Subterranean World Heritage List


The World Heritage List ist well known. Nearly 700 man-made and natural sights all over the world are protected by an international treaty, which 52 countries have signed until now. Several of these sights are underground, and we will try to write some comments on each of them. 41 of the existing World Heritage sites contain karst, most of them are in temperate regions.


Country Year WHL Entry Location(s)
Algeria 1982 SWHLTassili n'Ajjer CaveTassili n'Ajjer
1982 SWHLM'Zab Valley CaveGhardaïa
Argentina 1999 SWHLCueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas ShowcaveCueva de las Manos
Australia 1986 SWHLGondwana Rainforests of Australia KarstNatural Bridge Springbrook
1987 SWHLUluru-Kata Tjuta National Park CaveUluru
1994 SWHLAustralian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh / Naracoorte) ShowcaveVictoria Fossil Cave
Belgium 2000 SWHLThe Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons) MineLes minières de silex néolithique de Spiennes
2012 SWHLMajor Mining Sites of Wallonia MineGrand Hornu
MineEcomusée du Bois-du-Luc
MineBois du Cazier
MineBlegny
Bolivia 1987 SWHLCity of Potosí MinePotosi Cooperative Mines
Botswana 2001 SWHLTsodilo CaveTsodilo Rock Paintings
Brazil 1991 SWHLSerra da Capivara National Park - UNESCO World Heritage List CaveSerra da Capivara National Park
Bulgaria 1979 SWHLThracian Tomb of Kazanlak SubterraneaKazanluk Tomb
1979 SWHLRock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo SubterraneaIvanovo Rock Churches
1983 SWHLRila Monastery SubterraneaCave of St. Ivan Rilski
1985 SWHLThracian Tomb of Sveshtari SubterraneaThracian Tomb of Sveshtari
China 1987 SWHLPeking Man Site at Zhoukoudian ShowcaveZhoukoudian
1992 SWHLJiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area KarstFive-Flower Lake
1992 SWHLHuanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area KarstHuanglong
1992 SWHLWulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area ShowcaveHuanglong
1994 SWHLMogao Caves SubterraneaDunHuang Mogao Caves
1999 SWHLDazu Rock Carvings SubterraneaDazu Grottoes
2000 SWHLLongmen Grottoes SubterraneaLongmen Grottoes
2001 SWHLYungang Grottoes SubterraneaYungang Grottoes
2007 SWHLSouth China Karst KarstThree Natural Bridges KarstQingkou Tiankeng ShowcaveFurong Dong
Colombia 1995 SWHLNational Archeological Park of Tierradentro SubterraneaTierradentro Rock Tombs
Croatia 1979 SWHLPlitvice Lakes National Park KarstPlitvice Lakes National Park
Czech Republic 1992 SWHLHistoric Centre of Ceský Krumlov MineGrafitový dul Český Krumlov
1995 SWHLKutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec MineMuzeum s Stredveké Dulni Dilo
1999 SWHLLitomyšl Castle SubterraneaZámecké sklepení Litomyšl
2019 SWHLErzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region RegionErzgebirge
RegionKrušnohoří
Egypt 1979 SWHLNubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae SubterraneaAbu Simbel
France 1979 SWHLPrehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley RegionVézère Valley
ShowcaveGrottes de Bernifal
ShowcaveAbri Préhistorique du Cap Blanc
ShowcaveGrotte des Combarelles
ShowcaveGrotte de Font-de-Gaume
ShowcaveGrotte de Lascaux
ShowcaveAbri de Laugerie-Haute
ShowcaveLa Micoque
ShowcaveAbri du Moustier
ShowcaveAbri du Poisson
ShowcaveGrotte de Rouffignac
1992 SWHLFrom the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt MineSaline Royale d'Arc-et-Senans
2008 SWHLFortifications of Vauban ShowcaveGrotte historique de Cova Bastera
2014 SWHLDecorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche SubterraneaExposition Grotte Chauvet
CaveGrotte Chauvet
Germany 1978 International Register of Cultural Property under Special Protection SubterraneaKulturbunker Barbarastollen
1992 SWHLMines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System MineMines of Rammelsberg
2001 SWHLZollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen MineZeche Zollverein
2018 SWHLCaves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura RegionBlau valley
RegionLone valley
2019 SWHLErzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region RegionErzgebirge
RegionKrušnohoří
Great Britain 1986 SWHLIronbridge Gorge MineIronbridge Gorge Mining Museum
MineTar Tunnel
1999 SWHLHeart of Neolithic Orkney SubterraneaMaeshowe
2006 SWHLCornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape RegionCornwall
Greece 1992 SWHLPythagoreion and Heraion of Samos SubterraneaTunnel of Eupalinus, Samos
1999 SWHLThe Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos CaveCave of the Apocalypse
Hungary 1987 SWHLBudapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue SubterraneaMillennium Underground Museum
ShowcaveVar Barlang
1995 SWHLCaves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst RegionAggtelek Karst
2001 SWHLFertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape SubterraneaFertőrákosi Barlangszínház
India 1983 SWHLAjanta Caves SubterraneaAjanta Caves
