Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list
Earlier, in July 2017, Tarnowskie Gory with their lead-silver-zinc mines and their underground water management system were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The sites on this list are treasures of the highest order and Poland has managed to register 15 (13 cultural and 2 natural) on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. It is indeed a varied collection which includes churches, castles, mines and national parks.
Poland’s first entry was made in 1978 when international experts praised the Historic Centre of Krakow with its wonderful urban layout, unchanged since medieval times. After Krakow, the historic centres of Warsaw, Zamosc and Torun were also added to the list. The capital gained recognition for the outstanding post-war restoration of its old town, Zamosc for its perfectly preserved Renaissance buildings and Torun with its ubiquitous Gothic style of architecture. The cities were also joined by the Castle of the Teutonic Orders in Malbork, one of the largest Gothic fortresses in the world. Place of worship feature prominently on the list. They include the 6 wooden churches in Southern Malopolska, 8 tserkvas in Carpathian region and the chapels on Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, but are also the 17th century Churches of Peace in Swidnica and Jawor which commemorate the peaceful ending the Thirty Years War after which the emperor allowed Lutherans to erect these wooden structures outside the towns but they had to be completed in one calendar year.
Natural wonders include the Bialowieza National Park, the best preserved primeval forest in Europe or the Muzakowski Park, a beautiful 19th century English-style landscape park that straddles the border between Poland and Germany.
The medieval Salt Mines at Wieliczka and Bochnia, the oldest industrial complex in Poland, is an amazing and unique entry. In a completely separate category is the Nazi Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which witnessed the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles as well as victims from other nationalities.
In 2006, the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw was added to the list. This structure, studied by architectural students from around the world, is the flagship example of modernism and a great technical achievement by the German architect Max Berg. The structure was erected using reinforced concrete at the beginning of the 20th century.
- Historic Centre of Krakow
- Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
- Auschwitz Birkenau - German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp
- Białowieża Forest
- Historic Centre of Warsaw
- Old City of Zamość
- Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
- Medieval Town of Torun
- Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park
- Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica
- Wooden Churches of Southern Malopolska
- Muskauer Park / Park Muzakowski
- Centennial Hall in Wroclaw
- Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine
- Tarnowskie Gory - lead-silver-zinc mines and underground water management system