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List of World Heritage Sites in Greece

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Title: List of World Heritage Sites in Greece  
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Subject: Sport in Greece, Greek art, Lists of World Heritage Sites, Greek cuisine, History of Greece
Collection: Greece Geography-Related Lists, Lists of World Heritage Sites, World Heritage Sites in Greece
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List of World Heritage Sites in Greece

There are currently 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece.[1] Of these, 15 are inscribed based on "cultural" criteria, while the remaining two (Mount Athos, Meteora) are inscribed for meeting both "cultural" and "natural" criteria. Five of the sites are located on islands, one is distributed between the islands and the mainland, with the remaining 11 exclusively on the mainland. This first site to be inscribed was the Temple of Apollo at Bassae in 1986, the most recent is the Old Town of Corfu, inscribed in 2007. There are an additional 8 sites on the Tentative List.

World Heritage Sites

The table lists information about each World Heritage Site:

Name; as listed by the World Heritage Committee
Location; in one of Greece's regions, with co-ordinates provided by UNESCO
Period; time period of significance, typically of construction
UNESCO data; Site reference number, the year the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and the criteria it was listed under
Description; brief description of the site
Name Image Location Date UNESCO data Description
Acropolis, Athens Athens, Attica
5th century BC[2] 404; 1987;
i, ii, iii, iv, vi
A collection of massive, yet perfectly balanced architectural masterpieces in harmony with the natural landscape, the Acropolis of Athens is one of the most important expressions of Classical Greek aesthetics. It was completed by the 5th century BC and has since then exerted a profound influence on architecture worldwide.[2]
Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina) Imathia, Central Macedonia
1st millennium BC[3] 780; 1996;
i, iii
The ancient city of Aigai was the first capital of the Kingdom of Macedon. In addition to the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, the site contains a burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, one of which has been identified as that of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great.[3]
Archeological site of Delphi Phocis, Central Greece
8th century BC[4] 393; 1987;
i, ii, iii, iv, vi
The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, location of the oracle of Apollo, was the spiritual center of the Greek world. Situated in a spectacular natural setting at the foot of Mount Parnassus, it was a symbol of Greek cultural unity from the 8th century BC onwards.[4]
Archeological site of Mystras Laconia, Peloponnese
13th century AD[5] 511; 1989;
ii, iii, iv
Long known as "the Wonder of the Morea", the remarkably well-preserved medieval city of Mystras played a central role in the final years of the Byzantine Empire. Built on a steep hill at the foot of Mount Taygetus, it was the last Byzantine stronghold to fall to the Ottomans, holding out until 1461.
Archeological site of Olympia Elis, West Greece
10th century BC[6] 517; 1989;
1, ii, iii, iv, vi
The site of Olympia, built on the banks of the Alpheios river in the Peloponnese, was the location of the ancient Olympic Games beginning in 776 BC. In addition to numerous temples and sanctuaries, it contains the remains of several sporting structures, such as its famous stadium.
Archeological site of Mycenae and Tiryns Argolis, Peloponnese
15th century BC[6] 941; 1999;
1, ii, iii, iv, vi
Mycenae and Tiryns were two of the most important cities of Mycenean Greece, which flourished between the 15th and 12th centuries BC. The Lion's Gate and Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae have been listed as "outstanding examples of human creative genius".
Delos Cyclades, South Aegean
7th century BC[8] 530; 1990;
ii, iii, iv, vi
The birthplace of Apollo and Artemis according to Greek mythology, the sacred island of Delos was one of the most important pan-Hellenic sanctuaries. The sanctuary of Apollo on Delos attracted pilgrims from all over Greece, making Delos a prosperous trading port.
Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint John Patmos, South Aegean
10th century[9] 942; 1999;
iii, iv, vi
The small island of Pátmos in the Dodecanese is reputed to be where St John the Theologian wrote both his Gospel and the Apocalypse. A monastery dedicated to the ‘beloved disciple’ was founded there in the late 10th century and it has been a place of pilgrimage and Greek Orthodox learning ever since. The fine monastic complex dominates the island. The old settlement of Chorá, associated with it, contains many religious and secular buildings.
Medieval City of Rhodes Rhodes, South Aegean
493; 1988;
ii, iv, v
The Order of St John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold. It subsequently came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period. In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and other buildings dating from the Ottoman period.
Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios Hosios Loukas: Distomo, Boeotia

