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July, 2004 - Nr. 7


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Three German Sites...
Venus Draws Stargazers

Three German sites named to UNESCO world heritage list

  TWIG - At its yearly meeting in Suzhou, China, a commission of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture named three German regions to its list of world heritage sites. With the newly bestowed honor, the Elbe Valley region can count itself among the likes of the Great Wall of China, the splendors of the island-city Venice, and the great plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania as one of the most important natural and cultural sites in the world.

Also named to the list were the Fuerst Pueckler Park in Saxony’s Bad Muskau as well as Bremen’s historic Rathaus town hall and the towering Roland figure on the city’s main square. The decision to include the latter two sites came after long deliberations, but the Elbe Valley seemed an easy favorite after a recent report from The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) listed the area as one of the most endangered cultural sites in the world.

The area surrounding the Saxon city of Dresden was inundated when the Elbe flooded just two years ago, causing devastation to the region. The valley, which will receive funds for renovation and preservation, encompasses an area around 19.3 square kilometers on both sides of the Elbe River between Castle Uebigau in the west and the city of Dresden and Castle Pillnitz in the east.

Saying that he hoped the honor would attract tourists to the city, the Saxon Art Minister Mattias Roessler compared the distinction to "being raised to nobility."

The timely announcement comes as preparations begin for the city’s 800th birthday in 2006.

Germany is already home to 27 other UNESCO world heritage sites, among them the Museum Island in Berlin, all of classical Weimar, areas of the Rhine River valley, and the cathedral in Aachen.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


UNESCO world heritage sites


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