UNESCO Cultural Heritage
Within the system of the United Nations, the UNESCO is the only organisation with a mandate in the field of culture. One of its main tasks is to safeguard and preserve humanity’s cultural heritage in its different forms of expression. Maintaining this heritage does not fall into the responsibility of a single state alone but needs to be dealt with by the international community.
The UNESCO adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage already in 1972. Since then, there has been an increase in public awareness regarding activities aimed at safeguarding cultural and natural sites of great significance. In Bavaria, there are seven sites by now, which were inscribed on the World Heritage List because of their "outstanding universal value". They cover the entire spectrum of historical monuments:
- from architectural monuments of great significance such as the Würzburg Residence, the Pilgrimage Church of Wies and the Margravial Opera House Bayreuth,
- impressive ensembles such as the Town of Bamberg and the Old Town of Regensburg
- to significant ground monuments (Frontiers of the Roman Empire) and underwater monuments (Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps).
In addition to protecting tangible cultural heritage, the UNESCO also seeks to safeguard the so-called intangible cultural heritage, including craft and art as well as oral accounts and traditions. In Bavaria in particular, such regional forms of cultural expression are of exceptional significance.
Humanity’s documentary heritage, which is stored in libraries and archives, is to be safeguarded through the UNESCO programme ”Memory of the World“. The Free State of Bavaria is proud of the fact that several major examples of world documentary heritage are stored in its facilities.