World Heritage Sites
Because of its geographical position, Greece was a crossroad of civilisations that had left their traces everywhere: the architecture of the museums and settlements, miniature art, daily life, nutritional customs and in all forms of popular art in the various regions of the country. The visitor can come into contact with this multihued and impressive mosaic through trips into historical, cultural, artistic and folkloric traditions.
Greece as a World Heritage site
UNESCO established the institution of World Heritage Monuments. These include monuments, groups of buildings and sites with historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value.
According the UNESCO’s official website:
"The monuments included on the World Heritage List are selected and approved on the basis of their value as the best examples of human creative genius. They exhibit an important interchange of human values and bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or has disappeared. They are directly linked to important stages in human history and for this reason they have outstanding universal significance and are a part of mankind’s common heritage".
Greece is preferentially included on the list of World Heritage Monuments, satisfying all the institution’s significant and strict criteria.
Seventeen ‘precious stones’
The first monument in Greece to be included on UNESCO’s list was the Temple of Apollo Epicurius in 1986. Since then number of entries on the list has dramatically increased. Today it includes seventeen monuments throughout the country. More specifically the monuments are as follows:
Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae (1986)
Acropolis archaeological site, Athens (1987)
Archaeological site of Delphi (1987)
Sanctuary of Asklepios, Epidaurus (1988)
Mount Athos (1988)
Medieval city of Rhodes (1988)
Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki (1988)
Archaeological site of Mystras (1989)
Archaeological site of Olympia (1989)
Archaeological site of Delos (1990)
Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios (1990)
Archaeological site of Heraion of Samos (1992)
Archaeological site of Aigai (Vergina) (1996)
Archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns (1999)
Historic centre (Chora), Monastery of Saint John Theologos and the cave of the Apocalypse in Patmos (1999)
Old Town of Corfu (2007)
The inclusion of a monument on the list of World Heritage Monuments implies that the international community constantly takes care of their maintenance and promotion. The International Union for Conservation of the monuments provides expertise and experience regarding both the monuments themselves as well as the surrounding natural area.
Under the auspices of UNESCO, training programmes are also run to increase mainly young people’s awareness about preserving our cultural heritage.
Greece, a country that is a cradle of culture, makes sure of promoting this great wealth. Travellers can enjoy these splendid monuments and reflect on the unique human genius that was able to make such measures of progress.
For more information about the World Heritage Sites in Greece you may visit the website: odysseus.culture.gr