World Heritage sites are cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value. Unesco distinguishes Baden-Baden, Bad-Ems and Bad Kissingen. The Mathildenhöhe Artist Colony is also a World Heritage Site.

Fuzhou (dpa) – Germany can adorn itself with new World Heritage sites. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural and Communication Organization (Unesco) has named Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen as well as eight other European spas as “Grands Bains d’Europe” as heritage global.

The responsible committee of Unesco took the decision at its 44th meeting in the Chinese city of Fuzhou. The artist colony Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt has also been recognized as a new World Heritage site. Only cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value are awarded the coveted title.

Spas of international importance

The “Grands Bains d’Europe” are thermal spas which acquired international importance from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Natural thermal waters are the basis of a tradition of European seaside culture that spans several eras. The eleven spa towns that have been awarded the World Heritage title also include Spa (Belgium), Vichy (France), Bath (UK) and Karlsbad, Franzensbad and Marienbad of the Czech Republic.

In the urban landscape, thermal spas are still distinguished today by buildings with a medical, therapeutic and social vocation. “In these sophisticated places of healthcare, recreation and socialization, architectural prototypes and a typology of town planning emerged for which there was no previous parallel,” Baden-Baden said of the candidacy.

Germany has 48 World Heritage sites

The World Heritage Committee will meet online and on site until July 31. It is made up of 21 elected states signatories to the World Heritage Convention. As a general rule, it decides each year on the inscription of new cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List and takes care of the state of the inscribed sites. Due to the pandemic, the conference was postponed last year. There are over 1,100 cultural and natural sites in 167 countries on the World Heritage List. 51 of them are considered threatened. Germany now has 48 World Heritage sites.

On the program, four applications in total with German participation: including the Danube Limes on Sunday as part of the Roman border. Tuesday will discuss Jewish cultural heritage in Mainz, Speyer and Worms and Lower Germanic Limes.