Notification to the General Assembly of the Organization of World Heritage Cities

In your capacity as mayor of a member city in good standing of the OWHC or that will become so, you are hereby called to its General Assembly that will be held at the HICO, in Gyeongju (Republic of Korea), on November 3, 2017, from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. In order to be part of the General Assembly, we request that you complete the following form in order to confirm your presence. 

Candidacy of a city to host an OWHC Board of Directors' meeting

Often, our member cities wish to highlight an anniversary or a special event linked to their heritage. To do so, in the past, many of them have invited the Board of Directors of the OWHC to meet in their city (2 days), allowing them to showcase the importance of their heritage and its recognition at the international level. If you wish to host an OWHC Board of Directors’ meeting, please complete the following form.


Registered Sector: 
Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites
Location and site: 
The prehistoric cemeteries at Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa contain many hundreds of examples of dolmens - tombs from the 1st millennium BC constructed of large stone slabs. They form part of the Megalithic culture, found in many parts of the world, but nowhere in such a concentrated form.
Historical Function: 
Administrative Status: 
District of the province of South Jeolla
Historical Reference: 

The dolmens are the demonstration of a megalithic culture, which is present in the entire world, particularly during the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age in the II and I millenniums before J.C. This use of big stones originates from the emergence of new techniques and is represented by alignments and ritual circles such as those of Stonehenge and the Orkney in United Kingdom, death chambers such as those of Brugh na Bóinne in Ireland as well as stone circles and sepulchers in occidental Africa. 

The megaliths are a significant characteristic of the East Asia prehistory during the I millennium before J.C. We can mainly find them in the west of China (Tibet, Sichuan, Gansu) and in the coastal regions of the Yellow Sea basin (Shandong peninsula, northwest of Kyushu).

It would seem that the dolmens appeared in the Korean peninsula during the Bronze Age. The Chungnim-ri group, in Koch’ang, dates from around the VII century before J.C., according to the archeological data. The construction of the dolmens was interrupted in that place during the III century before J.C. The Hwasun megaliths are a little more recent and dates back to the VI and V centuries before J.C. We do not have enough information to date the Kanghwa group but it seems that it came before. 

Urban Morphology: 

The Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen sites contain the highest density and greatest variety of dolmens in Korea, and indeed of any country. Dolmens are megalithic funerary monuments, which figured prominently in Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures across the world during the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE. Usually consisting of two or more undressed stone slabs supporting a huge capstone, it is generally accepted that they were simply burial chambers, erected over the bodies or bones of deceased worthies. They are usually found in cemeteries on elevated sites and are of great archaeological value for the information that they provide about the prehistoric people who built them and their social and political systems, beliefs and rituals, and arts and ceremonies.

The property encompasses three distinct areas.

  • The Gochang Dolmen Site (8.38 ha) features the largest and most diversified group, and is centered in the village of Maesan, along the southern foot of a group of hills running east/west. Over 440 dolmens of various types have been recorded in this location.
  • The Hwasun Dolmen Site (31 ha) is situated on the slopes of a low range of hills, along the Jiseokgang River. There are more than 500 dolmens in this group. In a number of cases, the stone outcrops from which the stones making up these dolmens have been identified.
  • The Ganghwa Dolmen Sites (12.27 ha) are on the offshore island of Ganghwa, on mountain slopes. They tend to be situated at a higher level than the dolmens of the other sites and are stylistically early, in particular those at Bugeun-ri and Gocheon-ri.

The Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites preserve important evidence of how stones were quarried, transported and raised and of how dolmen types changed over time in northeast Asia.

A significant number of dolmens are distributed in each of the three areas, fully showing the development history of the megalithic culture with numerous examples of various style and type. The existence of a quarry near the site is especially important in providing references to the origins, nature and developmental history of the dolmens, as well as contributing to the integrity of the property. These components are all included within the boundaries of the inscribed property.

Registration Criteria: 

Criterion (iii): The global prehistoric technological and social phenomenon that resulted in the appearance in the 2nd and 3rd millennia BCE of funerary and ritual monuments constructed of large stones (the "Megalithic Culture") is nowhere more vividly illustrated than in the dolmen cemeteries of Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa.

English translation unavailable for City2City.


Registered Sector: 
Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy
Location and site: 

The cultural landscape of Bali consists of five rice terraces and their water temples that cover 19,500 ha. The temples are the focus of a cooperative water management system of canals and weirs, known as subak, that dates back to the 9th century. Included in the landscape is the 18th-century Royal Water Temple of Pura Taman Ayun, the largest and most impressive architectural edifice of its type on the island. The subak reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. This philosophy was born of the cultural exchange between Bali and India over the past 2,000 years and has shaped the landscape of Bali. The subak system of democratic and egalitarian farming practices has enabled the Balinese to become the most prolific rice growers in the archipelago despite the challenge of supporting a dense population.

Historical Function: 
Religious and cultural
Administrative Status: 
Regency on the Island of Bali
Urban Morphology: 

A line of volcanoes dominates the landscape of Bali and have provided it with fertile soil which, combined with a wet tropical climate, make it an ideal place for crop cultivation. Water from the rivers has been channelled into canals to irrigate the land, allowing the cultivation of rice on both flat land and mountain terraces.

Registration Criteria: 

Criterion (iii): The cultural tradition that shaped the landscape of Bali, since at least the 12th century, is the ancient philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana. The congregations of water temples, that underpin the water management of the subak landscape, aim to sustain an harmonious relationship with natural and spiritual world, through an intricate series of rituals, offerings and artistic performances.

Criterion (v): The five landscapes within Bali are an exceptional testimony to the subak system, a democratic and egalitarian system focused on water temples and the control of irrigation that has shaped the landscape over the past thousand years. Since the 11th century the water temple networks have managed the ecology of rice terraces at the scale of whole watersheds. They provide a unique response to the challenge of supporting a dense population on a rugged volcanic island that is only extant in Bali.

Criterion (vi): Balinese water temples are unique institutions, which for more than a thousand years have drawn inspiration from several ancient religious traditions, including Saivasiddhanta and Samkhyā Hinduism, Vajrayana Buddhism and Austronesian cosmology. The ceremonies associated with the temples and their role in the practical management of water together crystallise the ideas of the Tri Hita Karana philosophy that promotes the harmonious relationship between the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. This conjunction of ideas can be said to be of outstanding significance and directly manifest in the way the landscape has developed and is managed by local communities within the subak system.