The Jelling stones are massive carved runestones from the 10th century, found at the town of Jelling in Denmark. The older of the two Jelling stones was raised by King Gorm the Old in memory of his wife Thyra; the larger of the two stones was raised by King Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth, in memory of his parents, celebrating his conquest of Denmark and Norway, his conversion of the Danes to Christianity. The runic inscriptions on these stones are considered the best known in Denmark; the stones are identified with the creation of Denmark as a nation state. Both inscriptions mention the name "Danmark"; the larger stone explicitly mentions the conversion of Denmark from Norse paganism and the process of Christianization, alongside a depiction of the crucified Christ. After having been exposed to the elements for a thousand years, cracks are beginning to show. On 15 November 2008 experts from UNESCO examined the stones to determine their condition. Experts requested that the stones be moved to an indoor exhibition hall, or in some other way protected in situ, to prevent further damage from the weather.
In February 2011 the site was vandalized using green spray paint, with the word "GELWANE" written on both sides of the larger stone, with identical graffiti sprayed on a nearby gravestone and on the church door. After much speculation about the possible meaning of the enigmatic word "gelwane", the vandal was discovered to be a 15-year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome and the word itself was meaningless; as the paint had not hardened, experts were able to remove it. The Heritage Agency of Denmark decided to keep the stones in their current location and selected a protective casing design from 157 projects submitted through a competition; the winner of the competition was Nobel Architects. The glass casing creates a climate system that keeps the stones at a fixed temperature and humidity and protects them from weathering; the design features rectangular glass casings strengthened by two solid bronze sides mounted on a supporting steel skeleton. The glass is coated with an anti-reflective material.
Additionally, the bronze patina gives off a rusty, greenish colour, highlighting the runestones' gray and reddish tones and emphasising their monumental character and significance. The inscription on the larger of the two Jelling stones translates to: "King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his father, in memory of Thyrvé, his mother. Sá Haraldr es sér vann Danmǫrk alla auk Norveg auk dani gærði kristna.. Christ is depicted as standing in the shape of a cross and entangled in; this depiction of Christ has been taken as indicating the parallels with the "hanging" of the Norse pagan god Odin, who in Rúnatal gives an account of being hung from a tree and pierced by a spear. In 1955, a plaster cast of this stone was made for a festival in London, it is now located in the grounds of the Danish Church in London, 4 St. Katherines Precinct, Regents Park, London; the copy is painted like the original. Most of the original paint has flaked away from the original stone, but enough small specks of paint remained to tell us what the colors looked like when they were freshly painted.
A copy is located in the National Museum of Denmark, another copy, decorated by Rudolf Broby-Johansen in the 1930s, just outside the Jelling museum, which stands within sight of the Jelling mounds. Another copy of this stone was placed in 1936 on the Domplein in Utrecht, next to the Cathedral of Utrecht, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Utrecht University. A copy exists in Rouen, France near Saint-Ouen abbey Church offered by Denmark to the city of Rouen, on the occasion of the millennium of Normandy in 1911. A facsimile of the image of Christ on Harald's runestone appears on the inside front cover of the Danish passport; the inscription on the older and smaller of the Jelling stones translates to "King Gormr made this monument in memory of Thyrvé, his wife, Denmark's adornment." Boris stones — similar landmarks in Belarus Curmsun Disc Bornholm amulet Haraldskær Woman Jelling stone ship — a ship setting that lay between the mounds Jelling style Tourism in Denmark Hogan, C. Michael.
"Jelling Stones," Megalithic Portal, editor Andy Burnham Rundata, Joint Nordic database for runic inscriptions. Jacobsen, Lis. Danmarks Runeindskrifter. Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaards Forlag. World Heritage Rune stones and church in Jelling
European route E45
The European route E 45 goes between Norway and Italy, through Finland, Denmark and Austria. With a length of about 5,190 kilometres, it is the longest north-south European route; the route passes through Alta – Kautokeino – Hetta – Palojoensuu – Kaaresuvanto – Gällivare – Porjus – Jokkmokk – Arvidsjaur – Östersund – Mora – Säffle – Åmål – Brålanda – Gothenburg … Frederikshavn – Aalborg – Randers – Århus – Vejle – Kolding – Frøslev – Flensburg – Hamburg – Hanover – Göttingen – Kassel – Fulda – Würzburg – Nuremberg – Munich – Rosenheim – Wörgl – Innsbruck – Brenner – Fortezza – Bolzano – Trento – Verona – Modena – Bologna – Cesena – Perugia – Fiano Romano – Naples – Salerno – Sicignano – Cosenza – Villa San Giovanni … Messina – Catania – Siracusa – Gela. E45 is 101 km long in Finland, it follows routes 21 and 93 in Finland. The E45 was not signposted in Finland after the 2006 extension, since the official document uses the Swedish version of the name of the village at the Finnish–Swedish border, hinting that it would start on the Swedish side.
