Must-Vist 2019 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Asia
Earlier this July, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held a meeting at the glorious walled city of Baku, Azerbaijan to select its newest heritage sites in the world. Of the 37 nominees, 29 prevailed and were named a part of the coveted list.
It’s no ordinary feat to be part of the UNESCO’s Heritage List. Each site undergoes much scrutiny and needs to possess an "outstanding universal value". In addition, these international locales should meet at least one of the 10 selection criteria: have played significance in human history, a natural phenomena or beauty, displays human creative genius, and a significant natural habitat for biodiversity, to name a few.
With Asia’s rich culture and colourful history, it’s no surprise that almost half—13 including Australia—of the new inscribed sites are located in the largest continent in world. Azerbaijan, for one, had its own historic centre of Sheki with the Khan’s palace become a part of the current 1,121 heritage sites.
A long-awaited recognition was handed to Iraq, after the ancient city of Babylon was finally recognised as a heritage site. This once bustling empire still has a lot of its history unearthed, with only 18 per cent of the 10 sq. km having been excavated. This is one of the reasons as to why it took more than three decades before the United Nation’s cultural body decided to include this site on the list.
Meanwhile, recognised for their architectural beauty, South Korea’s nine neo-Confucian academies or seowon, the Jaipur City in India, and Bagan in Myanmar all also received a nod from the international body.
Other new entrees in Asia, including Australia, are: Dilmun Burial Mounds (Bahrain), Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (China), Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohain Gulf of China, Phase I (China), Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto (Indonesia), Hyrcanian Forests (Iran), Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan (Japan), Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhuan-Plain of Jars (Laos), Budj Bim Cultural Landscape (Australia).
Scroll through the gallery and see the magnificence of the newly inscribed UNESCO sites:
Study area in Jeongyodang in Dosan Seowon | Photo fromCouncil for Promotion of the Inscription of Confucian Academies on the World Heritage List
Kone Taw Gyee of Bagan, Myanmar | Photo from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum Myanmar
Bagan | Photo from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum (Myanmar)
One of the biggest jars in Site 1 of the Megalithic Jars Sites in Xieng Khuang | Photo from Department of Heritage ( Laos)
Munseonggong Myo in Sosu Seowon | Photo from Council for Promotion of the Inscription of Confucian Academies on the World Heritage List
ShekikhanovÃs house interior of second floor''s hall- Historic Centre of Sheki with the KhanÃs Palace | Photo from Azerberpa
Plain of Jars Sites in Xieng Khuang | Photo from Wikimedia Commons ( Laos)
Budj Bim National Park | Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Red-crowned Cranes resting at the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China, Phase I | Photo from Yangcheng Broadcasting Television
Southern Palace in Babylon | Photo from Qahtan Al-Abeed
Historic Centre of Sheki with the KhanÃs Palace: Upper caravanserai | Photo from Azerberpa
Dilmun Burial Mounds | Photo from Think Heritage
Gobyoyama Kofun, one of the Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan | Photo from Toshiyuki Yasuda
Eurasian Spoonbills take a quick dip at the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China, Phase I | Photo from Yangcheng Broadcasting Televison
Beech Forest, Mazandaran - Part of the Hyrcanian Forests in Iran | Photo from Fariba Babaei
The Ishtar Gate at the ancient archaeological site of Babylon, south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad | Photo from AFP by Hussein FALEH
Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto | Photo from Office of Cultural Affairs, Historical Remains and Museum (Indonesia)
Aerial View of the Archeological Ruins of Liangzhu City | Photo from Administrative District Committee of Liangzhu
City Palace Museum at Jaipur City | Photo from AFP
Ingyo-tenno-ryo Kofun, one of the Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan | Photo from Sakai City Government
Lake formed in Budj Bim National Park | Photo from Wikimedia Commons