Chichen Itza
Gebel Berkal

World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

New Inscriptions in 2017

The following sites were inscribed or extended by the 2017 WHC Session.

Map of All Inscribed Sites


  • Cultural
  • Natural
  • Mixed

The Historic City of Ahmadabad is a walled city dating from the 15th century, especially known for its fusion of Hindu, Jain and Islamic elements.

Further notable are its wooden houses (pol). The city wall dates from 1759.

Stanislaw Warwas Poland 13-May-15

Visited January 2011 and May 2015

The first impression: Ahmedabad is a very dusty and very dirty city. But if you have a chance to spend there more than 2 days you will discover lots of gems - not only the mosques (Sidi Sayid, and Friday mosque) and museums (Calico Textile and city museum are the must!), but also beautiful old houses, temples, Badra fort (possible to visit now) and at least two step wells in the eastern part of old city.

Hint: as Ahmedabad is not a tourist trap at all you should know that there's only ONE place where you can buy postcards and souvenirs: boutique heritage hotel House of MG, opposite Sisi Sayid Mosque.

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Aphrodisias is an archaeological site that covers the remains of the ancient town with the Temple to Aphrodite and the town’s marble quarries.

The site is representative of the expansion of Hellenistic culture in southwestern Anatolia. The town has other notable monuments such as the theatre, market square, auditorium, public baths and stadium. High quality marble was quarried a few km’s away, and turned into sculptures in the workshops of Aphrodisias.

Solivagant UK 03-Jun-15

Aphrodisias is apparently scheduled by Turkey for nomination in 2017. We were in nearby Denizli to visit the inscribed site of Pamukkale/Hierapolis and were then driving down to the Selcuk area for Ephesus. So, at only 34 kms south off the direct route, it seemed worth taking in - even if we were hitting our “interest limits” on seeing Classical ruins! It turned out to be a worthwhile site, quite apart from that potential WHS “tick” banked for the future! What is less clear to me is how Turkey is deciding which of its many T List sites from this era are going forward next and how many more such cities the List can take!

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Photo provided by Solivagant

Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa is an Italian planned colonial city based on early modernist architecture.

The urban ensemble was designed during several stages of development on an orthogonal grid plan with diagonal axes. The city was divided into quarters following the principles of racial segregation. During the short fascist period of 1935-1941 the city received its distinct modernist and rationalist public buildings, which mostly have survived intact since then.

Solivagant UK 20-Jun-08

Well - could you guess that this is Africa (photo)? Just 1 of the amazing Art Deco buildings in Asmara. There is a fine book which catalogues all (most?) of the relevant buildings in the city - but I only found it at the airport when leaving. And there are a lot of these buildings. There are at least 4 "time warp" cinemas ranging in condition from "lovingly restored" to "in grave danger of falling down" The best are still in use and still have the original ticket offices etc and very pleasant cafes. This iconic Fiat garage/petrol station is unfortunately in sad need of repair. There are also a number of governmental buildings, public squares etc and innumerable private dwellings - anyone interested in architecture will be able to spend a good number of hours exploring the Art Deco heritage of this pleasant capital with its pleasant climate.

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Caves and Ice Age Art
Photo provided by Hubert Scharnagl

The Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura comprise archaeological sites from the Aurignacian period where stone tools, figurative art and early musical instruments have been found.

It covers 2 locations with 3 caves each: the Ach Valley and the Lone River. The objects were carved from various materials, including mammoth ivory. Notable finding include the figurines of the ‘Venus of Hohle Fels’ and the ‘Lion Man’.


The Caves and Ice Age Art are yet another prehistoric site with all the caveats that go along with it. There isn’t all that much to see. The findings were moved off site and are shown in several museums. As upside, I really enjoyed hiking along the Lone valley on a sunny summer day. And as the caves aren't that touristy you are free to explore them.

Getting There

Blaubeuren and Schelklingen are on the same train line from Ulm. The caves are found between Schelklingen and Blaubeuren. Seeing the Urgeschichtliches Museum is in Blaubeuren, it seems best to start at the far end in Schelklingen and end up at the museum at the end.

