Unesco Adds 33 New Sites to its World Heritage List

The Taj Mahal, India (Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel on Unsplash)
Unesco Adds 33 New Sites to its World Heritage List

Unesco has added 33 new cultural and natural sites to its World Heritage List, including a forest in Thailand, the Trans-Iranian Railway and the porticoes of Bologna, Italy.

This brings the total of Unesco World Heritage Sites to 1,153. The bumper crop of new additions is because the committee didn’t meet in 2020 due to Covid, so it reviewed two years’ worth of nominations at its meeting in Fuzhou, China.

The UN agency for education, science and culture bestows World Heritage status upon sites for having a particular cultural, historical or geographic significance, referred to as “outstanding universal value.” The list was first introduced in the 1970s.

The latest list sees Italy take the lead in the number of sites with 58. China is in second place with 56.

Europe dominates in the top 10 UNESCO countries with an impressive 226 sites across Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the UK.

Ireland’s List

The island of Ireland has three sites in the list – The collection of neolithic tombs at Brú na Bóinne, Skellig Michael and the rock formations of the Giant’s Causeway.

Seven other sites have been included in a tentative list for possible nomination. These are:

Liverpool’s Loss

Last week, Liverpool’s docklands were stripped of its world heritage status.

The UN’s heritage body had put Liverpool on its endangered list a few years ago but made the decision to remove it altogether because its “outstanding universal value” had been compromised by ongoing developments in the docklands, including the construction of Everton’s new stadium.

It is only the third site to be stripped of its world heritage status. The other delisted sites were Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in 2007 and the Dresden Elbe valley in Germany in 2009.

The newest World Heritage sites


Turkey: Arslantepe Mound
Peru: Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex
Belgium/Netherlands: Colonies of Benevolence
France: Cordouan Lighthouse
India: Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana
Germany: Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt
Italy: Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles
Spain: Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and Sciences
China: Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China
Romania: Roșia Montană Mining Landscape
Brazil: Sítio Roberto Burle Marx
Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: The Great Spa Towns of Europe
Uruguay: The work of engineer Eladio Dieste: Church of Atlántida
Iran: Trans-Iranian Railway
Saudi Arabia: Ḥimā Cultural Area
Japan: Amami-Oshima Island, Tokunoshima Island, Northern part of Okinawa Island, and Iriomote Island
Georgia: Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands
South Korea: Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats
Thailand: Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex


Jordan: As-Salt – The Place of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality
Iran: Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat
India: Dholavira: a Harappan City
Germany/the Netherlands: Frontiers of the Roman Empire — The Lower German Limes
Japan: Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan
France: Nice, Winter Resort Town of the Riviera
Chile: Settlement and Artificial Mummification of the Chinchorro Culture in the Arica and Parinacota Region
Germany: ShUM Sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz
Côte d’Ivoire: Sudanese style mosques in northern Côte d’Ivoire
Italy: The Porticoes of Bologna
Slovenia: The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana — Human Centred Urban Design
United Kingdom: The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales
Russia: Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White Sea
Gabon: Ivindo National Park
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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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