World Heritage


Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Explore cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

EPISODES

Great Barrier Reef Part 1

The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the northeast coast of Australia. It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusk.

Great Barrier Reef Part 2

The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the northeast coast of Australia. It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusk.

Site of Palmyra

An oasis in the Syrian desert, Palmyra contains the ruins of a city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. From the 1st- 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra married Graeco-Roman techniques.

Ancient Thebes of Necropolis Part 1

Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the period of the Middle and New Kingdoms. With the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queen, Thebes is a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization.

Ancient Thebes of Necropolis Part 2

Thebes, the city of the god Amon, was the capital of Egypt during the period of the Middle and New Kingdoms. With the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queen, Thebes is a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization.

Central Amazon Conservation

The Central Amazon Conservation Complex makes up the largest protected area in the Amazon Basin and is one of the planet’s richest regions in terms of biodiversity. The site protects threatened species, including giant arapaima fish.

Kilimanjaro National Park

At 5,895m, Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa. This volcanic massif stands in splendid isolation above the surrounding plains, with its snowy peak looming over the savannah. Numerous mammals, many of them endangered species, live in the park.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge in Wiltshire is among the most famous group of megaliths in the world. This sanctuariy consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored.

Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur

Evidence of the rise of Mahayana Buddhism in Bengal from the 7th century onwards, Somapura Mahavira, or the Great Monastery, was a renowned intellectual center until the 12th century. This monastery-city represents a unique artistic achievement.

Galapagos Islands Part 1

Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’.

Galapagos Islands Part 2

Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’.

Petra

Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites.

Victoria Falls

These are among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. The Zambezi River, which is more than 2 km wide at this point, plunges noisily down a series of basalt gorges and raises an iridescent mist that can be seen more than 20 km away.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

This site contains two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, both of which tower over the Pacific Ocean. Rare birds and endemic species can be found there, as well as forests of giant ferns.

Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino

Located in the central part of the peninsula of Baja California, the sanctuary contains some exceptionally interesting ecosystems. The coastal lagoons of Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio are important reproduction and wintering sites.

Serengeti National Park

The vast plains of the Serengeti comprise 1.5 million hectare of savannah. The annual migration to permanent water holes of vast herds of herbivores, followed by their predators, is one of the most impressive natural events in the world.

Palace and Park of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Embellished by several generations of architects and sculptors, it provided Europe with a model of the ideal residence for over a century.

Medina of Fez

Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom.

Buddhist Monument at Sanchi

On a hill overlooking the plain and about 40 km from Bhopal, the site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments all in different states of conservation most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.

Historic Areas of Istanbul

With its strategic location on the Bosphorus peninsula between the Balkans and Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Istanbul has been associated with major political, religious and artistic events for more than 2,000 years.

Yellowstone

The vast natural forest of Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 9,000 km2. Yellowstone contains half of all the world's known geothermal features, with more than 10,000 examples and also has the world's largest concentration of geysers.

Tyre

According to legend, purple dye was invented in Tyre. This great Phoenician city ruled the seas and founded prosperous colonies such as Cadiz and Carthage, but its historical role declined at the end of the Crusades.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is in the heart of California. With its 'hanging' valleys, many waterfalls, cirque lakes, polished domes, moraines and U-shaped valleys, it provides an excellent overview of all kinds of granite relief fashioned by glaciation.

Te Wahipounamu, South West New Zealand

The landscape in this park, situated in south-west New Zealand, has been shaped by successive glaciations into fjords, rocky coasts, towering cliffs, lakes and waterfalls. Two-thirds of the park is covered with southern beech and podocarps.

Redwood National Park

The landscape in this park has been shaped by successive glaciations into fjords, rocky coasts, towering cliffs, lakes and waterfalls. Two-thirds of the park is covered with southern beech and podocarps, some of which are over 800 years old.

Ancient Ksours of Mauritania

Founded in the 11th-12th centuries to serve the caravans crossing the Sahara, these trading and religious centres became focal points of Islamic culture. They have managed to preserve an urban fabric that evolved between the 12th and 16th centuries.

Taj Mahal

An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India.

Mount Kenya National Park

At 5,199m, with its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora provides an example of ecological processes.

Hoi An, Ancient Town in Vietnam

Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th-19th century. Its buildings and street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique site.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto Part 3

Kyoto illustrates the development of Japanese wooden architecture, particularly religious architecture, and the art of Japanese gardens, which has influenced landscape gardening the world over.

Vatican City

One of the most sacred places in Christendom attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. A unique collection of artistic and architectural masterpieces lie within the boundaries of this small state.

Kronborg Castle

Located on an important site commanding the Sund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden, the Royal castle of Kronborg is of immense symbolic value to the Danish people and played a key role in the history of northern Europe.

Egyptian Pyramids Part 1

The capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples and pyramids. In ancient times, the site was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Egyptian Pyramids Part 2

The capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples and pyramids. In ancient times, the site was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Egyptian Pyramids Part 3

The capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples and pyramids. In ancient times, the site was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Old City of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, palaces and fountains.