1983 SWHLEllora Caves SubterraneaEllora Caves
1987 SWHLElephanta Caves, SubterraneaElephanta Caves
1987 SWHLRock Shelters of Bhimbetka CaveBhimbetka
Indonesia 2019 SWHLOmbilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto MineSawahlunto Coal Mine Museum
Ireland 1986 SWHLThe Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast CaveGiant's Causeway
1993 SWHLBrú na Bóinne - Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne SubterraneaNewgrange
Israel 2012 SWHLSites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves ShowcaveNahal Me’arot Caves
Italy 1993 SWHLThe Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera RegionSassi di Matera
Japan 2007 SWHLIwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape MineIwami Ginzan
2015 SWHLSites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining MineHashima Mine
Jordan 1985 SWHLPetra ShowcavePetra
Lebanon 1990 SWHLOuadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab) ShowcaveMagharet Qadisha
SubterraneaMar Antonios Kozhaya
SubterraneaMonastery of Our Lady of Hawqa
SubterraneaMonastery of Mar Lishaa
SubterraneaOur Lady Of Quannoubine Monastry
Luxembourg 1994 SWHLCity of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications SubterraneaLes casemates du Bock
SubterraneaLes Drois Glands
SubterraneaLes casemates de la Pétrusse
Madagascar 1990 SWHLTsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve KarstTsingy de Bemaraha
Mali 1989 SWHLCliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons), SubterraneaBandiagara Escarpment, Mali
Malta 1980 SWHLHal Saflieni Hypogeum SubterraneaHal Saflieni Hypogeum
México 1988 SWHLHistoric Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines MineValenciana Mines
Morocco 2004 SWHLPortuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) SubterraneaPortuguese Cistern
Norway 1980 SWHLRøros Mining Town and the Circumference MineOlavsgruva Røros
The Philippines 1999 SWHLPuerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park CaveSt Paul Subterranean River National Park
Poland 1978 SWHLWieliczka Salt Mine MineWieliczka Salt Mine
2017 SWHLTarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water Management System MineZabytkowa Kopalnia Srebra w Tarnowskich Górach
Portugal 1978 SWHLCultural Landscape of Sintra SubterraneaQuinta da Regaleira
Saudi Arabia 2018 SWHLAl-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape ShowcaveJebal Al Qarah
Slovak Republic 1993 SWHLHistoric Town of Banská Štiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity MineBanská Štiavnica
MineHodruša Hámre
1995 SWHLCaves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst RegionSlovensky Kras
2000 SWHLCaves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst ShowcaveDobšinská L'adová Jaskyna
Slovenia 1988 SWHLŠkocjan Caves ShowcaveŠkocjan Caves
South Africa 1999 SWHLFossil Hominid Sites of South Africa ShowcaveSterkfontein Caves
South Korea 1995 SWHLSeokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple SubterraneaSeokguram Grotto
Spain 1985 SWHLAltamira Cave ShowcaveAltamira Cave
1986 SWHLOld Town of Cáceres SubterraneaAljibe Andalusí
1987 SWHLCathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville SubterraneaBaños de Doña María de Padilla
1997 SWHLLas Médulas MineLas Médulas
1999 SWHLIbiza, Biodiversity and Culture SubterraneaPuig des Molins Nekropolis
2008 SWHLCave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain ShowcaveCueva de Altamira
ShowcaveCueva de La Peña
ShowcaveCuevo de Tito Bustillo
CaveCueva de Covaciella
CaveCueva de Llonín
ShowcaveCueva del Pindal
ShowcaveCueva de Chufín
ShowcaveCueva de Hornos de la Peña
ShowcaveCuevas de El Castillo y Las Monedas
ShowcaveCueva de El Pendo
Cueva de La Garma
ShowcaveCueva de Covalanas
ShowcaveCueva de Santimamiñe, es
ShowcaveCueva de Ekain
CaveCueva de Altxerri
Sri Lanka 1991 SWHLRangiri Dambulla Cave Temple SubterraneaDambulla
Sweden 1988 SWHLMining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun MineStora Kopparberget
Turkey 1985 SWHLGöreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia SubterraneaCappadocia
SubterraneaGöreme National Park
2015 SWHLEphesus SubterraneaEshab-i Kehf - Grotto of Seven Sleepers
Ukraine 1990 SWHLKyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra SubterraneaKiev Pechersk Lavra
United States of America 1978 SWHLMesa Verde National Park SubterraneaMesa Verde
1979 SWHLGrand Canyon National Park GorgeGrand Canyon
1981 SWHLMammoth Cave National Park ShowcaveMammoth Cave National Park
1987 SWHLHawaii Volcanoes National Park ShowcaveThurston Lava Tube
1995 SWHLCarlsbad Caverns National Park ShowcaveCarlsbad Caverns National Park
Vanuatu 2008 SWHLChief Roi Mata’s Domain CaveFels Cave
Vietnam 1994 SWHLHa Long Bay RegionHa Long Bay
2003 SWHLPhong Nha-Ke Bang National Park RegionPhong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
ShowcavePhong Nha Cave
ShowcaveDong Tien Son
Zimbabwe 2003 SWHLMatobo Hills CaveInanke Cave