Cultural sites in China, India, Iran, Spain inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List

Published July 26, 2021, 8:35 AM

by Xinhua

PARIS, France — Four sites in China, India, Iran and Spain have been inscribed on the World Heritage List, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced on Sunday.

Those sites include “Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China”, “Ramappa Temple” in India, “Trans-Iranian Railway” in Iran, and “Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro”, a landscape of arts and sciences in Spain, the UNESCO said in a press release.

Aerial photo taken on July 5, 2021 shows Wanshou Pagoda in Shishi City, Quanzhou, southeast China’s Fujian Province. Quanzhou, a coastal city in China’s Fujian Province, was a global maritime trade center back in the Song and Yuan dynasties. (Xinhua)

The east China’s port city of Quanzhou, once hailed as “the very great and noble city” by the Italian explorer Marco Polo, won the prestigious status and brought the total number of China’s UNESCO World Heritage sites to 56.

Located on narrow plains along the coastline of Fujian province, Quanzhou was one of the world’s largest ports along the historic Maritime Silk Road, particularly in ancient China’s Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

The serial properties in Quanzhou include 22 sites of administrative buildings and structures, religious buildings, and statues across the city.

The properties encompassed multi-cultural communities, cultural memorial sites and monuments, the production of ceramics and iron, and a transportation network formed of bridges, docks and pagodas that guided voyagers.

Aerial photo taken on July 8, 2021 shows Anping Bridge in Anhai Town of Quanzhou, southeast China’s Fujian Province. (Xinhua)

The committee, during its 44th session held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China, also added some other sites, including Kakatiya Rudreshwara in the State of Telanganam in India, popularly known as Ramappa Temple, to the list.

The construction of the sandstone Shiva temple began in 1213 and is believed to have continued for over some 40 years.

The temple’s sculptures of high artistic quality illustrate regional dance customs and Kakatiyan culture and the choice of setting for the edifice followed the ideology and practice sanctioned in dharmic texts that temples are to be constructed to form an integral part of a natural setting, according to the committee.

The 1,394-kilometer-long trans-Iranian Railway connects the Caspian Sea in the northeast with the Persian Gulf in the southwest, crossing two mountain ranges as well as rivers, highlands, forests and plains, and four different climatic areas.

Started in 1927 and completed in 1938, the railway is notable for its scale and the engineering works it required to overcome steep routes and other difficulties.

Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, the 200-hectare cultural landscape is located at the urban heart of Madrid.

People row boats at the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain, Aug. 4, 2018. Severe heatwave gripped several parts of Spain. (Xinhua)

Evolved since the 16th century, the avenue and buildings in the site “illustrate the aspiration for a utopian society during the height of the Spanish Empire,” said the committee.

The session of the World Heritage Committee reviews candidates for entry to the list, and examines the state of conservation of existing sites. The inscription is scheduled to continue through July 28.