Three countries compete each year to add more sites on the World Heritage List of UNESCO: Italy, Spain and France. Keep in mind that this is not just a list of the main attractions, but it is also a great magnet for tourists from around the world.
In 1973, the General Committee of UNESCO decided to contribute to the protection of cultural and natural heritage of our planet by creating a special list of monuments and places of interest, which were regarded as cultural or natural heritage, not only of this particular country, but also of all humanity.
The idea is to protect these important objects of social change and of destruction and present them as objects of preservation by including them in the special list, which is known worldwide.
Since then, every year the organizing committee of the Unesco World Heritage receives proposals from around the world to be included on the list of famous places, plazas, monuments and entire cities, which, if approved by experts, will be part of the valuable list of cultural and natural heritage of mankind.
For many countries, it is how to achieve the desired medal. This means prestige, tradition and, above all, tourism. The country with the largest number of World Heritage sites, of course, is Italy. Only Rome is a large open-air museum: its streets, arches, columns, churches and works of art from the Coliseum to Trajan’s Column. This is the legacy of ancient Rome.
The country also has the important works of the Renaissance in Venice, Florence, Pisa and Siena. In total, Italy has 51 items on the list of World Heritage of UNESCO. The final list of newly approved including this year, also includes buildings in Palermo and Cefalu Cathedral in Arab-Norman style.
But, Italy has a serious competitor and this is Spain, which includes 44 World Heritage sites. Therefore, it is the second country on the list, and there was even time when Spain surpassed Italy.
The most famous monuments in Spain are, of course, the Alhambra, Generalife and the Albaicin neighborhood of Granada. Moreover, there are also beautiful churches throughout all country: Burgos and Seville, the monasteries of Yuso and Suso, the Catalan Romanesque churches of the Vall de Boi, and architectural masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí. In addition, there are many historical centers to visit and fall in love with them: the ancient city of Cáceres, Avila and Santiago de Compostela. On the other hand, even entire cities such as Toledo and its attractions such as El Escorial.
Of course, Spain also has the Roman heritage, such as the gold mines of Las Medulas in Leon, the archaeological excavations in the city of Merida and the Roman city of Lugo. Spain is one of the European countries with the oldest archaeological sites like Atapuerca and the cave of Altamira.
The latter sites were added to the UNESCO list in 2015, and now the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela is included in it. To make this path people come from all over Europe since the Middle Ages, and it is a major tourist attraction in Spain.
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