UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Posted: January 10, 2017    Categories:

UNESCO World Heritage SitesUNESCO World Heritage Sites were created in 1978 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). They began designating important sites around the globe as part of an effort to preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage. The current list of World Heritage Sites includes 1,037 properties forming part of cultural and natural value which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.

Since 2007 I have visited 320 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and have documented each and every visit. For each world heritage site I visit, I try to make a purposeful and meaningful visit. I attempt to take at least one representative photo of every site.

Every year the world heritage convention meets to vote on new sites. There are approximately 20 new World Heritage Sites created every year, which means I have to visit that many just to keep pace with the creation of new sites.

Contrary to some internet rumors, sites are not owned or controlled by the United Nations or UNESCO. Member states have to apply to have a site listed and no site can be listed without the approval of the host country. The only power which UNESCO has is to have a site delisted as a World Heritage Site, which has happened so far twice in history.

Updated: January 11, 2017

UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2007

  1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (United States)
  2. Rapa Nui National Park (Chile)
  3. East Rennell (Solomon Islands)
  4. Tongariro National Park (New Zealand)
  5. Te Wahipounamu (New Zealand)
  6. Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Philippines)
  7. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)
  8. Historic Town of Vigan (Philippines)
  9. Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Philippines)
  10. Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu (Japan)
  11. Yakushima (Japan)
  12. Hiroshima Peace Garden (Japan)
  13. Itsukushima Shrine (Japan)
  14. Himeji-Jo (Japan)
  15. Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Japan)
  16. Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area (Japan)
  17. Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara (Japan)
  18. Shrines and Temples of Nikko (Japan)
  19. Gyeongju Historic Area (South Korea)
  20. Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple (South Korea)
  21. Changdeokgung Palace Complex (South Korea)
  22. Jongmyo Shrine (South Korea)
  23. Hwaseong Fortress (South Korea)
  24. Historic Center of Macau (China)

  25. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2008

  26. Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia)
  27. Kinabalu National Park (Malaysia)
  28. Borobudur Temple Compound (Indonesia)
  29. Prambanan Temple Compound (Indonesia)
  30. Sangiran Early Man Site (Indonesia)
  31. Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens (Australia)
  32. Willandra Lakes Region (Australia)
  33. Blue Mountains Area (Australia)
  34. Sydney Opera House (Australia)
  35. Tasmanian Wilderness (Australia)
  36. Gondwana Rainforests (Australia)
  37. Fraser Island (Australia)
  38. Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
  39. Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)
  40. Kakadu National Park (Australia)
  41. Purnululu National Park (Australia)
  42. Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)
  43. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Australia)
  44. Historic Cities of the Straight of Malacca (Malaysia)
  45. Angkor (Cambodia)
  46. Preah Vihear (Cambodia)
  47. My Son Sanctuary (Vietnam)
  48. Hoi An Ancient City (Vietnam)
  49. Complex of Hué Monuments (Vietnam)
  50. Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
  51. Town of Luang Prabang (Laos)
  52. Ban Chiang Archeology Site (Thailand)
  53. Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns (Thailand)
  54. Historic City of Ayutthaya (Thailand)

