We don’t know about you, but we’ve been dreaming of exploring the royal grounds of the glistening Taj Mahal in India, navigating the maze-like sanctuary of Machu Picchu in Peru, and marvelling at the towering Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. These magnificent sites have been put on the map because of their historical, cultural significance, or natural significance — and have achieved UNESCO World Heritage status.
Every year, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee holds a meeting to discuss sites that have been proposed as new members of its list. This year’s session wrapped last week in Krakow, Poland. The 41st edition saw 21 new sites being inscribed on the World Heritage List — consisting of three natural places and 18 cultural ones. This brings the number of UNESCO-listed sites to 1,073 — with the largest number found in the European region.
This year also sees the community extending or modifying the boundaries of five existing sites, namely the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe, W-Arly-Pendjari Complex, Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau, Strasbourg, and significantly reducing the perimeter of the Georgian site of Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery — withdrawing Gelati Monastery from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
From one of the oldest towns on earth to the sacred land of indigenous tribes in Africa and a district of stunning mountains and mirror lakes in England, check out these newest UNESCO heritage sites.