The Swedish government proposed the extension alone in 2005 and let the E45 end at the border because of lack of interest from Finnish authorities. The gap between the end of E45 and the European route E8 was about 1 km along the existing Finnish regional road 959 Karesuvanto – Karesuando In August 2016, after a political proposal in 2007, the governments of Norway and Finland applied for an extension of E45 Karesuando–Kaaresuvanto–Palojoensuu–Hetta–Kautokeino–Alta; this was approved by the work group, became valid on 5 December 2017. E45 sign posts were mounted starting 9 February 2018, replacing route 93 in Norway, complementing road 959, 21 and 93 in Finland. In November 2006, the E 45 was extended with the existing Swedish national road 45, which makes it start from Karesuando at the Swedish–Finnish border, over Östersund–Mora–Grums, to Gothenburg and on; this extended the length of the route by about 1,690 km. The signs of road 45 was changed to E 45 during the summer of 2007; the E 45 has now no other national number.
In Sweden the road is called Inlandsvägen. The E45 in Sweden is an ordinary road. Between Karesuando and Torsby the road is 6–8 meters wide, goes through sparsely populated forests, with occasional villages and only two cities above 10,000 people, Östersund and Mora; the E45 is a motorway for 6 km together with the E18 south of Grums. Between Säffle and Trollhättan several parts of it is 2+1 road with a middle barrier around 40 km. Between Trollhättan and Surte there is a 52 km long motorway, finished in 2012. Between Surte and Gothenburg there is a 17 km road designed equivalently to a motorway; the exception is that there are two gaps in the Trollhättan–Surte motorway and there are two traffic lights along the Surte–Gothenburg road. The speed limit is 100 km/h north of Mora and 90 km/h south thereof. There are 27 road crossings or intersections where the Swedish E45 does not follow the straight direction. There are 26 level crossings with railways. There are 29 other motorway-like exits; the ferry Gothenburg–Frederikshavn has about 6 daily departures and takes 3½ hours.
In Denmark the E 45 is a motorway from the south of Frederikshavn to the Denmark–Germany border. The E 45 has no other national number, it connects to E 20 motorways. In 1992 it was renamed from E 3 and until 2006, with the extension in Sweden, the northern endpoint was Frederikshavn; the total length in Denmark is 357 km. The road E 45 follows: Bundesautobahn 7, Danish border–Würzburg Bundesautobahn 3, Würzburg–Nuremberg Bundesautobahn 9, Nuremberg–Munich Bundesautobahn 99, Munich Beltway Bundesautobahn 8, Munich–Rosenheim Bundesautobahn 93, Rosenheim–Austrian borderThe length in Germany is 1022 km. Between Nuremberg and Verona, Italy the E45 corresponds with the route of the old imperial road, the Via Imperii, though the Autobahns are newer roads; the road E 45 follows: Inn Valley Autobahn A12, German border–Innsbruck Brenner Autobahn A13, Innsbruck–Italian border The length in Austria is 109 km. Norway Alta – Kautokeino – Norway/ Finland border Finland Norway/ Finland border – Hetta – Palojoensuu Palojoensuu – Kaaresuvanto Regional road 959: Kaaresuvanto – Finland/ Sweden border Sweden Karesuando – Svappavaara – Gällivare – Arvidsjaur – Storuman – Stensele – Håxås – Östersund – Brunflo – Sveg – Mora – Malung – Stöllet – Önneby – Torsby (End of Concurrency with – Vålberg – Åmål – Trollhättan – Gothenburg Gothenburg – Fredrikshavn Denmark Fredrikshavn – Aalborg – Randers – Aarhus – Horsens – Vejle – Kolding – Haderslev – Aabenraa – / border Germany / border – Flensburg – Neumünster – Hamburg – Hanover – Hildesheim - Göttingen – Kassel – Fulda – Würzburg Würzburg – Nuremberg Nuremberg – Ingolstadt – Munich Munich Munich – Rosenheim Rosenheim – / border Austria / border – Kufstein – Wörgl – Wiesing – Innsbruck Innsbruck – Matrei am Brenner – / border Italy / border – Brennero – Vipiteno – Bolzano – Trento – Rovereto – Verona – Mantua – Modena Modena – La Stanga La Stanga – Bologna – Cesena Cesena – San Piero in Bagno – Sansepolcro – Umbertide – Perugia – Todi – Terni Terni – Narni – Orte Orte – Nazzano – Mon
Gorm the Old
Gorm the Old called Gorm the Languid, was ruler of Denmark, reigning from c. 936 to his death c. 958. He ruled from Jelling, made the oldest of the Jelling Stones in honour of his wife Thyra. Gorm was born before 900 and died c. 958. Gorm is the reported son of semi-legendary Danish king Harthacnut. Chronicler Adam of Bremen says that Harthacnut came from Northmannia to Denmark and seized power in the early 10th century, he deposed the young king reigning over Western Denmark. When Harthacnut died, Gorm ascended the throne. Heimskringla reports Gorm taking at least part of the kingdom by force from Gnupa, Adam himself suggests that the kingdom had been divided prior to Gorm's time. Gorm is first mentioned as the host of Archbishop Unni of Hamburg and Bremen in 936. According to the Jelling Stones, Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth, "won all of Denmark", so it is speculated that Gorm only ruled Jutland from his seat in Jelling. Gorm married Thyra, given conflicting and chronologically dubious parentage by late sources, but no contemporary indication of her parentage survives.