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Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town

Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town is a well-preserved urban fabric that developed during the Mamluk and early Ottoman periods.

The town developed around the Cave of the Patriarchs / Sanctuary of Abraham / Ibrahimi Mosque, a compound dating to over 2,000 years ago and associated with the Holy Books Torah, Bible and Quran.

Solivagant UK 25-Jan-14

No doubt Assif can update us more accurately than I can regarding the complex realities of Israeli/Palestinian control across various parts of the City of Hebron. We visited the Israeli controlled area for a few hours, both to see the Tombs of the Patriarchs but also to try to get a feel for the situation. In that short visit I am unlikely to have fully understood matters but will do my best to describe what I can only describe as “a very strange visit”.

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Photo provided by Solivagant

Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap is a cultural landscape that represents the local farming and hunting cultures adapted to life in the Arctic.

The site has 5 components with features such as archaeological sites, agricultural lands and sheep farms. They include both elements belonging to the Norse Greenlandic culture, the first emigrants from Europe to settle here and introduced farming, and to the Thule Inuit culture.

Susan Dietrich, USA 21-Jul-08

I visited Brattahlid and Garder in 1974. It was incredible to discover actual ruins from the time of Erik the Red and at Garder his daughter Freydis still in existance. Amazing to think they have stood the test of time so well and one can still vividly imagine what is was like to settle there over 1,000 years ago. I never will forget the experience. Staying at Blue West One, hiking to the inland glacier, traveling down the fjord by boat, which I recall was named the Good Little Knud after Knud Rasmussen,to Narsaq, everything was marvelous. So marvelous in fact, that I later wrote a novel about all the Erikssons from the point of view of Gudrid Thorbjornsdatter yet to be published. If you like I will send you a copy. Anyway I am glad these places have become listed on the World Heritage List, along with L'anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, another great place I have visited.

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Kulangsu: A historic international settlement covers an island where interchange of Chinese, South East Asian and European architectural and cultural values occurred since the opening of a commercial port at Xiamen in 1843.

Foreign missionairies, diplomats and workers lived on Kulangsu while working in the larger city Xiamen across the strait. They were instrumental in introducing modern western culture and technology to China. The historic urban settlement consists of 931 structures (residences, schools, hospitals, gardens). The fusion of cultures resulted in a new architectural style: the Amoy Deco Style, which originated on Kulangsu and this is where the best representations of it can be found such as the Hongning Hospital and the Yanping Complex.

John Wang China 06-Dec-16

Visited Kulangsu in 2009. This island not far away from modern China City Xiamen (Amoy). The island is full of tourists by the time I visited and I believe the island itself became more and more heated over the years.

Away from the crowds you may find some peaceful beaches, architectures with obvious western influence. In general this is a popular place in China local love to travel.

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Lake District

The English Lake District is a cultural landscape shaped by Ice Age glaciers where farming and the grazing of sheep since has defined the land.

It is a mountainous area of great beauty, that has inspired painters and writers since the 18th century. It has the highest peak of England, 13 narrow valleys, 16 lakes of glacial origin and woodlands.

Frederik Dawson Netherlands 07-Jun-17

Even though I have heard the reputation of England’s Lake District for a long time, it was not in my top list of places I want to see on British Isles; however, when I visited Scotland last year autumn, it was a good opportunity to add an extra few days to go down to Cambria and to see the famous site. From Edinburgh, it was very convenient to reach Lake District by superb highway. Since I came from the north, I decided to use Keswick as my base to explore this national park. The landscape of Lake District along the Derwent Water was very lovely with beautiful mountain, pretty houses and amazing autumn foliage. I drove to the beautiful Honister Pass passing picturesque villages of Borrowdale and Rosthwaite. When I reached the Pass, the landscape changed dramatically with steep grass mountains that similar to Scottish Highland or Northern Scandinavia.

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Landscapes of Dauria

The Landscapes of Dauria comprise 4 parts of Eurasian steppe.

The area, which lies in the Daurian Steppe ecoregion, has many lakes and wetlands. It is an important breeding ground for 3 crane species, a resting place for millions of migrating birds and supports the migration of the Mongolian Gazelle.

