UNESCO's New World Heritage Sites

Discover which cultural and natural wonders made the prestigious list this year 2017
1.TAPUTAPUÄ€TEA PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHEN ALVAREZ, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE
TAPUTAPUÄ€TEA
On the lush volcanic island of Ra’iatea in the center of the Polynesian Triangle, forested valley, lagoon, and coral reef make up the property of Taputapuātea. In addition to its stunning natural features, the marae complex—a political, ceremonial and funerary center—is evidence of traditional Polynesian Worship.
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2.HISTORIC CITY OF YAZD PHOTOGRAPH BY RICHARD I'ANSON, GETTY IMAGES
HISTORIC CITY OF YAZD
This earthen architecture city in central Iran dates from the 5th century C.E. It’s traditional hammams, mosques, synagogues, and Zoroastrian temples earned it the title of Dār al-ibada, or Home of Piety
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3.THE ENGLISH LAKE DISTRICT PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY NICK BODLE, UNESCO
THE ENGLISH LAKE DISTRICT
Found in northwest England, these picturesque landscapes were shaped by glaciers from the Ice Age and modern agricultural systems.
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4.KULANGSU PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY QIAN YI, UNESCO
KULANGSU
Near the city of Xiamen, the small island of Kulangsu was a significant site of Sino-foreign exchange that forged an international community beginning in the early 20th century.
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5.GELATI MONASTERY PHOTOGRAPH BY JEREMY WOODHOUSE, GETTY IMAGES
GELATI MONASTERY
The Gelati Monastery and complex in central Georgia is one of the country's most treasured religious and cultural landmarks. Construction began in 1106, and the site is renowned for its collection of twelfth- to nineteenth-century mosaics, wall paintings, enamels, and metalwork.
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6.SAMBOR PREI KUK PHOTOGRAPH BY SIGURD DOEPPEL, GETTY IMAGES
SAMBOR PREI KUK
Sambor Prei Kuk, “the temple in the richness of the forest”, served as the capital of the Chenla Empire from the late 6th and early 7th centuries C.E. Octagonal temples, decorative sandstone, pediments, and colonnades are examples of pre-Angkor decorative styles that laid the foundation for Khmer art and architecture during the Angkor period.
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7.APHRODISIAS

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY APHRODISIAS MUSEUM, UNESCO

APHRODISIAS
Named after its patron goddess Aphrodite, this ancient city is a well-preserved history of both Greek and Roman civilizations in Turkey from the second century B.C.E. to the seventh century C.E. With quality marble quarries only a few kilometers away and a thriving, local art school, Aphrodisias developed a tradition of marble sculpture famous throughout the region, making it a center of both art and culture.
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8.VENETIAN WORKS OF DEFENSE

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MUNICIPALITY OF PALMANOVA, UNESCO

