Travels in Spain – UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Don Quixote and Sancho PanzaAlcalá de Henares

My visit to and post about Alcalá de Henares and the forty-four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain (Second highest to Italy at forty-nine) made me stop and think about the comparison with the list that I reviewed recently of the “Twelve Treasures of the Kingdom of Spain” which was a contest/poll that was conducted by the Spanish Television Company Antena 3 and the radio broadcaster Cope.

Spain World Heritage Sites…

I have set out the full list of World Heritage Sites below including links to the twenty-two that I have visited.  The sites are spread across the entire Iberian Peninsula but of the Autonomous Communities, Catalonia, at a crossroads of European culture, and Castilla y Leon, the largest by area, have the most with six sites each.  Aragon, Asturias, Basque Country, La Rioja and Murcia have only one each but of all seventeen regions Navarre in the north of the country is the only one that doesn’t have any at all.

In 2005 I went to Barcelona in Catalonia and saw the works of Antoni Gaudi, Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau. Then in 2008 I saw the Historic Centre of Cordoba, the Caves of Altamira in Cantabria, the Old Town and Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella  and the Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville.  In 2009 in the motoring holiday around Castilian cities it was the Old Town of Segovia and its Roman Aqueduct, the Walled Town of Cuenca, the Historic City of  Toledo and the Old Town of Ávila.  This trip in 2011 added CáceresMérida and Aranjuez.

In 2011 on a driving holiday in Catilla y Leon I added Salamanca and Burgos and earlier this year the Alhambra Palace in Granada.

   

Even before I knew anything about World Heritage Sites it turns out that I have visited two more in the days of my beach type holidays.  Although, to be absolutely fair, when I went to these places neither of them were yet on the list.

In 1988 I holidayed on the island of Ibiza which was accepted onto the list in 1999 in recognition of its biodiversity and culture and the following year I went to Tenerife and took a cable car ride to the top of Mount Tiede, a national park that was accepted to the list in 2007.

Even though they weren’t World Heritage Sites at the time I visited them I am still going to count them but the final one might be a bit dubious – but anyway here goes.  In 2008 while visiting Santiago de Compostella I managed to drive over parts of the Pilgrim Route, which exists on the list separately from the old city itself.

As well as the indignity of having no World Heritage sites poor old Navarre doesn’t have a coastline, no international airport or a direct link to the Spanish high speed rail infrastructure.  Maybe the city of Pamplona needs to start working on a bid to UNESCO for the next round of qualifying.

Pamplona Bull Run Angry Bull Charging

The full list of World Heritage Sites in Spain is…
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada (1984)
Aranjuez Cultural Landscape (2001)
Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida (1993)
Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco (2000)
Archaeological Site of Atapuerca (2000)
Burgos Cathedral (1984)
Cantabrian Cave of Altamira
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí (2000)
Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias, Seville (1987)
Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana (2011)
Doñana National Park (1994)
El Escorial Monastery and Site of the Escurial, (1984)
Garajonay National Park (1986)
Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija (2012)
Historic Centre of Cordoba (1984)
Historic City of Toledo (1986)
Historic Walled Town of Cuenca (1996)
Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture (1999)
La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia (1996)
Las Médulas (1997)
Monuments of Oviedo and Kingdom of the Asturias (1985)
Mudejar Architecture of Aragon (1986)
Old City of Salamanca (1988)
Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches (1985)
Old Town of Cáceres (1986)
Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct (1985)
Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona (1997)
Palmeral of Elche (2000)
Poblet Monastery (1991)
Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde (1998)
Pyrénées – Mont Perdu (1997)
Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza (2003)
Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula (1998)
Roman Walls of Lugo (2000)
Route of Santiago de Compostela (1993)
Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe (1993)
San Cristóbal de La Laguna (1999)
San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries (1997)
Santiago de Compostela (Old Town) (1985)
Teide National Park (2007)
Tower of Hercules (2009)
University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares (1998)
Vizcaya Bridge (2006)
Works of Antoni Gaudí (1984)
Like UNESCO, the “Twelve Treasures of the Kingdom of Spain“…

didn’t include any entries from Navarre but had the most (three) from Andalusia.  Interestingly it only included four World Heritage Sites in its list, Cordoba, Seville, Altamira Caves and Santiago de Compostela.

In response to the official list of winners I produced my own alternative list, six of which shared a place on the UNESCO list, Salamanca, Avila, Cuenca, Aranjuez, El Escorial and the works of Antoni Gaudi but also like UNESCO and the Spanish TV viewers I didn’t include anywhere in Navarre.

Can I interest anyone else in compiling a list?

spain-world-heritage-cities-map

Advertisements

15 responses to “Travels in Spain – UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  1. Now I just need to tick off a few of these….! Love the sketch effect in the top image, Andrew

    Like

  2. You appear to have left off Benidorm nightclub strip. I thought that was heritage when I was 19 anyway!

    Like

  3. UNESCO is such a wonderful organization. Thank goodness for them! I imagine there are some bloggers out there trying to hit as many sites in their lifetimes as possible. Wouldn’t that be nice!

    Like

  4. Andrew that is an interesting idea about compiling a list. You are certainly do a good job on Spain. I don’t think i have that kind of coverage anywhere. Apparently I am more of a dabbler. 🙂

    Like

  5. Sounds to me like 44 good reasons for traveling extensively in Spain, Andrew. The only thing similar that Peggy and I have done has been to try and visit all of America’s National Parks. –Curt

    Like

  6. My, you do get around Andrew! A great advantage to living in Europe 😊

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s