Los Alerces National Park

Los Alerces National Park is a visually stunning Andean landscape moulded by glaciations. It is covered by lakes and temperate forests that include the best conserved pockets of globally endangered Alerce tree species. The Alerce (or Patagonian Cypress) is the second longest living tree species in the world (> 3,600 years).

Nan Germany 28-Nov-16

“No bus.” I stood there at a loss. I had made my way past four travel agencies in Esquel and now stood in the local tourist office. “Tomorrow, sorry, but no bus. Bus was today. Next bus is on Saturday.” Everyone had told me that, so it was of little surprise. Still, I wasn’t happy.

It was Wednesday evening and my bus to Puerto Madryn was already booked for the next night. I had only the following day to visit. And then the lady of the tourist office asked: “But why don’t you try to hitchhike?”

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Mbanza Kongo

Mbanza Kongo, vestiges of the capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo, represents the political and religious centre of a vast African kingdom which was transformed by the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 15th century.

The site (now a town of some 175,000 inhabitants) is located on a plateau. It comprises both archaeological remains of the precolonial period as well as colonial structures – often overlapping each other. The Kingdom of Kongo has strong intangible links with the slave trade and the early conversion of African kings to the Catholic religion.

Okinoshima Island

The Sacred Island of Okinoshima has been a ritual site from the 4th – 9th century.

Ritual practices and votive offerings were made to pray for safety in navigating the seas, for boats heading to Korea and China to trade. The site includes three nearby islets, Koyajima, Mikadobashira and Tenguiwa, and 4 sites on and closer to Kyushu. There are a number of taboos and restrictions on visiting Okinoshima, including a ban of women and the prohibition “to speak of anything they have seen or heard on the Island”.

Zoe Sheng China 12-Oct-17

Okinoshima AND RELATED SITES was just recently added to her UNESCO stable. As many already know, going to Okinoshima is not possible for but a few males and even now they are dicussing about making this sacred island visitor-free forever. One needs to understand that these sites were inscribed for cultural reasons and the untouched nature on Okinoshima is impossible to observe.

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Qinghai Hoh Xil

Qinghai Hoh Xil covers two protected areas on the high altitude Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve and the Soja-Qumar River sub-zone of Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve.

Temperatures average sub-zero year-round. Glacial meltwater supplies the many rivers, lakes and marshlands in these reserves. The site is also important as calving area and place of seasonal migration of large numbers of Tibetan antelope.

Sambor Prei Kuk
Photo provided by Ian Cade

The Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk is an archaeological site of the Pre-Angkorean period.

The site correspondends with Ishanapura, the capital city of the Chenla Empire that flourished in the late 6th and early 7th centuries CE.

A particular feature are its octagonal shaped temples, the oldest of its kind in South-East Asia.

Ian Cade England 16-Nov-10

This is the best preserved pre-Angkorian archaeological site in Cambodia and if all goes to plan then this should be Cambodia's next World Heritage Site.

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Photo provided by Wojciech Fedoruk

The Assumption Cathedral of the town-island of Sviyazhsk is a Russian-orthodox cathedral renowned for its complete 16th-century cycle of murals bearing symbolic meaning.

The Cathedral dates from the period of Ivan the Terrible, when missionary posts for spreading Christianity in this originally Islamic Tatar region were established. It is part of a homonymous Monastery.

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland 01-Sep-16

About 60 km from Kazan, on the opposite side of Volga river, lays small but beautiful town of Sviyazhsk. The town was built by tsar Ivan the Terrible in order to have a good starting point to invade Kazan Khanate. He built there numerous tserkvas, nunnery and of course a stronghold. In that time Sviyazhsk was one of the most important towns in the Moscow Tsardom.

But the successful ride on Kazan in 1552 was the end of Sviyazhsk’s golden years. Kazan, although thoroughly destroyed, soon became the real capital of that region. Sviyazhsk only sustained his status of a regional centre of Orthodox faith.

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Taputapuātea is a sacral site and cultural landscape on Ra’iatea Island (part of the Society Islands) in French Polynesia.

