Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, announces the nomination of two cultural properties: «Cordouan Lighthouse» and «Europe’s big water cities» for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Built in the open sea on a rocky plateau at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary, the Cordouan lighthouse has been in use since the 16th centurye century signal to trading ships between Bordeaux and the world. It represents a masterpiece of human creative genius through its unique architecture, resulting from the desire to design a maritime signage work as a monument worthy of the ancient Wonders of the World. It testifies to the ingenuity of men to erect a building of the highest artistic ambition within an inhospitable maritime environment.
Europe’s major water cities are a transnational application carried by the Czech Republic and submitted jointly to UNESCO by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.
This serial property is a selection of eleven spa towns that testify to the places dedicated to medical care using mineral and thermal waters. Their grouping represents all the most famous cities of water and recognized as such of the XVIIIe century to the 1920s. These cities offer the common features of the water towns and representative architectural ensembles containing the buildings related to this activity: thermal baths, colonnades, churches, theatres, casinos, specialized hotels and boarding houses. The city of Vichy is, for France, included in this serial inscription for having contributed greatly to the elaboration of the thermal culture of the XIXe century.
Both applications will be considered by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee at its July 2020 session.