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News > Brazil

Unesco Designates New World Heritage Sites in 5 Latam Countries

  • The Church of Christ the Worker and Our Lady of Lourdes in Uruguay's Estacion Atlantida, created in 1958 by Uruguayan engineer Eladio Dieste, has been declared by UNESCO a world cultural heritage site.

    The Church of Christ the Worker and Our Lady of Lourdes in Uruguay's Estacion Atlantida, created in 1958 by Uruguayan engineer Eladio Dieste, has been declared by UNESCO a world cultural heritage site. | Photo: Twitter/@trtworld

Published 27 July 2021

Unesco approved the candidacy of nine international and five Latin American sites for World Heritage.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) approved Tuesday the five World Heritage nominations submitted by Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, and Mexico.

The first three were pending since last year when Unesco had to cancel its annual meeting due to conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, while those of Chile and Mexico were submitted in 2021.


Spain, Colombia, Mexico on UNESCO World Heritage Site Shortlist

The tropical garden Sitio Roberto Burle Marx in Brasilia, the solar observatory of Chankillo (Peru), the church of Estación Atlántida in Uruguay, the sites of the Chinchorro culture in Chile, together with the monastery and cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Tlaxcala were the approved sites.

With this approval, Mexico will now have 36 entries on the World Heritage List, while Peru will have 13, Chile, seven, and Uruguay, three.

According to researchers, the site chosen by Peru was the archaeological complex of Chankillo, where direct astronomical observations were allegedly carried out between 500 and 200 B.C.E., according to researchers. At this site, the annual movement of the sun was tracked to regulate religious festivities and other seasonal events.

The Chilean proposal focused on the settlements and artificial modification of the Chinchorro culture on the coastal edges of the Arica and Parinacota regions, located in the north of the country.

The Chinchorro were native hunters who settled on the coast around 7,000 B.C.E. due to the climate change caused by the last glaciations.

Mexico, for its part, presented the Franciscan complex of Tlaxcala, an extension of the inscription of the first monasteries of the 16th century on the slopes of Popocatepetl, included in the Heritage List since 1994.

"Mexico celebrates the approval #today of the inscription of the "Conjunto Conventual Franciscano y Catedralicio de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Tlaxcala" in the List of #WorldHeritage of the @UNESCO_es!
We protect our cultural wealth for humanity."

This Franciscan complex was built in 1537 and 1540 after the alliance established between Spaniards and Tlaxcalans, key to the fall of the Mexica empire, which was commemorated 500 years ago in 2019.

Meanwhile, Uruguay and Brazil have more current nominations, as both date from the 20th century. The church at Atlántida Station, in the department of Canelones on Uruguay's southern coast, was built in 1958 and 1960 by engineer Eladio Dieste.

Dieste was known for his "reinforced ceramic" system and double curvature vaults, saying that the Atlántida church was a work that changed his life.

Likewise, the Roberto Burle Marx Site, with more than 407,000 square meters of forest area in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro, is, according to the Brazilian Tourism Ministry, "the legacy of the landscape architect who created the concept of the modern tropical garden."

It has more than 3,500 species of tropical and subtropical plants. In addition, it boasts gardens and nurseries, six lakes, and seven buildings with an annual visitation of 30,000 people. It should be noted that the landscape architect himself lived there from 1937 until his death.

In addition to the Latin American nominations, Unesco approved on Tuesday nine other proposals from various parts of the world such as India, Japan, Romania, Jordan, Ivory Coast, Holland, among other places.

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