List of World Heritage Sites in Switzerland

Ägelmoos
Riesi
Vingelz / Hafen
Dorfstation
Lobsigensee
Rütte
Bahnhof
Strandboden
Les Grèves
Spitz
Môtier I
Segelboothafen
En Praz des Gueux
Port
Bourg
Egolzwil 3
Seematte
Port-Conty
Les Argilliez
L’Abbaye 2
La Saunerie
Les Graviers
Kehrsiten
Weier I - III
Freienbach–Hurden Rosshorn
Freienbach–Hurden Seefeld
Burgäschisee Ost
Inkwilersee Insel
Feldbach (Seegubel)
Rapperswil-Jona–Technikum
Bleiche 2-3
Insel Werd
Egelsee
Nussbaumersee
Pointe de Montbec I
La Bessime
Village
Stations de Concise
Corcelettes Les Violes
Les Roseaux
Stations de Morges
Chenevières de Guévaux I
Baie de Clendy
Le Marais
Oterswil / Insel Eielen
Riedmatt
Sumpf
Erlenbach–Winkel
Greifensee–Storen/Wildsberg
Meilen–Rorenhaab
Wädenswil–Vorder Au
Wetzikon-Robenhausen
Zürich–Enge Alpenquai
Grosser Hafner
Location of World Heritage Sites within Switzerland. The green dots indicate the pile dwellings sites, 56 in total.


This is a list of World Heritage Sites in Switzerland with properties of cultural and natural heritage in Switzerland as inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List or as on the country's tentative list.[1] Switzerland accepted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage on 17 September 1975, after which it could nominate properties on their territory to be considered for the World Heritage List.[2]

As of 2019, there are twelve properties in Switzerland inscribed on the World Heritage List, nine cultural and three natural sites. The first three were added to the list in 1983 and the latest in 2019. In addition, there are two sites on the tentative list.[1]


World Heritage Sites

UNESCO lists sites under ten criteria; each entry must meet at least one of the criteria. Criteria i through vi are cultural, whereas vii through x are natural.[3]

