UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has added three new world heritage sites and two extensions to its list. The gorgeous Lake District in the UK, Aphrodisias (Turkey) and Brazil’s Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

World Heritage sites can be found across the globe, and include sites such as Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey, and the Grand Canyon among nearly over 1,000 locations. For locations to be included as World Heritage Sites, it must have a certain amount of cultural significance as well as natural beauty found in the flora and fauna surrounding the area. These sites are protected and preserved through international treaties due to their contribution to society and historical significance. The majority can be found in either Europe or North America with Asia and the Pacific coming in second. 2017’s new additions have definitely earned their place by being some of the most incredible spots on earth.

Aphrodisias, Turkey

Located in southwestern Turkey, in the upper valley of the Morsynus River, the site consists of two components: the archaeological site of Aphrodisias and the marble quarries northeast of the city. The temple of Aphrodite dates from the 3rd century BCE and the city was built one century later. The wealth of Aphrodisias came from the marble quarries and the art produced by its sculptors. The city streets are arranged around several large civic structures, which include temples, a theatre, an agora, and two bath complexes.

Lake District, United Kingdom

Located in northwest England, the English Lake District is a mountainous area, whose valleys have been modeled by glaciers in the Ice Age and subsequently shaped by an agro-pastoral land-use system characterized by fields enclosed by walls. The combined work of nature and human activity has produced a harmonious landscape in which the mountains are mirrored in the lakes. Grand houses, gardens and parks have been purposely created to enhance the beauty of this landscape. This landscape was greatly appreciated from the 18th century onwards by the Picturesque and later Romantic movements, which celebrated it in paintings, drawings and words. It also inspired an awareness of the importance of beautiful landscapes and triggered early efforts to preserve them.

English Lake District

Photo: Tony Armstrong via Flickr

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site (Brazil)

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site is located in central Rio de Janeiro and encompasses the entirety of Jornal do Comércio Square. It is in the former harbour area of Rio de Janeiro in which the old stone wharf was built for the landing of enslaved Africans reaching the South American continent from 1811 onwards. An estimated 900,000 Africans arrived in South America via Valongo. The physical site is composed of several archaeological layers, the lowest of which consists of floor pavings in pé de moleque style, attributed to the original Valongo Wharf. It is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent.

Source: UNESCO

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