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UNESCO has added 19 new sites and extended another to its coveted World Heritage list this summer.
The United Nations cultural agency's World Heritage Committee recently met in Bahrain to agree on which landmarks should be given legal protection under international treaties.
In addition to Mexico's Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Valley, newcomers include Germany's Naumburg Cathedral, Fanjingshan, China and Turkey's Gobekli Tepe, also known as Potbelly Hill. The latter recently reopened to visitors following construction on its roof, according to ABC News.
Originally built during the 13th century, the Naumburg Cathedral and surrounding medieval buildings are already well-established on tourists' radar, attracting approximately 1.6 million visitors each year.
The new sites join a prestigious group that already includes iconic landmarks such as the Galapagos Islands and the pyramids of Egypt.
Of the 20 new additions, 13 were selected for their cultural significance. Three were chosen for their natural heritage, three others were added as mixed heritage sites and significant boundary modifications were made to Russia's Bikin River Valley.
The complete list includes the following sites: Oman's ancient city of Qalhat; the Caliphate city of Medina Azahara in Spain; hidden Christian sites in Japan's Nagasaki region; the industrial city of Ivrea in Italy; Korea's Sansa Buddhist mountain monasteries; Kenya's Thimlich Ohinga archaeological site; the Sassanid landscape of Iran's Fars region; the archaeological border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke in Germany; Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahsa Oasis; Greenland's Aasivissuit-Nipisat Inuit hunting ground; Victorian Gothic and Art Deco ensembles of Mumbai; South Africa's Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains; France's Chaine des Puys volcanoes and the Limagne fault; Chiribiquete National Park in the Colombian Amazon and Canada's Pimachiowin Aki.
Meanwhile, Kenya's Lake Turkana National Parks was inscribed to the list of World Heritage in Danger and the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was removed from the list of sites under threat.
The World Heritage list now includes 1,092 sites in 167 countries.
A Maryland native and wanderer who has lived across the U.S. from North Carolina to SoCal, Patrick Clarke graduated from Towson...
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