Each year, UNESCO selects places across the world that have “special cultural or physical significance” and adds to an ever-growing list of World Heritage Sites. The selection has become a virtual competition between places, and a very real one between governments that covet the prize for boosting interest in its countries and culture.

If you’re looking for new, unusual places to go, the UNESCO list is actually a convenient guide to the world’s treasures – and a great way to be inspired to visit more far-flung places like Iran, Kazakhstan, or the Caribbean Island Antigua and Barbuda. Here we are showing you some of the 21 sites UNESCO selected this year – as they have been visited and photographed by the EyeEm community.

Antigua Naval Dockyard and Related Archaeological Sites (Antigua and Barbuda)

“The site consists of a group of Georgian-style naval buildings and structures, set within a walled enclosure. The natural environment of this side of the island of Antigua, with its deep, narrow bays surrounded by highlands, offered shelter from hurricanes and was ideal for repairing ships.” (UNESCO)


By Maria Abajian

Pampulha Modern Ensemble (Brazil)

“The Pampulha Modern Ensemble was the centre of a visionary garden city project created in 1940 at Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State. Designed around an artificial lake, this cultural and leisure centre included a casino, a ballroom, the Golf Yacht Club and the São Francisco de Assis church.” (UNESCO)


By Qualquer Lugar (Anywhere)

 

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier (France, Germany, Switzerland & India)

“Chosen from the work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites comprising this transnational serial property are spread over seven countries and are a testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past. (…) They reflect the solutions that the Modern Movement sought to apply during the 20thcentury to the challenges of inventing new architectural techniques to respond to the needs of society.” (UNESCO)


By GaruFromMars


By giovencato


By Pawel


By Mihai


By kazuki_akutsu

 

Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (India)

“The Nalanda Mahavihara site is in the State of Bihar, in north-eastern India. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE.” (UNESCO)


By Tanishq Tejaswi (Mahi)

Lut Desert (Iran)

“The site presents some of the most spectacular examples of aeolian yardang landforms (massive corrugated ridges). It also contains extensive stony deserts and dune fields. The property represents an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes.” (UNESCO)


By edo

 

Western Tien-Shan (Kazakhstan)

“The transnational site is located in the Tien-Shan mountain system, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. Western Tien-Shan is situated at an altitude of 700 to 4,503m. It features diverse landscapes, which are home to exceptionally rich biodiversity.” (UNESCO)


By Rick Gatley


By Rick Gatley

 

Antequera Dolmens Site (Spain)

“Located at the heart of Andalusia in southern Spain, the site comprises three megalithic monuments: the Menga and Viera dolmens and the Tolos of El Romeral, and two natural monuments: the Peña de los Enamorados and El Torcal mountainous formations, which are landmarks within the property.” (UNESCO)


By Damian


By Mercedes Bermúdez Guerrero

 

The Archaeological Site of Ani (Turkey)

“This site is located on a secluded plateau of northeast Turkey overlooking a ravine that forms a natural border with Armenia. This medieval city combines residential, religious and military structures, characteristic of a medieval urbanism built up over the centuries by Christian and then Muslim dynasties.” (UNESCO)


By omar jabri


By Gurkaynak Alpay