Just when you thought you’d seen it all.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added over a dozen more World Heritage sites to their roster of locations, each deemed to be “of outstanding universal value.” Obviously, UNESCO can’t just arbitrarily add any place to the list; each site has to meet one of 10 specific criteria. Being named to the list often leads to increased tourism, protection efforts and funding, to ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations.
This year’s additions include a combo of well-known places and borderline unknown areas. Some of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites include the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Angkor in Cambodia and the Great Wall of China.
Canada makes the list with 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Among them are Ontario’s Rideau Canal and Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta’s Badlands. Nope, the giant fiddle in Cape Breton isn’t on the list … yet.
Here are some of the new sites:
UNESCO adds more Heritage sites to blow your mind
Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars, FranceWhere our real bubbly comes from. The (gorgeous) recognized area includes vineyards, production sites, underground cellars and Champagne Houses.Getty Images/UNESCO
Ephesus, TurkeyThis is Turkey's first site on the UNESCO list, and it's an oldie. The ruins of Hellenistic and Roman settlements include an amphitheatre and a library dating back to 135 AD.Getty Images/UNESCO
Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District With Chilehaus, GermanyThe location is certainly a mouthful, but it's kind of fitting. This district in Hamburg is considered the world’s largest continuous warehouse complex, comprising 17 buildings and extending over 25 hectares.Getty Images/UNESCO
Forth Bridge, ScotlandThe Scottish people sure know how to build things that last -- the country's Forth Bridge, completed in 1890 to carry trains over the Forth River, is still in use today.Getty Images/UNESCO
Singapore Botanical Gardens, SingaporeSingapore's Botanical Gardens were created in 1859 and have since become a world-class conservation and research site, as well as a major tourist attraction for the city state.Getty Images/UNESCO
The Necropolis of Beth She'arim, IsraelThe Necropolis is actually a series of catacombs, and was built from the 2nd century B.C. onward to be used as a Jewish burial site. Lots of history here.Getty Images/UNESCO
Blue and John Crow Mountains, JamaicaHeaven on Earth. These mountains are also Jamaica's first UNESCO Heritage site. They're home to the island's largest peak, and some of the world's most expensive coffee.Getty Images/UNESCO
Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System, MexicoThis impressive aqueduct was originally built between 1541 and 1577, yet somehow manages to stand strong today.Getty Images/UNESCO
Climats and Terroirs of Burgundy, FranceMore beauty nestled in France -- this time in Burgundy. The Climats are vineyards on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune; France now has 41 sites on the UNESCO list.Getty Images/UNESCO
Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island, JapanJapan nominated several locations so the country could highlight its 19th century Industrial Revolution, but South Korea had objected to the listing unless the role of Korean prisoners forced to work there during World War II was formally recognized. UNESCO listed the site, but the issue is still a thorny one. Getty Images/UNESCO
San Antonio Missions, United StatesIt's best to admire the beauty of these buildings rather than focus on what they were used for: Spain used the missions to convert indigenous people to Catholicism and make them Spanish subjects in the 18th century.Getty Images/UNESCO