Shark Bay

At the most westerly point of the Australian continent, Shark Bay, with its islands and the land surrounding it, has three exceptional natural features: its vast sea-grass beds, its sea cow population; and its stromatolites.

Grand Canyon

Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is the most spectacular gorge in the world. Its horizontal strata retrace the geological history of the past 2 billion years and prehistoric traces of human adaptation to a harsh environment.

Iranian Oasis & Everglades

Bam is situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. The origins of Bam can be traced back to the Achaemenid period. The Everglades in Florida are a sanctuary for a large number of birds and reptiles.

Jesuit Missions of Argentina

The ruins of Santa María la Mayor in Argentina lies at the heart of a tropical forest. They are the impressive remains of five Jesuit missions, built in the land of the Guaranis during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Birthplace of the Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. Among the pilgrims was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there.

A Fortress in Finland

Built in the second half of the 18th century by Sweden on a group of islands located at the entrance of Helsinki's harbour, this fortress is an especially interesting example of European military architecture of the time.

El Tajin, Mexico

Located in the state of Veracruz, El Tajin was at its height from the early 9th-13th century. It became the most important center in northeast Mesoamerica after the fall of the Teotihuacan Empire.

Persepolis

Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models.

Tasmanian Game Reserve Part 1

In a region that has been subjected to severe glaciation, these parks and reserves constitute one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest. Remains found in limestone caves attest to the human occupation of the area for more than 20,000 years.

Tasmanian Game Reserve Part 2

In a region that has been subjected to severe glaciation, these parks and reserves constitute one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest. Remains found in limestone caves attest to the human occupation of the area for more than 20,000 years.

Glacier Bay National Park Part 1

Comprised of an impressive complex of glaciers and high peaks on both sides of the border between Canada and the United States. This landscape is home to many grizzly bears, caribou and Dall's sheep.

Glacier Bay National Park Part 2

Comprised of an impressive complex of glaciers and high peaks on both sides of the border between Canada and the United States. This landscape is home to many grizzly bears, caribou and Dall's sheep.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level in the middle of a tropical mountain forest. The most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls and terraces seem as if they have been cut naturally in the rock escarpments.

Historic Vienna, Austria

Vienna developed from early Celtic and Roman settlements into a Medieval and Baroque city. It played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century.

Skocjan Caves

An exceptional system of limestone caves comprises collapsed dolines and underground passages with many waterfalls and one of the largest known underground chambers. The site is one of the most famous in the world for the study of karstic phenomena.

Goreme, Rock Sites, Cappadocia

In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period.

Jungfrau

The site provides an outstanding example of the formation of the High Alps, including the most glaciated part of the mountain range and the largest glacier in Eurasia. It features a wide diversity of ecosystems.

Kathmandu Valley

The cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley is illustrated by seven groups of monuments and buildings which display the full range of historic and artistic achievements for which the Kathmandu Valley is world famous.

Island of Goree

From the 15th to the 19th century, it was the largest slave-trading center on the African coast. Today it continues to serve as a reminder of human exploitation and as a sanctuary for reconciliation.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru, an immense monolith, and Kata Tjuta, the rock domes located west of Uluru, form part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies in the world. The traditional owners are the Anangu Aboriginal people.

Historic City of Sucre, Bolivia

The first capital of Bolivia was founded by the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century. Its many well-preserved religious buildings, such as San Lázaro illustrate the blending of local architectural traditions with styles imported from Europe.

Nubian Monuments

This outstanding archaeological area contains such magnificent monuments as the Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and the Sanctuary of Isis at Philae, which were saved from the rising waters of the Nile thanks to the International Campaign.

Abu Mena

The church, baptistry, basilicas, public buildings, streets, monasteries, houses and workshops in this early Christian holy city were built over the tomb of the martyr Menas of Alexandria, who died in A.D. 296.

Serra da Capivara

Many of the numerous rock shelters in the Serra da Capivara National Park are decorated with cave paintings, some more than 25,000 years old. They are an outstanding testimony to one of the oldest human communities of South America.

Salvador de Bahia

As the first capital of Brazil, from 1549 to 1763, Salvador de Bahia witnessed the blending of European, African and Amerindian cultures. The city has managed to preserve many outstanding Renaissance buildings.

Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat

Situated in the suburbs of Bagerhat, at the meeting-point of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, this ancient city, formerly known as Khalifatabad, was founded by the Turkish general Ulugh Khan Jahan in the 15th century.

Hattusha, Turkey

The archaeological site of Hattusha is notable for its urban organization, the types of construction that have been preserved, the rich ornamentation of the Lions' Gate and the Royal Gate, and the ensemble of rock art at Yazilikaya.

Sacred City of Anuradhapura

This sacred city was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', the Buddha's fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. Anuradhapura flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993.

Loire Valley Chalonnes

The Loire Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns, great architectural monuments, and cultivated lands formed by many centuries of interaction between their population and the physical environment.

Mont Saint-Michel

Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the 'Wonder of the West', a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael.

Archeological Site Leptis Magna

Leptis Magna was enlarged and embellished by Septimius Severus, who was born there and later became emperor. It was one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman Empire, with its imposing public monuments, harbour, market-place, and storehouses.

Te Wahipounamu, New Zealand

Situated in south-west New Zealand, has been shaped by successive glaciations into fjords, rocky coasts, towering cliffs, lakes and waterfalls. Two-thirds of the park is covered with southern beech and podocarps, some of which are over 800 years old.

Komodo National Park

These volcanic islands are inhabited by a population of 5,700 giant lizards, whose appearance and aggressive behaviour have led to them being called 'Komodo dragons'. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists.

Parallel Rivers, Yunnan Part 1

Three Parallel Rivers National Park, the 1.7 million hectare site, features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween run roughly parallel, north to south, through steep gorges.

Parallel Rivers, Yunnan Part 2

Three Parallel Rivers National Park, the 1.7 million hectare site, features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween run roughly parallel, north to south, through steep gorges.

Manu National Park

This huge 1.5 million-ha park has successive tiers of vegetation rising from 150 to 4,200 m above sea-level. The tropical forest in the lower tiers is home to an unrivaled variety of animal and plant species.

Simien National Park

Massive erosion over the years on the Ethiopian plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m; the park is home to some extremely rare animals.

Rice Terraces of Cordilleras

The fruit of knowledge handed down from generations and the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between humankind and the environment.

Royal Chitwan National Park

Chitwan is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the 'Terai' region and one of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros lives in the park, which is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger.

Tassili N'Ajjer

Located in a strange landscape, this site has one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art. More than 15,000 drawings recording the climatic changes, the animal migrations and the evolution of human life on the edge of the Sahara.

City of Quito

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America.

Gunung Mulu National Park

Important both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features, Gunung Mulu National Park is the most studied tropical karst area in the world. The 52,864-ha park contains seventeen vegetation zones and some 3,500 species of vascular plants.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Located in south-western Uganda, at the junction of the plain and mountain forests, Bwindi Park covers 32,000 ha and is known for its exceptional biodiversity, with more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns.

Yungang Grottoes

The Yungang Grottoes, in Datong city, Shanxi Province, with their 252 caves and 51,000 statues, represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries.

Bamiyan Valley

The cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley represent the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries characterized ancient Bakhtria.

City and Park Palenque

A prime example of a Mayan sanctuary of the classical period, Palenque was at its height between AD 500 and 700. The elegance and craftsmanship of the buildings attest to the creative genius of this civilization.

Pantanal Conservation Area

Located in western central Brazil at the south-west corner of the State of Mato Grosso, the site represents 1.3% of Brazil's Pantanal region, one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.

Dougga and Thugga

Located in western central Brazil at the south-west corner of the State of Mato Grosso, the site represents 1.3% of Brazil's Pantanal region, one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.

Cape Floral Region

Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. The site displays outstanding ecological and biological processes.

Historic Town of Guanajuato

Guanajuato became the world's leading silver-extraction centre in the 18th century. This past can be seen in its subterranean streets and the 'Boca del Inferno', a mineshaft that plunges a breathtaking 600 m.

Ajanta Caves

The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence.

Vlkolinec

Vlkolinec, situated in the centre of Slovakia, is a remarkably intact settlement of 45 buildings with the traditional features of a central European village. It is the region’s most complete group of these kinds of traditional log houses.

Shinto Shrine in Japan

The island of Itsukushima has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. The present shrine dates from the 12th century and the harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill.

Easter Island

Rapa Nui, the indigenous name of Easter Island, bears witness to a unique cultural phenomenon.From the 10th to the 16th century this society built shrines and erected enormous stone figures known as moai.

Sacred Kii Mountains

Set in the dense forests of the Kii Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, three sacred sites – Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan, Koyasan – linked by pilgrimage routes to the ancient capital cities of Nara and Kyoto, reflect the fusion of Shinto.

Mount Huangshan, China

Huangshan, known as 'the loveliest mountain of China', was acclaimed through art and literature during a good part of Chinese history. Today it holds the same fascination for visitors who come on pilgrimage to the site.

Shirakami Mount Forest

This trackless site includes the last virgin remains of the cool-temperate forest of Siebold's beech trees that once covered the hills of northern Japan. The black bear, the serow and 87 species of birds can be found in this forest.

Iguazu National Park

The semicircular waterfall at the heart of this site is situated on a basaltic line spanning the border between Argentina and Brazil. Made up of many cascades producing vast sprays of water, it is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.

Painted Churches of Cyprus

This region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The 10 monuments all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus.

Tongariro National Park

The mountains of the park have cultural and religious significance for the Maori people and symbolize the spiritual links between this community and its environment. The park has active and extinct volcanoes and a diverse range of ecosystems.

Darien National Park

Forming a bridge between the two continents of the New World, Darien National Park contains an exceptional variety of habitats – sandy beaches, rocky coasts, swamps, and lowland and upland tropical forests containing remarkable wildlife.

Historic District of Panama

Founded in 1519 by the conquistador Pedrarías Dávila, Panamá Viejo is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It was laid out on a rectilinear grid and marks the transference from Europe of the idea of a planned town.

Ancient Kyoto I

Built in A.D. 794 on the model of the capitals of ancient China, Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan. As the centre of Japanese culture for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto illustrates the development of Japanese wooden architecture.

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