República Argentina 38. The map shows that 5 others were "damaged". • April 21, 1776: with an epicenter near Acapulco, the La Accorded jail collapsed, the Mint, the Cathedral, the National Palace, the Bishop's Palace, among others, were damaged. It lasted 4 minutes. • March 28, 1787 or San Sixto's: probably the most potent to rock Mexico (magnitude 8,6 Richter), with an epicenter in the coast of Guerrero and Oaxaca. It lasted 5-6 minutes and "a good part of the city from the XVI and XVII centuries had to be demolished". This Earthquake also devastated the city of Oaxaca. • 9 Cane of 1475: During the reign of Axayácatl, an earthquake left in ruins most of the buildings in the Anahuac valley, seriously damaging the temples and teocallis in Tenochtitlan, making the chinampas "sink", mountains collapse and producing a tsunami in the Texcoco lake.
Monastery of Batalha slight damage from 1755 Lisbon earthquake
Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan The May 12th (2008) earthquake has dealt a blow to tourism in the city of Dujiangyan. The quake damaged some of the most famous historic sites, including the ancient waterworks of Dujiangyan. A month later, efforts to repair have paid off, as a handful of the historic sites have reopened."
Naples Giotto's frescoes in Castelnouvo were destroyed in an earthquake
National History Park Sans souci - Haiti - A severe earthquake in 1842 destroyed a considerable part of the palace and devastated the nearby city of Cap-Ha?tien; the palace was never rebuilt
Nessebar Earthquake of 1913 damaged 14th century Church of St. John Aliturgetus and Church of St. Sophia
Nisa Nisa was totally destroyed by an earthquake, which occurred during the first decade BC.
Oaxaca and Monte Alban Numerous - As recently as 1999 when Tomb 104 at Monte Alban was closed due to damamge. In particular :- 1787 San francisco Church "Earthquake damage in 1787 altered the appearance of this 16th century church", "An earthquake destroyed much of the city in 1854 and the slow rebuilding was shaken to pieces by another quake in 1931" (the 1931 event is said to have destroyed 70% of the city)
Old City of Jerusalem several Umayyad buildings south of the Temple Mount were destroyed in 749.
Old Town of Lijiang 1996
Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles On 29 May 2012 the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua was damaged by one of the earthquakes that hit the Emilia-Romagna area; there were detachments on over 3 m² of plaster decorated by Casanova. The fragments were collected and placed safe, under the control of the Superintendency. The entire ambulatory that runs around the presbytery has been protected, so that any other detachments cannot hit pilgrims.
Palmyra (1089, led to abandonment)
Panamá Panamá Viejo was ravaged by the earthquake of 1621 and suffered important damages (even partial collapses) in a very strong earthquake on September 7, 1882.
Paphos 1159, 1222
Persian Garden Bagh-e Shahzadeh (1981), Bagh-e Fin (1743)
Pompei Pompeii and Herculaneum before the eruption (62 or 63 AD)
Popocatepetl monasteries Each one of the 14 sites was affected and had to be closed, after the September 19, 2017 earthquake. The temples of Tlacayapán and Totolapán seem to have been the most affected.
Prambanan Java Earthquake 2006
Puebla By both the June 15, 1999 Earthquake at Tehuacán and the September 19, 2017 Earthquake
Quanzhou Luoyang Bridge was damaged by an earthquake in 1607, when "some parts of the bridge floor fractured". (Nomination file, p. 306)
Quebrada de Humahuaca Church of Tumbaya was destroyed in 1796.
Quito 1917
Rabat Many structures in Chellah/Sala Colonia were damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake
Ravenna The apse of the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo was destroyed by an earthquake and reconstructed. This explains why it isn't covered in mosaics like the walls of the church.
Rhodes 1481 Rhodes earthquake: "the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes was sufficiently damaged to require immediate rebuilding"
Rome Baths of Caracalla damaged in the earthquake that destroyed L'Aquila in 2009
Route of Santiago de Compostela Lugo Cathedral: The "Renaissance retablo at the high altar (...) was destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and fragments of it are housed in the church."
Ruins of León Viejo "The final blow came on 11 January 1610, when a severe earthquake destroyed what was still standing" (AB)
Sabratha 365
San Pedro de la Roca Castle Between 1675 and 1692 the fortress was damaged by a series of earthquakes and reconstruction had to be carried out under the direction of Francisco Pérez between 1693 and 1695 ... it was again damaged by earthquakes between 1757 and 1766. (wiki)
Selimiye Mosque "The earthquake of 1752 caused some damage to the balconies of one minaret, some of the window glass and cracked the dome over the Muvakkithane." (AB ev)
Silk Roads Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor Burana Tower at Balasagun, "The last major earthquake in the 15th century destroyed the top half of the tower, reducing it to its current height of 25m" + Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an: 1556 Shaanxi earthquake
Sintra Sintra National Palace: The ensemble suffered damage after the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake but was restored in the "old fashion", according to contemporary accounts. The biggest loss to the great earthquake was the tower over the Arab Room, which collapsed (wiki)
Syracuse The city was struck by two ruinous earthquakes in 1542 and 1693 (same as Val di Noto)
Tabriz Bazaar In 1780, at the beginning of the Qajar dynasty, the most destructive earthquake in the dense seismic history of Tabriz completely destroyed the town; it was, however, rapidly rebuilt (AB ev)
Thessalonika Some sites were damaged during an earthquake in 630, others during the Chalkidiki earthquakes of 1932 and the Rotunda in 1978 (wiki)
Urbino Urbino Cathedral: "On 12 January 1789, a powerful earthquake toppled the cupola, and made a reconstruction necessary. The project was entrusted to Giuseppe Valadier, and completed by 1801 in the present Neoclassical style.
Val di Noto (Jan 9 1693, led to rebuilding in constant style)
Valparaiso (Aug 17 1906, May 22 1960)
Venetian Works of Defence Kotor, 15 April 1979
Vigan July 27, 2022: "The quake brought damage to Cathedral of Vigan, one of the country’s oldest Augustinian churches."
Villa Romana del Casale "There are indications that the earlier house was destroyed by an earthquake in the first decade of the 4th century". (AB Ev)
Volubilis In 1755, same as Lisbon
Walled City of Baku November 2000
Yogyakarta "In 2006, a severe earthquake affected Yogyakarta with many lives lost and considerable damage to the nominated property." (AB ev)


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