UNESCO’s grounds

Hill with trees, a pond and footpaths.

The World Heritage List is based on UNESCO’s convention for the protection of world natural and cultural heritage, which was adopted in 1972. The list was established to protect world heritage from decay and destruction.

In order for a property to be inscribed on the list it must fulfil a number of criteria. A cultural property, for example, must be a masterwork created by man, an architecturally ground-breaking construction, an environment associated with ideas or beliefs of universal importance or a prominent example of a traditional way of life that is characteristic of a particular culture.

A natural property can attest to important development steps in world history, represent current ecological or biological processes, comprise a landscape of exceptional beauty or comprise the habitat of a species threatened by extinction.

UNESCO’s grounds for Skogskyrkogården

Skogskyrkogården was admitted to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994 based on the criteria II and IV.

Criterion II

The architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz designed Skogskyrkogården in a way that established a new form of cemetery, which has fundamentally influenced the design of burial sites around the world.

Criterion IV

The unique qualities of Skogskyrkogården consist of its early 20th-century architecture and landscape design, which has been adapted to suit a cemetery.

World Heritages in Sweden and the world

The World Heritage List is getting increasingly longer and currently includes 1.007 properties. A total of 15 Swedish cultural and natural properties are inscribed on the list, including the Royal Domain of Drottningholm, the Rock Carvings in Tanum, the Hanseatic Town of Visby and the Laponian Area. 

Swedish World Heritage Sites at the Swedish National Heritage Board’s website

The aim of UNESCO — the UN organisation for cooperation in education, science, culture and communication/media — is to contribute to a more peaceful world through collaboration between nations.

FAQ about world heritage at the UNESCO website