WHC Session Day #7: Eleven New Sites
World Heritage in France now includes the vineyard parcels in Burgundy and the Champagne vineyards, in Iran the city of Susa and the cultural landscape of Meymand In Denmark the par force hunting landscape in North Zealand and the settlement Christiansfeld were inscribed on the World Heritage List. Furthermore the Tusi Sites in China, the sites of the Baekje Dynasty in South Korea, the Holy Mount Burkhan in Mongolia and the Fortress of Diyarbakir in Turkey now hold World Heritage status.
On 3 July four sites have already been recognized as cultural and natural heritage. This year, 36 sites have been nominated for the World Heritage List.
Find the whole World Heritage List on the Website of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
China: Tusi Sites
Located in the mountainous areas of south-west China, this property encompasses remains of several tribal domains whose chiefs were appointed by the central government as ‘Tusi’, hereditary rulers from the 13th to the early 20th century. The Tusi system arose from the ethnic minorities’ dynastic systems of government dating back to the 3rd century BCE. Its purpose was to unify national administration, while allowing ethnic minorities to retain their customs and way of life. The sites of Laosicheng, Tangya and Hailongtun Fortress that make up the site bear exceptional testimony to this form of governance, which derived from the Chinese civilization of the Yuan and Ming periods.
Denmark: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement
Founded in 1773 in South Jutland, the site is an example of a planned settlement of the Moravian Church, a Lutheran free congregation centred in Herrnhut, Saxony. The town was planned to represent the Protestant urban ideal, constructed around a central Church square. The architecture is homogenous and unadorned, with one and two-storey buildings in yellow brick with red tile roofs. The democratic organization of the Moravian Church, with its pioneering egalitarian philosophy, is expressed in its humanistic town planning. The settlement’s plan opens onto agricultural land and includes important buildings for the common welfare such as large communal houses for the congregation’s widows and unmarried men and women. The buildings are still used by an influential community of the Moravian Church.
Denmark: The Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand
Located about 30 km northeast of Copenhagen, this cultural landscape encompasses the two hunting forests of Store Dyrehave and Gribskov, as well as the hunting park of Jægersborg Hegn/Jægersborg Dyrehave. This is a designed landscape where Danish kings and their court exercised par force hunting, or hunting with hounds, which reached its peak from the Middle Ages to the end of the 16th century. With hunting lanes laid out in an orthogonal grid pattern, their numbered stone posts, enclosures and hunting lodges, the site demonstrates the application of Baroque landscaping principles to forested areas.
France: The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy
The climates are precisely delimited vineyard parcels on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune south of the city of Dijon. They differ from one another due to specific natural conditions (geology and exposure) as well as vine types and have been shaped by human cultivation. Over time they came to be recognized by the wine they produce. This cultural landscape consists of two parts. Firstly, the vineyards and associated production units including villages and the town of Beaune, which together represent the commercial dimension of the production system. The second part includes the historic centre of Dijon, which embodies the political regulatory impetus that gave birth to the climats system. The site is an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the High Middle Ages.
France: Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars
The property encompasses sites where the method of producing sparkling wines was developed on the principle of secondary fermentation in the bottle since the early 17th century to its early industrialization in the 19th century. The property is made up of three distinct ensembles: the historic vineyards of Hautvilliers, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims, and the Avenue de Champagne and Fort Chabrol in Epernay. These three components – the supply basin formed by the historic hillsides, the production sites (with their underground cellars) and the sales and distribution centres (the Champagne Houses) - illustrate the entire champagne production process. The property bears clear testimony to the development of a very specialized artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise.
Islamic Republic of Iran: Cultural Landscape of Maymand
Maymand is a self-contained, semi-arid area at the end of a valley at the southern extremity of Iran’s central mountains. The villagers are semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists. They raise their animals on mountain pastures, living in temporary settlements in spring and autumn. During the winter months they live lower down the valley in cave dwellings carved out of the soft rock (kamar), an unusual form of housing in a dry, desert environment. This cultural landscape is an example of a system that appears to have been more widespread in the past and involves the movement of people rather than animals.
Islamic Republic of Iran: Susa
Located in the south-west of Iran, in the lower Zagros Mountains, the property encompasses a group of archaeological mounds rising on the eastern side of the Shavur River, as well as Ardeshir’s palace, on the opposite bank of the river. The excavated architectural monuments include administrative, residential and palatial structures. Susa contains several layers of superimposed urban settlements in a continuous succession from the late 5th millennium BCE until the 13th century CE. The site bears exceptional testimony to the Elamite, Persian and Parthian cultural traditions, which have largely disappeared.
Mongolia: Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape
The site is situated in the north-east of the country in the central part of the Khentii mountain chain where the vast Central Asian steppe meets the coniferous forests of the Siberian taiga. Burkhan Khaldun is associated with the worship of sacred mountains, rivers and ovoo-s (shamanic rock cairns), in which ceremonies have been shaped by a fusion of ancient shamanic and Buddhist practices. The site is also believed to be the place of Genghis Khan’s birth and burial. It testifies to his efforts to establish mountain worship as an important part of the unification of the Mongol people.
Republic of Korea: Baekje Historic Areas
Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, this property comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475 to 660 CE, including the Gongsanseong fortress and royal tombs at Songsan-ri related to the capital, Ungjin (present day Gongju), the Busosanseong Fortress and Gwanbuk-ri administrative buildings, and the Naseong city wall related to the capital, Sabi (now Buyeo), the royal palace at Wanggung-ri and the Mireuksa Temple in Iksan related to the secondary Sabi capital. Together, these sites represent the later period of the Baekje Kingdom – one of the three earliest kingdoms on the Korean peninsula (18 BCE to 660 CE) - during which time they were at the crossroads of considerable technological, religious (Buddhist), cultural and artistic exchanges between the ancient East Asian kingdoms in Korea, China and Japan.
Singapore: Singapore Botanical Gardens
Situated at the heart of the city of Singapore, the site demonstrates the evolution of a British tropical colonial botanic garden that has become a modern world-class scientific institution used for both conservation and education. The cultural landscape includes a rich variety of historic features, plantings and buildings that demonstrate the development of the garden since its creation in 1859. It has been an important centre for science, research and plant conservation, notably in connection with the cultivation of rubber plantations, in Southeast Asia since 1875.
Turkey: Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape
Located on an escarpment of the Upper Tigres River Basin that is part of the so-called Fertile Crescent, the fortified city of Diyarbakir and the landscape around has been an important centre since the Hellenistic period, through the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman times to the present. The site encompasses the Amida Mound, known as İçkale (inner castle), the 5.8km-long city walls of Diyarbakir with their numerous towers, gates, buttresses, and 63 inscriptions from different periods, as well as Hevsel Gardens, a green link between the city and the Tigris that supplied the city with food and water.