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UNESCO Adds New World Heritage Sites

Omar Uraimov July 26, 2016, 4:19 a.m.

The 40th annual session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Istanbul saw 21 new heritage sites added to the distinguished World Heritage List this past week. Each site must meet at least one of ten criteria to be considered for the prestigious status:

  1. Represents a masterpiece of human creative genius
  2. Exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design
  3. Bears a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization
  4. Is an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stage(s) in human history
  5. Is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land or sea use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment
  6. Is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.
  7. Contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty
  8. Is an outstanding example representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features
  9. Is an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals
  10. Contains the most important and significant natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation

The list promotes cultural heritage and contains over 100 culturally significant sites that any aggressive and determined explorer should try to visit at least once in their lifetime. A great place to start would be this year’s newest heritage sites:

  • The Western Tien Shan Mountains Located in Central Asia, they're a part of one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. They are actually home to the first apples, as well as a center for biodiversity in the world.

  • The archaeological site of Philippi Founded in 356BC in ancient Macedonia, this is a great place to visit for adventurers and history buffs. The city was controlled by the Romans and Ottomans throughout its history.

  • Gorham’s Cave Many people have made it a goal to visit the Rock of Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. However, you can find another picturesque scene on its southeastern face at Gorham's Cave. This addition to the World Heritage List contains evidence of Neanderthal activity and is an all around fascinating place to visit.


In addition to checking out the latest additions for starting points, the current list of World Heritage Sites are also appealing destinations for travelers. In fact, it’s likely you’ve visited a fair share of heritage sites already. From the Great Wall of China to the Statue of Liberty in New York, there are tons of significant locations for you to visit and the list is a great place to start for any serious traveler looking for an adventure. If all of this travel talk is getting you pumped with excitement and fascination, search for flights and hotels on PEX+ to start checking these amazing places off your bucket list.