From ancient cities to beer production; UNESCO’s latest European additions provide plenty of travel inspiration.
UNESCO has begun announcing new sites to add to its World Heritage List.
The UN Initiative List is a collection of monuments of particular importance to the human race. Whether a remarkable human contribution or the simple wonder of natural beauty, World Heritage sites are protected to ensure they can be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
This month, the World Heritage Committee meets in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to inscribe a new set of sites on the list. The committee started with the uncovered 2022 nominations before moving on to the 2023 nominations.
Before the committee meeting, there were 1,157 world heritage sites. The list has already grown and has been announcing new sites since September 16.
Here are some of the most notable new sites announced so far in Europe.
Gordion – Türkiye
Located about 70 km southwest of Ankara, this archaeological site is what remains of Gordion, the capital of Phrygia. The ancient civilization was contemporary with the Ancient Greeks with the myths of their kings Gordias, Midas and represented in Homer’s “Iliad”.
Judeo-medieval heritage of Erfurt – Germany
Located in the heart of Germany, the city of Erfurt is home to an impressive array of preserved Jewish cultural sites from the Middle Ages. Dating from the 11th-14th centuries, the Old Synagogue, Mikveh and Stone House paint a fascinating picture of Jewish life in Germany.
Modernist Kaunas: architecture of optimism, 1919-1939 – Lithuania
Between World War I and World War II, the provincial town of Kaunas in Latvia was completely regenerated by the architectural philosophy of the Modern Movement. Still present today, the urban streets of Kaunas recall this fascinating era.
Old town of Kuldīga – Latvia
Another example of a pedestrian city whose streets are full of cultural heritage. Kuldīga grew from a small medieval hamlet in the 16th century to an important town of crafts and trade over 200 years. The changes to the architecture remain today.
Prehistoric sites of Talayotic Menorca – Spain
Dating as far back as 1,600 BCE, communities lived on the Spanish island of Menorca. The structures, tools and burial sites provide insight into how people lived in Menorca, as well as their rituals and habits in the millennia before Christianity arrived on European shores.
Viking Age Ring Fortresses – Denmark
In Denmark, spread over five different sites, monumental rings mark the location of Viking fortresses. Built between 970 and 980 CE, Aggersborg, Fyrkat, Nonnebakken, Trelleborg and Borgring were all key locations in the Jelling dynasty of the Viking Empire.
Žatec and the Saaz hop landscape – Czechia
Go to Žatec and you are guaranteed to have a great time if you are a beer lover. The fertile hop fields near the Ohře River provide the basis for the excellent beer industry that brought the industrial revolution to the medieval town.