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Small Flag of the United Nations ZP.svg United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Org type Specialized Agency
Acronyms UNESCO
Head Bulgaria Irina Bokova
Status Active
Established November 16, 1945
Headquarters France Paris, France
Headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, designed by Marcel Breuer

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; pronounced /juːˈnɛskoʊ/, yoo-NES-koh) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on 16 November 1945. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.[1] It is the heir of the League of Nations' International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation.

UNESCO has 193 Member States and seven Associate Members.[2][3] The organization is based in Paris, with over 50 field offices and many specialized institutes and centres throughout the world. Most of the field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries; there are also national and regional offices. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes; international science programmes; the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press; regional and cultural history projects; the promotion of cultural diversity; international cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.



The UNESCO flag.

As early as 1942, in wartime, the governments of the European countries, which were confronting Nazi Germany and its allies, met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME). The Second World War was far from over, yet those countries were looking for ways and means to reconstruct their systems of education once peace was restored. Very quickly, the project gained momentum and soon took on a universal note. New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in.

Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from 1 to 16 November 1945. Scarcely had the war ended when the conference opened. It gathered together the representatives of forty-four countries. Spurred on by France and the United Kingdom, two countries that had known great hardship during the conflict, the delegates decided to create an organization that would embody a genuine culture of peace. In their eyes, the new organization must establish the "intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind" and, in so doing, prevent the outbreak of another world war.

At the end of the conference, thirty-seven countries founded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The Constitution of UNESCO, signed on 16 November 1945, came into force on 4 November 1946 after ratification by twenty countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The first session of the General Conference of UNESCO was held in Paris from 19 November to 10 December 1946 with the participation of representatives from 30 governments entitled to vote.

The ashes of the Second World War are reflected in the composition of the founding Member States of UNESCO. Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany became members in 1951, Spain in 1953. Other major historical factors, as the Cold War, the decolonization process and the dissolution of the USSR, also left their trace on UNESCO. The USSR joined UNESCO in 1954 and was replaced by the Russian Federation in 1992. Nineteen African States became Members in 1960. Twelve Republics from the former Soviet Union joined UNESCO in the period 1991 to 1993.

As a consequence of its entry into the United Nations, the People's Republic of China has been the only legitimate representative of China at UNESCO since 1971. The German Democratic Republic was a Member from 1972 to 1990, when it joined the Federal Republic of Germany.

The League of Nations, the United Nations' ancestor, also had an institution to deal with intellectual cooperation: the "International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation" (ICIC), which had prestigious members such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Marie Curie and Paul Valéry.[4]

The flag of UNESCO shows a variation of the Parthenon, the ancient Greek temple, which is located in Athens, Greece.

The General Conference is a gathering of the organization's member states and associate members, in which each state has one vote. Meeting every two years, it sets general policies and defines programme lines for the organization.

The Executive Board's 58 members are elected by the General Conference for staggered four-year terms. The Executive Board prepares the sessions of the General Conference and ensures that its instructions are carried out. It also discharges other specific mandates assigned to it by the General Conference.

The Secretariat consists of the Director-General and his staff and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization. The Director-General, who serves as the public face of UNESCO, is elected for a (renewable) four-year term by the General Conference. The staff currently numbers some 2100, of whom some two-thirds are based in Paris, with the remaining third spread around the world in UNESCO's 58 field offices. The Secretariat is divided into various administrative offices and five programme sectors that reflect the organization's major areas of focus.

Controversy and reform


New World Information and Communication Order

UNESCO has been the center of controversy in the past, particularly in its relationships with the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and the former Soviet Union. During the 1970s and 1980s, UNESCO's support for a "New World Information and Communication Order" and its MacBride report calling for democratization of the media and more egalitarian access to information was condemned in these countries as attempts to curb freedom of the press. UNESCO was perceived by some as a platform for communist and Third World countries to attack the West, a stark contrast to accusations made by the USSR in the late 1940s and early 1950s.[5] In 1984, the United States withheld its contributions and withdrew from the organization in protest, followed by the United Kingdom in 1985 and Singapore in 1986. Following a change of government in 1997, the UK rejoined. The United States rejoined in 2003, followed by Singapore on 8 October 2007.