It consists of several archaeological sites and marae (temples). Its main feature is the Taputapuātea marae complex, constructed from the 14th -18th centuries which is considered the central temple of Eastern Polynesia and which has a strong oral tradition connected with it. It is of continuing importance to a living culture: the sites fell into disrepair after the Europeans settled in this area, but were restored in 1968 and as recent as the 1990s.

Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver Mine
Photo provided by Nan

Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water Management System is a historic mining landscape with mostly underground parts. Its hydraulic system for water supply is seen as innovative for its time.

Its massive lead-silver deposits became known in the late 15th century. Lead was used in the smelting of silver from New Spain. A second phase of production started in the late 18th century during the process of industrialization of Prussia.

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland 02-May-17

Some basic information and hints how to visit the site - possible inscription of 2017.

Whatever the final inscription will be the most impressing sites are the Historic Silver Mine (Zabytkowa Kopalnia Srebra) and Black Trout Adit (Sztolnia Czarnego Pstrąga) both located south of Tarnowskie Góry town in Silesia Voivodship (Southern Poland).

Due to working hours it is better to start visit form Historic Silver Mine (there are guided tours in English, German, Russian or Czech - at least in theory) ask at the main office. The whole trip takes around 1,5 - 2 hours. After visiting the mine you can also visit the nearby open-air museum of old mining machinery.

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Valongo Wharf
Photo provided by Ian Cade

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site comprises the globally most significant remains of an arrival point of enslaved African persons in the Americas.

The wharf located at Rio de Janeiro’s Jornal do Comércio Square was built from 1811 onwards, and used until the construction of the Empress’ Wharf in 1843. About a quarter of all African American enslaved people to the Americas have arrived here. While its physical remains are modest (fragments of a pavement, a former road), its spiritual associations as a site of conscience for African Americans are strong.

Ian Cade England 04-May-16

In brief, Valongo wharf (location) is the archaeological remains of the slave trading port in Rio which was one of the major points of entry of African slaves into the Americas.

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Venetian Works of Defence

Venetian Works of Defence Between 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar are 6 fortifications along the Adriatic Sea that date from the historic Republic of Venice.

They represent the evolution of Venetian military solutions and their innovations in architecture and methods. In the whole, they created a defensive line that guarded the Venetian commercial network.

John S., USA 01-Jul-11

This site is wonderful from an aerial perspective. But the town is a boring sleepy town without the mystery of Sabbioneta near Mantova. A worthy thirty-minute stop towards Aquilea.

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Photo provided by Alfons en Riki Verstraeten

The Historic City of Yazd is a traditional earthen city where life has been adapted to its desert location, most notable via the water system of the qanats.

Yazd is a city with a long history dating back to the Achaemenid era, and was located along the Silk and Spice Roads. It prospered from trade.

Solivagant UK 24-Mar-17

With this T List site up for consideration at the 2017 WHC in a few months time it seems worth having a review of it available here (especially as those who have already committed themselves to a guess on this site have voted it an “Inscribe”!).

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ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape
Photo provided by Solivagant

The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is a vast desert area associated with ǂKhomani San culture since the Stone Age.

It is an associative cultural landscape located amongst the sand dunes of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, associated with the former San hunter-gatherers.

Walter Switzerland 05-Jun-17

The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape, otherwise known as the The !Xam Khomani Heartland corresponds in fact to the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. To add some more confusion, together with the Bostwana Gemsbok National Parks, if forms the African Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

South Africa justifies the OUV with the association of the red dunes of the parks and the ǂKhomani and related San people, who descend directly from the ancient population that inhabited southern Africa around 150,000 years ago.

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Extended Sites in 2017

Bauhaus Sites

The Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau are the most prominent representations of the Bauhaus architectural school (1919-1933).

The "Staatliche Bauhaus" was founded in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius. In Weimar the Art School, the Applied Art School and the Haus am Horn are part of this WHS. The Art Schools were designed by the Belgian master Henry van de Velde. The Haus am Horn was the first practical statement: a Bauhaus settlement of single family houses like this was planned. But due to political pressure the Bauhaus had to leave Weimar in 1925.

