Bad Ems (photo) was named a World Heritage Site along with Baden-Baden and Bad Kissingen
Photo: Thomas Frey / dpa
Germany can adorn itself with new world heritage sites: the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, Culture and Communication (Unesco) named Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen together with eight other European health resorts as "Great Baths of Europe" as World Heritage . The responsible Unesco committee made the decision at its 44th meeting in the Chinese city of Fuzhou. Only cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value are awarded the coveted title.
The “Great Baths of Europe” are health resorts that gained international importance from the late 18th century to the early 20th century.
Natural thermal waters are the basis of a tradition of European bathing culture spanning all ages.
The eleven spa towns that have received the title of World Heritage also include Spa (Belgium), Vichy (France), Bath (United Kingdom) and Karlsbad, Franzensbad and Marienbad in the Czech Republic.
Phenomenon of the European spa town
The President of the German Unesco Commission, Maria Böhmer, welcomed the award to the health resorts.
"With their spa tradition and their urban planning features, they express the phenomenon of the European spa town in a unique way," said Böhmer on Saturday.
The World Heritage Committee will meet online and on site until July 31st. It is made up of 21 elected signatory states to the World Heritage Convention. As a rule, it decides annually on the registration of new cultural and natural sites in the World Heritage List and deals with the condition of the registered sites. Because of the pandemic, the conference was postponed last year. There are more than 1,100 cultural and natural sites in 167 countries on the World Heritage List. 51 of them are considered threatened.
In addition, the Mathildenhöhe artists' colony in Darmstadt was reduced to a world heritage site from the turn of the 20th century.
It consists of the wedding tower, a Russian chapel, buildings, park and sculptures.
The artist colony is considered to be the intersection of modern architecture - not just an Art Nouveau ensemble, but a step towards the Bauhaus.
Peter Behrens was one of the first artists to later teach the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius.
The intention to build the colony at the end of the 19th century was by no means just of a cultural, but of a tangible economic nature.
Due to a lack of natural resources, the Hessian Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig saw an economic upswing only guaranteed by more quality in the factories and brought artists of all stripes to Darmstadt.
wbr / dpa