Internal reforms

Part of the reason for their change of stance was due to considerable reforms implemented by UNESCO over the past 10 years. These included the following measures: the number of divisions in UNESCO was cut in half, allowing a corresponding halving of the number of Directors—from 200 to under 100, out of a total staff of approximately 2,000 worldwide.[citation needed] At the same time, the number of field units was cut from a peak of 1287 in 1998 to 93 today. Parallel management structures, including 35 Cabinet-level special adviser positions, were abolished.[citation needed] Between 1998 and 2009, 245 negotiated staff departures and buy-outs took place, causing the inherited $12 million staff cost deficit to disappear.[citation needed] The staff pyramid, which was the most top-heavy in the UN system, was cut back as the number of high-level posts was halved and the "inflation" of posts was reversed through the down-grading of many positions. Open competitive recruitment, results-based appraisal of staff, training of all managers and field rotation were instituted, as well as SISTER and SAP systems for transparency in results-based programming and budgeting.[citation needed] In addition, the Internal Oversight Service (IOS) was established in 2001 to improve organizational performance by including the lessons learned from programme evaluations into the overall reform process. It regularly carries out audits of UNESCO offices that essentially look into administrative and procedural compliance, but do not assess the relevance and usefulness of the activities and projects that are carried out. The evaluation of relevance and effectiveness of programmes is carried out by the Evaluation Section of IOS.[citation needed]

Programming coherence

Programming coherence and relevance remains a challenge at UNESCO. One of the main reasons for this is that activities and projects can be identified and supervised by various services within the organization.[citation needed]


UNESCO offices at Brasília, Brazil

UNESCO implements its activities through the five programme areas of Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, and Communication and Information.

Official UNESCO NGOs

UNESCO enjoys official relations with 322 international NGOs.[9] Most of these are what UNESCO calls "operational", a select few are "formal".[10] Operational relations are reserved for an NGO with an active presence in the field, with special expertise and with an ability to channel the concerns of their clients. Requests for admission by an NGO to UNESCO for operational relations can be made to the Director-General at any time. Formal relations are reserved for those NGOs who have a sustained role in cooperating with UNESCO both upstream and downstream. Admission for formal recognition is only granted to international NGOs that are widely representative and expert in their field of activity, and with a genuinely international structure and membership. Formal relations are themselves sub-divided into two types, "consultative" or "associate", depending on the role and structure of the NGO itself. The Executive Board, one of UNESCO's governing bodies, decides on requests for admission by NGOs to one or the other type of formal relation on the basis of recommendations made by the Director-General. Formal relations are established for renewable periods of six years.

The highest form of affiliation to UNESCO is "formal associate", and the 22 NGOs[11] with formal associate (ASC) relations occupying offices at UNESCO are:

  1. Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS)
  2. Education International (EI)
  3. International Association of Universities (IAU)
  4. International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (IFTC)
  5. International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (ICPHS) which publishes Diogenes
  6. International Council for Science (ICSU)
  7. International Council of Museums (ICOM)
  8. International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE)
  9. International Council on Archives (ICA)
  10. International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
  11. International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
  12. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
  13. International Music Council (IMC)
  14. International Scientific Council for Island Development (INSULA)
  15. International Social Science Council (ISSC)
  16. International Theatre Institute (ITI)
  17. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
  18. International Union of Technical Associations and Organizations
  19. Union of International Associations (UIA)
  20. World Association of Newspapers (WAN)
  21. World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO)
  22. World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA)

UNESCO institutes and centres

The institutes are specialized departments of the Organization that support UNESCO's programme, providing specialized support for cluster and national offices.

UNESCO institutes and centres in the sector of education

  • UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP); Paris (France) and Buenos Aires (Argentina); A centre for training and research to strengthen the capacity of countries to plan and manage their education systems.
  • UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE); Geneva (Switzerland)
  • UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL); Hamburg (Germany)
  • UNESCO Oceanian Centre for Higher Education (OCHE); Melbourne (Australia)
  • UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE); Moscow (Russian Federation)
  • UNESCO International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA); Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
  • UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC); Caracas (Venezuela)
  • UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC); Bonn (Germany)
  • UNESCO European Centre for Higher Education (CEPES); Bucarest (Romania)

UNESCO institutes and centres in the sector of natural sciences

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS); Montreal (Canada)

Prizes, awards, and medals

UNESCO awards several prizes in education, science, culture and peace, such as:

  • UNESCO Comenius Medal[13]

Discontinued UNESCO prizes, awards and medals

Member states

As of October 2009, UNESCO counts 193 Member States and seven Associate Members.

