Fascinating places that should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites II

As we have already told you on other occasions, the list of monuments awaiting UNESCO World Heritage status in Spain is growing steadily. Therefore, today we tell you another 6 new sites that are still included in the ‘tentative list’.

Romanesque Cultural Enclave in the North of Castile-Leon and the South of Cantabria

Fascinating places that should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites II
Monastery of San Andrés de Arroyo (Palencia)

The land that mainly extends to the north of Palencia and the south of Cantabria holds the biggest concentration of Romanesque art in Europe. Just in a range of 25 kilometres around there are 70 buildings of great architectonic and cultural value. If UNESCO declares the northern Romanesque as World Heritage Site, the achievement would come two decades later since the proposal was submitted (in 1998).

Mediterranean Wind Mills

Fascinating places that should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites II
Wind mills in Consuegra (Toledo)

These ‘machines’ were used by Arabs who, despite the fact they did not invented them, they improved them. The absence of wide rivers make them to prosper in Spain. They have become a fundamental element in the picture of villages such as Consuegra or Campo de Criptana over time.

Roman Ways. Itineraries of the Roman Empire

Fascinating places that should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites II
Roman road in Mérida (Badajoz).

In Badajoz remains today one of the most complete network of Roman roads in Europe. These roads were used to make easier the transport of the Roman legions. Nevertheless, they were also used with administrative and commercial functions, helping thus the cultural and economic exchange. The remains of the Vía de la Plata (Silver Way) or the Via Augusta prove the Roman past of the old Hispania. They undoubtly deserve to become a World Heritage Site.

Site of the Retiro and the Prado in Madrid

Fascinating places that should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites II
Retiro Park (Madrid).

There is lot to claim in favour of the Buen Retiro Park and the Prado Museum in Madrid, two icons of the Spanish capital with a huge tourist and artistic value. Both palatine garden and art gallery, one of the best around the world, are candidates to be declared as World Heritage Site since 2015.

The porch of Santa María de Ripoll

Fascinating places that should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites II

This construction from the 12th century is held by the Monastery of Ripoll. It is a  masterpiece from the Romanesque art. The porch of Santa María is a candidate to become World Heritage Site because of different reasons. It is considered the most important Romanesque sculpture in Catalonia and one of the most important around the world. Its seven arches, each of which is filled with sculptures that tell different episodes from the Bible. It is popularly known therefore as “la Biblia en piedra” (the Bible on a rock).

There is a contrast between the extravagance of the porch and the austerity from within, but it has an explanation. At the time the monastery was built, most of the population was from countryside and illiterate. However, they knew how to recognise the icons. The aim of the construction was to teach the history of the Bible to all who did not know how to read or did not understand the language.

Ancares – Somiedo

Fascinating places that should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites II

Los Ancares is a mountainous terrain in the Cantabrian Mountains. The Autonomous Communities of Galicia and Castilla y León share this territory, and more precisely, the provinces of Lugo (village of Cervantes) and Léon (villages of Canadín and Vega de Espinareda, situated in the county of El Bierzo) and, on the other hand, the City Council of Somiedo, located in the Principality of Asturias.

In 2006 los Ancares were declared as Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Now they have become candidates to the distinction of World Heritage Site. What make them specials is the common characteristic of the braña, a traditional grazing system based on transhumance, still in use today, that define the local landscape and society, representing a live heritage that combine nature and culture. This grazing system dates from the 11th century and it reached its peak during the 15th and 16th centuries. The braña assumes a domestication of a natural environment hard to handle.


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