Cover image for
World heritage sites : a complete guide to 878 UNESCO world heritage sites

Physical Description:
832 pages : color illustrations, maps : 21 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Each site has an entry explaining its historical and cultural significance, with a description and location map.
Added Corporate Author:
Pub Date:
Firefly Books, [2009]



Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Ring - Houston Public Library Adult Non-fiction Book 910.202 W927

On Order



Updated for 2010, this guide fully describes every official UNESCO World Heritage site.

In 1959, UNESCO launched an international campaign to safeguard the world's most important sites, which led to the first World Heritage List. In clear text that highlights all the fascinating facts, this revised edition of World Heritage Sites details all 890 properties, including the 13 new sites added in 2009.

Covering 148 countries, the World Heritage List has proved to be a valuable tool in the battle to preserve much of the world's cultural and natural heritage. Its strict criteria result in only the world's most spectacular and extraordinary sites making it onto the list, including:

The Statue of Liberty in New York The Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, the world's first international peace park, which straddles the US-Canada border The ancient Nabataean city of Petra in Jordan The remarkable Dazu Rock Carvings in China Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Missouri, the largest pre- Columbian settlement north of Mexico The unique ecosystem of the Serengeti in Tanzania

The new sites added to this edition are:

Stoclet House in Belgium The Ruins of Loropeni in Burkina Faso Cidade Velha, the historic center of Ribeira Grande, in Cape Verde Mount Wutai in China Shushtar, a historic hydraulic system in Iran The Dolomites in Italy The royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty in South Korea Sulamain-Too Sacred Mountain in Kyrgyzstan The Wadden Sea in Germany and the Netherlands The Sacred City of Caral-Supe in Peru The Tower of Hercules in Spain La Chaux-de-Fonds and le Locle, historic centers of watch-making and town-planning in Switzerland Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal in the United Kingdom

Featuring gorgeous photographs and updated maps, World Heritage Sites is uniquely comprehensive.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded in 1945 with the ambitious goal to build peace in the minds of men and women through education, social and natural science, culture and communication.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

World Heritage sites are decided each year by a 21-member intergovernmental committee only after a rigorous preselection, nomination, and evaluation process. According to this highly attractive and informative guide, selected sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria, such as human creative genius, significance in human history, or natural phenomena or beauty. Moreover, the protection, management, authenticity, and integrity of properties are also important considerations. It is because of failures in some of these areas that certain properties have been removed from the list of World Heritage sites. What makes this compact, sturdily covered and bound paperback an invaluable reference book is its coverage of the complete list of current sites; organization by date of selection as well as access by country and alphabetical indexes; nearly 900 maps (including one the size of a large postage stamp pinpointing each site in its country and region); at least 100 words of text for each site, but in many cases a full page; and a photograph (from tiny to full page) for most of the sites. The dozens of entries given fullest coverage contain text and a small map on one page and a full-page or two half-page photographs on the facing page; such entries include Grand Canyon National Park, Old City of Jerusalem and Its Walls, and Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Though the phrase recommended for all libraries is overused, no school, public, or academic library could go wrong including the very affordable World Heritage Sites in both reference and circulating collections. The official World Heritage Web site, which includes many additional photographs and features, is also highly recommended.--Bunch, Craig Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Covering 141 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, the Arab States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, the World Heritage List is a valuable guide to the world's cultural and natural heritage. The spectacular and extraordinary sites that make it onto the list include the Acropolis in Athens; the Statue of Liberty in New York; Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, the world's first international peace park, which straddles the U.S.-Canada border; the remarkable Dazu Rock Carvings in China; and the unique ecosystem of the Serengeti in Tanzania, plus many more. The beauty of this book is in both the lavish photographs and the accessibility of information. Each site can be found on the continent maps or in the alphabetical or country-by-country index. All entries are presented in a similar manner and are arranged chronologically by the year in which they were inscribed on the World Heritage List, beginning with the Galapagos Islands in 1978 and ending with the Al-Hijr Archaeological Site in 2008. BOTTOM LINE UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to encourage the identification, protection, and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This treasure trove of a book reinforces that mission and, through spectacular photographs, shows how remarkable and beautiful our planet truly is. An excellent (and affordable) addition to any library.-Kathleen A. Welton, Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Foreword by Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO Fifty years ago, the construction of the Aswan High Dam resulted in the flooding of an extensive stretch of the Nile Valley, home to numerous ancient Nubian treasures, such as the Abu Simbel temples. Mindful that the threatened temples and artefacts were an urgent priority transcending national interests and pride, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched its first international safeguarding campaign. Funds and expertise were mobilized to dismantle and reassemble the monuments in new locations. UNESCO's appeal to save the truly outstanding vestiges of one of the world's richest and oldest civilizations made people all over the planet appreciate the universal dimension of cultural heritage. Thus, in addition to its triumph as a technical feat of unprecedented scale, this hugely successful campaign paved the way for the key notion of the common heritage of humankind that underpins the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, developed by UNESCO and adopted by its Member States in 1972. Commonly known as the World Heritage Convention, this international treaty has been ratified by 186 countries to date, and the famous World Heritage List now includes 878 sites in 145 countries across the planet. For over thirty-five years, the Convention and List have proved invaluable tools in UNESCO's constant efforts to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. Moreover, they contribute significantly to advancing UNESCO's mission to safeguard the world's precious culture and biodiversity. Although every year new sites are inscribed by the World Heritage Committee, many sites of outstanding universal value have yet to be included on the List, which strives to ensure a true representation of the full diversity of all types of tangible heritage. The open-ended nature of the List is precisely what makes it such a vibrant and attractive instrument for preservation. The prestigious List includes some of the most famous places in the world, such as the ancient Nabataean city of Petra in Jordan, the legendary Acropolis in Athens, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Machu Picchu, the 'Lost City of the Incas,' in Peru. These renowned breathtaking sites are obvious inclusions on the List as they represent extraordinary examples of our cultural and natural heritage. However, many are in need of extensive conservation efforts, partly as a consequence of their immense popularity. Fortunately, inclusion on the World Heritage List and the resulting economic benefits can give a huge boost to these conservation efforts so that future generations can enjoy this irreplaceable heritage. Along with the well-known sites on the List are a number of lesser-known places. In reading this handsome book, you will gain a wealth of information about our common heritage: that the largest coliseum in North Africa is located in the small village of El Jem in Tunisia; that Ethiopian emperors were crowned at Aksum; that one of the most influential cultural centres of antiquity was Palmyra in present-day Syria; and that the world's largest free-roaming bison herd can be found in Canada's Wood Buffalo National Park. Other more unusual features revealed in these pages include the massive moai (carved heads) found in Rapa Nui National Park in Chile, the monastery-crowned rock pinnacles of Meteora in Greece, and the 'dragon' whose home is at the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. These are just a few of the many highlights to be discovered in this publication. All currently inscribed UNESCO World Heritage sites are described in this single volume of The World's Heritage, which is illustrated with over 650 stunning full-colour photographs. It is my sincere hope that you will enjoy this unique guide to the planet's outstanding cultural and natural treasures, and that it will contribute to the dissemination of the universal ideals and values that UNESCO endeavours to uphold in its worldwide action. Excerpted from World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 890 UNESCO World Heritage Sites All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

World Heritage sites -- mapped by continent
World Heritage sites -- descriptions, locations and photographs
UNESCO's World Heritage Mission Statement, inscription criteria and information about UNESCO worldwide
Country by country index

Google Preview