  • Afghanistan 4 May 1948
  • Albania 16 October 1958
  • Algeria 15 October 1962
  • Andorra 20 October 1993
  • Angola 11 March 1977
  • Antigua and Barbuda 15 July 1982
  • Argentina 15 September 1948
  • Armenia 9 June 1992
  • Australia 4 November 1946
  • Austria 13 August 1948
  • Azerbaijan 3 June 1992
  • Bahamas 23 April 1981
  • Bahrain 18 January 1972
  • Bangladesh 27 October 1972
  • Barbados 24 October 1968
  • Belarus 12 May 1954
  • Belgium 29 November 1946
  • Belize 10 May 1982
  • Benin 18 October 1960
  • Bhutan 13 April 1982
  • Bolivia 13 November 1946
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 June 1993
  • Botswana 16 January 1980
  • Brazil 4 November 1946
  • Brunei Darussalam 17 March 2005
  • Bulgaria 17 May 1956
  • Burkina Faso 14 November 1960
  • Burundi 16 November 1962
  • Cambodia 3 July 1951
  • Cameroon 11 November 1960
  • Canada 4 November 1946
  • Cape Verde 15 February 1978
  • Central African Republic 11 November 1960
  • Chad 19 December 1960
  • Chile 7 July 1953
  • China 4 November 1946
  • Colombia 31 October 1947
  • Comoros 22 March 1977
  • Congo 24 October 1960
  • Cook Islands 25 October 1989
  • Costa Rica 19 May 1950
  • Côte d'Ivoire 27 October 1960
  • Croatia 1 June 1992
  • Cuba 29 August 1947
  • Cyprus 6 February 1961
  • Czech Republic 22 February 1993
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea 18 October 1974
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo 25 November 1960
  • Denmark 4 November 1946
  • Djibouti 31 August 1989
  • Dominica 9 January 1979
  • Dominican Republic 4 November 1946
  • Ecuador 22 January 1947
  • Egypt 4 November 1946
  • El Salvador 28 April 1948
  • Equatorial Guinea 29 November 1979
  • Eritrea 2 September 1993
  • Estonia 14 October 1991
  • Ethiopia 1 July 1955
  • Fiji 14 July 1983
  • Finland 10 October 1956
  • France 4 November 1946
  • Gabon 16 November 1960
  • Gambia 1 August 1973
  • Georgia 7 October 1992
  • Germany 11 July 1951
  • Ghana 11 April 1958
  • Greece 4 November 1946
  • Grenada 17 February 1975
  • Guatemala 2 January 1950
  • Guinea 2 February 1960
  • Guinea-Bissau 1 November 1974
  • Guyana 21 March 1967
  • Haiti 18 November 1946
  • Honduras 16 December 1947
  • Hungary 14 September 1948
  • Iceland 8 June 1964
  • India 4 November 1946
  • Indonesia 27 May 1950
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of) 6 September 1948
  • Iraq 21 October 1948
  • Ireland 3 October 1961
  • Israel 16 September 1949
  • Italy 27 January 1948
  • Jamaica 7 November 1962
  • Japan 2 July 1951
  • Jordan 14 June 1950
  • Kazakhstan 22 May 1992
  • Kenya 7 April 1964
  • Kiribati 24 October 1989
  • Kuwait 18 November 1960
  • Kyrgyzstan 2 June 1992
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic 9 July 1951
  • Latvia 14 October 1991
  • Lebanon 4 November 1946
  • Lesotho 29 September 1967
  • Liberia 6 March 1947
  • Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 27 June 1953
  • Lithuania 7 October 1991
  • Luxembourg 27 October 1947
  • Madagascar 10 November 1960
  • Malawi 27 October 1964
  • Malaysia 16 June 1958
  • Maldives 18 July 1980
  • Mali 7 November 1960
  • Malta 10 February 1965
  • Marshall Islands 30 June 1995
  • Mauritania 10 January 1962
  • Mauritius 25 October 1968
  • Mexico 4 November 1946
  • Micronesia (Federated States of) 19 October 1999
  • Monaco 6 July 1949
  • Mongolia 1 November 1962
  • Morocco 7 November 1956
  • Montenegro 1 March 2007
  • Mozambique 11 October 1976
  • Myanmar 27 June 1949
  • Namibia 2 November 1978
  • Nauru 17 October 1996
  • Nepal 1 May 1953
  • Netherlands 1 January 1947
  • New Zealand 4 November 1946
  • Nicaragua 22 February 1952
  • Niger 10 November 1960
  • Nigeria 14 November 1960
  • Niue 26 October 1993
  • Norway 4 November 1946
  • Oman 10 February 1972
  • Pakistan 14 September 1949
  • Palau 20 September 1999
  • Panama 10 January 1950
  • Papua New Guinea 4 October 1976
  • Paraguay 20 June 1955
  • Peru 21 November 1946
  • Philippines 21 November 1946
  • Poland 6 November 1946
  • Portugal (1) 11 September 1974
  • Qatar 27 January 1972
  • Republic of Korea 14 June 1950
  • Republic of Macedonia 28 June 1993
  • Republic of Moldova 27 May 1992
  • Romania 27 July 1956
  • Russian Federation 21 April 1954
  • Rwanda 7 November 1962
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis 26 October 1983
  • Saint Lucia 6 March 1980
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 14 January 1983
  • Samoa 3 April 1981
  • San Marino 12 November 1974
  • São Tomé and Príncipe 22 January 1980
  • Saudi Arabia 4 November 1946
  • Senegal 10 November 1960
  • Serbia (2) 20 December 2000
  • Seychelles 18 October 1976
  • Sierra Leone 28 March 1962
  • Singapore 8 October 2007
  • Slovakia 9 February 1993
  • Slovenia 27 May 1992
  • Solomon Islands 7 September 1993
  • Somalia 15 November 1960
  • South Africa (3) 12 December 1994
  • Spain 30 January 1953
  • Sri Lanka 14 November 1949
  • Sudan 26 November 1956
  • Suriname 16 July 1976
  • Swaziland 25 January 1978
  • Sweden 23 January 1950
  • Switzerland 28 January 1949
  • Syrian Arab Republic 16 November 1946
  • Tajikistan 6 April 1993
  • Thailand 1 January 1949
  • Timor-Leste 5 June 2003
  • Togo 17 November 1960
  • Tonga 29 September 1980
  • Trinidad and Tobago 2 November 1962
  • Tunisia 8 November 1956
  • Turkey 4 November 1946
  • Turkmenistan 17 August 1993
  • Tuvalu 21 October 1991
  • Uganda 9 November 1962
  • Ukraine 12 May 1954
  • United Arab Emirates 20 April 1972
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (4) 1 July 1997
  • United Republic of Tanzania 6 March 1962
  • United States of America (5) 1 October 2003
  • Uruguay 8 November 1947
  • Uzbekistan 26 October 1993
  • Vanuatu 10 February 1994
  • Venezuela 25 November 1946
  • Vietnam 6 July 1951
  • Yemen 2 April 1962
  • Zambia 9 November 1964
  • Zimbabwe 22 September 1980