Gorm raised one of the great burial mounds at Jelling as well as the oldest of the Jelling Stones for her, calling her tanmarkar but. Gorm was the father of three sons, Toke and Harald King Harald Bluetooth, his wife, Thyra, is credited with the completion of the Danevirke, a wall between Denmark's southern border and its unfriendly Saxon neighbors to the south. The wall was not new, but it was expanded with a ditch and earthen foundation topped by a timber stockade above it; the Danevirke ran across what is now Schleswig. Gorm died in the winter of 958–959, dendrochronology shows that his burial chamber was made from wood of timbers felled in 958. Arild Huitfeldt relates one legend of his death in Danmarks Riges Krønike: The three sons were Vikings in the truest sense, departing Denmark each summer to raid and pillage. Harald came back to the royal enclosure at Jelling with the news that his son Canute had been killed in an attempt to capture Dublin, Ireland. Canute was shot with a coward's arrow while watching some games at night.
No one would tell the king in view of the oath. Queen Thyra ordered that no one was to say a single word; when Gorm entered the hall, he was asked what the mourning colors meant. Queen Thyra spoke up: "Lord King, you had two falcons, one white and the other gray; the white one flew far afield and was set upon by other birds which tore off its beautiful feathers and is now useless to you. Meanwhile the gray falcon continues to catch fowl for the king's table." Gorm understood the Queen's metaphor and cried out, "My son is dead, since all of Denmark mourns!" "You have said it, your majesty," Thyra announced, "Not I, but what you have said is true." According to the story Gorm was so grieved by Canute's death. This account would contradict information on the Jelling Stones which point to Queen Thyra dying before Gorm; some archaeologists and historians have suggested that Gorm was buried first in Queen Thyra's grave mound at Jelling, moved by his son, Harald Bluetooth, into the original wooden church in Jelling.
According to this theory it is believed, that the skeleton found at the site of the first Christian church of Jelling is in fact Gorm the Old, though the theory is still much debated. During the reign of Gorm, most Danes still worshipped the Norse gods, but during the reign of Gorm's son, Harold Bluetooth, Denmark converted to Christianity. Harald, left the hill where Gorm had been interred as a memorial. Gorm was "old" in the sense that he was considered the traditional ancestral "head" of the Danish monarchy. Saxo Grammaticus in the Gesta Danorum asserts that Gorm was older than other monarchs and having lived so long was blind by the time his son Canute was killed. Birkebæk, Frank. Vikingetiden i Danmark. Viborg: Sesam. ISBN 87-11-13718-5 Hybel, Nils. Danmark i Europa: 750–1300. København: Museum Tusculanums forlag. ISBN 87-7289-882-8 Johannessen, Kåre. Politikens bog om Danmarks vikingetid. Politikens håndbøger. København: Politikens forlag. ISBN 87-567-6456-1 Sawyer, P. H.. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings.
Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-285365-1 Thiedecke and Thiedecke, Johnny. De danske vikinger: samfund, kongemagt og togter ca. 700–1050. Valby: Pantheon. ISBN 87-90108-21-3
A runestone is a raised stone with a runic inscription, but the term can be applied to inscriptions on boulders and on bedrock. The tradition began in the 4th century and lasted into the 12th century, but most of the runestones date from the late Viking Age. Most runestones are located in Scandinavia, but there are scattered runestones in locations that were visited by Norsemen during the Viking Age. Runestones are memorials to dead men. Runestones were brightly coloured when erected, though this is no longer evident as the colour has worn off. Most Runestones are found in present day Sweden; the tradition of raising stones that had runic inscriptions first appeared in the 4th and 5th century, in Norway and Sweden, these early runestones were placed next to graves. The earliest Danish runestones appeared in the 8th and 9th centuries, there are about 50 runestones from the Migration Period in Scandinavia. Most runestones were erected during the period 950-1100 CE, they were raised in Sweden, to a lesser degree in Denmark and Norway.
The tradition is mentioned in both Ynglinga saga and Hávamál: For men of consequence a mound should be raised to their memory, for all other warriors, distinguished for manhood a standing stone, a custom that remained long after Odin's time. —The Ynglinga saga What may have increased the spread of runestones was an event in Denmark in the 960s. King Harald Bluetooth had just been baptised and in order to mark the arrival of a new order and a new age, he commanded the construction of a runestone; the inscription reads King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his father, in memory of Þyrvé, his mother. The runestone has three sides. On one side, there is an animal, the prototype of the runic animals that would be engraved on runestones, on another side there is Denmark's oldest depiction of Jesus. Shortly after this stone had been made, something happened in Scandinavia's runic tradition. Scores of chieftains and powerful Norse clans consciously tried to imitate King Harald, from Denmark a runestone wave spread northwards through Sweden.
In most districts, the fad died out after a generation, but, in the central Swedish provinces of Uppland and Södermanland, the fashion lasted into the 12th century. There are about 3,000 runestones among the about 6,000 runic inscriptions in Scandinavia. There are runestones in other parts of the world as the tradition of raising runestones followed the Norsemen wherever they went, from the Isle of Man in the west to the Black Sea in the east, from Jämtland in the north to Schleswig in the south; the runestones are unevenly distributed in Scandinavia: Denmark has 250 runestones, Norway has 50 while Iceland has none. Sweden has as many as between 2,500 depending on definition; the Swedish district of Uppland has the highest concentration with as many as 1,196 inscriptions in stone, whereas Södermanland is second with 391. Outside of Scandinavia, the Isle of Man stands out with its 30 runestones from the 9th century and early 11th century. Scattered runestones have been found in England, Ireland and the Faroe Islands.
With the exception of the runestone on Berezan', there are no runestones in Eastern Europe, due to a lack of available stones and the fact that the local population did not treat the foreigners' stones with much respect. Runestones were placed on selected spots in the landscape, such as assembly locations, bridge constructions, fords. In medieval churches, there are runestones that have been inserted as construction material, it is debated whether they were part of the church location or had been moved there. In southern Scania, runestones can be tied to large estates that had churches constructed on their land. In the Mälaren Valley, the runestones appear to be placed so that they mark essential parts of the domains of an estate, such as courtyard, grave field, borders to neighbouring estates. Runestones appear as single monuments and more as pairs. In some cases, they are part of larger monuments together with other raised stones. However, although scholars know where 95% of all runestones were discovered, only about 40% were discovered in their original location.
The remainder have been found in churches, bridges, graves and water routes. On the other hand, scholars agree that the stones were not moved far from their original sites. In many districts, 50% of the stone inscriptions have traces of Christianity, but, in Uppland, which has the highest concentration of runic inscriptions in the world, about 70% of the 1,196 stone inscriptions are explicitly Christian, shown by engraved crosses or added Christian prayers, only a few runestones are not Christian. Scholars have suggested that the reason why so many Christian runestones were raised in Uppland is that the district was the focal point in the conflict between Norse paganism and the newly Christianized King of Sweden, it is possible that the chieftains tried to demonstrate their allegiance to the king and to display their Christian faith to the world and to God by adding Christian crosses and prayers on their runestones. What speaks against this theory is the fact that Norway, Götaland did not have any corresponding development in the runestone tradition.
Moreover, not a single runestone declares. Additionally, the runestones appear to show. According to another theory, it was a social fashion, popular among
The stone ship or ship setting was an early burial custom in Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Baltic states. The grave or cremation burial was surrounded by stones in the shape of a ship; the ships vary in size and were erected from c. 1000 BC to 1000 AD. Stone ship were an early burial custom, characteristically Scandinavian but found in Northern Germany and the Baltic states; the grave or cremation burial was surrounded by or loosely fit slabs or stones in the outline of a ship. They are found in grave fields, but are sometimes far from any other archaeological remains. Ship settings are of some of monumental proportions; the largest known is the destroyed Jelling stone ship in Denmark, at least 170 m long. In Sweden, the size varies from 67 m to only a few metres; the orientation varies. Inside, they can have raised stones in the positions of masts; the illusion of being ships has been reinforced by larger stones at the ends. Some have an oblique stern. Scattered examples are found along the coast of the Baltic States.
