Last updated: 10:45 AM ET, Tue July 26 2016

UNESCO Chooses New World Heritage Sites

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | July 26, 2016

UNESCO Chooses New World Heritage Sites

PHOTO: Archaeological Site of Ani: II. Smbat City Walls. (Photo courtesy of UNESCO) 

Becoming a UNESCO Heritage Site is no easy feat. There are some strenuous criteria, not least of which is “to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.” That’s the number-one requirement. 

Needless to say, when UNESCO names more heritage sites to its list, you know that they are going to be amazing. And this week, 21 more stunning places achieved UNESCO World Heritage status. 

The list of new inductees include several places that the State Department has warned U.S. citizens not to travel to such as Iraq and Turkey but the amazingness of the locales might be enough to change your mind. 

In Turkey, the Archeological Site of Ani, known as the “City of 1,001 Churches,” was once a “thriving medieval city that was devastated by an earthquake in 1319.” Now it will be preserved for the foreseeable future.

READ MORE: Can Turkish Airlines Ever Recover? 

The Ahwar of Southern Iraq is another off-limits attraction — if the State Department has any sway. It is made up of seven sites that are the remains of Mesopotamian Cities.

The HuffPost breaks down each of the 21 new members here.


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