Do you know your heritage?

When I was looking for interesting places to visit in my surrounding area I found out that the old Hanseatic city Lübeck, which is only an hour away from me, is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This made me wonder what other cool places there are on the list that are close to me and if I had been to any yet. After a quick Google search I found out that there are 37 sites listed in Germany. And I haven’t yet seen a single one of them… Feeling bad about it I had a look at what sites there are in my home country, Sweden, that I had come across. The result wasn’t very uplifting, 1 out of 15. In a last desperate attempt I went global in order to find at least a few more sites that I had seen so far and to my comfort I found a couple that I had visited!

For those of you who don’t know what the UNESCO World Heritage list is, here is a quick review. The World Heritage list was founded by the UN-related organization UNESCO in 1972 with the task “to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.”
The sites can for example be monuments, forests, lakes, cities or mountains. Some famous examples of sites are Chichen-Itza, the pyramids of Giza and Petra in Jordan. Currently there are in total 962 sites and new ones are selected every year after first being nominated by the respective country. However, the list has started to get questioned for adding too many sites and being used by countries only for increasing revenues from tourism. Also, Wikimedia, the organization behind Wikipedia, last year opened a petition for Wikipedia to become part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list. If successful, that would make it the first digital entry on the list.

However, questioned or not, the World Heritage list does promote cooperation between countries in preserving our heritage (and put together a great list of cool places to visit). Therefore, I am definitely visiting Lübeck in the near future to tick off another site.

What sites would you like to visit? Do you know any where you live?


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