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UNESCO World Heritage Sites Explained

World Heritage Sites are locations that hold outstanding cultural or historical importance, as well as physical significance. A potential site must meet at least one of the 10 criteria below to be included on this prestigious list.

The site must:
  • Represent a masterpiece of human creative genius
  • Be an outstanding example representing major stages of earth's history
  • Contain important and significant natural habitats
  • Be tangibly associated with events or living human traditions
  • Bear exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization
  • Contain excellent natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty
  • Represent significant ongoing ecological and biological evolutionary processes
  • Represent major stages of earth's history, including the development of life and significant ongoing geological processes
  • Show human land-use or sea-use which represents human interaction with the surrounding environment
  • Exhibit an important transition of human values over a span of time

In total there are 936 locations currently on the list. Italy, France, Spain, Germany and China sit in the top five with the most sites. Of these, 725 are cultural, 183 natural and 28 are mixed sites. Some of these include:

Click here to see the list of all 936 sites. Unfortunately, 34 sites are currently in danger, two of which are the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, and Everglades National Park in Florida.

Check out our holidays sections for deals that will get you close to these amazing sites.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Manchester
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
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Martin Cropper