Magnificent Seven

GORP takes its pick from the World Heritage A-list

Lists. GORP has hundreds, but we're not the original list meisters . The world's most ancient list of must-see sights, the Seven Wonders, is thought to have been compiled in the second century BC. Not to be outdone, medieval list makers came up with their very own top seven. Next, it was the turn of modern architects and engineers to have their masterpieces immortalized. And so, the lists go on.

Today, the mother of all lists is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) collection of World Heritage sites, 730 locations that are considered of "outstanding value to humanity." In 1972, the World Heritage charter was embodied in the verbose "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage." Less wind, more action, you might say, but this treaty has enabled the preservation of some of the world's most outstanding—and endangered—sites of beauty and wonder. In fact, the campaign that gave life to the World Heritage Convention came in 1959 after it was discovered that Egypt's Aswan High Dam project would submerge the ancient Abu Simbel temples, archaeological treasures that lay in the path of the impending man-made deluge.

GORP has decided to trespass on UNESCO's territory to bring you our very own Magnificent Seven, a compilation of lesser-known World Heritage sites that we think should make your list.

Move on to Seven of the Best

Published: 22 Aug 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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