  55. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2009

  56. Bahla Fort (Oman)
  57. Qal’at al-Bahrain (Bahrain)
  58. Historic Cairo (Egypt)
  59. Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur (Egypt)
  60. Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae (Egypt)
  61. Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis (Egypt)
  62. Saint Catherine Area (Egypt)
  63. Petra (Jordan)
  64. Masada (Israel)
  65. Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Israel)
  66. White City of Tel Aviv – The Modernist Movement (Israel)
  67. Old City of Acre (Israel)
  68. Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee (Israel)
  69. Acropolis, Athens (Greece)
  70. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (Italy/Vatican City)
  71. Vatican City (Vatican City)
  72. Historic Center of Florence (Italy)
  73. Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (Italy)
  74. Historic Centre of Siena (Italy)
  75. San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano (San Marino)
  76. Venice and its Lagoon (Italy)
  77. Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua (Italy)
  78. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (Italy)
  79. Paris, Banks of the Seine (France)
  80. Palace and Park of Versailles (France)
  81. City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications (Luxembourg)
  82. La Grand-Place, Brussels (Belgium)
  83. Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Belgium)
  84. Historic Centre of Brugge (Belgium)
  85. Mill Network at Kinderdijk (Netherlands)
  86. Schokland and Surroundings (Netherlands)
  87. D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station (Netherlands)
  88. The Wadden Sea (Netherlands/Germany)
  89. Beemster Polder (Netherlands)
  90. Defence Line of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  91. Martime Greenwich (United Kingdom)
  92. Tower of London (United Kingdom)
  93. Kew Gardens (United Kingdom)
  94. Westminster Abby and St. Margaret’s Church (United Kingdom)
  95. Statue of Liberty (United States)
  96. Yellowstone National Park (United States)
  97. Glacier/Waterton National Park (United States/Canada)
  98. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (Canada)
  99. Dinosaur Provincial Park (Canada)
  100. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (Canada)
  101. Olympic National Park (United States)
  102. Redwood National Park (United States)
  103. Yosemite National Park (United States)
  104. Grand Canyon National Park (United States)
  105. Mesa Verde National Park (United States)
  106. Chaco Culture (United States)
  107. Pueblo de Taos (United States)
  108. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (United States)
  109. Everglades National Park (United States)
  110. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States)
  111. Mammoth Cave National Park (United States)
  112. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (United States)

  113. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2010

  114. La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia (Spain)
  115. Palmeral of Elche (Spain)
  116. Vizcaya Bridge (Spain)
  117. Works of Antoni Gaudí (Spain)
  118. Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona (Spain)
  119. Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (United States)
  120. Independence Hall (United States)
  121. Joggins Fossil Cliffs (Canada)
  122. Old Town Lunenburg (Canada)
  123. Gros Morne National Park (Canada)
  124. L’Anse aux Meadows (Canada)
  125. Miguasha National Park (Canada)
  126. Historic District of Old Quebec (Canada)
  127. Rideau Canal (Canada)
  128. Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (South Africa)
  129. Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour (Netherlands)

  130. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2011

  131. La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico (United States)
  132. Historic Center of Prague (Czech Republic)
  133. Holašovice Historical Village Reservation (Czech Republic)
  134. Historic Centre of Ceský Krumlov (Czech Republic)
  135. Historic Center of Vienna (Austria)
  136. Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn (Austria)
  137. Old City of Dubrovnik (Croatia)
  138. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (Italy)
  139. Historic Centre of Naples (Italy)
  140. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (Italy)
  141. Old City of Berne (Switzerland)
  142. Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (Hungary)
  143. Historic Center of Sighisora (Romania)
  144. Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania (Romania)
  145. Boyana Church (Bulgaria)
  146. Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)
  147. Kluane / Wrangell-St Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek (Canada/United States)
  148. Ningaloo Coast (Australia)1
  149. Wadi Rum Protected Area (Jordan)2
  150. Poblet Monastery (Spain)
  151. Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley (Andorra)
  152. Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí (Spain)
  153. Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco (Spain)
  154. San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Spain)
  155. Teide National Park (Spain)
  156. Garajonay National Park (Spain)
  157. Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Mexico)
  158. Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
  159. City of Quito (Ecuador)
  160. Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht (Netherlands)
  161. Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House) (Netherlands)
  162. Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust (Germany)
  163. Cologne Cathedral (Germany)
  164. Wartburg Castle (Germany)
  165. Classical Weimar (Germany)
  166. Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau (Germany)
  167. Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany)3
  168. Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg (Germany)
  169. Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin (Germany)
  170. Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin (Germany)
  171. Berlin Modernism Housing Estates (Germany)
  172. Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (United Kingdom)
  173. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal (United Kingdom)
  174. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd (United Kingdom)
  175. Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyn (Ireland)
  176. New Lanark (United Kingdom)
  177. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

