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The Project

The project "transboundary European World Heritage – a topic for UNESCO project schools" aims to familiarize students and teachers with the Topic of the Transboundary World Heritage Sites: the Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge / Krušnohoří, the German-Polish Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski and the German-Danish Hedeby and the Danevirke. At the example of these three heritage sites, the students and teachers explore their joint European history and discover which themes link them, as well as which set them apart. In binational workshops they develop themes and questions regarding the transnational heritage sites and visualize them into contemporary formats, such as videos.

Erzgebirge / Krušnohoří

The Ore Mountains region is a European border area on both sides of the German-Czech border. 800 years of European mining activities, related technologies and traditions can be experienced here through numerous preserved mining monuments, mines and mining towns. Due to this outstanding mining heritage, the region was designated a transboundary German-Czech World Heritage Site in July 2019.



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Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski

The Muskau Park / Park Mużakowski and the geological formation of the Coal Crescent/Łuk Mużakowa are located on both sides of the German-Polish border. The park was founded by Prince Pückler at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The landscape park has already been part of 200 years of European history. The negative consequences of the Second World War and the division of Europe characterize the area even as do the achievements of the merging of East and West in the 1990s. In 2004 the park became a German-Polish binational World Heritage Site.

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Hedeby and the Danevirke

As an important seaport and a defensive system between Scandinavia and continental Europe, Hedeby and Danevirke were significant places during the Viking Age. In the period between 800 and 1000 AD. a multitude of European peoples and ethnic groups came in contact with each other here to exchange goods, technical and cultural knowhow and stories. Today, nature and conservation authorities in Germany and Denmark ensure the preservation of this unique archaeological site. In 2018 the site was inscribed in the World Heritage List.

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What does UNESCO World Heritage mean?

In November 1972, UNESCO made the decision to protect the cultural and natural heritage of humanity. For this purpose, the so-called World Heritage Convention was adopted. This lays out what constitutes a World Heritage Site: it must have extraordinary significance for the whole of humanity and should encourage people to recognize the significance of their history for the future. Both cultural (e.g. buildings) and natural (e.g. nature parks) sites, places and regions can be declared World Heritage Sites. Currently there are 1,121 sites in 167 countries worldwide (2019).

Beispiel Erzgebirge: Weltkulturerbe seit Juli 2019

What does transboundary European World Heritage mean?

All World Heritage sites have what is deemed "outstanding universal value,” which must be proven by each application from the countries, who ask for the inscription of one of their cultural or natural sites in the World Heritage list. Most of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are therefore on the territory of the state that signed the World Heritage convention. At the same time, borders have changed over the course of time. For this reason, so-called transboundary World Heritage sites are also found worldwide. In Europe they are known as transboundary European World Heritage. The number of such sites in Europe is currently at twenty-one.

Question Results Quiz

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UNESCO World Heritage

What is the connection between the Pyramids of Giza and the Historic Centre of Krakow? What connects the Statue of Liberty in New York with the Wadden Sea, or the Historic Centre of Prague with the Roskilde Cathedral? They are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

But what exactly is UNESCO World Heritage today? What makes these sites special? Test your knowledge with the World Heritage Quiz! Mark the correct answers by clicking on them.

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Answer c) is correct. World Heritage sites are not only important for the local community, but rather, they represent the heritage of all humankind. They should therefore be protected by all of us.
What is understood as a World Heritage Site is laid out in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Since its initial adoption, representatives of 193 states have signed the document. This makes it one of the most important conventions for the protection and conservation
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Answer a) is correct. The Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, in short, the World Heritage Convention, aims to protect unique monuments such as the Cologne Cathedral, groups of buildings like the Historic Centre of Florence, and sites such as Palmyra in Syria – so-called cultural heritage. In addition, natural landscapes and geological phenomena such as the tidal flats of the Wadden Sea – this is called natural heritage – are to be preserved for humanity.
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Answer c) is correct. In 1963 the construction of the Egyptian Aswan Dam threatened to destroy the temple of Abu Simbel. To save the temple, it had to be dismantled and reassembled further inland. It was impossible for Egypt to accomplish this task alone. In an unprecedented international relief campaign, UNESCO succeeded in attracting more than 3,000 experts from all over the world and donations of 80 million dollars. Thus the temple could be saved. This event gave rise to the development of an international convention that would protect humanity’s heritage for the future: the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
World Heritage means cultural heritage (monuments, groups of buildings, sites) and natural heritage (including untouched landscapes and geological structures). Which of the following are cultural World Heritage sites?
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Answer a) is correct. The Historic Centre of Krakow was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. To this day the numeral monuments reveal the cities town planning from medieval times until today. The Grand Canyon and the Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe, on the other hand, are part of humanity’s natural heritage.
World Heritage means cultural heritage (monuments, groups of buildings, sites) and natural heritage (including untouched landscapes and geological structures). Which of the following are natural World Heritage sites?
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Answer c) is correct. The 1.100 km² of the Wadden Sea is a natural heritage site since 2009. It is home to numerous plant and animal species, including marine mammals such as the harbour seal, grey seal and harbour porpoise. The Historic Centre of Prague and the Statue of Liberty are UNESCO cultural heritage sites.
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Answer a) is correct. World Heritage sites teach us how people have developed and changed their culture throughout history. They convey how people lived, dwelled and worked in the past and which material and immaterial expressions they have created to do so. World Heritage sites also illustrate how nature has developed over time. Thanks to many World Heritage sites, we know a lot about our past today. At the same time, cultural and natural sites create an understanding of the different cultures of the world. In this way, they create cohesion among peoples. It is therefore important to protect them from destruction. Tourists, on the other hand, and the resulting economic growth, are positive side effects of World Heritage status.
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Answer c) is correct. The application process for the World Heritage title is very costly. Not every country can afford to make an application. Due to many economic and social challenges, developing countries often set priorities other than World Heritage status. Nevertheless, it has recently become apparent that many continents have a great interest in protecting the special places of their homelands with the help of the World Heritage listing.
The World Heritage list includes more than particularly old objects. The Peace Monument in Hiroshima, Japan, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp are also listed as World Heritage. Why?
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Answer b) is correct. According to the World Heritage Convention, places that are directly related to an important historical event can be designated as World Heritage sites. The Peace Memorial in Hiroshima commemorates the dropping of the first atomic bomb in 1945, while the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp commemorates the Nazi era. Culture does not always and only refer to the beautiful; culture here is understood to refer to historically significant places.
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Answer c) is correct. The World Heritage title entails numerous obligations. These include, in particular, that the places awarded the title must protect and communicate their heritage. To ensure that this is done, World Heritage sites must report regularly to UNESCO. In particular, major development projects, such as construction projects, which could undermine the exceptional universal value of the World Heritage site, must be coordinated in advance with UNESCO.
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Answer b) is correct. In principle, if a site is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this does not change the responsibilities. For example, there is no financial support from UNESCO for single World Heritage sites. Municipalities, associations or the states continue to be responsible for financing, administration and the preservation of historical monuments. However, special federal funding programs can help to finance the costs of preservation.
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All answers are correct. The World Heritage Convention is a protective instrument of international cooperation. It fosters the protection of heritage sites, contributes to international cooperation worldwide and strengthens people’s identity.

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