Associate members

  • Aruba 20 October 1987
  • British Virgin Islands 24 November 1983
  • Cayman Islands 30 October 1999
  • Macau, China 25 October 1995
  • Netherlands Antilles 26 October 1983
  • Tokelau 15 October 2001
  • Faroe Islands 12 October 2009

Observer status

  • Palestine [14]
  • Holy See

Postage stamps

Various countries have issued postage stamps commemorating UNESCO. The organization's seal and its headquarters building have been common themes. In 1955 the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issued its first ones honouring the organization.

While UNESCO has never separately issued stamps valid for postage, from 1951 to 1966 it issued a series of 41 "gift stamps" to raise money for its activities. Designed by artists in various countries, they were sold at a desk by the UNPA counter located in the United Nations Headquarters building in New York City. No longer available at the UN, most of these Cinderella stamps can be purchased at low cost from speciality stamp dealers.


  1. Julian Huxley,  United Kingdom (1946–1948)
  2. Jaime Torres Bodet,  Mexico (1948–1952)
  3. John Wilkinson Taylor,  United States (acting 1952–1953)
  4. Luther Evans,  United States (1953–1958)
  5. Vittorino Veronese,  Italy (1958–1961)
  6. René Maheu,  France (1961–1974; acting 1961)
  7. Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow,  Senegal (1974–1987)
  8. Federico Mayor Zaragoza,  Spain (1987–1999)
  9. Koïchiro Matsuura,  Japan (1999–2009)
  10. Irina Bokova,  Bulgaria (2009– )


UNESCO has offices in many locations across the globe; its headquarters are located in Paris, France. 48°51′00″N 2°18′22″E / 48.85°N 2.306°E / 48.85; 2.306 (UNESCO headquarters))Coordinates: 48°51′00″N 2°18′22″E / 48.85°N 2.306°E / 48.85; 2.306 (UNESCO headquarters))


Elections for the renewal of the position of Director-General will take place in Paris from 7 September to 23 September. Eight candidates are running for the position, and 58 countries[15] are to vote for them. The Executive Council will gather from 7 September to 23 September, the vote itself beginning on the 17th.