  178. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2012

  179. Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize)
  180. Australian Convict Sites (Australia)
  181. Lord Howe Islands Group (Australia)
  182. SGang Gwaay (Canada)
  183. Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau)4
  184. Cultural Landscape of Bali Province (Indonesia)5
  185. Rock Carvings in Tanum (Sweden)
  186. Varberg Radio Station (Sweden)
  187. Sian Ka’an (Mexico)
  188. Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza (Spain)
  189. Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada (Spain)
  190. Historic Centre of Cordoba (Spain)
  191. Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville (Spain)
  192. Medina of Tétouan (Morocco)
  193. City of Bath (United Kingdom)
  194. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (United Kingdom)
  195. Landscape of Grand Pré (Canada)

  196. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2013

  197. Area de Conservación Guanacaste (Costa Rica)
  198. Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park (Costa Rica/Panama)
  199. Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site (El Salvador)
  200. Maya Site of Copan (Honduras)
  201. Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua (Guatemala)
  202. Tikal National Park (Guatemala)
  203. Antigua Guatemala (Guatemala)
  204. Historic Center of Warsaw (Poland)
  205. Cracow’s Historic Centre (Poland)
  206. Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (Poland)
  207. Wieliczka Salt Mine (Poland)
  208. Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland (Poland)
  209. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park (Poland)
  210. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Germany/Slovakia/Ukraine)
  211. Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar (Germany)
  212. Hanseatic City of Lübeck (Germany)
  213. Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen (Germany)
  214. Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen (Germany)
  215. Aachen Cathedral (Germany)
  216. Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Germany)
  217. Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier (Germany)
  218. Völklingen Ironworks (Germany)
  219. Frontiers of the Roman Empire (Germany/United Kingdom)
  220. Messel Pit Fossil Site (Germany)
  221. Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch (Germany)
  222. Speyer Cathedral (Germany)
  223. Maulbronn Monastery Complex (Germany)
  224. Monastic Island of Reichenau (Germany)
  225. Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps (Germany/France/Austria/Switzerland/Slovenia/Italy)
  226. Pilgrimage Church of Wies (Germany)
  227. Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof (Germany)
  228. Margravial Opera House Bayreuth (Germany)
  229. Town of Bamberg (Germany)
  230. Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square (Germany)
  231. St Mary’s Cathedral and St Michael’s Church at Hildesheim (Germany)
  232. Fagus Factory in Alfeld (Germany)
  233. Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System (Germany)
  234. Collegiate Church, Castle, and Old Town of Quedlinburg (Germany)
  235. Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz (Germany)
  236. Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski (Germany/Poland)
  237. Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia)
  238. The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik (Croatia)
  239. Historic City of Trogir (Croatia)
  240. Stari Grad Plain (Croatia)
  241. Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian (Croatia)
  242. Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  243. Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor (Montenegro)
  244. Quseir Amra (Jordan)
  245. Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa’a) (Jordan)
  246. Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena (Italy)
  247. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (Italy)
  248. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (Italy)
  249. City of Verona (Italy)
  250. City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto (Italy)
  251. Mantua and Sabbioneta (Italy)
  252. Historic Centre of San Gimignano (Italy)
  253. 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (Italy)
  254. Costiera Amalfitana (Italy)
  255. Villa d’Este (Italy)
  256. Villa Adriana (Italy)
  257. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
  258. Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)
  259. Pitons Management Area (Saint Lucia)
  260. Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados)
  261. Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan (Mexico)
  262. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (Canada)
  263. Sceilg Mhichíl (Ireland)
  264. Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom)
  265. Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (United Kingdom)
  266. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church (United Kingdom)
  267. Namib Sand Sea (Namibia)
  268. Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes (Namibia)
  269. Australian Fossil Mammal Sites, Riversleigh/Naracoorte (Australia)

