In collaboration with the
International Astronomical Union
latest news
  • The printed edition of the second ICOMOS-IAU Thematic Study on astronomical heritage will be available from 30 November. The e-book version is already available.
  • Join our community project "Places connected to the Sky" and submit your favorite place...

Find Astronomical Heritage
Locate astronomical heritage geographically and/or temporally
Locate astronomical heritage by word tags

Welcome to the integrated web portal for UNESCO’s Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative, supported by the International Working Group on Astronomy and World Heritage and by the International Astronomical Union through its Commission C4 on World Heritage and Astronomy. The Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy exists to raise awareness of the importance of astronomical heritage worldwide and to facilitate efforts to identify, protect and preserve such heritage for the benefit of humankind, both now and in the future.

Full case studies

Full case studies, structured as sections of draft dossiers, aim to highlight issues that might arise if State Parties were to prepare nomination dossiers highlighting the astronomical values of the properties concerned. Examples:

Seven-stone antas, Portugal and Spain

Stonehenge World Heritage Property, United Kingdom

Chankillo, Peru

Risco Caído and the sacred mountains of Gran Canaria, Spain

Observatoire de Paris, France (in French), also Short case study in English and French)

Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

Pic du Midi de Bigorre Observatory, France  (separately in English and French)

Windows to the Universe, Chile, Spain and USA

Astronomical timing of Irrigation in Oman, Oman

East Alpine and Großmugl starlight areas, Austria

Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand

Propose a case study

Learn about how to propose a new case study to be published on the portal.

Regional and national resources

         

We are developing a list of astronomical heritage resources at the regional or national level that are available on other internet sites. If you have items that you would like added to this list, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who is helping us to improve this section.

Short case studies

Short case studies follow the format used in the ICOMOS–IAU Thematic Study on Astronomical Heritage (see right). Examples:

 Temple of Hathor at Dandara, Egypt

 Ulugh Beg's observatory,
 Uzbekistan

 Dengfeng observatory, China

 Jantar Mantar at Jaipur, India

Struve Geodetic Arc, Norway and 9 other countries

 Sydney Observatory, Australia

 Einstein Tower, Germany

 Atituiti Ruga, French Polynesia

Movable objects

We have recently introduced movable object case studies in order to document items such as artefacts and portable instruments in a more suitable format.

Ishango Bone, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Thaïs Bone, France

You can browse the full list of the case studies as well.