The first days of July is always an exciting time for all those who love travel and to explore iconic places. The annual meeting of UNESCO’s experts on cultural and natural properties around the world took place in Bahrain this year, ending on July 4. 19 new sites have been added to the prestigious list of outstanding World Heritage places and monuments, among them two natural sites, the Chaine des Puys in central France and Fanjingshan in the Guizhou Province in south-west China.

Header photo of Fanjingshan © Office of the Leading Group for World Heritage Application of Tongren City


Located within the Wuling mountain range in Guizhou Province (south-west China), Fanjingshan ranges in altitude between 500 metres and 2,570 metres above sea level, favouring highly diverse types of vegetation and relief. It is an island of metamorphic rock in a sea of karst, home to many plant and animal species which originated in the Tertiary period, between 65 million and 2 million years ago. The site’s isolation has led to a high degree of biodiversity with endemic species. Fanjingshan has the largest and most contiguous primeval beech forest in the subtropical region. There are now 53 World Heritage sites in China.

– For more see UNESCO New Inscribed Properties

Chaine des Puys © Pierre Soissons
Chaine des Puys © Pierre Soissons

Chaine des Puys – Limagne fault tectonic arena

Situated in the centre of France, the site comprises the long Limagne fault, the alignments of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes and the inverted relief of the Montagne de la Serre. It is an emblematic segment of the West European Rift, created in the aftermath of the formation of the Alps, 35 million years ago. The geological features of the property demonstrate how the continental crust cracks, then collapses, allowing deep magma to rise and cause uplifting at the surface. The property is an exceptional illustration of continental break-up – or rifting – which is one of the five major stages of plate tectonics. With Chaine des Puys, the number of World Heritage sites in France is 44.

– For more see UNESCO New Inscribed Properties
– More about France on IN Editions

All photos courtesy of UNESCO and the respective photographers
Texts from UNESCO descriptions under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0.