Paris, 21 September 2023 (TDI): In recent years, several remarkable sites and landscapes have earned prestigious spots on the UNESCO World Heritage List, showcasing the rich heritage of their respective regions.
New Inscribed Properties 2023
Spain’s Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca and Azerbaijan’s Cultural Landscape of the Khinalig People and the “Köç Yolu” Transhumance Route stand as testaments to their regions’ rich heritage.
The Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca, located on the island of Menorca, provide intriguing insights into ancient civilizations. These sites feature prehistoric dwellings and burial grounds dating back from the Bronze Age to the Late Iron Age.
Notably, they incorporate massive stone blocks reminiscent of “cyclopean” construction and reveal astronomical alignments and visual connections between structures.
Meanwhile, the Cultural Landscape of the Khinalig People and the “Köç Yolu” Transhumance Route in Azerbaijan encompass several distinctive components.
This landscape includes the elevated Khinalig village, high-altitude summer pastures, terraced agricultural areas, and winter pastures in lowland plains.
The semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Khinalig people, marked by cyclical migration between pastures, is central to this cultural landscape.
It features an intricate network of ancient pathways, temporary grazing areas, mausoleums, and mosques, exemplifying a sustainable eco-social system adapted to challenging environmental conditions.
Lithuania’s Modernist Kaunas Architecture of Optimism, dating from 1919-1939, represents an era of architectural innovation.
In another development, Žatec and its neighboring hop-growing landscape in the Czech Republic were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring significant technical monuments and historic hop-growing areas.
The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks in the United States comprise eight earthen enclosure complexes constructed between 2,000 and 1,600 years ago along the central tributaries of the Ohio River.
These earthworks are the most notable and well-preserved representations of the Indigenous tradition now recognized as the Hopewell culture.
Evidencing remarkable scale and complexity, these earthworks feature precise geometric patterns and include hilltops that have been skillfully sculpted to enclose vast, level plazas.
Notably, they exhibit alignments with both the cycles of the Sun and the far more intricate lunar cycles.
These earthworks played a pivotal role as ceremonial centers in the Hopewell culture and have yielded exquisitely crafted ritual objects, often made from rare and exotic raw materials obtained from distant regions.
Furthermore, the Karlovy Vary Region in Czechia celebrated the UNESCO World Heritage status of three spa towns, namely Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, and Františkovy Lázně, added.
Türkiye’s Gordion and Czechia’s Žatec, along with the Landscape of Saaz Hops, have also earned UNESCO recognition for their cultural and historical significance.
The archaeological site of Gordion in Türkiye, situated in an open rural landscape, encompasses the remains of the ancient capital of Phrygia, providing insights into Phrygian culture and economy through its Citadel Mound, Lower Town, Outer Town and Fortifications, and burial mounds.
The Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker, Netherlands, features the world’s oldest operational planetarium, with a central attraction being the Planetarium Room, which showcases a functioning model of the sun with six planets orbiting around it.
Visitors receive a comprehensive 15-minute explanation and can explore the rest of the museum, including the radar, at their own pace.
The Wooden Hypostyle Mosques of Medieval Anatolia in Türkiye consist of five hypostyle mosques constructed in various provinces of present-day Türkiye between the late 13th and mid-14th centuries.
These mosques are distinctive for their unique architectural system, combining exterior masonry with multiple rows of wooden interior columns (referred to as “hypostyle”).
These columns support a flat wooden ceiling and the roof, showcasing intricate woodcarving and craftsmanship in their structures, architectural elements, and furnishings.
Additionally, a new UNESCO World Heritage inscription includes The Ancient Town of Si Thep and its Associated Dvaravati Monuments in Thailand.
This site encompasses three archaeological locations representing the Dvaravati culture and civilization, which integrated Indian cultural and religious traditions into their distinct architectural and sculptural style.
Within their town planning, Buddhism and Hinduism coexisted harmoniously. Two of the sites, Khao Klang Nok and Khao Thamorrat Cave, held significant importance as Buddhist shrines.
While the third site, the ruins of the main town, houses the former Khao Klang Nai monastery adorned with unique sculptures of dwarf stucco figures.
The Maison Carrée of Nîmes in France has been newly inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Constructed during the 1st century CE in the Roman colony of Nemausus, which is today’s Nîmes, France, the Maison Carrée stands as an early exemplar of a Roman temple dedicated to imperial worship in the provinces of the Roman Empire.
This temple was devoted to the Princes of Youth, heirs of Augustus who died prematurely & it served to solidify Rome’s authority over its conquered territories.
Symbolically, it also signaled the allegiance of Nemausus’ populace to the dynastic lineage of Augustus.
The architectural design and intricate decorations conveyed the ideological vision of Augustus, who oversaw the transition of Ancient Rome from a republic to an empire, ushering in the era of Pax Romana.
The Astronomical Observatories of Kazan Federal University in the Russian Federation have also earned a recent inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
This includes the Kazan Observatory, established in 1837 in the historical heart of Kazan, as well as the complex that encompasses the suburban Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory and various historical structures.
Another new addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List is the Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta and its Historic Landmarks in Indonesia.
This axis represents a remarkable testament to Javanese civilization and culture, showcasing a significant intersection of belief systems and values.
It has direct associations with living traditions, artistic and literary creations, and is a manifestation of Javanese philosophical concepts related to human life cycles, harmonious existence, the connection between humans and the Creator, as well as the microcosmic and macrocosmic realms.
The property encompasses the Kraton (Palace) Complex and various landmarks, monuments, structures, and spaces aligned along a tangible 6 km long south-north axis.
It’s interconnected both spatially and through rituals and managed according to the traditional system of the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat.
Another addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List is the “Djerba Testimony to a Settlement Pattern in an Island Territory” in Tunisia.
This serial property serves as a testament to the unique settlement pattern that emerged on the island of Djerba during the 9th century CE, within a semi-arid and water-scarce environment.
A prominent characteristic of this pattern was its low population density, involving the division of the island into neighborhoods that were closely clustered together. These neighborhoods were economically self-sustaining and intricately connected to each other.