  * Transnational site
Site Image Location (canton) Year listed UNESCO data Description
Old City of Berne Bern 1983 267; iii (cultural) Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Bern developed along the peninsula. Following a devastating fire, the entire town was rebuilt in a unified style. The early wooden buildings were replaced with sandstone, followed by arcades in the 15th century arcades and fountains in the 16th century. The medieval town was rebuilt in the 18th century, but retained its earlier character.[4]
Convent of St Gall St. Gallen 1983 268; ii, iv (cultural) The Carolingian Convent of St Gall was one of the most important in Europe. It was in operation from the 8th century to its secularization in 1805. Its library is one of the richest and oldest in the world and contains a number of precious manuscripts such as the Plan of Saint Gall. Portions of the building were rebuilt in the Baroque style.[5]
Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair Grisons 1983 269; iii (cultural) The Convent of Müstair is a Christian monastery from the Carolingian period. It has Switzerland's greatest series of figurative murals, painted c. 800 AD, along with other Romanesque art and designs.[6]
Three Castles of Bellinzona Ticino 2000 884; iv (cultural) The Bellinzona site consists of a group of fortifications grouped around the castle of Castelgrande, which stands on a rocky peak looking out over the entire Ticino valley. Running from the castle, a series of fortified walls protect the ancient town and block the passage through the valley. A second castle (Montebello) forms an integral part of the fortifications, while a third but separate castle (Sasso Corbaro) was built on an isolated rocky promontory south-east of the other fortifications.[7]
Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Bern and Valais 2007 1037bis; vii, viii, ix (natural) The site includes several of the highest mountains in the Central Alps along with the largest glacier in Eurasia. The landscape provides information on the succession of plants after the retreat of a glacier and allows study of the retreat of glaciers resulting from climate change. The impressive landscape has also played an important role in European art, literature, mountaineering and tourism.[8]
Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces Vaud 2007 1243; iii, iv, v (cultural) The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces stretch for about 30 km (19 mi) along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from Chillon Castle to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region. The current terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area.[9]
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes* Grisons 2008 1276; ii, iv (cultural) The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through those two passes. The railways provided a rapid and easy route into many formerly isolated alpine settlements. Building the railroads required overcoming a number of technical challenges with bridges and tunnels.[10]
Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona Grisons, Glarus, St. Gallen 2008 1179; viii (natural) The Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona in the north-eastern part of the country covers a mountainous area which features seven peaks that rise above 3,000 m (9,800 ft). The area displays an exceptional example of mountain building through continental collision and displays a clear example of tectonic thrust, i.e. the process whereby older, deeper rocks are carried onto younger, shallower rocks. The site has been a key site for the geological sciences since the 18th century.[11]
La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning Neuchâtel 2009 1302; iv (cultural) The site consists of two towns situated close to one another in a remote environment in the Swiss Jura mountains. Due to poor agricultural land, the watchmaking industry developed in the towns in the 19th century. After several devastating fires the towns were rebuilt to support this single industry. The town of La Chaux-de-Fonds was described by Karl Marx as a “huge factory-town” in Das Kapital where he analyzed the division of labour in the watchmaking industry of the Jura.[12]
Monte San Giorgio* Ticino 2010 1090; viii (natural) The pyramid-shaped, wooded mountain of Monte San Giorgio beside Lake Lugano is regarded as the best fossil record of marine life from the Triassic Period (245–230 million years ago). The sequence records life in a tropical lagoon environment, sheltered and partially separated from the open sea by an offshore reef. Diverse marine life flourished within this lagoon, including reptiles, fish, bivalves, ammonites, echinoderms and crustaceans. Because the lagoon was near land, the remains also include land-based fossils of reptiles, insects and plants, resulting in an extremely rich source of fossils.[13]
Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps* 56 locations 2011 1363; iv, v (cultural) Contains 111 small individual sites with the remains of prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlements in and around the Alps built from around 5000 to 500 B.C. on the edges of lakes, rivers or wetlands. They contain a wealth of information on life and trade in agrarian Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures in Alpine Europe. Fifty-six of the sites are located in Switzerland.[14]
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement* Vaud, Geneva 2016 1321rev; i, ii, vi (cultural) This transnational site encompasses 17 works of Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 7 countries, bearing testimony to his innovative break with the past in order to adapt the architecture to the needs of the modern society. Two sites are listed in Switzerland, Immeuble Clarté and Villa Le Lac.[15]

Tentative list

In addition to the sites inscribed on the World Heritage list, member states can maintain a list of tentative sites that they may consider for nomination. Nominations for the World Heritage list are only accepted if the site has previously been listed on the tentative list.[16] As of 2019, Switzerland had two such sites on its tentative list.[17]

Site Image Location (canton) Year listed UNESCO criteria Description
Salginatobel Bridge Grisons 2017 i, iv (cultural) The reinforced concrete bridge, 132 metres (433 ft) long and spanning 93 metres (305 ft) over the Salgina gorge, was designed by Swiss civil engineer Robert Maillart (1872-1949) and was completed in 1930. The bridge is prominent due to the innovative use of new materials during the construction and elegant design.[18]
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (expansion) Ticino, Solothurn 2018 ix (natural) This is an expansion of the site already listed in 12 European countries. The sites document the post-glacial expansion of European beech. Two sites in Switzerland are listed, Forêt de la Vallée de Lodano and Forêt de la Bettlachstock.[19]

References

  1. Switzerland. UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved on 6 April 2012.
  2. State Parties, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Retrieved on 6 April 2012
  3. "UNESCO World Heritage Centre The Criteria for Selection". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  4. "Old City of Berne". UNESCO. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  5. "Convent of St Gall". UNESCO. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  6. "Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair". UNESCO. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  7. "Three Castles of Bellinzona". UNESCO. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  8. "Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch". UNESCO. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  9. "Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces". UNESCO. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  10. "Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes". UNESCO. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  11. "Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona". UNESCO. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  12. "La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning". UNESCO. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  13. "Monte San Giorgio". UNESCO. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  14. "Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps". UNESCO. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  15. "The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement". UNESCO. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  16. "Tentative Lists". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  17. http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/state=ch
  18. http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6191/
  19. "Forêts primaires de hêtres des Carpates (Slovaquie, Ukraine) et anciennes forêts de hêtres d'Allemagne (Allemagne) (Switzerland)". unesco.org. UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
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