29 new places around the world have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
The stunning sites include islands filled with wildlife and ancient palaces, and many of them preserve what was left behind by early humans.
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UNESCO has added 29 sites to its list of World Heritage sites around the world, from iconic American architecture, to an ancient city in Iraq, to some of the world’s most stunning natural areas.
Sites are recognized for their cultural or historic significance, and gain new protections once they are added to the list.
The World Heritage Committee announced the new sites at a meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, this week. The list already included world-famous sites like the Grand Canyon and India’s Taj Mahal.
These are the 29 new sites that have just been added:
French Austral Lands and Seas, France
UNESCO says that this region, made up of a series of islands in the Indian Ocean, “supports one of the highest concentrations of birds and marine mammals in the world.”
It calls it a “oasis” in the middle of the ocean, covering more than 67 million hectares (670,000 square kilometers).
It has the “largest population of King Penguins and Yellow-nosed albatrosses in the world” and the fact that the islands are so far removed from humans means they are “extremely well-preserved showcases of biological evolution and a unique terrain for scientific research.”
Paratyand Ilha Grande, Brazil
This area includes areas of Brazil’s rainforest and one of Brazil’s best-preserved coastal towns.
According to UNESCO, the area is “home to an impressive diversity of species, some of which are threatened” including jaguars and some species of monkey.
It used to serve as part of the route through which gold was shipped to Europe, and its port “also served as an entry point for tools and African slaves, sent to work in the mines.”
This sacred site contains temples, monasteries, and places of pilgrimage that show “an exceptional range of Buddhist art and architecture.”
It also contains archaeological remains and sculptures. The “bears spectacular testimony to the peak of Bagan civilization,” which ran from the 11th to 13th centuries and the Bagan site acted as the as the “capital of a regional empire.”
Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies, South Korea
This site is made up of nine educational institutions called “seowon.”
“Learning, veneration of scholars and interaction with the environment were the essential functions of the seowons, expressed in their design,” UNESCO said.
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Source:: Business Insider