16 July 2008
9 new cities insribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008
Québec City, Canada, 8 July 2008. Gathered in Québec City, Canada, the World Heritage Committee inscribed 9 new cities on the UNESCO List, which have within their boundaries listed Word Heritage Sites. "It is a great honour as well as a great privilege to welcome new members in the large family of World Heritage Cities; each and everyone of those cities and towns bear such an exceptional value that its preservation is now a matter of concern to the whole world; they are treasures that enrich our collective memory and new places for everyone to visit and discover" said Lee Minaidis, the Interim Secretary general of the Organization.Berlin Modernism Housing Estates (Germany)
The property consists of six housing estates that testify to innovative housing policies from 1910 to 1933, especially during the Weimar Republic, when the city of Berlin was particularly progressive socially, politically and culturally. The property is an outstanding example of the building reform movement that contributed to improving housing and living conditions for people with low incomes through novel approaches to town planning, architecture and garden design. The estates also provide exceptional examples of new urban and architectural typologies, featuring fresh design solutions, as well as technical and aesthetic innovations. Bruno Taut, Martin Wagner and Walter Gropius were among the leading architects of these projects which exercised considerable influence on the development of housing around the world.
Historic Centre of Camagüey (Cuba)
One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camagüey played a prominent role as the urban centre of an inland territory dedicated to cattle breeding and the sugar industry. Settled in its current location in 1528, the town developed on the basis of an irregular urban pattern that contains a system of large and minor squares, serpentine streets, alleys and irregular urban blocks, highly exceptional for Latin American colonial towns located in plain territories. The 54 ha Historic Centre of Camagüey constitutes an exceptional example of a traditional urban settlement relatively isolated from main trade routes. The Spanish colonizers followed medieval European influences in terms of urban layout and traditional construction techniques brought to the Americas by their masons and construction masters. The property reflects the influence of numerous styles through the ages: neoclassical, eclectic, Art Deco, Neo-colonial as well as some Art Nouveau and rationalism.
Mantua and Sabbioneta (Italy)
In the Po valley, in the north of Italy, represent two aspects of Renaissance town planning: Mantua shows the renewal and extension of an existing city, while 30 km away, Sabbioneta represents the implementation of the period’s theories about planning the ideal city. Typically, Mantua’s layout is irregular with regular parts showing different stages of its growth since the Roman period and includes many medieval edifices among them an 11th century rotunda and a Baroque theatre. Sabbioneta, created in the second half of the 16th century under the rule of one person, Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna, can be described as a single-period city and has a right angle grid layout. Both cities offer exceptional testimonies to the urban, architectural and artistic realizations of the Renaissance, linked through the visions and actions of the ruling Gonzaga family. The two towns are important for the value of their architecture and for their prominent role in the dissemination of Renaissance culture. The ideals of the Renaissance, fostered by the Gonzaga family, are present in the towns’ morphology and architecture.
Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca (Malaysia)
Have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka demonstrates the early stages of this history originating in the 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.
San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano (San Marino)
Covers 55 ha, including Mount Titano and the historic centre of the city which dates back to the foundation of the republic as a city-state in the 13th century. San Marino is inscribed as a testimony to the continuity of a free republic since the Middle Ages. The inscribed city centre includes fortification towers, walls, gates and bastions, as well as a neo-classical basilica of the 19th century, 14th and 16th century convents, and the Palazzo Publico of the 19th century, as well as the 18th century Titano Theatre. The property represents an historical centre still inhabited and preserving all its institutional functions. Thanks to its position on top of Mount Titano, it was not affected by the urban transformations that have occurred from the advent of the industrial era to today.
Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús de Nazareno de Atotonilco (Mexico)
The fortified town, first established in the 16th century to protect the Royal Route inland, reached its apogee in the 18th century when many of its outstanding religious and civic buildings were built in the style of the Mexican Baroque. Some of these buildings are masterpieces of the style that evolved in the transition from Baroque to neoclassical. Situated 14 km from the town, the Jesuit sanctuary, also dating from the 18th century, is one of the finest examples of Baroque art and architecture in the New Spain. It consists of a large church, and several smaller chapels, all decorated with oil paintings by Rodriguez Juárez and mural paintings by Miguel Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre. Because of its location, San Miguel de Allende acted as a melting pot where Spaniards, Creoles and Amerindians exchanged cultural influences while the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco constitutes an exceptional example of the exchange between European and Latin American cultures. Its architecture and interior decoration testify to the influence of Saint Ignacio de Loyola’s doctrine.
One extension was decided by the Committee, which inscribed the Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra (Albania)
This represents the addition of the city centre of Berat to that of Gjirokastra, which was inscribed in 2005. Berat was inscribed as a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town. Located in central Albania, Berat bears witness to the coexistence of various religious and cultural communities down the centuries. A town of 64,000 inhabitants, it features a castle, locally known as the Kala, most of which was built in the 13th century, although its origins date back ot the 4th century BC. The citadel area numbers many Byzantine churches, mainly from the 13th century, several of which contain valuable wall paintings and icons. The town also numbers several mosques built under Turkish occupation which started in 1417. Berat also has several houses for religious communities, notably some used by Sufi brotherhoods in the 18th century and well-preserved housing in a distinct style.
OWHC World Congress "Quito 2009"
Revitalization of historical centers: How to engage all social actors?
September 8-11, 2009