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Culture

UNESCO adds more European sites to heritage list

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-28

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has added a number of European sites to its World Heritage List, including the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal in Wales, a Spanish lighthouse.

AFP - UNESCO added a number of European sites to its World Heritage List on Saturday, including the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal in Wales, a Spanish lighthouse, and two Swiss watch manufacturing towns.

The UN cultural agency's World Heritage Committee meeting in Seville, Spain, called the 18 kilometre (11 mile) long canal in northeastern Wales "a feat of civil engineering of the Industrial Revolution."

Completed in the early 19th century, its construction "required substantial, bold civil engineering solutions, especially as it was built without using locks," it said in a statement.

The committee called the aqueduct "a pioneering masterpiece of engineering and monumental metal architecture".

The Tower of Hercules, the lighthouse which guards the entrance to harbour of the northwestern Spanish city of La Coruna, was also inscribed on the list by the committee.

First built by the Romans in the late 1st century AD, the Tower of Hercules "is unique as it is the only lighthouse of Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained a measure of structural integrity and functional continuity."

The committee also added the Swiss watch manufacturing towns of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle to the World Heritage List as "outstanding examples of mono-industrial manufacturing-towns which are well preserved and still active."

In an early example of urban planning, following ravaging fires in the early 19th century the town fathers redesigned the towns in the Jura mountains to serve the needs of the watchmakers.

Also added to the list was the Stoclet House in the Belgian capital Brussels, designed by Austrian architect Joseph Hoffmann, whose "austere geometry marked a turning point in Art Nouveau."

The Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains in eastern France, where brine has been extracted since at least the Middle Ages, was added to the World Heritage List as an extension to the site of the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senan.

The committee, which continues meeting until Tuesday, has been naming new sites across the globe to the list since it began meeting last Monday.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's heritage list now comprises nearly 900 sites that have "outstanding universal value."
  

Date created : 2009-06-28