They ended up in Dessau, where the second (and more successful) phase of Bauhaus started. Prominent here were Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In Dessau the designated sites are the Bauhaus building and the group of seven Masters Houses. Especially the Bauhaus building, made out of concrete, glass and steel, is a landmark in 20th century architecture.

Ian Cade England

If your idea of a good World Heritage site is a historic city centre, then this is perhaps not the best place to visit as arriving from the train station the Bauhaus itself could easily be mistaken for any other municipal building pretty much anywhere in the world. However if like me you have a keen interest in modern architecture or design this is less a visit and more a pilgrimage.

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Primeval Beech Forests

The Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe cover forests of the European beech in 12 countries.

They comprise the largest remaining 'virgin' forests of the European beech ('Fagus sylvatica'). They also hold the largest and tallest beech specimens in the world.

Jarek Pokrzywnicki, Poland 10-Oct-08

Basic info about Slovakian part only. Stuzica Reserve is the only easy accessible part of Heritage (with marked footpaths). Havesova and Vihorlat are located in remote part (if you have good map you can go there but there are no roads), Rozok is close to Ukrainian border with a road passing through but its not a marked footpath.

Stuzica in Slovakia is somehow similar to Bialowieza Forest, not in type of flora but as the area of no human activity. All fallen trees stay as they are the whole area is big enough to host big mammals, there are no paved roads inside the reserve. Two marked footpaths are the only way to get there.

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Extended: Strasbourg France


Strasbourg, Grande-île and Neustadt comprises the medieval historic centre of Strasbourg including its Cathedral and its German-built New Town.

The Grand Ile started out as the Roman camp of Argentoratum, and developed itself into the free city of Strasbourg. It was an important commercial centre in the Middle Ages. Johannes Gutenberg created the first European moveable type printing press here in the late 15th century.

The gothic Cathedral was the principal element of the WHS nomination, both for its artistic and technical value. Construction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame started in the late 12th century. A team coming from Chartres suggested a high gothic design. Pink sandstone from the Vosges was used for the construction. It has one 142m high filigree spire (the second one was never built). The height of this spire was unequalled until the 19th century: it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874. The design of the cathedral became very influential in Germany.

The ensemble on the island Grand Ile also consists of several old churches and a network of (post-)medieval streets. Their names reflect the guild movement, from the tonneliers to the tanners. Black and white timber-framed buildings adorn the streets. Among the medieval buildings are the monumental Ancienne Douane (old custom-house) and the renowned Maison Kammerzell.

Ian Cade England

I have to admit perhaps my favourite places to visit are these medium sized European cities, and Strasbourg was definitely well worth a weekend break.

The city centre is on an Island (Grande Isle) and its main assets are two fold, hopefully shown in the photo. Firstly rows of half-timbered houses overlooking cobbled streets/ waterways. Secondly the massive Gothic Cathedral. It was regarded by Goethe as the finest Cathedral in Europe, and its main edifice certainly ranks up there with the best. Inside is a fine astronomical clock, which like every other one I have seen is achingly under whelming to watch in motion on the hour.

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W-Arly-Pendjari Complex

The W-Arly-Pendjari Complex is recognized for its biodiversity of birds, fish and plants.

The park is located at a transition zone between savannah and woodlands, around a meander in the River Niger shaped like a "W".

Its 1,714,831 ha is largely uninhabited by humans. It includes contiguous parks in Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin.

Szucs Tamas Hungary 31-Dec-12

West Africa is not the right place to see animals. In most of the West African parks you can see practically nothing but the landscape. This was the case in Mole National Park of Ghana, where the most interesting animals we have seen were ants - forming a long strip on a lakeshore. Park W is much more difficult to reach than Mole, but as a reward, you can see some wildlife. Not comparable with the great East African parks, but at least there you can say, you were not sitting in a 4wd for days in vane. Because getting to the park is definitely not easy. First somehow you have to get to Niger -that can be a challenge itself. We tried to apply for a visa in Berlin, but were refused, so applied again in Accra where some "extra processing fee" helped us to get the visa of our dreams. Niamey is not a major transport hub, so finding a flight there is either difficult or very pricey.

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