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.
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
Tower of the Winds, Greece
Ulugh Beg's observatory,
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
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.
This portal supports UNESCO’s Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative (AWHI) through the provision of thematic essays, case studies and general information, for example on preparing a nomination dossier for the World Heritage List.
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
Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Windows to the Universe, Chile, Spain and USA
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand