Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Jamaica's 'Sunken City' of Port Royal up for World Heritage status

Remains of Port Royal

Remains of Port Royal

Jamaica is the only Caribbean country with a nomination on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List this year.

The World Heritage Committee will examine 36 nominations for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its 43rd session, which will take place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from June 30 to July 10 under the chair of Abulfas Garayev, Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan.

The Committee will furthermore also examine the state of conservation of 166 sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List, 54 of which also figure on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Jamaica has submitted the Sunken City of Port Royal to be designated as a cultural site on the World Heritage List.

Once known as “the most wicked and sinful city in the world”, Port Royal in the 1600s was one of the most famous English cities on the planet, famous the world over for its booze known as Kill Devil Rum, its pirates, and its prostitutes.

The city was ruled by the notorious pirate, Captain Henry Morgan.

According to the site Ancient Origins, in 1692, Port Royal was destroyed when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the island and the city was hit by Tsunami waves.

Reports said some 33 acres of the city disappeared under water, four of the five forts were destroyed or submerged, and 2,000 people were killed. The cemetery where Captain Morgan was buried slipped into the sea.

Inscriptions on the World Heritage List are scheduled to start on July 5. The nominated sites are (in the order of debate)*:

Natural sites:

  • Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) (China)
  • Hyrcanian Forests (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex  (Thailand)
  • French Austral Lands and Seas (France)
  • Alpi del Mediterraneo – Alpes de la Méditerranée (France / Italy / Monaco)
  • Vatnajökull National Park - dynamic nature of fire and ice (Iceland)

Mixed sites (natural and cultural):

  • Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region [extension of “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region”, North Macedonia] (Albania)
  • Paraty – Culture and Biodiversity (Brazil)

Cultural sites:

  • Ancient ferrous metallurgy site (Burkina Faso)
  • Dilmun Burial Mounds (Bahrain)
  • Babylon (Iraq)
  • Budj Bim Cultural Landscape (Australia)
  • Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (China)
  • Jaipur City, Rajasthan (India)
  • Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto (Indonesia)
  • Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan (Japan)
  • Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhuang –Plain of Jars (Lao People's Democratic Republic)
  • Bagan (Myanmar)
  • Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies (Republic of Korea)
  • Großglockner High Alpine Road (Austria)
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Danube Limes (Austria / Germany / Hungary /Slovakia)
  • Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi (Canada)
  • Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region (Czechia / Germany)
  • Landscape for Breeding and Training of Ceremonial Carriage Horses at Kladruby nad Labem (Czechia)
  • Water Management System of Augsburg (Germany)
  • Krzemionki prehistoric striped flint mining region (Poland)
  • Royal Building of Mafra– Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada) (Portugal)
  • Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga (Portugal)
  • Monuments of Ancient Pskov (Russian Federation)
  • Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape (Spain)
  • Jodrell Bank Observatory (United Kingdom)
  • Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace (Azerbaijan)
  • Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano a Valdobbiadene (Italy)
  • The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (United States of America)
  • Sunken City of Port Royal – A Relict and Continuing Cultural Landscape (Jamaica)
  • Colonial Transisthmian Route of Panamá (Panama)

Sites proposed for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • The Sundarbans (Bangladesh)
  • Ancient City of Nessebar (Bulgaria)
  • Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (Albania / North Macedonia)
  • Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Mexico)
  • Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)
  • Babylon (Iraq)

Sites to be examined in view of possible withdrawal from List in Danger:

  • Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Palestine)
  • Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Chile)

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