13 July 2011

4 new cities on the World Heritage List


The 35th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was held in Paris, France, from June 19 to 29, 2011.  At this meeting, the Committee inscribed a total of 25 new sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List: 3 natural sites, 21 cultural sites, and 1 mixed site.

Further to this meeting, the Organization of World Heritage Cities is delighted to welcome four new world heritage cities. Attending the meeting of the World Heritage Committee, the Secretary General of the OVPM, Mr. Denis Ricard, declared: “We are honored and privileged to welcome within our select club of world heritage cities these four new inscriptions. These cities, towns and villages, whose safeguarding and preservations are the responsibility of mankind, contribute to the enrichment of our collective memory and represent marvelous new places to visit and to discover”.


 The new World Heritage Cities are:

1. Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well-preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which testifies to the spread of Great Britain’s Atlantic colonial empire. The property also includes a nearby military garrison which consists of numerous historic buildings. With its serpentine urban lay-out the property testifies to a different approach to colonial town-planning compared to the Spanish and Dutch colonial cities of the region which were built along a grid plan.

Source : UNESCO

2. Fort Jesus, Mombasa

The Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596 to the designs of Giovanni Battista Cairati to protect the port of Mombasa, is one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction. The Fort’s layout and form reflected the Renaissance ideal that perfect proportions and geometric harmony are to be found in the human body. The property covers an area of 2.36 hectares and includes the fort’s moat and immediate surroundings.

Source : UNESCO

3. Konso Cultural Landscape

Konso Cultural Landscape is a 55km2 arid property of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia. It constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adapted to its dry hostile environment. The landscape demonstrates the shared values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities. The site also features anthropomorphic wooden statues – grouped to represent respected members of their communities and particularly heroic events – which are an exceptional living testimony to funerary traditions that are on the verge of disappearing. Stone steles in the towns express a complex system of marking the passing of generations of leaders.

Source : UNESCO

4. Ancient Villages of Northern Syria

Some 40 villages grouped in eight parks situated in north-western Syria provide remarkable testimony to rural life in late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period. Abandoned in the 8th to 10th centuries, the villages, which date from the 1st to 7th centuries, feature a remarkably well preserved landscape and the architectural remains of dwellings, pagan temples, churches, cisterns, bathhouses etc. The relict cultural landscape of the villages also constitutes an important illustration of the transition from the ancient pagan world of the Roman Empire to Byzantine Christianity. Vestiges illustrating hydraulic techniques, protective walls and Roman agricultural plot plans furthermore offer testimony to the inhabitants’ mastery of agricultural production.

Source : UNESCO