UNESCO Heritage Sites

In 2009, UNESCO released a series of videos promoting the heritage sites on its World Heritage List – hundreds of locations around the world have been designated UNESCO Heritage Sites, including dozens that date from the Middle Ages. The videos, each about two to three minutes long, provide a short guide to the these cities, castles, cathedrals, churches and other historically important places.  Besides detailing these sites, the videos sometimes show how these places are still have an impact on modern culture. The links below are to videos for the various medieval sites along with the text of the narration:

British Isles

Westminster Abbey and Palace


A Reflection of a Medieval Town: The Historic Center of Brugge

Medieval Sound of Carillon : The Belfries of Flanders


Solemn World of Lights: Chartres Cathedral

A Bible carved in Stone: Amiens Cathedral

Holy Pilgrimage Town: Vézelay, Church and Hill

Pope in Captivity : Historic Centre of Avignon

A Town of Beauty and Passion : Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments


Multicultural City: The Historic Centre of Cordoba

Religious Destination: Santiago de Compostela

The Glory of Columbus: Seville Cathedral

The Origin of Spain : Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of Asturias

The Water Palace : Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzin, Granada


Medieval Skyscrapers : The Historic Centre of San Gimignano

The Restoration of the The Last Supper: The Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie

The Songs of the Gondolas: Venice and its Lagoon

Contrada Life: The Historic Centre of Siena

A Tower on the Gourmet Road : The Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena

The Birth of Pizza Margherita / Historic Centre of Naples

Cliffside Villages : Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and Surrounding Islands

Passion Play on the Sacred Mountain : Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy


The Mystery of the Octagon: Aachen Cathedral

Castles Along the Rhine: The Upper Middle Rhine Valley

A Thousand Years of Mining: The Mines of Rammelsberg and The Historic Town of Goslar

Harmony Within: The Hanseatic City of Lübeck

The Legend of the Rose/St Marys Cathedral and St. Michaels Church in Hildesheim

Beneath the Wheel : The Maulbronn Monastery Complex

Protecting Timber-Framed Buildings : Collegiate Church, Castle, and the Old Town of Quedlinburg

A German Romanesque Church : Speyer Cathedral

The Monastic Island : The Island of Reichenau


Convent of St. Gall


Royal Mausoleum: Roskilde Cathedral

The Viking Kingdom : Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church

Eastern Europe

The Pearl of the Adriatic: The Old City of Dubrovnik

Cultural Identity of Bulgaria: Rila Monastery

Holy Paintings in the Caves : The Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo

Pravda vítězí, Truth Prevails: Historic Centre of Prague

Holy Murals of Blue: Churches of Moldavia

The Land Where Hungarian Hearts Belong : Hortobágy, The Puszta

The Soul of Poland : Cracow’s Historic Centre

The Knights Fortress : Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

Middle East

The Holy Land: The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls

The Fall of Constantinople : Historic Areas of Istanbul

Pride and Hope: Reviving Bam and its Cultural Landscape

Underground Towns: Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia


The Maze City: the Fez Medina

Ethiopian Pilgrimage: The Rock Churches of Lalibela

The Most Beautiful Earthen Village : Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou


Buddhist Towers with Remains of Kings : The Historic City of Ayutthaya and Associated Historic Towns

Angkor, Cambodia


The Lying Dragon : The Great Wall of China

The Wall Street of the East : Ancient City of Ping Yao


The White Fortress: Himeji-jo

Master Artisanship and Architectural Splendour: The Shrines and Temples of Nikko

To-ji: The World of Kukai : Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

Click here to see more UNESCO Heritage Sites from the Ancient World

Click here to go to the UNESCO website

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