New UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2017
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has named new World Heritage sites at its meeting in Krakow. Here’s a selection of protected places, from highlands to islands, from the ice age to the 21st century.
Laubenganghäuser by the Bauhaus School, Dessau
The number of Bauhaus World Heritage sites grows: The Laubenganghäuser (Balcony Access Houses) in Dessau (pictured), and the ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau, built under the second Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer, are now also included on the list.
ADGB Trade Union School, Bernau
The ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau was also completed in 1930 under Meyer's direction. It remains a prime example of a subdivided building structure that has been harmoniously integrated into the natural landscape.
Caves with the oldest Ice Age art, Germany
The first traces of human art and music were discovered during archaeological excavations in the Swabian Alb. These sites have now become the 42nd German entry on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Angola and Eritrea had locations included on the UNESCO World Heritage list for the first time. The ancient Angolan city of M'banza-Kongo was selected as an example of the profound changes that occurred after the Portuguese colonizers arrived in the 15th century. Meanwhile, the Eritrean capital of Asmara (pictured) was listed for its modernist architecture built in the early 20th century.
Venetian defense system, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro
Fortifications protected many cities of the Republic of Venice between the 15th and 17th century. Examples include the Italian fortress of Palmanova with its typical floor plan (pictured). Evidence of these defense structures are located not only in current day Italy, but also in Croatia and Montenegro.
Okinoshima Island, Japan
The island of Okinoshima served from the 4th to the 9th century as a guidepost on the sea route between Japan and Korea. A highlight is the Okitsumiya Shrine, built for the worship of the goddess of the sea. As a sacred island, restrictions have been imposed on visitors for centuries.
Kulangsu island was was awarded World Heritage status due to its international character: changing colonial powers have left their mark on the island located off the coast of Xiamen, a city in southeastern Chinese. Sambor Prei Kuk, a Hindu temple complex in Cambodia, also made the UNESCO list.
Nature landscape of Hoh Xil, China
Located at an altitude of 4800 meters, this region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau is one of the least populated areas in China. A nature reserve since 1995, rare plants and animals such as the Tibetan antelope can be found here. Other new Natural Heritage sites include the Landscapes of Dauria in Russia; and the Los Alceres National Park in Argentina.
Located on Raiatea atoll in the south Pacific in French Polynesia, the town of Taputapuatea is known for its holy sites. In the past, humans were sacrificed to the war god, Oro.
The Kujataa region lies on the edge of the eternal ice of Greenland. People have farmed in the subarctic climate for centuries. Norse and Inuit people, along with settlers from Norway and Denmark, have each left their influences behind.
The historic centre of Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat state, includes a Walled City with 28 buildings that are under UNESCO protection. Other ancient cities that have earned the prestigious world heritage city listing are the desert town of Yazd in Iran, and Hebron in Palestine.
Cultural landscape of Khomani, South Africa
The ancient Khomani people lived in northern South Africa, in the border region between current day Namibia and Botswana. In the Kalahari-Gemsbok National Park, traces of Khomani human settlements that date back to the Stone Age can be found.
Old Town of Hebron
Located in West Jordan, the old town of Hebron was also declared a World Heritage site. The nomination generated fierce protest and debate, with Israel and the US criticizing UNESCO's decision. Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs is revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians and has long been at the center of political tensions.