Cathedral cities, vestiges of prehistoric societies and mining areas are part of the new UNESCO World Heritage list.
In an effort to encourage tourism across six continents, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently launched new additions to its list of World Heritage sites. After long months of pandemic confinement, these destinations could bring a new way of experiencing civilizations that time collapsed and that we will only know from their remains.
The list, however, does not stop only in the remote past. Botanical gardens with more than 3,000 plant species, churches with avant-garde architecture, and entire cities have earned a space among the 13 sites designated by UNESCO as World Heritage. Here we present them, one by one:
Sitting on an arid island in southern India lie the ruins of the ragged civilization. In present-day Gujarat, this archaeological site has been dated to 3,000 BC and is one of the oldest walled sites in Southeast Asia.
Harman / Ramanan Cultural Landscape, Iran:
Among the Iranian mountains, the Agromania people are preserved. In the XXI century, they are characterized by being a Kurdish agropastoral society, which has inhabited the territory for more than 5,000 years. Between the provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah, the area is noted for endemic conservation and remarkable biodiversity among the nations of the Middle East.
Joon prehistoric sites, Japan
Before the greatness of the imperial dynasties, complex societies already existed in Japan. Evidence of this is the 17 archaeological sites in the south of the island of Hokkaido, where the first human beings settled for 10,000 years. The Joon culture could be the first sedentary in Asia, with complex religious, spiritual, and ritual arrangements, dating from prehistoric times.
Rosia Montana mining landscape, Romania
The metalliferous branch of the Apisai Mountains was recently listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, given the natural beauty that the site preserves. Since the first century AD, it has been an important source of metallurgical resources, exploited since then by the Roman Empire. To this day it is still a productive space in Romania and was listed as ‘endangered’ due to excessive exploitation.
Since time immemorial, As-Salt has been a hot spot for trade between merchants from Nablus, Syria, and Lebanon. In west-central Jordan, the family residences that make up the city today stand out from other cities in the Middle East by being completely yellow. In total, the village consists of 650 historical buildings, which intermingle the Art-Nouveau architectural style with a neo-colonial taste typical of the area.
Sudanese style mosques, Ivory Coast:
Like the bulk of the countries north of the African continent, the Ivory Coast is a predominantly Muslim nation. In the region, the worship of Allah has been adapted to the tribal and magical traditions that each country had before the Arab expansion. Proof of this is the Sudanese-style mosques that remain active today, with facades that seem to be made entirely of mud.
Nice has been listed as the most luxurious spa center in Europe. There, the wealthiest people in the world go through the worst cold seasons in winter since the 18th century, according to the UNESCO World Heritage catalog. The tradition has not been lost, three centuries away.
Roberto Burley Marx Site, Brazil:
The ecological complexity of Brazil goes beyond the tropical forest of the Amazon. West of Rio de Janeiro is the best example of this, at the Roberto Burley Marx site. The botanical garden is named after the architect who developed it, thinking of making ” a living work of art. ” To this day it is preserved as such, with more than 3,500 plant species inside. Its natural beauty earned it a place among the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Chancellor archeoastronomy complex, Perur:
In the depths of the Carma Valley, a group of abandoned buildings crowns the mountains of a desert landscape. It is an iconic archaeological site in northern Peru, where evidence of astronomical observatories, temples, and administrative buildings of one of the oldest cultures in all of America has been found.
Church of Atlántida, Uruguay
This is one of the few examples in the world of a church that has its baptistery and steeple below the ground. 45 km from Montevideo, this Christian temple is inspired by the early Christian period, in which religious celebrations had to be held in secret. Despite being an enclosed space, light filters through stained glass windows, making the space look and feel wider and more ethereal.
Chicharron culture mummies in the Arica and Raincoat region, Chile
Photo: Insights / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
The ‘mummies’ found among the desert regions of Chile were an accident of nature. Between the arid climate and the salt in the sediments, the remains of a prehistoric hunter-gatherer society reached us almost intact. Known as the ‘chicharrones’, they performed these treatments on the corpses of people from different social strata when they died. Today they are considered as ‘ false mummies ‘.
Franciscan ensemble of the monastery and cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Mexico
Like other monasteries of the seventeenth century, the most representative Franciscan temple in Tlaxcala has a baroque altarpiece covered in gold foil. In the center of the Mexican Republic, this is one of the first 5 temples of the order established in New Spain. The construction began in 1524, just a decade after the Conquest began, and since then has remained in activity until today.
Borders of the Roman Empire, the Netherlands and Germany
There are no accurate images of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it is natural, as it runs along the river Rhine from Germany to the Netherlands. In this long space of territory, ” military and civilian sites and infrastructures that marked the limit of Lower Germany” have been found, according to the official website of the institution.
Schum sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, Germany
Speyer, Worms, and Mainz are today considered World Heritage by UNESCO as they are ” cathedral cities “. This means that the architectural and constructive quality of its historic buildings remain intact, with Jewish, Orthodox, and Christian temples coexisting in the same space for centuries. Today they retain all their vigor.