Y. Skoulas

World Heritage Sites UNESCO

Nineteen ‘precious stones’!

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.

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. The first monument in Greece to be included on UNESCO’s list was the Temple of Apollo Epicurius in the Peloponnese, in 1986. The Zagori Cultural Landscape is the 19th Greek property in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List. The other ones are the Acropolis archaeological site in Athens, Attica (1987), the Archaeological site of Delphi in Central Greece (1987), the Sanctuary of Asklepios in Epidaurus in the Peloponnese (1988), Mount Athos (1988), the Mediaeval city of Rhodes (1988), Meteora in Thessaly (1988), the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki in Macedonia (1988), the Archaeological site of Mystras in the Peloponnese (1989), the Archaeological site of Olympia in the Peloponnese (1989), the Archaeological site of Delos in the Cyclades Islands (1990), the Monasteries of Daphni (in Attica), Osios Loukas in Central Greece and Nea Moni of Chios (North Aegean Islands, 1990), the Archaeological site of Pythagoreion and Heraion on Samos Island (1992), the Archaeological site of Aigai (Vergina) in Macedonia (1996), the Archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns in the Peloponnese (1999), the Historic centre (Chora), Monastery of Saint John Theologos and the cave of the Apocalypse on Patmos Island (1999), the Old Town of Corfu (2007) and the Archaeological Site of Philippi (2016).

The inscription of any monument means that the international community constantly takes care of their maintenance and promotion. Greece, a country that is a cradle of western civilisation, 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.

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