Photo: Leon Cathedral of Nicaragua on UNESCO List
The United Nations has added cultural sites in Ukraine, Mongolia, France and Nicaragua to the World Heritage List, closing out this year’s selection with a total of 25 sites, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported today.
UNESCO named the newly protected sites as the residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans in Ukraine, the petroglyphs of the Mongolian Altai, the Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral landscape in France and León Cathedral in Nicaragua.
A total of 35 nominated sites were reviewed by the World Heritage Committee, which has been holding its 35th session at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris since last week.
During this session the committee chose 25 sites which it deemed to have the necessary “outstanding universal value” to be included on the World Heritage List. Of the 25 sites selected, 21 were cultural, three were natural and one mixed.
Two sites – rainforests in Honduras and Indonesia – were put on the separate List of World Heritage in Danger, and one site – India’s Manas Wildlife Sanctuary – was removed from that list.
Of today’s additions, UNESCO said the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans in Ukraine represented an outstanding example of 19th-century historicist architecture. The site includes a seminary and monastery and is dominated by a domed church with a garden and park.
The petroglyphs, or rock carvings, found in three sites in Mongolia illustrate the development of culture over a period of 12,000 years, tracing changes from an era when people hunted for large game to an era when herding became the dominant way of life.
“The carvings contribute valuably to our understanding of prehistoric communities in Northern Asia,” UNESCO said in a press statement.
The Causses and the Cévennes are a mountain landscape in south-central France interspersed by deep valleys. UNESCO said the area is representative of the relationship between agro-pastoral systems and their biophysical environment, and noted that it is one of the last places in the world where transhumance – the seasonal movement of people with their livestock – is still practiced.
León Cathedral, built between 1747 and the early 19th century to the design of architect Diego José de Porres Esquivel, expresses the transition from Baroque to Neoclassical architecture. The cathedral, which houses many important works of art, is characterized by an abundance of natural light and sober interior decoration.