|The palace and gardens of Schönbrunn|
in Vienna, Austria, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The acronym stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a group founded in 1945 originally to reconstruct Europe's systems of education after the war. Nine years later, in response to Egypt's Aswan Dam project and its potential flooding of ancient Egyptian treasures, UNESCO launched a worldwide safeguarding campaign. The program now includes the protection and conservation of places of outstanding cultural as well as natural significance. As of 2011, 936 sites are listed, with the most (47) in Italy.
|The historic center of Rome|
is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are ten criteria for cultural and natural heritage. Nominated sites must be of "outstanding universal value" and meet at least one of the ten criteria, such as "represents a masterpiece of human creative genius," "bears a unique or exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared," or "contains superlative natural phenomena." (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Heritage_Site.)
|The Acropolis in Athens, Greece,|
is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I like to consider designated sites as worthy of a visit when I travel, as they are always unique and interesting. When we are in Spain and Portugal this summer we will explore the Alhambra in Granada, the city of Córdoba, the Monastery and Site of the Escurial in Madrid, the town of Cáceres in Spain, the Cathedral and Alcázar in Seville, the Tower of Belém in Lisbon, and the town of Sintra in Portugal - all listed by UNESCO. I'm grateful that this organization exists to preserve the world's cultural and natural treasures for my children and all future generations.
|Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay, in France, are preserved by UNESCO.|