The Netherlands has 12 Unesco World Heritage sites. Quite a lot for a small country, like ours. But as small as it is, we also meet three of the World Heritages themes set by UNESCO as well. Requirements of the World Heritage themes that the Netherlands meets are: The Netherlands is a land of water, a civil society, and a designed country. Moreover, 1 nomination for the world heritages list is pending.
11 Cultural World Heritages in the Netherlands
1. Schokland and surroundings, Noordoostpolder (1995)
2. Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner city and Harbour, Curaçao (1997)
3. Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout (1997)
4. Ir. D.F. Wouda, Steam Pumping Station Lemmer Frysian ( 1998)
5. Beemster Polder, reclaimed land in North Holland (1999)
6. Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht (2000)
7. Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht (2010)
8. Van Nellefabriek in Rotterdam (2014)
9. Germaanse Limes (2021) – Frontiers of the Roman Empire
10. Dutch Water Defense Lines. The Defense Line of Amsterdam, a ring of fortifications around the city of Amsterdam (2021)
11. Colonies of Benevolence Frederiksoord, Willemsoord, Wilhelminaoord and Belgium (2021)
The Waddensea is the only Natural World Heritage in the Netherlands
The Wadden Sea, including the waters along the German and Danish, is the only Natural World Heritage in the Netherlands. The Wadden Sea is a unique sea area in the world and it needs to be protected against e.g. industrial fishing and fossil exploitation. Ebb and flood, the wind and the tides create a landscape of water streams between drying mudflats and sandbanks. This area is always in motion. The landscape of the Wadden Sea changes every day. If you have the opportunity take a walk on the mudflats. This is the so-called mudflat walking. If you are booking a tour, be prepared and read the dress code before you start your mudflat hiking trip.
➔ Book here your mudflat hiking, this walk takes about 3 hours.
➔ Read here our post about the Wadden Sea and the Dutch Wadden Sea Islands
Planetarium Nominated as Cultural UNESCO World Heritage
The Planetarium of Eise Eisinga in the city of Franeker in Friesland is proud to be nominated as Cultural World Heritage. You mus see the Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium. It is extraordinary. In 2019, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education, Culture, and Science) submitted the nomination in Paris. The Eise Eisinga Planetarium is the oldest operating planetarium in the world.
➔ Read here the article of Must See Holland about the Planetarium in Franeker.
Purpose of UNESCO World Heritage
The purpose of UNESCO World Heritage is to preserve and protect unique and valuable heritage. So future generations can enjoy and learn from it. The status of unique and irreplaceable world heritage also ensures that there is a mutual understanding between and for other cultures.
UNESCO’s definition of World Heritage
UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Part of UNESCO is the World Heritage Convention and the associated World Heritage List
➔ Overview of the World Heritage List
Types of UNESCO World Heritages in the NETHERLANDS
Within UNESCO’s World Heritages, there are three types: cultural heritage, natural heritage, or a hybrid form of the two heritages. In the Netherlands, there are 11 cultural heritages and 1 natural heritage. As far as we know, for now, there is no hybrid heritage, a combo of both heritages in the Netherlands.
Location of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands?
How to get on the World Heritage list
Firstly a country has to meet the following conditions in order to get a national phenomenon on the world heritage list. to begin with a country signs the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. From this point on, the country may occupy an area or building or submit a motivated heritage to the list of World Heritage Sites. Of course, the next step is that a country explains why heritage is of exceptional and irreplaceable value to the world. It can take more than 10 years before a nominated heritage is officially placed on the World Heritage list. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee consists of representatives from 21 countries. Decisions are made annually about new contributions to the World Heritage List.