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Treasures of the World: Southern Europe
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1.

Split, Croatia: The City in the Palace

The ruins of Diocletian's Palace, which was built between the late 3rd century and the early 4th century A.D., can be found throughout the city. The cathedral was constructed in the Middle Ages out of the ancient mausoleum. Romanesque churches from the 12th and 13th centuries, medieval fortifications, Gothic palaces of the 15th century, and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style make up the rest of the protected area.
Online
2017; 1997
2.

Ohrid, Macedonia: A World of Color and Images

Situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav monastery (St. Pantelejmon) and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. After those of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, this is considered to be the most important collection of icons in the world.
Online
2017; 2003
3.

Old Siena, Italy

Siena is the embodiment of a medieval city. Its inhabitants pursued their rivalry with Florence right into the area of urban planning. Throughout the centuries, they preserved their city's Gothic appearance, acquired between the 12th and 15th centuries. During this period the work of Duccio, the Lorenzetti brothers and Simone Martini was to influence the course of Italian and, more broadly, European art. The whole city of Siena, built around the Piazza del Campo, was devised as a work of art that blends into the surrounding landscape.
Online
2017; 1997
4.

Butrint, Albania: Health Resort and Festival Venue of the Ancient World

Butrint occupies a small peninsula between the Straits of Corfu and Lake Butrint. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of the ruins representing each period in the city's development. The limits of the World Heritage site were expanded in 1999 to include not only the walled city from the Greek and Roman period (approximately 40 acres), but an additional 455 acres to better protect the site.
Online
2017; 2003
5.

Córdoba, Spain: The Grand Mosque and the Great Cathedral

Córdoba's glorious period began in the 8th century when, conquered by the Moors, some 300 mosques, innumerable palaces, and public buildings were constructed to rival the splendors of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. In the 13th century, under Ferdinand III the Saint, Cordoba's Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral and new defensive structures—particularly the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Torre Fortaleza de la Calahorra—were erected.
Online
2017; 2000
6.

Delos, Greece: The Island of Heavenly Light

According to Greek mythology, Apollo is said to have been born on this tiny island in the Cyclades archipelago. Apollo's sanctuary attracted pilgrims from all over Greece, and Delos was a prosperous trading port. The island bears traces of the succeeding civilizations in the Aegean world, from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the Paleo-Christian era. The archaeological site is exceptionally extensive and rich and conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan port of the Mediterranean.
Online
2017; 1996
7.

Valetta, Malta: The Maltese Fortress

The capital of the Republic of Malta is irrevocably linked to the history of the military and charitable order of St. John of Jerusalem. Ruled successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St. John, its 320 monuments, confined within an area of 136 acres, make it one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
Online
2017; 1995
8.

Pompeii and Herculaneum, Italy: A Journey Back in Time

When Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., it engulfed the two flourishing Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as the many rich villas in the area. Since the mid-18th century, these have been progressively uncovered and made accessible to the public. The vast expanse of the commercial town of Pompeii contrasts with the restricted but better-preserved remains of the holiday resort of Herculaneum, while the superb wall paintings of the Villa Oplontis at Torre Annunziata give a vivid impression of the opulent lifestyle of the wealthier citizens of the early Roman Empire.
Online
2017; 1999
9.

The Pilgrims’ Road to Santiago de Compostela, Spain: The Way of St. James

Proclaimed the first European Cultural Capital by the Council of Europe, this is the route, from the French-Spanish border, which was—and still is—taken by pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. Some 1,800 buildings along the route, both religious and secular, are of great historic interest. The route played a fundamental role in facilitating cultural exchanges between the Iberian peninsula and the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages. It remains a testimony to the power of Christian faith in people of all social classes and all over Europe.
Online
2017; 2000
10.

Alhambra, Spain: Palace of the Moors

Rising above the modern lower town, the Alhambra and the Albayzin, placed on two adjacent hills, form the medieval part of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the magnificent gardens of the Generalife, the former rural residence of the Emirs who ruled this part of Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Albayzin, a residential quarter, is a rich repository of Moorish vernacular architecture, into which the traditional Andalusian architecture blends harmoniously.
Online
2017; 1995
11.

The Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most, after which it is named. In the 1990 conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, designed by the renowned architect Sinan, were destroyed. The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt, and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO. The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architectural features, is an outstanding example [...]
Online
2017; 2006
12.

The Acropolis, Greece

Illustrating the civilizations, myths and religions that flourished in Greece over a period of more than a thousand years, the Acropolis, which contains four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art—the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheum and the temple of Athena Nike—can be considered to symbolize the idea of world heritage.
Online
2017; 1997
13.

Angra Do Heroismo, Portugal: The Azores and Europe’s Discovery of the World

Situated on one of the islands in the Azores archipelago, this was an obligatory port of call from the 15th century until the advent of the steamship in the 19th century. The 400-year-old San Sebastião and San João Baptista fortifications are unique examples of military architecture. Damaged by an earthquake in 1980, Angra is now being restored.
Online
2017; 2003
14.

Delphi, Greece: The Oracle of Power

The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke, was the site of the omphalos, the "navel of the world." Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and charged with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century B.C. was indeed the religious center and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world.
Online
2017; 2001
15.

Segovia, Spain: The Setting for Power Games

The Roman aqueduct of Segovia, probably built around 50 A.D., is remarkably well preserved. This impressive construction, with its two tiers of arches, forms part of the setting of the magnificent historic city of Segovia, where one can also visit the Alcazar, begun around the 11th century, and the 16th-century Gothic cathedral.
Online
2017; 1999
16.

The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, Bulgaria

Discovered in 1982, this 3rd-century B.C. Thracian tomb inspired by Greek design has a unique architectural decor with polychromed half-human/half-plant caryatids and painted murals. It is a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getes, Thracian populations in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds, according to ancient geography.
Online
2017; 1996
17.

San Marino Historic Center, San Marino: Freedom on the Precipice

San Marino Historic Center and Mount Titano covers 136 acres, including Mount Titano and the historic center of the city which dates back to the foundation of the republic as a city-state in the 13th century. San Marino is inscribed as a testimony to the continuity of a free republic since the Middle Ages. The inscribed city center includes fortification towers, walls, gates and bastions, as well as a neoclassical basilica of the 19th century, 14th and 16th century convents, and the Palazzo Publico of the 19th century, as well as the 18th century Titano Theater. The property represents a historical center still inhabited and preserving all its institutional functions. Thanks to its position on top of Mount Titano, it was not affected by the urban transformations that have occurred fr [...]
Online
2017; 2009
18.

Rome's Old City, Italy

Founded, according to legend, by Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C., Rome was first the center of the Roman Republic, then of the Roman Empire, and then, in the 4th century, of the Christian world. The World Heritage Site, extended in 1990 to the walls of Urban VIII, includes some of the major monuments of antiquity such as the Augustus Mausoleum, the Hadrian Mausoleum, the Pantheon, the Marcus Aurelius Column, as well as the religious and public buildings of Papal Rome.
Online
2017; 1999
19.

Tomar, Portugal: Portugal's Largest Monastery

Originally designed as a monument symbolizing the Reconquista, the Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar, transferred in 1344 to the Knights of the Order of Christ, came to symbolize just the opposite during the Manueline period: the opening up of Portugal to other civilizations.
Online
2017; 1995
20.

Venice and Its Lagoon, Italy

Founded in the 5th century and spread over 118 small islands, Venice became a major maritime power in the 10th century. It is, as a whole, an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest of its buildings contains the works of some of the world's greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Verononese and others.
Online
2017; 1996