Unesco World Heritage sites – Europe

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Europe.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated 131 World Heritage Sites in Western Europe. These sites are located in 9 countries (also called “state parties”); France and Germany are home to the most with 37, while Liechtenstein and Monaco have no sites. There are ten sites which are shared between state parties both in and out of Western Europe. The first site from the region to be included on the list was the Aachen Cathedral in Germany in 1978, the year of the list’s conception.

As of July 2016, there are a total of 1,052 World Heritage Sites located in 165 “States Parties” Of the 1,052 sites, 814 are cultural, 203 are natural and 35 are mixed properties.

A historic site or heritage site is an official location where pieces of political, military, cultural, or social history have been preserved due to their cultural heritage value. Historic sites are usually protected by law, and many have been recognized with the official national historic site status.

CINQUE TERRE, ITALY

The name refers to five small, cliffside towns ( Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola & Riomaggiore) strung along several miles of the Ligurian Coast, connected by a hiking trail and local train line (cars cannot reach them).  The area was also declared a national park in 1999.

JUNGFRAU REGION, SWITZERLAND

This area is the most glaciated of Europe’s Alps and is named after the 4,150m (13,640ft) peak of Jungfrau. It is one of the premier trekking and climbing destinations in Europe.  This important UNESCO distinction brings with it a commitment to realize our responsibility to sustain and protect this unique high-alpine region for generations to come.

Jungfrau 

BRYGGEN, NORWAY

Bryggen is the name of the old wharf in the coastal city of Bergen. Its UNESCO value lies in its rows of traditionally constructed and brightly colored wooden structures.

LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE 

This river valley was listed by UNESCO in 2000 for its historical and architectural importance to France and the rest of Western Europe. The Château de Chambord,  is the largest and most impressive structure in the region.

VERSAILLES, FRANCE

The Palace of Versailles and its exquisitely manicured gardens hosted the French royal court for different periods during the 18th and 19th centuries. These days, it’s pretty much a suburb of Paris.

SURTSEY, ICELAND

Surtsey is a volcanic island just south of the Icelandic mainland that didn’t even exist until 1963, when an undersea eruption built up the square-mile landmass. It’s never been peopled, so it’s like an unspoiled natural laboratory.

STONEHENGE, ENGLAND

Solstice brings the party to Stonehenge. For more quiet, head down the road to the Avebury circle or other Neolithic stone sites in the area, all of which are included in the UNESCO listing.

ASSISI, ITALY

This central Italian town, seen here in panorama dominated by the Basilica of San Francesco, is the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. A complex of Franciscan-related landmarks make up the World Heritage Site.

Assisi Italy

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, NORTHERN IRELAND

Over 40,000 black basalt columns interlocked along the coast of County Antrim gave rise to legends of an ancient roadway used by giants to move between Ireland and Scotland. Today, we just call it a really cool natural phenomenon.

CORDOBA, SPAIN

Following the Moorish conquest of Spain, Cordoba was hyped as a metropolitan peer to Constantinople, Damascus, and Baghdad in the Muslim world. Much evidence of this history survives today, such as the Great Mosque.

COLOGNE, GERMANY

Cologne’s Gothic cathedral, which took more than 600 years to build, is the focus of the UNESCO site in this western German city. It dominates the dusked skyline.

Some other known sites accross Europe include:

Avignon France-Stone Bridge, Venice Italy (City), Skellig Michael Ireland (Island), Brugge Belgium (Canals), Evora Portugal (temple ruins), Dorset coast England (cliffs), Alhambra Spain (palace), Kronberg Castle Denmark, Siena Italy,(Piazzo del Campo terrace and tower),  Western Fjords Norway, NORTHERN LIGHTS AT ÃŽINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK, ICELAND, Gwynedd castles Wales, Rhine Valley Germany (upper middle valley), Schokland Window Netherlands.

       

Skellig Michael Ireland    Northern Lights Iceland                Brugge Belgium

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