  270. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2014

  271. Maloti-Drakensberg Park (South Africa/Lesotho)
  272. iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa)
  273. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (South Africa)
  274. Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa (South Africa)
  275. Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwae)
  276. Vredefort Dome (South Africa)
  277. Robben Island (South Africa)
  278. Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions (Ghana)
  279. Island of Gorée (Senegal)
  280. Medina of Marrakesh (Morocco)
  281. Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda (United Kingdom)
  282. Wood Buffalo National Park (Canada)
  283. Nahani National Park (Canada)
  284. Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza (Mexico)
  285. Megalithic Temples of Malta (Malta)
  286. City of Valletta (Malta)
  287. Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum (Malta)
  288. Choirokoitia (Cyprus)
  289. Paphos (Cyprus)
  290. Painted Churches in the Troodos Region (Cyprus)
  291. Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios (Greece)
  292. Meteora (Greece)
  293. Old Town of Corfu (Greece)
  294. Archaeological Site of Delphi (Greece)
  295. Blenheim Palace (United Kingdom)
  296. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (United Kingdom)
  297. Dorset and East Devon Coast (United Kingdom)

  298. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2015

  299. Fortress of Suomenlinna (Finland)
  300. National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers (Haiti)
  301. Colonial City of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
  302. Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States)
  303. Bourges Cathedral (France)
  304. Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret (France)
  305. Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)
  306. Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” (Jordan)6
  307. San Antonio Missions (United States)

  308. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2016

  309. Red Fort Complex (India)
  310. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (India)
  311. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (India)
  312. Agra Fort (India)
  313. Taj Mahal (India)
  314. Fatehpur Sikri (India)
  315. Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia)
  316. Aksum (Ethiopia)
  317. Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Serbia)
  318. Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  319. Durmitor National Park (Montenegro)
  320. Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region (Macedonia)
  321. Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor (China/Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan)
  322. Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Federated Staes of Micronesia)7
  323. Mistaken Point – Canada

  324. UNESCO World Heritage Sites 2017

  325. Van Nellefabriek (Netherlands)
  326. Belfries of Belgium and France (Belgium)
  327. Flemish Beguinages (Belgium)
  328. Stoclet House (Belgium)
  329. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier (Belgium)
  330. Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex (Belgium)

Upcoming World Heritage Site Visits

  • Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site (Norway)
  • Vegaøyan — The Vega Archipelago (Norway)
  • Kvarken Archipelago (Sweden/Finland)
  • The Decorated Farmhouses of Halsingland (Sweden)
  • Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun (Sweden)
  • Engelsberg Ironworks (Sweden)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites I Need to Revisit

Given the nature of cultural preservation, not every site visit I make is ideal. Sometimes a building is under renovation which prevents me from making a proper visit to the site. There are a small number of sites which I feel the need to revisit in the future because my first visit was subpar.

  • Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch (Germany) During my visit, most of the Abbey was being worked on. There was scaffolding everywhere and it was impossible to get a decent representative photo. There were other parts of the site I was able to visit, mostly ruins of churches with nothing but the outline of the walls in the ground, but the main attraction is the abbey. I’d like to return when the restoration is complete and make a proper visit.
  • Margravial Opera House Bayreuth (Germany) The opera house is actually a rather important and interesting building. Unfortunately, I was only able to see the facade of the building as the entire interior was being renovated. As the real beauty and attraction is the interior, I’ll have to return to see it once it is finished.
  • Durmitor National Park (Montenegro) I was blocked by a snowdrift soon after I entered the park and I couldn’t really seem much of the park, even though I was technically there.


  1. I visited the Ningaloo Reef in 2008 during my trip to Australia. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2011.
  2. I visited Wadi Rum in 2009. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2011.
  3. The Dresden Elbe Valley was removed from the UNESCO list in 2009 because of the construction of a highway. I have decided to keep it on my list because I strongly disagree with the decision to remove it.
  4. I visited the Rock Islands of Palau in 2007. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2012.
  5. I visited Bali in 2008. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2012.
  6. I visited the Baptism Site in Jordan in 2013. It became a World Heritage Site in July 2015.
  7. I visited Nan Modal in 2007. It became a World Heritage Site in July 2016