In pictures: UNESCO's 24 new World Heritage sites

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From grape-lined hillsides in Burgundy to ancient Chinese tribes and botanical gardens in Singapore, UNESCO's updated World Heritage list will give you some entirely original travel inspiration.

1. Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District, Germany

1. Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District, Germany
© Thomas Wolf

These two huge dense urban districts in the port city of Hamburg are home to vast warehouses and towering office blocks from the late 19th century. According to UNESCO, they exemplify the rapid expansion of international trade going into the 20th century.

2. The terroirs and climats of Burgundy, France

2. The terroirs and climats of Burgundy, France
© Luctheo/Pixabay

Producer of exceptionally fine French wine, the Burgundy region has been refining its art since the High Middle Ages. Based on a climatssystem developed in Dijon, each terroir exploits variations in soil and geology to produce its own unique end product. Time for a tasting session...

3. Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens, Turkey

3. Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens, Turkey
© Adam Jones/Flickr

Diyarbakir has been an important fortified city since the Hellenistic period, surviving the Romans, Byzantines, Muslims and Ottomans. To this day, it exhibits castles, buttresses and towers encircled by strong city walls and the neighbouring Hevsel Gardens lead gently down to the River Tigris, which for centuries provided the city with food and water.

4. The San Antonio Missions, USA

4. The San Antonio Missions, USA
© Wiki Commons

This UNESCO site is made up of five separate frontier mission complexes throughout southern Texas. They were used in the 18th century as part of the Spanish Crown's efforts to colonise and evangelise America's indigenous populations. The architecture you'll find here is a unique mix of Spanish and Coahuiltecan cultures.

5. Ephesus, Turkey

5. Ephesus, Turkey
© Wiki Commons

According to UNESCO, the city of Ephesus is an 'outstanding example' of a Roman port city, complete with sea channel and harbour basin. You'll find the ruins of the Library of Celsus here, as well as the Great Theatre and the surviving remains of the Temple of Artemis - one of the seven wonders of the world.

6. The Forth Bridge, United Kingdom

6. The Forth Bridge, United Kingdom
© STEWART HARDY 2010

This red giant in Scotland is the world's longest multi-span cantilever bridge. It has been delivering passengers and freight across the River Forth since 1890 and UNESCO calls it a testament to the rise of the railways as the most important means of long-distance land travel.

7. The Arab-Norman architecture of Palermo, Italy

7. The Arab-Norman architecture of Palermo, Italy
© Wiki Commons

The World Heritage list has singled out this particular part of Palermo's architecture as a perfect example of the co-existence of multiple cultures on one small island. In the 12th century, Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures all combined to produce innovative churches and palaces, including the cathedrals at Monreale and Cefalý.

8. The towns of Rjukan and Notodden, Norway

8. The towns of Rjukan and Notodden, Norway
© Bilfinger SE/Flickr

These two Norwegian towns were built to house workers and their families for the fertiliser industry, with transport systems to the plants and ports from which the final product was exported all over the world. UNESCO has called it a fine example of the emergence of a global industry during the early 20th century.

9. The Singapore Botanical Gardens

9. The Singapore Botanical Gardens
© Wiki Commons

Established in 1875, this World Heritage site started off life as a British tropical colonial botanic garden. Nowadays it has become a leading scientific institution for conservation and education on plant species from around the world.

10. Christiansfeld, Denmark

10. Christiansfeld, Denmark
© (C)2010 Martin Nikolaj Christensen, all rights reserved

This Moravian settlement was founded in 1773 in South Jutland. Its design was chosen to reflect the community's Protestant urban ideals of simple living, egalitarianism, democracy and common welfare. You'll find the church in the centre of the settlement, surrounded by housing and various communal buildings.

11. The hillsides and cellars of Champagne, France

11. The hillsides and cellars of Champagne, France
© Megan Cole/Flickr

The region of Champagne is home to historic vineyards, famous the world over for the eponymous sparkling wine that they produce. According to UNESCO, the process is one of the most specialised artisan activities - beginning in the vineyards of Hautvilliers or Aˇ, progressing to unique underground cellars for maturity and ending with the various points of sale across the region.