  1. ^ UNESCO Constitution
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Save UNESCO :
  5. ^ Grahm, S. E. (April 2006). "The (Real)politiks of Culture: U.S. Cultural Diplomacy in UNESCO, 1946–1954". Diplomatic History 30 (2): 231–251. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7709.2006.00548.x. 
  6. ^ Varga, Susan (2006). Edinburgh Old Town (Images of Scotland) (Images of Scotland). The History Press Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-4083-7. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1] quoted on UNESCO official site
  10. ^ [2] the full list of NGOs enjoying official relations with UNESCO
  11. ^ [3] UNESCO Headquarters Committee 107th session 13 Feb 2009 found on a UNESCO official site
  12. ^ UNESCO/L'ORÉAL Co-Sponsored Fellowships for Young Women in Life Sciences
  13. ^ The Comenius Medal
  14. ^ WADA. "Summary update on Government progress to become a State Party to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  15. ^ List of the voting countries :

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to UNESCO World Heritage List article)

From Wikitravel


This article is a travel topic.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site [1] is a site that has been nominated for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's International World Heritage program. The program aims to catalogue and preserve sites of outstanding importance, either cultural or natural, to the common heritage of humankind.

See also UNESCO Creative Cities, describing a recently instituted program recognizing entire cities with some similar characteristics, and the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, for parks of great geological interest.

If you would like to help expanding Wikitravel's coverage of world heritage sites, like starting new guides etc., please check the Wikitravel:World Heritage Expedition





Burkina Faso


Cape Verde

Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande (2009)

Central African Republic

Côte d'Ivoire

Democratic Republic of the Congo




  • Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda


  • Stone Circles of Senegambia
  • James Island and related sites



  • Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve


  • Lake Turkana National Parks (Sibiloi National Park, Central Island, South Island)
  • Mount Kenya National Park
  • Lamu Old Town
  • Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests


  • Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna
  • Archaeological Site of Cyrene
  • Archaeological Site of Sabratha
  • Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus
  • Old Town of Ghadamis





  • Banc d'Arguin National Park
  • Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichit and Oualata


  • Aapravasi Ghat in Port Louis
  • Le Morne Cultural Landscape




  • Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes


  • Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves
  • W National Park


Saint Helena

#United Kingdom



  • Aldabra Atoll
  • Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve

South Africa


  • Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region







The Americas



  • Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
  • Historic Town of St. George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda



  • Historic town of Ouro Preto
  • Historic centre of the town of Olinda
  • Historic centre of Salvador da Bahia
  • Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Congonhas
  • Iguaçu National Park - see Iguaçu Falls
  • Brasilia
  • Serra da Capivara National Park
  • Historic centre of Sao Luis
  • Historic centre of the town of Diamantina
  • Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves: Una Biological Reserve | Pau Brasil CEPLAC Experimental Station | Sooretama Biological Reserve | Monte Pascoal National Park | Pau Brasil National Park | Descobrimento National Park | Veracruz Station Private Natural Heritage Reserve | Linhares Forest Reserve
  • Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserves: Guaraqueçaba Ecological Station | Xituê Ecological Station | Chauás Ecological Station | Juréia-Itatins Ecological Station | Ilha do Mel Ecological Station | Guaraguaçu Ecological Station | Carlos Botelho State Park | Intervales State Park | Ilha do Cardoso State Park | Jacupiranga State Park | Pariquera-Abaixo State Park | Alto Ribeira State Tourist Park | Superagüi National Park | Lauraceas State Park | Pico do Marumbi State Park | Roberto E. Lange State Park | Serra da Graciosa State Park | Pau Oco State Park | Serras do Cordeiro, Paratiu, Itapuã e Itinga Wildlife Zone | Serras de Arrepiado e Tombador Wildlife Zone | Mangues Wildlife Zone | Serra do Itapitangui (e Mandira) Wildlife Zone | Ilhas Oceânicas Wildlife Zone | Ilha Comprida Wildlife Zone | Salto Morato Private Reserve of Natural Protection | Cananéia-Iguape-Peruíbe Environmental Protection Area | Guaraqueçaba Environmental Protection Area | Ilha Comprida Environmental Protection Area | Serra do Mar Environmental Protection Area | Marumbi Environmental Protection Area
  • Pantanal Conservation Area
  • Central Amazon Conservation Complex: Jaú National Park
  • Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks
  • Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves
  • Historic centre of the town of Goias
  • Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: São Miguel das Missões


Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
Moraine Lake, Banff National Park


