Cultural Landscapes - BloodyFacts (2023)

There exist a great variety of Landscapes that are representative of the different regions of the world. Combined works of nature and humankind, they express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment.

Certain sites reflect specific techniques of land use that guarantee and sustain biological diversity. Others, associated in the minds of the communities with powerful beliefs and artistic and traditional customs, embody an exceptional spiritual relationship of people with nature.

To reveal and sustain the great diversity of the interactions between humans and their environment, to protect living traditional cultures and preserve the traces of those which have disappeared, these sites, called cultural landscapes, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List.

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Cultural landscapes — cultivated terraces on lofty mountains, gardens, sacred places … — testify to the creative genius, social development and the imaginative and spiritual vitality of humanity. They are part of our collective identity.

To date, 121 properties with 6 transboundary properties (1 delisted property) on the World Heritage List have been included as cultural landscapes.

Afghanistan – Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley
Andorra – Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
Argentina – Quebrada de Humahuaca
Australia – Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park 1; Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
Austria – Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape; Wachau Cultural Landscape; Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape *
Azerbaijan – Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
Belgium – Colonies of Benevolence *
Brazil – Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea; Pampulha Modern Ensemble; Paraty and Ilha Grande – Culture and Biodiversity; Sítio Roberto Burle Marx
Canada – Landscape of Grand Pré; Pimachiowin Aki; Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi
Chad – Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape
China – Lushan National Park; Mount Wutai; West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou; Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces; Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
Colombia – Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia
Cuba – Viñales Valley; Archaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the South-East of Cuba
Czechia – Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape; Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region *; Landscape for Breeding and Training of Ceremonial Carriage Horses at Kladruby nad Labem
Denmark – The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand
Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap; Aasivissuit – Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea
Ethiopia – Konso Cultural Landscape
France – Pyrénées – Mont Perdu *; Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion; The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes 2; The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape; Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin; Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars; The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy; Taputapuātea
Gabon – Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda
Germany – Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz; Upper Middle Rhine Valley; Dresden Elbe Valley Delisted 2009; Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski *; Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe; Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region *
Hungary – Hortobágy National Park – the Puszta; Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape *; Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape
Iceland – Þingvellir National Park
India – Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
Indonesia – Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy
Iran (Islamic Republic of) – Bam and its Cultural Landscape; The Persian Garden; Cultural Landscape of Maymand; Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat
Israel – Incense Route – Desert Cities in the Negev
Italy – Costiera Amalfitana; Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto); Cilento and Vallo di Diano National; Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula; Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
Val d’Orcia; Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany; Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato; Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene
Japan – Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range; Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape
Kazakhstan – Petroglyphs of the Archaeological Landscape of Tanbaly
Kenya – Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests
Kyrgyzstan – Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain
Lao People’s Democratic Republic – Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape
Lebanon – Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)
Lithuania – Curonian Spit *; Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė)
Madagascar – Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
Mauritius – Le Morne Cultural Landscape
Mexico – Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila; Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca
Mongolia – Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape
Netherlands – Dutch Water Defence Lines; Colonies of Benevolence *
New Zealand – Tongariro National Park #
Nigeria – Sukur Cultural Landscape; Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove
Norway – Vegaøyan – The Vega Archipelago
Palestine – Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir
Papua New Guinea – Kuk Early Agricultural Site
Philippines – Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras
Poland – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park; Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski *; Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region
Portugal – Cultural Landscape of Sintra; Alto Douro Wine Region; Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture; Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
Romania – Roșia Montană Mining Landscape
Russian Federation – Curonian Spit *
Saudi Arabia – Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape
Senegal – Saloum Delta; Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes
Singapore – Singapore Botanic Gardens
South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape; Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape; ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape
Spain – Pyrénées – Mont Perdu *; Aranjuez Cultural Landscape; Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana; Risco Caido and the Sacred; Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape; Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and Sciences
Sweden – Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland
Switzerland – Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces
Syrian Arab Republic – Ancient Villages of Northern Syria
Togo – Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba
Turkey – Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape
Ukraine – Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – St Kilda; Blaenavon Industrial Landscape; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape; The English Lake District; The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales
United States of America – Papahānaumokuākea
Uruguay – Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape; Vanuatu; Chief Roi Mata’s Domain; Viet Nam; Trang An Landscape Complex
Zimbabwe – Matobo Hills

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History and Terminology
In 1992 the World Heritage Convention became the first international legal instrument to recognise and protect cultural landscapes. The Committee at its 16th session adopted guidelines concerning their inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Committee acknowledged that cultural landscapes represent the “combined works of nature and of man” designated in Article 1 of the Convention. They are illustrative of the evolution of human society and settlement over time, under the influence of the physical constraints and/or opportunities presented by their natural environment and of successive social, economic and cultural forces, both external and internal.

The term “cultural landscape” embraces a diversity of manifestations of the interaction between humankind and its natural environment. Cultural landscapes often reflect specific techniques of sustainable land-use, considering the characteristics and limits of the natural environment they are established in, and a specific spiritual relation to nature. Protection of cultural landscapes can contribute to modern techniques of sustainable land-use and can maintain or enhance natural values in the landscape. The continued existence of traditional forms of land-use supports biological diversity in many regions of the world. The protection of traditional cultural landscapes is therefore helpful in maintaining biological diversity.

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Categories and Subcategories
Cultural landscapes fall into three main categories (Operational Guidelines 2008, Annex3), namely:

The most easily identifiable is the clearly defined landscape designed and created intentionally by man. This embraces garden and parkland landscapes constructed for aesthetic reasons which are often (but not always) associated with religious or other monumental buildings and ensembles.

The second category is the organically evolved landscape. This results from an initial social, economic, administrative, and/or religious imperative and has developed its present form by association with and in response to its natural environment. Such landscapes reflect that process of evolution in their form and component features.

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They fall into two sub-categories:

a relict (or fossil) landscape is one in which an evolutionary process came to an end at some time in the past, either abruptly or over a period. Its significant distinguishing features are, however, still visible in material form.
continuing landscape is one which retains an active social role in contemporary society closely associated with the traditional way of life, and in which the evolutionary process is still in progress. At the same time it exhibits significant material evidence of its evolution over time.
The final category is the associative cultural landscape. The inclusion of such landscapes on the World Heritage List is justifiable by virtue of the powerful religious, artistic or cultural associations of the natural element rather than material cultural evidence, which may be insignificant or even absent.

Source: UNESCO

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