The birthplace of Jesus, a ninth-century mosque, and the site of Xanadu are part of the latest tourism hot spots, thanks to a new list out from UNESCO that highlights 26 far away, nostalgic, somewhat magical and very endangered around the world.
These locations are the latest entrants on the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. The World Heritage designation today protects nearly 1,000 of the world's most stunning cultural and natural sites. The addition of these 26 will hopefully lead to better funding, and thus better preservation, of these sites. Of course, all this is done through the help of tourism, so UNESCO is highlighting these places at "hot spots" for travelers, and why not? What better way to really see the world than by traveling far and away to some of the most remote places on Earth all in the name of history and fascination.
Plan your pilgrimage to one of these new UNESCO sites and you'll find yourself among a Baroque theater in Germany, a piece of land that divided two countries in the 13th century, and rock islands that house hundreds of wildlife species.
The 26 sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list are:
- Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia
- Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes, Senegal
- Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem, Palestine
- Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications, Portugal
- Gonbad-e Qābus, Iran
- Landscape of Grand Pré, Canada
- Margravial Opera House Bayreuth, Germany
- Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan, Iran
- Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey
- Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, France
- Rabat, modern capital and historic city: a shared heritage, Morocco
- Site of Xanadu, China
- Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves, Israel
- Chengjiang Fossil Site, China
- Lakes of Ounianga, Chad
- Lena Pillars Nature Park, Russian Federation
- Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, Palau
- Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy, Indonesia
- Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland, Sweden
- Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija, Slovenia/Spain
- Historic town of Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire
- Major Mining Sites of Wallonia, Belgium
- Pearling, testimony of an island economy, Bahrain
- Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea, Brazil
- Sangha Trinational, Cameroon/Central African Republic/Congo
- Western Ghats, India
More details of each new UNESCO site are available online
Readers: Where would you visit from this list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
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