Unesco just added 9 new World Heritage Sites to your travel bucket list

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During a ten day gathering in Istanbul, the organization added spots in Greece, Spain, Iran, India, Turkey, China, Micronesia and the UK to the list, along with one site – the Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards – that spans Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

In Gibraltar, the British territory off the coast of Spain, Gorham’s Cave Complex was added. In Turkey, the stunning Ani ruins made the cut. And in Greece, the archaeological site of Philippi was included.

Here’s a look at the new additions.

Philippi, Greece


Lying at the foot of an acropolis in in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Philippi was a walled city founded in 356 B.C. by the Macedonian King Philip II. Boasting a theater, temple and a forum, the city was regarded as a smaller Rome. The remains of its basilicas still stand today.

Ani ruins, Turkey


Sitting on a plateau in northeast Turkey near Armenia, the medieval city of Ani was built up over successive Christian and Muslim dynasties and had its heyday in the 10th and 11th centuries. Part of the Silk Road, it was hit by earthquakes and a Mongol invasion and subsequently declined, but the remains provide a fascinating glimpse into the architecture of the 7th to 13th centuries.

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Gorham’s Cave complex, Gibraltar, UK


The four caves inside the limestone cliffs of the Rock of Gibraltar are a wealth of archaeological and paleontological deposits offering a glimpse into Neanderthal life in the area.

Qanat aqueducts, Iran


Iran’s Qanat system tapped into alluvial aquifers and transported water underground across vast valleys helping sustain agricultural life and settlements in arid areas

Antequera Dolmens site, Spain


Slap bang in the middle of Andalusia in southern Spain, the site comprises three megalithic monuments, including the Mengal and Viera dolmens (or tombs), and two huge mountain formations, the Peña de los Enamorados and  El Torcal.

The tombs are particularly intriguing, and have been described by UNESCO as collectively “one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism.”

Medieval Tombstones Graveyards – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia


Comprising 30 sites over four countries, this sprawling choice includes several cemeteries dating from the 12th to 16th centuries. The stećci (or medieval tombstones) are carved from limestone and feature a wide range of decorative motifs and inscriptions.

Zuojiang Huashan landscape, China


The Zuojiang Huashon rock art cultural landscape dates back to the 5th century B.C. and straddles steep cliffs in southwest China.

Nalanda Mahavihara, India


India’s archaeological site comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century B.C. to the 13th century A.D.

Nan Madol, Micronesia


The 99 Nan Madol artificial islets, which are made of basalt and coral boulders, are home to ruins ranging from temples to tombs dating between 1200 A.D. and 1500 A.D. They were also placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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