Every Wednesday since last September we’ve been paying a visit to a World Heritage Site drawn from one of our countries-of-the-week. This 2020–2021 homeschool year is now approaching its end (and the new year will begin next month), so we’re going to wrap up our current grand World Heritage tour by inviting you to discover some of the new sites that have recently been added to the World Heritage list. You can find a directory here:
It takes several years and extensive international cooperation to have a cultural or natural area of importance declared a World Heritage Site. The recent additions linked above include, among many others, the Chankillo Archaeoastromomical Complex in Peru; the Cordouan Lighthouse in France; the Ramappa Temple in India; the Fourteenth-Century Frescoes of Padua, Italy; the Roșia Montană Mining Landscape in Romania; the modernistic Church of Atlántida in Uruguay; the ancient Ḥimā Cultural Area in Saudi Arabia; the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands in Georgia; and the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex in Thailand.
Also included is the urban landscape of Paseo del Prado and the Jardines del Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain:
Located at the urban heart of Madrid, this cultural landscape evolved since the creation of the tree-lined Paseo del Prado avenue, a prototype of the Hispanic alameda, in the 16th century. The avenue features major fountains, notably the Fuente de Cibeles and the Fuente de Neptuno, and the Plaza de Cibeles, an iconic symbol of the city, surrounded by prestigious buildings. The site embodies a new idea of urban space and development from the enlightened absolutist period of the 18th century. Buildings dedicated to the arts and sciences join others in the site that are devoted to industry, healthcare and research. Collectively, they illustrate the aspiration for a utopian society during the height of the Spanish Empire. The 120-hectare Jardines del Buen Retiro (Garden of Pleasant Retreat), a remnant of the 17th-century Buen Retiro Palace, constitutes the largest part of the property displaying different gardening styles from the 19th century to the present. The site also houses the terraced Royal Botanical Garden and the largely residential neighbourhood of Barrio Jerónimos with its rich variety of 19th- and 20th-century buildings that include cultural venues. (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #1618)
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures have you explored in your homeschool this Hercules Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇺🇳
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌎