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New Inscriptions in 2018

The following sites were inscribed or extended by the 2018 WHC Session.

Map of All Inscribed Sites


  • Cultural
  • Natural
  • Mixed
Aasivissuit - Nipisat
Photo provided by Wojtek Fedoruk

Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea, is a cultural landscape in West Greenland.

The inscribed area includes 7 key locations along annual migration routes from coast to inland in summer and then back again in late autumn. They show the interdependence between humans and their natural environment over time. The sites consist of both archaeological sites and settlements that are still in use. This landscape was settled about 4,200 years ago, with (Paleo-)Inuit sustaining themselves by marine and terrestrial hunting.

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland - 08-Dec-18 -

During my trip to Greenland in 2012 I spent two days in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland’s biggest airport and usual entry point for most tourists. There is little to do in this small village (though there is small museum), although you can hike around or take a trip to continental glacier, located around 40 km from Kangerlussuaq (the road to the glacier is actually the longest in Greenland). Based on the map from the nomination file, the road crosses the core WHS area of Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Although the highlight of the trip is the glacier itself, the road is also interesting, with picturesque landscapes of small lakes, meadows (really green in the middle of July) and various stone forms. I remember our guide told us a lot about Innuits, their hunting habits and everyday life

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Al-Ahsa Oasis

Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape, is one of the largest natural agricultural palm oases in the world.

Al-Ahsa has been inhabited since prehistoric times, due to its abundance of water in an otherwise arid region. This is a serial site of 12 locations. They comprise palm groves, castles, urban centers, archaeological sites, villages, Jawatha mosque and Al-Asfar Lake.

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 14-Dec-18 -

This inscription made me lose faith in the inscription process and although I haven't been following it for a long time, I watched the debate live stream and it basically had ICOMOS strongly disagreeing to include it, saying there isn't anything special being here. Then, using its political buddies it overturned the recommendation to a direct inscription, not even deferring it to next year for a second look or whatnot. This farce just makes you wonder why they spent all the money on the expert going there in the first place because apparently whatever you want to inscribe is going in, and not so much if you are a weak political state. Shame on you. But okay so you got your inscription and you are very proud of it, no judgement from my part yet, let me go and check it out.

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Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains

Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains is a range of small mountains best known for having some of the oldest exposed rocks on Earth.

The rocks are estimated to be between 3.2 and 3.6 billion years old, dating from the Paleoarchean. Scientists have also found evidence of the largest terrestrial meteor impact event to date near the area.

Chaîne des Puys

Chaîne des Puys - Limagne fault tectonic arena shows a number of geological features caused by a continental break-up.

It is a ca. 40km long part of the West European Rift. The site was also important in the study of classical geological processes.

The name of the range comes from a French term, puy, that refers to a volcanic mountain with a rounded profile.

Caspar Dechmann Switzerland - 22-May-17 -

I visited the Chaîne des Puys during a trip along the enchanting Dordogne. We drove up the highest peak of the chain, the Puy de Dôme. From there you have a fabulous view over the whole chain that is quite impressive. There are dozens of vulcanos of different shapes: domes, maars and cones like the wonderful Puy Pariou. They are not very tall volcanic formations but I have never seen so many in such a small area.

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Chiribiquete National Park

Chiribiquete National Park - "Maloca of the Jaguar" is a very large and remote national park, known for its tepuis and painted rock shelters.

The tepui or table top-setting has let to a high level of endemism. The park in the Amazon rainforest is also home to a healthy population of jaguar and other vulnerable mammal species. 60 rock shelters with ca. 75,000 paintings are present at the foot of the tepuis. Their ceremonial use extends into the present day by isolated indigenous communities, some of which have no contact with the outside world.


Fanjingshan is an isolated mountain landscape with a high degree of endemism.

It is a rugged terrain of primary forest. It includes endangered floral and fauna species, such as the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey. Due to Fanjingshan’s wet climatological circumstances it also shows an extraordinary richness in bryophytes (mosses).

Zoë Sheng Chinese-Canadian in NZ - 24-Jan-18 -

Fanjingshan (literally Clean Brahma) is a gem of mountaineering not yet known to many global tourists. The nearby town of Tongren has a new airport which has a shuttle directly to the ticketing hall on the mountain. The connections to this airport are quite plentiful (Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shanghai and Guizhou)From the same airport people go to visit Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient Town for another national relic, with at least one shuttle going there in the afternoon. You can also easily find accommodation around the Fanjing town or at the communities (towns?) around the ticketing hall area. There is a cheap shuttle bus from the town to the mountain area during the day time else you have to rely on a black taxi.

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Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe comprises the oldest known monumental megalithic structures in the world.

The archaeological site covers a tell of ca. 15m height. From the 10th–8th millennium BCE, circles of massive T-shaped stone pillars were erected. More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are currently known through geophysical surveys. The pillars are richly carved with images.

Bruce and Jan Brooks USA - 26-Nov-12

My wife Jan and I visited Gobeklitepe about five years ago. It was just at the end of the dig season so there weren't many people (or tourists) at the site. We were guided through and around the site by a young man who was very familiar with all that had gone on. Unfortunately he spoke no English so my Turkish had to suffice. Overall it is a spectacular site and one we would really like to revisit.

The museum in Urfa had a wonderful display of articles found at the site. I can only imagine the additions they have been able to make since our visit. I hope that our health will permit us to make another visit.

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Hedeby and Danevirke

The Archaeological Border Complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke is a relict cultural landscape of a trading centre between Western and Northern Europe.

The designated area consists of a 33km long fortification, the Danevirke, and the archaeological site of the trading town Hedeby. The site consists of 22 locations, mainly segments of the former border wall. The Danevirke consists of several walls, trenches and the Schlei Barrier.

Hedeby became a principal marketplace because of its geographical location on the major trade routes between the Frankish Empire and Scandinavia (north-south), and between the Baltic and the North Sea (east-west). Between 800 and 1000 the growing economic power of the Vikings led to its dramatic expansion as a major trading centre.

Ralf Regele Germany - 27-Jul-17 -

I visited the Hedeby site, which is well developed for tourists, with a museum (closed at the moment for refurbishment), walking pathes and reconstructed houses. Hedeby (or Haithabu in German) was a well-sized city at the edge of the viking lands. As with other viking sites (like Birka or Trelleborg) the problem is that almost everything was built out of wood, so there is not much left of it but the earthworks. In the case of Hedeby, the earthen city walls are still standing (and walkable), but most of the area inside is empty. There are some quite nice reconstructions of viking houses, which will be the most interesting thing for most visitors. There are also demonstrations, market stalls and exhibition houses, so there is more to do than to stare at mounds

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Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region

The Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region comprise 12 locations connected to the distinctive cultural tradition of Hidden Christians.

These – 10 villages, a castle and a cathedral - represent the 4 historic stages of that tradition.

After introduction of the religion by a Jesuit priest in 1549, many people in the region converted. The Japanese rulers followed with a ban on Christianity (and foreign missionaries), that lasted until 1873. The religious practice however survived in its own vernacular version in remote communities.

Solivagant UK - 19-May-12 -

Nagasaki offers a lot to see and we “lost” over an hour going through immigration facilities for a mere 10 hour stay by being bussed from our vessel to another building and then being photographed and fingerprinted! But, in the shorter time left, as well as seeing the atomic bomb sites, the old Dutch island of Dejima, the Glover Gardens, numerous Buddhist and Shinto temples and, of course, the various “interests” to be found in a contemporary Japanese city, we knew that we also had to fit in some visits to the T list site “Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki!

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Ivrea, industrial City of the 20th century, shows the collaborations between industrial and the architectural processes in urban development.

It was the base of operations for Olivetti, a manufacturer of typewriters, mechanical calculators and, later, computers. Especially Adriano Olivetti in the 1930s developed an interest in architecture, as well as urban and community planning. This resulted in a housing plan for workers and social services.

Joel Baldwin Australia - 13-Jan-18

My wife and I visited Ivrea in January 2018 on a sunny winter's afternoon. It's an easy one hour train ride from Turin's two main stations, and trains leave about every hour. The (proposed) World Heritage area is adjacent to the train station, and everywhere is fully walkable.

There's a nice trail of information signs, talking about the Olivetti company and its eponymous founders - the main employers for the town in the 20th century. The large factory building is very impressive and reminded us quite a bit of the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam.

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Medina Azahara
Photo provided by Solivagant

The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara represents the urban planning of the 10th century Umayyad caliphate in the Islamic West.

Medina Azahara is a ruined city, that lay undiscovered until the beginning of the 20th century. It was a palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III (912–961), the first Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba, as the symbol of his power. It served as the de facto capital of Al-Andalus. The city included ceremonial reception halls, mosques, administrative and government offices, gardens, a mint, workshops, barracks, residences and baths.

Svein Heltberg Norway - 06-Dec-17 -

After the WHS-gettogether in September 2017 we had a Sunday drive ending in Cordoba where we spent the night. When leaving for Malaga airport we decided to make the detour of 8 km to the archeological site of Madinat al-Zahra. It was Monday and we knew the museum and the site itself was closed, but we defied that. It is a former city - something must be possible to see!

We arrived just after noon and the museum parking lot was empty and the museum closed as expected. We looked for signs to archeological site – but there were none. Anyway we chose the most likely direction and drove – and in 5 minutes we discovered something that we agreed had to be the Madinat. It was slightly uphill so we got a nice view and with the camera lens we got a couple of nice pictures.

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Naumburg Cathedral
Photo provided by Jiří Horák

The Naumburg Cathedral contains artistic masterpieces of the workshop named ‘the Naumburg Master’.

The 13th century romanesque former Cathedral (now a Protestant church) distinguishes itself with its gothic west choir with the famous donor portrait statues of the twelve cathedral founders (Stifterfiguren) and the Lettner.

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland - 22-Aug-14

Well, I just wonder why it is not on the list already! One of the most beautiful cathedrals ever seen, highly recommended, in fact, reserve some more time as also Naumburg Old Town is very interesting. For me for sure it will be on the list in the future. Visited just recently (August 2014), entrance ticket is quite expensive (6,5 Euro for an adult person) but the place is worth every single euro to spare ....

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Pimachiowin Aki

Pimachiowin Aki is a very large ecosystem and cultural landscape, which is the most complete and largest example of the North American boreal shield.

It encompasses part of the lands of four First Nations, and three provincial parks: Woodland Caribou and Atikaki Provincial Parks along with Eagle-Snowshoe Conservation Reserve. The Anishinaabe First Nations continue to use and live in this forested area.

Pimachiowin Aki means Land that gives life in Ojibwe, an indigenous language of Canada.


The Ancient City of Qalhat was an important stop in the wider Indian Ocean trade network and the second city of the Kingdom of Hormuz.

Its archaeological remains include the Friday Mosque (Bibi Maryam), necropolises, residences and workshops.

Martina Ruckova Slovakia - 27-Feb-18

Qalhat is a former port town founded somwhere before 1500 BC, destroyed 3000 years later. Once a prosperous centre now lies buried in the sands of time, quite literally, as the only structure that remains visible is the Bibi Maryam mausoleum. It's accessible via a dirt road off the Qalhat town that can be reached when you pass the canal and bridges. Unfortunately, as we arrived to the foot of the hill it stands on, we were barred from going further by three men guarding the site, who pointed us to the notice board saying it's being closed for re-development of the area. What kind I'm not sure as there was no work to be seen. So we opted for the second best thing, drove the motorway past Qalhat towards Sur and then made a turn back in the Muscat direction

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Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries
Photo provided by Kyle Magnuson

Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea are representative of the earliest era of Buddhism on the Korean peninsula and its distinctive practices.

It includes 7 remote temples from the 7th to 9th centuries which are in religious use until today. They prospered during the Goryeo Dynasty which established Buddhism as a state religion.

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 17-Dec-13 -

Many visitors to Korea visit Bulguksa or Haeinsa. Both are Buddhist treasures and provide a great introduction to Korean temples. However, too often visitors only visit Bongeunsa temple in Seoul. Here is a great list for any traveler interested in Korean mountain temples.

Firstly, there are no "great" Buddhist temples in or around Seoul. This is because during the Joseon dynasty Confucianism was central to the state. Buddhism had not been the state religion since the time of Goryeo. This nomination is sensible in focusing on mountain temples in the more rural areas of Korea. These temples are well-preserved, highly authentic, and most (if not all) have more than one national treasure. Each one of these 7 temples has features or artifacts that make them unique.

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Sassanid Archaeological Landscape
Photo provided by Solivagant

The Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region covers monumental buildings, inscriptions and other relevant relics of 3 main cities of the Sassanid Empire.

8 archaeological sites in Firuzabad, Bishapur and Sarvestan have been inscribed.

Solivagant UK - 18-May-16 -

If ever nominated, this site would cover archaeological remains of the last pre-Islamic Iranian dynasty – the “Sassanids” (AD 224-651) whose empire stretched to the Levant, Central Asia, E Arabia and Turkey/the Caucusus. Succcessors to the Parthians, they too were involved militarily across their entire period against the Romans in the form of the Byzantine Empire and, having fought them to a mutual “standstill”, were in no position to oppose the new threat from the south of invading Arab Muslims, who largely overcame them in a period of just 4 years from 628-32 and changed Iran for ever.

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Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley

Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Mesoamerica is a semi-arid area recognized for its remarkable level of biological diversity and precolonial water management system.

The site consists of 3 component areas in the states of Puebla and Oaxaca. Botanically it is of special significance for its cacti, but for agaves, yuccas, bromeliads, bursera and oaks. The diverse fauna includes threatened amphibian and bird species.

Sinuhe Reyrub Mexico - 21-Mar-17

This will be an "easy" place to know if you're planning travel to Mexico and visit several World Heritage sites: site is halfway between Mexico City and Oaxaca. Now, not everything is as simple as you think.

If you’re travelling from Mexico City to Oaxaca, passing through the city of Tehuacan, a classic route is take Highway-135 D (Cuacnopala-Oaxaca) until arriving Oaxaca; you will surely see beautiful landscapes and a small portion of the reserve, but you will not cross the heart. So, starting today, recommend take the difficult local Highway-980 (Tehuacan-Coxcatlan-Teotitlan-Cuicatlan-Oaxaca). Of course, the difference in hours from the city of Tehuacan to Oaxaca, on this local road, is 3 or 4 hours more; so once you're going back to Mexico City, you could take the "fast route".

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Thimlich Ohinga

The Thimlich Ohinga archaeological site comprises 4 larger fortified settlements that are the best-preserved examples of pure dry stone building in the Lake Victoria Basin.

The dry stone wall enclosures incorporated homesteads, livestock and craft industries. They were founded by the early pastoral communities of the Lake Victoria Basin from the 16th century CE.

Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai

The Victorian Gothic & Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai represent the modernization of Mumbai into a cosmopolitan city by the late 19th century.

The nominated area includes 94 historic buildings and the open green space of the Oval Maidan. They were created during the two major urban expansions of the city, adding Victorian Gothic public buildings in the late 19th century and Art Deco commercial/private ones in the 1930s. The Oval Maidan is at the centre of these. The area also has some interesting Indo-Saracenic and Classical Revival architecture.

Ian Cade UK - 03-Jul-18 -

Focused on the southern tip of the city centre around the Fort area and the waterfront along Marine Drive near Chowpatty Beach there is a surprisingly dense cluster of Art Deco buildings in the city, but without having my eyes peeled for the details, this mostly passed me by on my visit in 2010. However the Victorian Gothic aspects sat very prominently in my memory.

Sitting on the Oval Maidan, which forms the core of the nominated area, watching innumerable cricket matches the main impression I had was of English influenced metropolitan architecture, particularly the large brick Neo-Gothic buildings which felt like the logical continuation after my arrival at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus which is built in a similar style.

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Extended Sites in 2018

Central Sikhote-Alin

The Sikhote-Alin is a mountain range in Primorsky and Khabarovsk Krais, Russia, extending about 900 km to the northeast of the Russian Pacific seaport of Vladivostok.

The highest summits are Tordoki Yani (2,077 m) and Anik Mountain (1,933 m).

Sikhote-Alin comprises one of the most extraordinary temperate zones in the world. Species typical of northern taiga (such as reindeer and the brown bear) coexist with tropical species like the Siberian tiger and the Himalayan bear.