What is a World Heritage?

“A World Heritage is a place or environment that in a unique way bear witness to the history of humankind and the earth”.

A World Heritage can be cultural or natural heritage, or a combination. The majority are cultural heritages, something created by us humans. The nucelus is the Outstanding Universal Values that make them indispensable to humanity.

Unesco and the World Heritage Convention

Unesco adopted the convention 1972 and is responsible for keeping the list of all world heritages. Unesco is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Their aim is to promote world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.

The World Heritage Convention has been ratified by 194 states (2022). The convention is aimed to motivate nations to create legislation and management to preserve cultural and natural heritages in their respective countries.

To become a World Heritage

Every nation nominates their own sites for listing as World Heritages. In Sweden the nominations are prepared by experts and relevantcounty administrative boards in cooperation with the National Heritage Board and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The Swedish National Parliament then decides which nominations to submit to Unesco.

The nominations are negotiated every year in Paris, between the member nations of the World Heritage Commmittee. The committee normally appoints 10—30 new World Heritage Sites per year. Today, consideration is taken to areas with few heritage sites and to objects that are underrepresented, like rural buildings, industrial heritages, scientific history and architecture of the 1900’s.

Many World Heritage Sites are of great importance to economy, tourism and status of nations. World Heritages are also important regarding national pride, but also for cooperation around heritage sites including several countries. Every nation is responsible for maintaining its heritages and to ensure the universal values are not destroyed. World Heritages that are ill-managed are at risk losing their heritage status.

Cemeteries in other World Heritage Sites

The World Heritage “The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana — Human Centred Urban Design” with Žale cemetery in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Jože Plečniks urban design from the 1930’s and onwards contributed to the identity of Ljubljana as a capital after the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918.

The World Heritage “Venice and its Lagoon” with San Michele cemetery in Venice, Italy.

Venice is a city from the fifth century AD, spread across 118 small islands. San Michele with its cemetery is one of the islands.

The World Heritage “Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg” with Petersfriedhof cemetery in Salzburg, Austria.

Salzburg has a rich and well preserved city web from the middle ages to the 1800’s, where the cemetery Petersfriedhof is part.