VENETIAN WORKS OF DEFENSE
This property hosts 15 forms of defense in three countries across more than 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) between northern Italy and the eastern Adriatic Coast.
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9.KUJATAA GREENLAND PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MADS PIHL, UNESCO
KUJATAA GREENLAND
In southern Greenland, the verdant region of Kujataa represents the earliest introduction of farming to the Arctic. Norse hunters-gatherers and Inuit hunters cultivated a landscape based on farming, grazing, and marine mammal hunting.
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10.STRASBOURG: GRANDE-ÃŽLE TO NEUSTADT PHOTOGRAPH BY HEMIS/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
STRASBOURG: GRANDE-ÃŽLE TO NEUSTADT
While the historic center of Strasbourg was initially inscribed in 1988, the Neustadt, or new town, was added to the property in 2017. The urban layout, inspired by the Haussmannian model and Germanic architectural styles, is specific to Strasbourg.
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11. PRIMEVAL BEECH FORESTS OF THE CARPATHIANS PHOTOGRAPH COURTEST NEVIO AGOSTINI, UNESCO
PRIMEVAL BEECH FORESTS OF THE CARPATHIANS
Cropping up from a few isolated spots in the Alps, Carpathians, and Pyrenees, the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany now stretch across more than 12 countries. The incredible forests in continental Europe show this special tree’s resilience and tolerance across different climates and other conditions.
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12.LANDSCAPES OF DAURIA PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY EVGENIY KOKUKHIN, UNESCO
LANDSCAPES OF DAURIA
Shared between Mongolia and the Russian Federation, the Daurian Steppe region is home to a diversity of species and ecosystems fostered by its unique climate. Grassland, forest, lakes, and wetlands host rare species of fauna, including the White-Naped crane, Great bustard, and millions of vulnerable Migratory Birds.
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13. ASMARA PHOTOGRAPH BY HEMIS/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
ASMARA
Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, holds many well-preserved modernist buildings from the time when it was ruled by Italy (1889-1941). More than 400 outstanding examples survive, even through a decades-long conflict with Ethiopia.
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14.LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY RICARDO VILLALBA, UNESCO
LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK
Protecting some of the last sections of near-untouched Patagonian forest, this property in the Andes is home to many native and threatened species of flora and fauna. Shaped by glaciations over the years, the region's crystal-clear lakes, moraines, and glacial cirques are just three of the various ecosystems found throughout the park.
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15.HEBRON/AL-KHALIL OLD TOWN PHOTOGRAPH BY ASIA FILE/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
HEBRON/AL-KHALIL OLD TOWN
In the Judean hills south of Jerusalem, West Bank city of Hebron is especially contentious territory because both Jews and Muslims revere the same site, called the Tomb of the Patriarchs by Jews, and the Ibrahimi Mosque by Muslims. Clashes frequently erupt between the two hundred thousand Palestinians, and the several hundred Jewish settlers living in heavily guarded enclaves. The old town was build at the crossroads of trade routes to limestone between 1250 and 1517.
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16.QINGHAI HOH XIL PHOTOGRAPH BY XINHUA/GETTY IMAGES
QINGHAI HOH XIL
The largest and highest plateau in the world, Qinghai Hoh Xil's geography and year-round sub-zero temperatures have created a unique ecosystem of plant species and herbivorous mammals native to the area. This uninhabited Chinese property also protects the entire migratory route of the Tibetan antelope, one of the flagship (and endemic endangered) species found there.
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17.MBANZA KONGO PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY JOOST DE RAEYMAEKER, UNESCO
MBANZA KONGO
Angola's Mbanza Kongo demonstrates, more than anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, the deep changes caused by the introduction of Christianity and the arrival of the Portuguese into Central Africa.
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18.SACRED ISLAND OF OKINOSHIMA PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY IMAKI HIDEKAZU, UNESCO
SACRED ISLAND OF OKINOSHIMA
Situated between the Japanese archipelago and Korean peninsula, this sacred Japanese island chronicles the progression of traditional worship rituals from the 4th to the 9th centuries C.E.
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19.W-ARLY-PENDJARI COMPLEX PHOTOGRAPH BY RAQUEL MARIA CARBONELL PAGOLA, GETTY IMAGES
W-ARLY-PENDJARI COMPLEX
This transnational extension of Sudano-Sahelian savannah covers regions of Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The collection of grasslands, shrub lands, wooded savannah, and gallery forests are home to significant terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the West African savannah belt, including threatened wildlife species.
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20.BAUHAUS

PHOTOGRAPH BY DPA/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

BAUHAUS
Between 1919 and 1933, the Bauhaus movement drastically overturned the widely accepted norms of architecture that endured since the Renaissance. The aesthetic, design, and construction of Bauhaus buildings in Weimar, Dessau, and Bernau, Germany, laid the foundations for a modernist movement that made a wide-scale impact on 20th-century architecture.
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21.KHOMANI CULTURAL LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY FRANCOIS ODENDAAL PRODUCTIONS, UNESCO
KHOMANI CULTURAL LANDSCAPE
On the border between Botswana and Namibia lies a large desert landscape inhabited by the previously nomadic ǂKhomani San people—one of the last indigenous communities in the region. This site depicts the group's cultural lifestyle and their ability to adapt to the harsh climate of southern Africa over thousands of years.
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22.TARNOWSKIE GÓRY LEAD-SILVER-ZINC MINE PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MIKOŁAJ GOSPODAREK, UNESCO
TARNOWSKIE GÓRY LEAD-SILVER-ZINC MINE
Located in southern Poland, the site hides underground and speaks to the mining-rich region and history of innovation. The 19th-century steam water pumping station makes use of undesirable water from the mines to supply towns and industry. Tarnowskie Góry contributed significantly to the global production of lead and zinc.
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23.ASSUMPTION CATHEDRAL AND MONASTERY OF PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY DMITRII KARPOV, UNESCO
ASSUMPTION CATHEDRAL AND MONASTERY OF
At the crossroads of the Silk Road and Volga route, Tsar Ivan the Terrible founded Sviyazhsk in 1551 as a fortress, to become the first Orthodox city in the middle reaches of the Volga River. The stone Assumption Cathedral was built ten years later.
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24.VALONGO WHARF PHOTOGRAPH BY MAURO PIMENTEL, GETTY IMAGES
VALONGO WHARF
From 1811, nearly a million enslaved Africans arrived in South America through the old stone wharf in Rio de Janeiro—a vestige of the largest entry point for slaves in Brazil.
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25.CAVES AND ICE AGE ART IN SWABIAN JURA PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY C.J. KIND, UNESCO
CAVES AND ICE AGE ART IN SWABIAN JURA
Home to some of the oldest figurative art in the world, the six caves in southern Germany feature items made by humans at the time of their first arrival in Europe 43,000 years ago. The carved figurines, musical instruments, and personal adornments created in the Ice Age help provide an origin story of modern art.
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