From protecting the cultural heritage of Belgian beer to letting us know the Great Barrier Reef might not actually be totally done for like we all thought, UNESCO plays an important role in preserving and documenting human culture and history. One way is through their prestigious World Heritage List, which this year has gained 21 culturally important sites they consider of great value to humanity. Only 1,073 sites are on the list so far.
Seen above is Taputapuātea on Ra’iatea Island at the center of the Polynesian Triangle, one of the newly designated sites. Also added: Los Alerces National Park in Argentina, the Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in Brazil, the entire Historic City of Ahmadabad in India and some German caves where artefacts and figurative art can be dated as far back as 43,000 years old.
Below you’ll find the complete list and a sampling of some of the best photos UNESCO released of its picks.
Heritage Sites (12 images)
Turkey: Aphrodisias, archaeological site and marble quarries
Eritrea: Asmara, modernist city of Africa
Russia: Assumption Cathedral and Monastery of Sviyazhsk
Germany: Caves and ice age art in the Swabian Jura
Palestinian territories: Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town
Iran: Historic city of Yazd
Denmark: Kujata Greenland, sub-arctic farming landscape
China: Kulangsu, historic international settlement
Angola: Mbanza Kongo, political and spiritual capital of the Kingdom of Kongo
Japan: Sacred Island of Okinoshima
France: Taputapuātea, center of the "Polynesian Triangle"
Poland: Tarnowskie Góry, lead-silver-zinc mine
Cambodia: Sambor Prei Kuk temple zone
United Kingdom: English Lake District
Brazil: Valongo Wharf, archeological site
Croatia, Italy, Montenegro: Venetian Works of Defense
South Africa: Khomani Cultural Landscape
Mongolia, Russia: Landscapes of Dauria
Argentina: Los Alerces National Park
China: Qinghai Hoh Xil, world's highest and largest plateau
India: Historic city of Ahmedabad