Daphni Monastery: Chaidari, Attica

Nea Moni: Chios, North Aegean
11th and 12th centuries[11] 537; 1990;
i, iv
Although geographically distant from each other, these three monasteries belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. The churches are built on a cross-in-square plan with a large dome supported by squinches defining an octagonal space. In the 11th and 12th centuries they were decorated with superb marble works as well as mosaics on a gold background, all characteristic of the 'second golden age of Byzantine art'.
Old Town of Corfu Corfu, Ionian Islands
8th century BC[12] 978; 2007;
The Old Town of Corfu, on the Island of Corfu off the western coasts of Albania and Greece, is located in a strategic position at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, and has its roots in the 8th century BC. The three forts of the town, designed by renowned Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trading interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. In the course of time, the forts were repaired and partly rebuilt several times, more recently under British rule in the 19th century. The mainly neoclassical housing stock of the Old Town is partly from the Venetian period, partly of later construction, notably the 19th century. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfu’s urban and port ensemble is notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity.
Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia
315 B.C.[13] 456; 1988;
i, ii, iv
Founded in 315 B.C., the provincial capital and sea port of Thessalonika was one of the first bases for the spread of Christianity. Among its Christian monuments are fine churches, some built on the Greek cross plan and others on the three-nave basilica plan. Constructed over a long period, from the 4th to the 15th century, they constitute a diachronic typological series, which had considerable influence in the Byzantine Empire.
Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos Samos, North Aegean
3rd millennium B.C.[14] 595; 1992;
ii, iii
Many civilizations have inhabited this small Aegean island, near Asia Minor, since the 3rd millennium B.C. The remains of Pythagoreion, an ancient fortified port with Greek and Roman monuments and a spectacular tunnel-aqueduct, as well as the Heraion, temple of the Samian Hera, can still be seen.
Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus Epidaurus, Peloponnese
4th century[15] 491; 1988;
i, ii, iii, iv, vi
In a small valley in the Peloponnesus, the shrine of Asklepios, the god of medicine, developed out of a much earlier cult of Apollo, during the 6th century BC at the latest, as the official cult of the city state of Epidaurus. Its principal monuments, particularly the temple of Asklepios, the Tholos and the Theatre - considered one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture – date from the 4th century. The vast site, with its temples and hospital buildings devoted to its healing gods, provides valuable insight into the healing cults of Greek and Roman times.
Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae Bassae, Messenia, Peloponnese
5th century B.C.[16] 392; 1986;
i, ii, iii, iv, vi
This famous temple to the god of healing and the sun was built towards the middle of the 5th century B.C. in the lonely heights of the Arcadian mountains. The temple, which has the oldest Corinthian capital yet found, combines the Archaic style and the serenity of the Doric style with some daring architectural features.
Meteora near Kalabaka, Thessaly
455; 1988;
i, ii, iv, v, vii
In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled on these 'columns of the sky' from the 11th century onwards. Twenty-four of these monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the eremetic ideal in the 15th century. Their 16th-century frescoes mark a key stage in the development of post-Byzantine painting.
Mount Athos Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain
454; 1988;
i, ii, iv, v, vi, vii
An Orthodox spiritual centre since 1054, Mount Athos has enjoyed an autonomous statute since Byzantine times. The 'Holy Mountain', which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognized artistic site. The layout of the monasteries (about 20 of which are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.

See also


  1. ^ Greece: Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-01-13 
  2. ^ a b c d Acropolis, Athens, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-01-13 
  3. ^ a b c d Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina), UNESCO, retrieved 2012-01-13 
  4. ^ a b c d Archeological site of Delphi, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-01-25 
  5. ^ a b c Archeological site of Mystras, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-02-07 
  6. ^ a b c d Archeological site of Olympia, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-02-07 
  7. ^ a b Archeological site of Mycenae and Tiryns, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-02-07 
  8. ^ a b c Delos, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-02-07 
  9. ^ a b c Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint John, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  10. ^ a b Medieval City of Rhodes, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  11. ^ a b c Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  12. ^ a b c Old Town of Corfu, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  13. ^ a b c Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  14. ^ a b c Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  15. ^ a b c Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  16. ^ a b c Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  17. ^ a b Meteora, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
  18. ^ a b Mount Athos, UNESCO, retrieved 2012-09-30 
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