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Photo: Ladislav Renner ©CzechTourism
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New Czech Sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

In July, 2021, UNESCO decided on new sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.  The Czech Spa Triangle, and the Primeval Beech Forests of Jizerské hory became new successfully nominated Czech Republic’s sites. Out of eleven inscribed European spa towns, three are Czech. At present, there are 15 Czech sites in total on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The UN World Heritage Committee for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) extended the World Heritage List in 2021. Three Czech spa towns – Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad), and Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad) are inscribed as part of the transnational site of The Great Spa Towns of Europe. The full list comprises of 11 spas that developed around natural mineral water springs from the early 18th century to the 1930s, bringing a new European fashion of grand international resorts. The architecture of spa buildings, such as houses and rooms dedicated to therapy, pump rooms, drinking halls, and colonnades, was unparalleled. Everything was designed to harness the natural mineral water resources. Also, all related facilities such as gardens, parks, casinos, theatres, hotels, and spa villas were integrated into urban context to create a carefully managed therapeutic environment in a picturesque landscape.   

Beech forests of Jizerské hory became part of the transnational World Heritage serial site of Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe. Czech Republic became one of ten European countries added to the list of outstanding universal value and integrity of the property, which now comprises of 94 component parts across 18 countries. The most valuable part of Jizerské hory of about ten square km has a unique geomorphology, steep hillsides, rock projections and outlooks, where a beech represents 90 % of the forest cover.

This year, Slovenia also succeeded with nomination of buildings by the most prominent Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957). His work from between the two World Wars was presented as an example of Human Centred Urban Design that „successively changed the identity of the city following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when it changed from a provincial city into the symbolic capital of the people of Slovenia.“  In addition to Plečnik’s works, there are four more Slovenian sites inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Architect Plečnik’s principal importance for the inter-war architecture became inspirational for the Czech Embassy in Ljubljana. In cooperation with the architecture historian Vladimír Šlapeta, and the Administration of the Prague Castle, the embassy worked on an exhibition titled Jože Plečnik and Prague that presents his invaluable impact on the architectural development of the Prague Castle in early 20th century, a historically unique complex enlisted as the World Heritage, too. The exhibition comprising of 22 outdoor panels was exhibited in Ljubljana, Celje, Novo mesto, and Maribor, with more Slovenian towns to come.