  • Rapa Nui National Park - see Easter Island
  • Churches of Chiloe Island: Achao, Quinchao and Caguach churches, Quinchao | Castro, Rilán, Nercón and Chelín churches, Castro | Aldachildo, Ichuac and Detif churches, Puqueldón | Vilupuili and Chonchi churches, Chonchi | Tenaún and Colo churches, Quemchi | San Juan and Dalcahue churches, Dalcahue
  • Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Atacama Desert
  • Historic quarter of the seaport city of Valparaiso
  • Sewell Mining Town


Costa Rica


  • Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos
  • Old Havana and its fortifications
  • Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios
  • San Pedro de la Roca castle, Santiago de Cuba
  • Desembarco del Granma National Park
  • Vinales Valley near Viñales in the Pinar del Rio province
  • Archaeological landscape of the first coffee plantations in the Southeast of Cuba (Sierra Maestra)
  • Alejandro de Humboldt National Park


  • Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Dominican Republic


El Salvador

  • Joya de Ceren archaeological site


See Denmark.



  • National History Park - Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers



  • Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila
  • Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche
  • Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco
  • Archeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes, Chihuahua
  • Copper Canyon(Spanish: Barranca del Cobre)Chihuahua
  • Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl
  • El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City
  • Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco
  • Historic Centre of Morelia
  • Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán
  • Historic Centre of Puebla
  • Historic Centre of Zacatecas
  • Historic Fortified Town of Campeche
  • Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro
  • Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan
  • Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines
  • Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara
  • Islands of the Gulf of California
  • Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen Itza
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
  • Prehispanic City of Uxmal
  • Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco
  • Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve, Quintana Roo
  • Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino
  • Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro
  • Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico City


Netherlands Antilles, The Netherlands

  • Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Netherlands Antilles


  • Coiba National Park
  • Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves/La Amistad National Park
  • Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo
  • Darien National Park
  • Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá



Puerto Rico

See USA.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

  • Pitons Management Area


  • Central Suriname Nature Reserve
  • Historic Inner City of Paramaribo

United States of America





  • Minaret and archaeological remains of Jam
  • Cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley: Bamiyan Cliff including niches of the 38 meter Buddha, seated Buddhas, 55 meter Buddha and surrounding caves | Kakrak Valley caves including the niche of the standing Buddha | Qoul-I Akram Caves in the Fuladi Valley | Kalai Ghamai Caves in the Fuladi Valley | Shahr-i-Zuhak | Qallay Kaphari A | Qallay Kaphari B | Shahr-i-Ghulghulah


  • The monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin in Armenia's Lori Province (1996, 2000)
  • The monastery of Geghard and the upper Azat Valley in Armenia's Kotayk Province (2000)
  • The cathedral and churches of Echmiadzin and the archaeological site of Zvartnots (2000)


  • The Walled city of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (2000)
  • Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (2007)


  • Qal'at al-Bahrain - Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun


  • Historic mosque city of Bagerhat
  • Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur
  • The Sundarbans



  • Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang (1987, 2004)
  • Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, with the terracotta warriors Xian (1987)
  • Mogao Caves, Dunhuang (1987)
  • Mount Taishan (1987)
  • Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (1987)
  • The Great Wall of China (1987)
  • Mount Huangshan (1990)
  • Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area (1992)
  • Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve Scenic and Historic Interest Area (1992)
  • Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area (1992)
  • Ancient building complex in the Wudang Mountains, center of taoist monasteries and "internal" kung fu, in Hubei (1994)
  • Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa: Potala Palace | Jokhang Temple Monastery | Norbulingka (1994, 2000, 2001)
  • Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde (1994)
  • Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu (1994)
  • Lushan National Park (1996)
  • Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area (1996)
  • Ancient City of Ping Yao (1997)
  • Classical Gardens of Suzhou (1997, 2000)
  • Old Town of Lijiang (1997)
  • Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing (1998)
  • Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing (1998)
  • Dazu - Buddhist rock carvings from 9th-13th century located in Chongqing municipality. (1999)
  • Mount Wuyi, a scenic and historic area in Fujian (1999)
  • Ancient Villages in Southern AnhuiXidi and Hongcun (2000)
  • Imperial tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties: Xianling tomb, Zhongxiang | Eastern Qing tombs, Zunhua | Western Qing tombs, Yixian and Baoding | Ming tombs, Changping | Xiaoling, Chang Yushun, Qiu Cheng, Wu Liang, Wu Zhen, Xu Da and Li Wenzhong tombs, Nanjing (2000, 2003, 2004)
  • Longmen Grottoes, near Luoyang (2000)
  • Mount Qincheng and the Dujiangyan irrigation system, near Chengdu (2000)
  • Yungang Grottoes (Datong) (2001)
  • Three parallel rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas: Gaoligong and Yunling Mountains, Nujiang | Baimang-Meili and Haba Snow Mountains, Red and Qianghu Mountain, Diqing | Laowoshan, Nujiang and Diqing | Laojunshan, Lijiang (2003)
  • Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom (Huanren County, Liaoning Province and Ji’an, Jilin Province) (2004). Koguryo tombs in North Korea are also listed.
  • Historic Centre of Macao (2005)
  • Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains (2006)
  • Yin Xu (Anyang) (2006)
  • Kaiping Diaolou ("castles") and Villages (2007)
  • South China Karst, in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi Provinces (2007)
  • Fujian Tulou, the earth houses of the Hakka people in Yongding County in the West of the province (2008)
  • Mount Sanqingshan National Park, a Taoist mountain in Jiangxi (2008)
  • Mount Wutai (2009)





