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List of World Heritage Sites in Switzerland

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Title: List of World Heritage Sites in Switzerland  
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Subject: Music of Switzerland, Religion in Switzerland, Culture of Switzerland, Media of Switzerland, Sport in Switzerland
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List of World Heritage Sites in Switzerland

This is a list of World Heritage Sites in Switzerland with properties of cultural and natural heritage in Switzerland as inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List or as on the country's tentative list.[1] Switzerland accepted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage on 17 September 1975, after which it could nominate properties on their territory to be considered for the World Heritage List.[2]

Currently, eleven properties in or partially in Switzerland are inscribed on the World Heritage List. Eight of these are cultural properties and three are natural properties.[1] The first three were added to the list in 1983 and the latest in 2011. There is one site, Œuvre urbaine et architecturale de Le Corbusier, which has been on the tentative list since 2004.[3]

The names in the tables below are the names of the properties as used on the website of UNESCO.[1] There are three different types of properties possible: cultural, natural, and mixed.[note 1] Selection criteria i, ii, iii, iv, v, and vi are the cultural criteria, and selection criteria vii, viii, ix, and x are the natural criteria.[4] The years for the properties on the World Heritage List are the years of inscription, the years for the tentative list are those of submission.[1]


  • Sites 1
  • Properties on the tentative list 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5


Site Image Location Criteria Area
ha (acre)
Year Description
Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair A clock tower standing beside two small houses and a museum. SwitzerlandMüstair,
70032036000000000002,036 (5,030) 1983 The Convent of Müstair is a Christian monastery from the Carolingian period. It has Switzerland's greatest series of figurative murals, painted c. 800 AD, along with other Romanesque art and designs.[5]
La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning A fairly large city with buildings of diverse sizes. SwitzerlandCanton of Neuchâtel,
7002284000000000000284 (700) 2009 The site consists of two towns situated close to one another in a remote environment in the Swiss Jura mountains. Due to poor agricultural land, the watchmaking industry developed in the towns in the 19th century. After several devastating fires the towns were rebuilt to support this single industry. The town of La Chaux-de-Fonds was described by Karl Marx as a “huge factory-town” in Das Kapital where he analyzed the division of labour in the watchmaking industry of the Jura.[6]
Convent of St Gall A large cathedral with two distinct summits. SwitzerlandSt. Gallen,
(ii), (iv)
1983 The Carolingian Convent of St Gall was one of the most important in Europe. It was in operation from the 8th century to its secularization in 1805. Its library is one of the richest and oldest in the world and contains a number of precious manuscripts such as the Plan of Saint Gall. Portions of the building were rebuilt in the Baroque style.[7]
Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces Vineyard terraces rise above Lake Geneva SwitzerlandVaud,
(iii), (iv), (v)
70031408000000000001,408 (3,480) 2007 The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces stretch for about 30 km (19 mi) along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from Chillon Castle to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region. The current terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area.[8]
Monte San Giorgio SwitzerlandTicino,
70033207000000000003,207 (7,920) 2010 The pyramid-shaped, wooded mountain of Monte San Giorgio beside Lake Lugano is regarded as the best fossil record of marine life from the Triassic Period (245–230 million years ago). The sequence records life in a tropical lagoon environment, sheltered and partially separated from the open sea by an offshore reef. Diverse marine life flourished within this lagoon, including reptiles, fish, bivalves, ammonites, echinoderms and crustaceans. Because the lagoon was near land, the remains also include land-based fossils of reptiles, insects and plants, resulting in an extremely rich source of fossils.[9]
Old City of Berne Bern's old city as seen from across the Aare River SwitzerlandBern,
700484684000000000084,684 (209,260) 1983 Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Bern developed along the peninsula. Following a devastating fire, the entire town was rebuilt in a unified style. The early wooden buildings were replaced with sandstone, followed by arcades in the 15th century arcades and fountains in the 16th century. The medieval town was rebuilt in the 18th century, but retained its earlier character.[10]
Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps Reconstruction of a pile house at the Pfahlbau Museum Unteruhldingen on Lake Constance in Germany Austria Austria*,
(iv), (v)
70033961000000000003,961 (9,790) 2011 Contains 111 small individual sites with the remains of prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlements in and around the Alps built from around 5000 to 500 B.C. on the edges of lakes, rivers or wetlands. While only some of the sites have been excavated, they contain a wealth of information on life and trade in agrarian Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures in Alpine Europe. Fifty-six of the sites are located in Switzerland.[11]
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes The Glacier Express train in the Albula Valley. SwitzerlandGraubünden and Tirano,
(ii) (iv)
7005109386000000000109,386 (270,300) 2008 The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through those two passes. The railways provided a rapid and easy route into many formerly isolated alpine settlements. Building the railroads required overcoming a number of technical challenges with bridges and tunnels.[12]
Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch A range of tall, snowy mountains. SwitzerlandCantons of Bern and Valais,
(vii), (viii), (ix)
700482400000000000082,400 (204,000) 2007 The site includes several of the highest mountains in the Central Alps along with the largest glacier in Eurasia. The landscape provides information on the succession of plants after the retreat of a glacier and allows study of the retreat of glaciers resulting from climate change. The impressive landscape has also played an important role in European art, literature, mountaineering and tourism.[13]
Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona Martinsloch (Martins hole) is visible in the center of the Tschingelhörner in the Glarus Alps SwitzerlandGlarus,
St. Gallen
and Graubünden
700432850000000000032,850 (81,200) 2008 The Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona in the north-eastern part of the country covers a mountainous area which features seven peaks that rise above 3,000 m (9,800 ft). The area displays an exceptional example of mountain building through continental collision and displays a clear example of tectonic thrust, i.e. the process whereby older, deeper rocks are carried onto younger, shallower rocks. The site has been a key site for the geological sciences since the 18th century.[14]
Three Castles of Bellinzona Montebello and Sasso Corbaro castles above Bellinzona SwitzerlandBellinzona,
2000 The Bellinzona site consists of a group of fortifications grouped around the castle of Castelgrande, which stands on a rocky peak looking out over the entire Ticino valley. Running from the castle, a series of fortified walls protect the ancient town and block the passage through the valley. A second castle (Montebello) forms an integral part of the fortifications, while a third but separate castle (Sasso Corbaro) was built on an isolated rocky promontory south-east of the other fortifications.[15]

Properties on the tentative list

Site Image Location Criteria Area
ha (acre)
Year Description
Œuvre urbaine et architecturale de Le Corbusier A white three story building with a white wall on the left side. SwitzerlandLa Chaux-de-Fonds, Geneva
2004 A collection of four buildings; Villa Jeanneret-Perret, Villa Schwob, Petite villa au bord du lac Léman and Immeuble Clarté, by the famed Swiss architect Le Corbusier.[16]

See also


  1. ^ There are no mixed properties in Switzerland on the World Heritage List or on the country's tentative list.


  1. ^ a b c d Switzerland. UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved on 6 April 2012.
  2. ^ State Parties, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Retrieved on 6 April 2012
  3. ^ Tentative Lists, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Retrieved on 2011-07-21
  4. ^ The Criteria. UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved on 2009-07-23.
  5. ^ "Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair".  
  6. ^ "La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning".  
  7. ^ "Convent of St Gall".  
  8. ^ "Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces".  
  9. ^ "Monte San Giorgio".  
  10. ^ "Old City of Berne".  
  11. ^ "Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps".  
  12. ^ "Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes".  
  13. ^ "Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch".  
  14. ^ "Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona".  
  15. ^ "Three Castles of Bellinzona".  
  16. ^ "Œuvre urbaine et architecturale de Le Corbusier".  
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