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New UNESCO World Heritage Sites added to list of tourism hot spots

Posted by Melanie Nayer  July 3, 2012 06:37 AM

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opera-house.jpgThe Margravial Opera House Bayreuth in Germany was named to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Photo credit: © Bavarian Department for State-owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes (BSV)

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:

  1. Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia
  2. Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes, Senegal
  3. Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem, Palestine
  4. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications, Portugal
  5. Gonbad-e Qābus, Iran
  6. Landscape of Grand Pré, Canada
  7. Margravial Opera House Bayreuth, Germany
  8. Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan, Iran
  9. Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey
  10. Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, France
  11. Rabat, modern capital and historic city: a shared heritage, Morocco
  12. Site of Xanadu, China
  13. Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves, Israel
  14. Chengjiang Fossil Site, China
  15. Lakes of Ounianga, Chad
  16. Lena Pillars Nature Park, Russian Federation
  17. Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, Palau
  18. Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy, Indonesia
  19. Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland, Sweden
  20. Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija, Slovenia/Spain
  21. Historic town of Grand-Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire
  22. Major Mining Sites of Wallonia, Belgium
  23. Pearling, testimony of an island economy, Bahrain
  24. Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea, Brazil
  25. Sangha Trinational, Cameroon/Central African Republic/Congo
  26. 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?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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