  • Hatra
  • Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat)
  • Samarra (archaeological city)



Floating torii of Itsukushima
Floating torii of Itsukushima


  • Petra
  • Quseir Amra
  • Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a)



Korea, North

  • Complex of Koguryo Tombs (Koguryo relics in China are also listed.)

Korea, South

Changdeokgung, Seoul
Changdeokgung, Seoul



  • Anjar
  • Baalbek
  • Byblos
  • Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)
  • Tyre





  • Archaeological sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn
  • Bahla Fort
  • The Frankincense Trail
  • Aflaj Irrigation Systems


  • Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro
  • Buddhist Ruins at Takht-i-Bahi and Neighboring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol
  • Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore
  • Historic Monuments of Thatta
  • Rohtas Fort
  • Taxila


Sri Lanka




  • Kunya-Urgench
  • State Historical and Cultural Park "Ancient Merv"
  • The Parthian Fortresses of Nisa






New South Wales


Northern Territory


Western Australia

South Australia

  • Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte)



New Zealand

Pitcairn Islands

Solomon Islands




  • Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley (which lies to the south and east of Andorra La Vella) (2004, 2006)


The Clock Tower at Graz, Austria
The Clock Tower at Graz, Austria



  • Flemish Beguinages
  • Belfries of Belgium and France:
    • Belfry and aldermen's house, Aalst
    • Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
    • City hall, Antwerp
    • Belfry and halls, Bruges
    • City hall with belfry, Dendermonde
    • City hall with belfry, Diksmuide
    • City hall with belfry, Eeklo
    • Belfry, clothmakers' hall and Mammelokker (old prison), Ghent
    • Former city hall / clothmakers' hall, Herentals
    • Belfry with clothmakers' hall, Ypres
    • Belfry or hall tower, Kortrijk
    • St. Peter's church / Belfry, Leuven
    • City hall and belfry tower, Lier
    • Former city hall with belfry, Lo-Reninge
    • Old hall with belfry, Mechelen
    • St. Rumbold's tower, Mechelen
    • Belfry and City hall, Menen
    • Hall with belfry, Nieuwpoort
    • City hall with belfry, Oudenaarde
    • City hall, hall and belfry, Roeselare
    • City hall with tower, Sint-Truiden
    • Hall tower or belfry, hall and aldermen's room, Tielt
    • St. Germain's church with city tower, Tienen
    • Basilica of Our Lady with city tower, Tongeren
    • Country house with belfry, Veurne
    • St. Leonard's church, Zoutleeuw
    • City hall belfry, Binche
    • City hall belfry, Charleroi
    • Belfry, Mons
    • Belfry, Namur
    • Belfry, Thuin
    • Belfry, Tournai
    • Belfry, Gembloux
See also: France
  • Historic Centre of Bruges | Historic Centre of Veurne
  • La Grand-Place, Brussels
  • Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta, Brussels
  • Neolithic Flint Mines, Spiennes
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral, Tournai
  • Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex, Antwerp
  • Stoclet House, Brussels (2009)
  • The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar
  • Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad




  • Paphos
  • Painted churches in the Troodos region: Church of Ayios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) tis Steyis, Kakopetria | Ayios Ionannis (St. John) Lambadhistis Monastery, Kalopanayiotis | Church of Panayia (the Virgin) Phorviotissa (Asinou), Nikitart | Church of Panayia (the Virgin) tou Arakou, Lagoudhera | Church of Panayia (the Virgin), Moutoullas | Church of Archangelos Michael (Archangel Michael), Pedhoulas | Church of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross), Pelendria | Church of Panayia (the Virgin) Podhithou, Galata | Church of Stavros (Holy Cross) Ayiasmati, Platanistasa | Church of Ayia Sotira (of the transfiguration of the Savior) tou Soteros, Palaichori
  • Choirokoitia

