World Heritage sites containing the visible remains of images which have been deliberately damaged for religious or political motives. Excluding damage carried out on the symbols of one culture by another following invasion etc (e.g Spanish destruction of Inca monuments).

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Bamiyan Valley Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001
Belfries Almost nothing of the original interior of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp has been preserved. During the Reformation, the church fell victim to the iconoclasm of the "Beeldenstorm". Stained-glass windows, statues, relics, tombs and dozens of altars were dishonored and destroyed by Calvinists. Only a few old frescoes testify to the late Gothic decoration.
Brú na Bóinne Four Christian kings of Brega desecrated the central mound of Knowth during the 9th century.
Hatra March 2015, by Islamic State militants
Istanbul At all churches the frescoes and mosaics were plastered over by the Ottomans (on the basis of belief on the prohibition of image and icon worship)
Longmen Grottoes By Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution
Nemrut Dag "a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues 8-9 m (26-30 ft) high ...... These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site. ......The pattern of damage to the heads (notably to noses) suggests that they were deliberately damaged as a result of iconoclasm" (Wiki)
Pyramids (Memphis) The fact that the Sphinx has no nose is attributed to an iconoclastic act by a Sufi Muslim in 1378
Rapa Nui Most Moai were "toppled" by Easter Islanders during civil wars of the 18th century. Many of those now standing have been restored but many toppled ones remain
Split The 3 sphinxes were destroyed when Christianity was introduced. They were later repaired
Strasbourg Cathedral: En 1792, à la suite de la Révolution française, 235 statues sont détruites par les iconoclastes. (Wiki)
Temple, Mansion and Cemetery of Confucius Sledgehammers were used to destory tombs, stele, and statues. "The artifacts of the historical sites at Qufu suffered extensive damage during the Cultural Revolution when about 200 staff members and students of Beijing Normal University led by Tan Houlan (1937-1982), one of the five most powerful student leaders of the Cultural Revolution, came to Qufu and destroyed more than 6000 artifacts in November 1966. The corpse of the duke of Qufu in the 76th was removed from its grave and hung naked from a tree in front of the palace during the desecration of the cemetery in the cultural revolution." - wiki
Thessalonika Most mosaics were destroyed during the Byzantine Iconoclasm
Timbuktu Destruction of Sufi cemeteries and mausolea of saints by Tuareg rebels of Ansar Dine


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Iconoclasm?

Send it to me!

A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source