My Thoughts on UNESCO World Heritage Sites27 March 2013
|Downtown Le Havre, France|
|Roland of Bremen, Germany|
Basically, from what I've gathered, UNESCO is an extension of the United Nations that seeks to promote international peace through cultural understand. Some of the main goals of the organization include: "attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication."
One of the ways they "foster cultural diversity" is by deeming certain places (natural or man made) as being world heritage site.
|The Great Wall of China|
Of course, there's the obvious benefit of naming something as a "world heritage site" in that the government of that country will probably allocate more money towards that site, thus ensuring that it is preserved. Imagine if no one ever stopped and said "Hey guys, that big wall over there is probably significant to the history of our nation and our people's culture. Maybe we shouldn't take it apart for building materials." We'd have no Great Wall of China! In that respect, I think it's incredibly important that we as humans take time to reflect and appreciate these historic places and put them down on paper as being significant.
|Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, Italy|
And from a tourist point of view, world heritage sites are great for helping you plan a trip. If you're to going to a foreign country but not too sure how to pass your time, I've found that looking at a list of world heritage sites is a great way to get inspiration. When I visited Rome I made a day trip out to Tivoli where the villa of Emperor Hadrian still stands. I would have never thought to visit this city if I wasn't aware of UNESCO. This trip ended up being one of my favorite days of my whole time studying abroad. I've also used this technique for several other trips and so far to date I've been to 29 out of 962 sites!
|The city of Budapest, Hungary|
Have you ever been to a world heritage site before? Why not look at the list- you may have been to one and not even realized it!