Czech Republic




Suomenlinna, Helsinki
Suomenlinna, Helsinki


  • Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay
  • Chartres Cathedral
  • Palace and Park of Versailles
  • Vézelay, Church and Hill
  • Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley, in Dordogne Region
  • Palace and Park of Fontainebleau
  • Amiens Cathedral
  • Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the "Triumphal Arch" of Orange
  • Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles
  • Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay
  • Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans
  • Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d'Alliance in Nancy
  • Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe
  • Cape Girolata, Cape Porto, Scandola Nature Reserve and the Piana Calanches in Corsica
  • Le Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)
  • Strasbourg - Grande île
  • Paris, Banks of the Seine
  • Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims
  • Bourges Cathedral
  • Le Havre
  • Historic Centre of Avignon
  • Canal du Midi, which runs from Toulouse to Sète
  • Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne
  • Pyrénées - Mont Perdu
  • Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  • Historic Site of Lyon
  • Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion
  • The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes
  • Belfries of Belgium and France: Belfry of the Town Hall, Armentières | Belfry of the Town Hall, Bailleul | Belfry of Bergues | Belfry of the Church of St-Martin, Cambrai | Belfry of the Town Hal,l Comines | Belfry of the Town Hall, Douai | Belfry of the Church of St-Eloi, Dunkerque| Belfry of the Town Hall, Dunkerque | Belfry of Gravelines | Belfry of the Town Hall, Lille | Belfry of the Town Hall Loos | Belfry of the Town Hall, Aire-sur-la-Lys | Belfry of the Town Hall, Arras | Belfry of Béthune | Belfry of the Town Hall Boulogne-sur-Mer | Belfry of the Town Hall Calais | Belfry of the Town Hall, Hesdin | Belfry Abbeville| Belfry Amiens| Belfry of the Old Community Hall, Doullens| Belfry of Lucheux| Belfry of Rue| Belfry of Saint-Riquier (For Belgian Belfries see Belgium above)
  • Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs
  • The Historic Centre of Bordeaux, Port of the Moon



  • Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
  • Archaeological Site of Delphi
  • Acropolis, Athens
  • Mount Athos
  • Meteora
  • Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki
  • Archaeological Site of Epidaurus
  • Medieval City of Rhodes
  • Mystras, Sparta
  • Archaeological Site of Olympia
  • Delos, Cyclades
  • Monasteries of Daphni, Hossios Luckas and Nea Moni of Chios
  • Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos
  • Archaeological Site of Vergina
  • Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns, Corinth
  • Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint John "the Theologian" and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos
  • The Old Town of Corfu


Jvari Monastery above Mtskheta
Jvari Monastery above Mtskheta


  • Caves of the Aggtelek and Slovak Karst
  • Budapest, the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, and Andrássy Avenue
  • Fertö/Neusiedlersee cultural landscape
  • Old Village of Hollókő and its Surroundings
  • Hortobágy National Park
  • Millenary Benedictine Monastery of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment
  • Pécs (Sopianae) Early Christian Cemetery
  • Tokaj Wine Region Cultural Landscape







  • City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications


  • Ohrid Region with its Cultural and Historic Aspect and its Natural Environment




  • Durmitor National Park (1980)
  • Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor (1979)

The Netherlands




  • Alto Douro Wine Region
  • Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroísmo on Terceira Island, Azores
  • Convent of Christ in Tomar
  • Cultural Landscape of Sintra
  • Historic Centre of Évora
  • Historic Centre of Guimarães
  • Historic Centre of Porto
  • Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture
  • Laurisilva forests of Madeira
  • Monastery of Alcobaça
  • Monastery of Batalha
  • Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belem in Lisbon
  • Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites in the Côa Valley




  • Medieval Monuments of Kosovo
  • Stari Ras and Sopocani
  • Studenica Monastery
  • Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius


  • Caves of the Aggtelek and Slovak Karst
  • Historic Town of Banska Stiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity
  • Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve
  • Spišský Hrad and its Associated Cultural Monuments
  • Vlkolinec
  • Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians







  • Kiev: Saint Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
  • Lviv - the Ensemble of the Historic Center
  • Struve Geodetic Arc
  • Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians

United Kingdom

Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral
Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast
Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast
Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle

Vatican City

Vatican City from the top of St Peter's Basilica
Vatican City from the top of St Peter's Basilica

Delisted Sites

The following are sites that were once registered World Heritage Sites but have since been taken off the list:

  • Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman NB: Site became first to be removed from List in 2007 for reduction in the habitat of the Oryx
  • Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany (delisted in 2009)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:




  1. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization



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