A site is referred to as a World Heritage Site when it is listed by the United Nations UNESCO organization as a special cultural or physical significance. As of 2014, there are 1007 heritage sites: 779 are cultural, 197 are natural and 31 are mixed properties. The following is a list of 10 cultural heritage sites, which stand out for their beauty. (You might also want to take a look at our list of natural heritage sites)
1. Machu Picchu, Peru – Heritage site since 1983.
Machu Picchu, also known as “the Lost City of the Incas” is the most famous Inca site in the world. It is a 15th century site located on a mountain 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level, some 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Machu Picchu is the most visited tourist attraction in Peru
2. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt – Heritage site since 1979.
This complex of ancient monuments includes the Great Pyramids, the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries and more. It is located 9 km (5 mi) from the old town of Giza on the Nile, southwest of Cairo. The pyramids were listed among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Being built around 2584–2561 BC, they aren’t just the only site on the list to still exist, they are also the oldest site among the seven
3. The Great Wall Of China, China – Heritage site since 1987.
Built in the 14th century, the Great Wall Of China stretches for 8,850 kilometers! This amazing wall was built to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from the attacks of nomadic tribes. The Great Wall is often claimed to be the only man made structure visible from space with the naked eye, but this legend is false
4. Bagan City, Burma (Myanmar) – Heritage site since 1996.
The ancient city of Bagan was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan between the 9th and the 13th centuries. From the 11th century till the 13th century, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains. The remains of over 2,200 of the temples and pagodas still survive today. Bagan is the most visited attraction in Myanamar
5. Taj Mahal, Agra, India – Heritage site since 1983.
A giant mausoleum of white marble, built between 1632 and 1653 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. The most spectacular feature of the Taj Mahal is the marble dome that surmounts the tomb. It is 35 meters tall (115 ft). The top of the famous dome is decorated with a lotus design. The Taj Mahal is the most famous monument of the entire subcontinent of India
6. Mont Saint Michel, France – Heritage site since 1979.
A rocky tidal island in Normandy, located approximately 1 km off the coast. The island’s highest point is 92 meters (301 feet) above sea level. The population of this heritage site is only a few dozens, but visited by more than 3 million people each year. The strong tides in the area change quickly, and connect and disconnects the island from the mainland on a daily basis. The castle on the small island is known to be one of the most beautiful castles in the world
7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia – Heritage site since 1992.
Originally a Hindu temple, this now Buddhist temple is the largest religious monument in the world. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman 2 in the early 12th century as his state temple and later mausoleum. Angkor Wat is the most famous monument and most visited site in Cambodia. It has become the symbol of the country and appears on its national flag
8. Acropolis Of Athens, Athens, Greece – Heritage site since 1987.
Probably the most important Acropolis in Greece, the Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens. It contains the remains of the Parthenon and other ancient important structures. It is one of the most famous monument in Europe
9. Rapa Nui National Park, Easter Island – Heritage site since 1995.
Monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people from rock between the years 1250 and 1500. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-eighths the size of the whole statue. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 meters (33 ft) high and weighed 75 tonnes. The heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai weighing 86 tons and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 meters (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons. These statues are among the most famous statues in the world
10. Chichen Itza, Mexico – Heritage site since 1988.
Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people. It was one of the largest Maya cities and a major focal point in the northern Maya lowlands for centuries. Today, Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with around 1.2 million visitors each year