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Arts Culture Must-Visit 2019 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Americas

Must-Visit 2019 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Americas

Must-Visit 2019 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Americas
by John Novotny, Copyright: © Alberta Parks
By Isabel Martel Francisco
September 02, 2019
What to see on your next trip to The Americas

Last July, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held its annual meeting in the walled city of Baku, Azerbaijan to confer and discuss the new additions for 2019. Of the 37 nominees, 29 prevailed and were named a part of the coveted list. There are currently 1,121 sites recognised by UNESCO. To be listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites is no small feat as each location must possess unique qualities and meet a specific set of criteria to even be considered. 

This elite set of destinations and landmarks can be of great assistance to those planning their next vacations. Don't know where to go? Struggling to make an itinerary? No need to worry; we have created a rundown of UNESCO's newest additions to help you figure out your next holiday spots!

1/3 Brazil: Paraty and Ilha Grande

Photo by Oscar Liberal
Copyright: © IPHAN
Photo by Oscar Liberal Copyright: © IPHAN  

Located between the Serra da Bocaina mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean, this cultural landscape includes the historic centre of Paraty, one of Brazil's best-preserved coastal towns, as well as four protected natural areas of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the world’s five key biodiversity hotspots. Paraty is home to an impressive diversity of species, some of which are threatened, such as the jaguar (Panthera onca), the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) and several primate species, including the woolly spider monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides), which are emblematic of the site. In the late 17th century, Paraty was the end-point of the Caminho do Ouro (Gold Route), along which gold was shipped to Europe. Its port also served as an entry point for tools and African slaves, sent to work in the mines. A defence system was built to protect the wealth of the port and the town. The historic centre of Paraty has retained its 18th-century plan and much of its colonial architecture dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries.

2/3 Canada: Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai'pi

Photo by Alberta Parks, Copyright: © Alberta Parks
Photo by Alberta Parks, Copyright: © Alberta Parks

The property is located on the northern edge of the semi-arid Great Plains of North America, on the border between Canada and the United States of America. The Milk River Valley dominates the topography of this cultural landscape, which is characterized by a concentration of pillars or hoodoos – columns of rock sculpted by erosion into spectacular shapes. The Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksikáíítsitapi) left engravings and paintings on the sandstone walls of the Milk River Valley, bearing testimony to messages from Sacred Beings. Dated in situ archaeological remains cover a period between ca. 4,500-3,500 years BP and the Contact Period. This landscape is considered sacred to the Blackfoot people, and their centuries-old traditions are perpetuated through ceremonies and in enduring respect for the places.

3/3 United States: The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

Photo by Andrew Pielage,
Copyright: © Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Photo by Andrew Pielage, Copyright: © Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

The property consists of eight buildings in the United States designed by the architect during the first half of the 20th century. These include Fallingwater (Mill Run, Pennsylvania), the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House (Madison, Wisconsin) and the Guggenheim Museum (New York). These buildings reflect the ‘organic architecture’ developed by Wright, which includes an open plan, a blurring of the boundaries between exterior and interior and the unprecedented use of materials such as steel and concrete. Each of these buildings offers innovative solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work or leisure. Wright's work from this period had a strong impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe.

Related: Must-Visit 2019 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Europe


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