Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities
As the Organization of World Heritage Cities was created on a 8 September, it was decided, as a commemoration of this flagship event, that 8 September be declared “Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities”. All World Heritage cities are invited to celebrate this day once a year.
Implementation of the Solidarity Day
Established in 1993, the Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities is a unique opportunity to put heritage issues on the agenda and to express solidarity with World Heritage cities. With this celebration, we are shining the spotlight not only on the OWHC but also on the importance of being able to benefit from strong and present heritage cities.
This is why the OWHC encourages the administration of each member city to take advantage of this day to highlight the city’s important responsibility to protect and promote World Heritage and, above all, to stress the privilege of having a part of that heritage in their community. It is therefore important, throughout the year but especially on 8 September, to encourage discussions and gatherings, to reflect on the need and the good of having a labelled and protected World Heritage and to support even more strongly each member city.
Celebrate the 30th Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities with us!
Québec City celebrated the 30th World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day with two activities.
Firstly, the organization “Découvrir ma cité” offered a series of tours of Old Quebec on September 9 and 10 to the newly arrived at the Capital. The aim of this initiative was to share the city’s cultural richness with the new residents.
Secondly, an outdoor exhibition entitled “Old Quebec, UNESCO World Heritage Site” took place at the Maizerets estate throughout September. The exhibition highlighted the importance of Quebec’s world heritage and invited visitors to discover its history.
The city of Bamberg, which has been a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities for many years, also contributed to the celebration on September 8, 2023.
To express its solidarity with all the other member cities and for the 30th consecutive year, the city hoisted the UNESCO World Heritage flag on the façade of the historic town hall. A symbolic gesture to mark the occasion.
On September 8, 2023, Regensburg celebrated the 30th Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities and the 30th anniversary of the OWHC with the theme of “sharing with its citizens”.
At Regensburg’s visitor center, free World Heritage cookbooks were offered to visitors, and a small information stand on the OWHC was set up. The aim of the day was to highlight the value of world heritage and raise public awareness of its importance.
Augsburg organized a themed tour entitled “Miraculous fountains – private water connections in the imperial city era”.
The tour introduced participants to Augsburg’s historic fountains and the private connections to the underground pipe system that have existed since the 16th century.
The tour also highlighted the importance of drinking water in the city and how the old private connections were designed architecturally and artistically. Participation in these tours was limited to 20 people per group to ensure a high-quality experience.
On the occasion of the World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day, Cordoba raised the OWHC flag on the arch between the Roman bridge and the mosque-cathedral. This year, the day was dedicated to raising awareness of climate change. The city distributed reusable water bottles to all those who made their way to the historic Puerta del Puente building, to encourage the responsible use of water resources.
As Cordoba will also be hosting the OWHC World Congress in 2024, Mayor Bellido Roche announced that he would leave the flag flying until the congress in September 2024.
The city of Évora organized the photographic exhibition “Évora in Details”. The exhibition featured 30 photographs highlighting unconventional details and perspectives of the Historic Center of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Évora was one of the founding cities of the OWHC and has actively contributed to the preservation of world heritage. The city also participated in the creation of the new “Quebec Roadmap 2022-2024” strategy, approved at the OWHC World Congress in 2022.
On September 8, Granada hoisted the World Heritage Cities flag on the façade of City Hall to commemorate World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day. The city organized a full program of free activities for all public.
These included the inauguration of the “Art and Artificial Intelligence” exhibition at Casa Zafra, visits to historic monuments, and a guided tour of the Roman Albaicín. Granada collaborated with various local institutions to organize these activities and highlight the protection and conservation of its heritage.
Colonia del Sacramento
This day was an opportunity to highlight issues related to heritage and the responsibility of communities in its protection and promotion.
To commemorate the anniversary, the Colonia museum organized an exhibition by students from the N.o2 High School in Colonia del Sacramento. The exhibition highlighted the intergenerational links created through heritage preservation actions.
In addition, the Colonia museum was opened to the public on September 8, welcoming local residents, foreign visitors and the country’s educational establishments. The aim of the day was to raise public awareness of world heritage.
On September 8 in Philadelphia, the annual World Heritage City Celebration honored Michael A. Nutter, the former mayor of the city who directly contributed to Philadelphia’s membership in the OWHC, presenting him with a Globy Award for his contribution to global leadership.
The celebration took place at one of Philadelphia’s 67 National Historic Landmarks, offering attendees an evening of entertainment, culture and reflection on the city as a World Heritage City. It was also a time to celebrate the 30th World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day. Funds raised during this celebration support the city’s efforts to preserve and celebrate its historical and cultural assets, educate local youth and raise awareness of its World Heritage City status.
Further information: https://globalphiladelphia.org/world-heritage-city-celebration
On September 8, at Marrakech City Hall, two competitions were held to celebrate the World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day: the first was a painting competition, and the second was a competition to create spots (short videos) focused on the city’s heritage, in partnership with the Regional Academy of Education and Training. These fun and artistic activities helped to raise public awareness of the importance of preserving Marrakech’s heritage in a creative and visually appealing way! Participants were encouraged to create original works of art highlighting different aspects of Marrakech’s heritage, such as its historic monuments, traditional architecture, gardens, lively souks… The winners of the competition were awarded prizes.
San Antonio celebrated World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day in style with its World Heritage Festival, which has been held since 2016, when San Antonio became a member of the OWHC.
This year, a bike tour was organized around the Las Misiones site, and many participants volunteered! This is a great way to visit and discover its heritage in an original way.Learn more
To celebrate this day, Segovia hoisted the OWHC flag in the Poets’ Garden, where it flew all day, offering a view of the Alcázar, the city walls and the Eresma valley.
The city also organized ten guided tours to raise awareness of this special day and the OWHC. In addition, copies of the book “De roca a roca”, which explores the town’s geological heritage, were distributed.
Residents and visitors were encouraged to share photos of Segovia and other World Heritage cities on social networks with the hashtag #owhcsolidarityday to mark this day of solidarity.Learn more
The city of Cuenca posted a message on its social media to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Organization of World Heritage Cities and renew its support and involvement as a member of the organization.Learn more
Oaxaca and Mitla
The cities of Oaxaca and Mitla marked the Solidarity Day by publishing a video report on Instagram.
In it, we can discover that the state of Oaxaca has 3 sites listed as World Heritage: the historic center of Oaxaca, the Monte Alban archaeological zone and the prehistoric site of Yagul. In addition to introducing us to the city’s heritage history, they also mention the 30th anniversary of the OWHC!
Well done to the young people involved for this important anniversary!Learn more
Technical Assistance and Cooperation
Activities of the Regional Secretariats