UNESCO - Cultural heritage


Cultural heritage is widely recognised across Europe as a vehicle of cultural identity. The protection of our common heritage and the promotion of cultural diversity are also very important instruments for bringing different communities closer and enhancing dialogue between different cultures.


Your task for this webquest is to learn about UNESCO cultural heritage sites and the process behind their selection to be included on the official list.


Step 1:

Watch the video which briefly explains the concept of "world heritage", then answer the three questions:

1. When was UNESCO founded?

a. 1954          b. 1945          c. 1854

2. When was the World Heritage Convention signed?

a. 1972          b. 1960          c. 1984

3. Who nominates a site to be included on the World Heritage List?

a. its country of origin          b. international experts          c. the World Heritage Committee


Step 2:

Look at the logo from the image below. It is the World Heritage emblem. It was designed by Belgian artist Michel Olyff and adopted as the official emblem of the World Heritage Convention in 1978. What do you think it symbolizes? 

Check the official UNESCO website to see if you were right: https://whc.unesco.org/en/emblem/


Step 3: The World Heritage List

To be included on the World Heritage List, cultural sites must be of Outstanding Universal Value and meet at least one out of six selection criteria. Check the link below to find out how UNESCO is working to identify World Heritage sites and protect them for future generations: https://visitworldheritage.com/en/heritage

An ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ or OUV describes why the designated site is one of the most remarkable places on earth. Outstanding Universal Value means cultural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity. As such, the permanent protection of this heritage is of the highest importance to the international community as a whole.

If you analyse the map of the properties recognised as UNESCO heritage sites, what do you notice first? https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/


Step 4: Team project 

You will work in 6 multi-national teams to complete the last step of this webquest. Click on the link next to your team number, to discover a list of cultural heritage sites associated under a specific category. Choose 2 of the sites from the list and research information about them. Then, create a short presentation in which you should include:

a. the names and locations of the 2 sites

b. a very short description of the sites (+ when they were inluded in the official List of UNESCO sites, why , how popular they are as touristic sites)

c. find 3 similarities and 3 differences between the sites. 

Present your team's work in front of your colleagues. 

TEAM 1: Urban landscape - Medieval European https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Medieval+European

TEAM 2: Structure - Palace https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Palace

TEAM 3: Religious structure - Christian https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Christian

TEAM 4: Archaeological site - Ancient Rome https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Ancient+Rome

TEAM 5: Structure - Memorials and Monuments https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Memorials+and+Monuments

TEAM 6: Urban landscape - Post-medieval European https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Post-medieval+European


Your presentations:

Team 1: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/19_fD-o6HiM9TKY-VCwJWAL8TYFF445Kseg5H9fLzu1Y/edit?usp=drivesdk

Team 2:

Team 3:

Team 4:

Team 5:

Team 6:



Levels of Performance:







1. Organization & Clarity: 

Main arguments and responses are outlined in a clear and orderly way.

Completely clear and orderly presentation

Mostly clear and orderly in all parts

Clear in some parts but not overall

Unclear and disorganized throughout


2. Use of Argument: 

Reasons are given to support the resolution

Very strong and persuasive arguments given throughout

Many good arguments given, with only minor problems

Some decent arguments, but some significant problems

Few or no real arguments given, or all arguments given had significant problems


3. Presentation Style: 

Tone of voice, clarity of expression, precision of arguments all contribute to keeping audience’s attention and persuading them of the team’s case.

All style features were used convincingly

Most style features were used convincingly

Few style features were used convincingly

Very few style features were used, none of them convincingly











Understanding World Heritage can help us become more aware of our own roots, and of our cultural and social identity. A closer look at any of the sites on the World Heritage List helps us learn about the beliefs, values and knowledge of the peoples and the civilizations that created them (cultural heritage).