10 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Click the player to start listening: 


11 July, 2017

The United Nations Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meets each year to choose the latest additions to its World Heritage List.

This week, the World Heritage Committee made its

new choices during a meeting in Krakow, Poland. The group chooses World Heritage locations based on historical and cultural importance, as well as their natural beauty.

We've put together a list of 10 of the new World Heritage sites from across the world.

Yazd, Iran

The ancient city of Yazd, in central Iran, is one of the world's largest cities of adobe building construction. UNESCO said Yazd is a good example of a desert city using limited resources to survive for thousands of years. The city managed to escape the kind of modernization that has destroyed many similar traditional towns.

Historic City of Yazd, Iran. (S.H. Rashedi/ICHHTO)
Historic City of Yazd, Iran. (S.H. Rashedi/ICHHTO)

Aphrodisias, Turkey

Located in southwestern Turkey, Aphrodisias is known as the city of Aphrodite – the Greek goddess of love. It served as the capital of the ancient Roman province of Caria. The city is known for its many works of sculpture and rich sources of marble.

Aphrodisias: Tetrapylon (Aphrodisias Museum)
Aphrodisias: Tetrapylon (Aphrodisias Museum)

Asmara, Eritrea

Asmara is the capital of Eritrea, in northeast Africa. UNESCO called Asmara an unusual example of "early modernist urbanism" in early 20th century Africa.

Asmara: a Modernist City in the African nation of Eritrea. (Asmara Heritage Project)
Asmara: a Modernist City in the African nation of Eritrea. (Asmara Heritage Project)

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site is an old stone wharf built for the landing of African slaves in South America beginning in 1811. UNESCO calls the site "the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent."

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site - Stone cooking site. (Camila Agostini)
Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site - Stone cooking site. (Camila Agostini)

Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura – Germany

Ancient caves in southwestern Germany's Swabian Jura date back to the Ice Age. Ancient instruments and carvings made from mammoth ivory were discovered in the caves. Also, a 40,000-year-old figure was discovered that historians say is the oldest known image of a human.

Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura, Germany: Inside view of Bockstein Cave (S. M. Heidenreich/Landesamt f<I>&#</i>252;r Denkmalpflege (LAD) im Regierungspr<i>&#</i>228;sidium Stuttgart)
Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura, Germany: Inside view of Bockstein Cave (S. M. Heidenreich/Landesamt f&#252;r Denkmalpflege (LAD) im Regierungspr&#228;sidium Stuttgart)

English Lake District – United Kingdom

The English Lake District is located in a mountainous area in northwest England. Deep valleys formed by glaciers in the Ice Age were largely shaped by agricultural activities. Nature and humans created a harmonious combination of mountains and water, UNESCO said.

English Lake District, Ullswater from Gowbarrow. (Nick Bodle)
English Lake District, Ullswater from Gowbarrow. (Nick Bodle)

Taputapuatea – French Polynesia

Taputapuatea, in French Polynesia, is on an island in the South Pacific. It contains a former religious center made up of stone buildings dating back 1,000 years. The island is full of green plant life and stone formations, surrounded by beautiful blue waters.

Taputapuatea – French Polynesia (P.F. Amar/SCP)
Taputapuatea – French Polynesia (P.F. Amar/SCP)

Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia

In the Khmer language, the name of this ancient temple site in central Cambodia means "the temple in the richness of the forest." UNESCO describes some elements as "true masterpieces."

Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site representing the Cultural Landscape of Ancient Ishanapura - Prasat N15 SE (So Sokun Theary)
Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site representing the Cultural Landscape of Ancient Ishanapura - Prasat N15 SE (So Sokun Theary)

Los Alerces National Park, Argentina

Los Alerces National Park is in the Andes Mountains in southwestern Argentina. Glacial activity over time has created spectacular landscapes and clear water lakes. UNESCO said the area includes protected parts of the Patagonian Forest left in "an almost pristine state."

Los Alerces National Park: Lake environment with temperate Alerce forest. (Ricardo Villalba)
Los Alerces National Park: Lake environment with temperate Alerce forest. (Ricardo Villalba)

Landscapes of Dauria – Mongolia and Russian Federation

The Landscapes of Dauria are shared between Mongolia and Russia. The area serves as an example of an extreme dry and wet climate creating a wide variety of animals and ecosystems. This produces many different rare and threatened life forms.

Landscapes of Dauria: Caspian Tern and Relict Gull. (O.Goroshko)
Landscapes of Dauria: Caspian Tern and Relict Gull. (O.Goroshko)

I'm Bryan Lynn.

And I'm Jill Robbins.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on information from UNESCO, the Associated Press and Reuters. Hai Do was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Which of these places have you visited? Which would like to visit? Write to us in the Comments section, and visit testbig.com.

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

marble – n. kind of stone often used in buildings and statues

urbanism n. development and planning of cities

wharfn. area next to a sea or river where goods arrive from ships

trace n. the way something has developed over time

carving – n. a carved object usually made of wood

glacier n. large areas of ice formed from falling snow and building up over the years

harmoniousadj. peaceful or pleasant

masterpiece n. great work of art, such as a book, painting, piece of music, etc.

pristine – adj. in perfect condition

ecosystem n. everything that exists in a particular environment

Category: 

Related reading & listening: