The Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars of France were on 5 July 2015 granted with the World Heritage Status by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The decision to grant the status was given during the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Bonn, Germany. The Committee was chaired by Maria Bohmer, Minister of State at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office
The Champagne World Heritage status covered the places where sparkling wine was developed using a second fermentation method in the bottle from the beginning of the 17th century until its early industrialisation in the 19th century.
It mentioned the historic vineyards of Hautvillers where the monk Dom Perignon invented the fermentation process that gives champagne its fizz.
Besides, another cultural site in France – The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy – was declared as World Heritage Site.
Some other cultural sites that were declared as World Heritage Sites during the 39th Session are:
• Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement (Denmark): Founded in 1773 in South Jutland, the site is an example of a planned settlement
• The Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand (Denmark)
• Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape (Turkey): Located on an escarpment of the Upper Tigres River Basin that is part of the so-called Fertile Crescent
• Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site (Norway)
• Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus (Germany)
• The Forth Bridge in Scotland (United Kingdom): This railway bridge spanning the estuary of the Forth River in Scotland is the world’s longest multi-span cantilever bridge.
• San Antonio Missions (USA)
• Sites Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining (Japan)
• Ephesus (Turkey): Comprises of successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations
• Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System (Mexico)—This 16th century aqueduct
• Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape (Uruguay)
• Necropolis of Beth She’arim—a Landmark of Jewish Revival (Israel): Primary Jewish burial place outside Jerusalem
About the status of World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a status granted to a place (such as a building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, or mountain) that is listed by the UNESCO as being of special cultural or physical significance.
These are annually declared during the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meeting which is composed of 21 UNESCO member states elected by the General Assembly.
The program was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
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When: 5 July 2015