12. The Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain, Mongolia

12. The Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain, Mongolia
© Wiki Commons

Aside from being an important place of spiritual worship, this mountain is believed to be the birthplace and final resting place of Genghis Khan. The great warrior tried hard to integrate mountain worship into Mongol culture, in the hopes of uniting the various peoples under his control.

13. The North Zealand par force hunting grounds, Denmark

13. The North Zealand par force hunting grounds, Denmark
© Wiki Commons

Par force hunting, or hunting with hounds, was a favourite activity of the Danish monarchy during the 16th century. In the style of the times, they even applied baroque landscaping to their hunting grounds using grid patterns to mark out lanes and building remote hunting lodges around the countryside.

14. Rock Art in Hail, Saudi Arabia

14. Rock Art in Hail, Saudi Arabia
© Wiki Commons

The narrow passages of Jabel Umm Sinman at Jubbah, and the Jabal al-Manjor and Raat at Shuwaymis, are covered in drawings that date as far back as 10,000 years. For milenia, the rocks here have been decorated with petroglyphs and inscriptions that remain today.

15. Tusi sites, China

15. Tusi sites, China
© Wiki Commons

To UNESCO's list have been added several sites throughout China, once home to tribal groups led by 'Tusi'. These leaders were hereditary rulers from ethnic minority backgrounds, given power by the central Chinese government in the 13th century to unify the national administration as well as preserve minority customs. This system survived until the early 20th century.

16. 'Bethany Beyond the Jordan', Jordan

16. 'Bethany Beyond the Jordan', Jordan
© Jan Smith/Flickr

This site on the eastern bank of the River Jordan is believed to be the place of the baptism of Jesus of Nazareth by John the Baptist. Roman and Byzantine ruins can be found here, including churches, chapels, monasteries and caves used by hermits.

17. The necropolis of Bet She'arim

17. The necropolis of Bet She'arim
© Wiki Commons

Since the 2nd Century BC, this necropolis has been one of the largest Jewish burial grounds outside Jerusalem. UNESCO has said that the artwork and inscriptions found here are a unique testimony to ancient Judaism under Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, credited with Jewish renewal after 135 CE.

18. Maymand, Iran

18. Maymand, Iran
© Wiki Commons

This Iranian village in the country's central mountains is particularly special due to the way its population lives. UNESCO calls the villagers here semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists, raising their animals on the mountainside during the summer months and descending to the valley in winter.

19. The Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, Mexico

19. The Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, Mexico
© Jay Galvin/Flickr

This long structure was built in the 16th century, under the watchful eye of Padre Tembleque, across the Central Mexican Plateau. According to UNESCO, its architecture is a unique example of the exchange of influences between European knowledge, based on Roman structures, and Mesoamerican techniques.

20. Baekje Historic Areas, Korea

20. Baekje Historic Areas, Korea
© Wiki Commons

This UNESCO site includes eight archaeological sites which hold royal palaces and temples dating from 475-660 and the Baekje kingdom - one of the earliest kingdoms on the Korean peninsula.

21. Fray Bentos industrial complex, Uruguay

21. Fray Bentos industrial complex, Uruguay
© Wiki Commons

Not far from the town which bears the same name, this vast industrial area was used to process meat produced on the surrounding praries. The products were exported to Europe and beyond, and now demonstrate what UNESCO calls the entire process of meat production.

22. Susa, Iran

22. Susa, Iran
© Wiki Commons

Within this incredible archeaological site, you'll find remains from Elamite, Persian and Parthian cultures - which have now almost disappeared - all superimposed on top of one another. Residential buildings sit astride palatial ones or right next to administratative constructions.

23. Blue and John Crow Mountains, Jamaica

23. Blue and John Crow Mountains, Jamaica
© Wiki Commons

These mountains provided refuge for escaped African slaves, often known as Maroons. They established a network of trails and hideouts, as well as strong spiritual connections to the mountains with their own rites, medicines and dances.

24. Sites of Meiji Industrial Revolution, Japan

24. Sites of Meiji Industrial Revolution, Japan
© Wiki Commons

These sites were chosen because they show the rapid industrialisation process that Japan experienced from the mid-19th century onwards. It was considered the first successful transfer of Western industrialisation to a non-Western country.

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Posted on 06/07/2015 23 shares
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