Excavations have shown that they are from the latter part of the Nordic Bronze Age, c. 1000 BC – 500 BC or from the Germanic Iron Age, the Vendel Period and the Viking Age. Scholars have suggested both that the stone ship developed out of the desire to equip the dead with everything he had in life, alternatively that it was associated with the journey to Hel. One puzzling feature is that they sometimes occur at the base of a barrow, enclosing a flat area intended for public ceremonies. In a paper published in 2012, Joseph S. Hopkins and Haukur Þorgeirsson propose a connection between stone ships and the image of a'ship in a field' that the goddess Freyja's afterlife locations Fólkvangr and Sessrúmnir considered together produce. According to Hopkins and Haukur, "'A ship in the field' in the mythical realm may have been conceived as a reflection of actual burial customs and vice versa, it is possible that the symbolic ship was thought of as providing some sort of beneficial property to the land, such as good seasons and peace brought on by Freyr’s mound burial in Ynglinga saga."
Bække, Denmark. 800 m north of Bække there is a 45 m ship. Jelling stone ship. Under the southern mound in Jelling, associated with Queen Thyra, remains of a giant Viking Age stone ship have been found, by far the largest known: either 170 or 354 m. Kerteminde fjord, Denmark, a 20 m ship which dates to the Viking Age. Lejre, Denmark. An 80 m ship of 28 stones; the ship was cleared in 1921 by a landowner, but some local people interested in history succeeded in saving the stones. Viking Age. Lindholm Høje near Aalborg, Denmark; the highest concentration of well-preserved stone ships. Altes Lager near Anklam, Western Pomerania, Germany; the stone ships date back to the 9th century. Ale's Stones is a stone ship in southernmost Sweden, it is 19 m wide. Anundshög double stone ship at Anundshög has a total length of 100 m and one of the ships is 25 m wide. In the same area there are several smaller stone ships. Askeberga stone ships is Sweden's second largest stone ship, measuring 55 m in length, it is, the most remarkable one as it is made of 24 enormous boulders, weighing about 25 tonnes each.
Blomsholm stone ships. The stone ship at Blomsholm near Strömstad in Bohuslän measures more than 40 m in length and consists of 49 large menhirs; the bow and stern are about 4 m high. There are several other large megaliths in the area. Gettlinge grave field, Öland, Sweden. Hulterstad grave field, Öland, Sweden includes a total of 170 burial locations. Tjelvar's Grave in Boge, according to legend the grave of Gotland's mythical discoverer Thjelvar, dated c. 750 BC. "Velna laivas" in Talsu novads, dated c. 950-750 BC. Menhir Ship burial Solar barge Stone circle
Vejle is a town in Denmark, in the southeast of the Jutland Peninsula at the head of Vejle Fjord, where the Vejle River and Grejs River and their valleys converge. It is the site of the Region of Southern Denmark; the city has a population of 54,862, making it the ninth largest city in Denmark. Vejle Municipality has a population of 111,743; the city is part of the Triangle Region, which includes the neighbouring cities of Kolding and Fredericia. Vejle is most known for its forested hills, harbour, pedestrian mall, iconic windmill; the word "Vejle" derives from the Old Danish word wæthel, meaning "ford" or "wading place" due to its location at a busy crossing over Vejle River. During Viking times, the wetlands around Vejle had to be crossed at the Ravning Bridge, a nearly half-mile wooden boardwalk; the first recorded mention of the town is from 1256, the first known merchant town privileges were issued by King Valdemar III in 1327. Archaeological digs near St. Nicolai Church in downtown Vejle have shown that there were residences in the area as far back as 1100.
The king's castle, Castrum Wæthel, was located. During the Middle Ages, Vejle was important as a market town, developed along those lines up to the mid-17th century, trading with cities such as Lübeck and Flensburg, in what is now Germany. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Vejle's population was diminished as a consequence of plague and war. In 1796, Vejle was made the seat of the newly founded Vejle County, the town expanded throughout the 19th century, benefiting from improvements such as a new harbour on the fjord, a railroad station, modern utilities. From the mid-19th century into the 20th century, Vejle developed from a provincial market town into a busy industrial centre becoming known as the "Manchester of Denmark" for its many cotton mills. Downtown Vejle was built on an island of glacial till in Vejle River remaining from a hill formed during the last ice age. For a country where the highest natural elevation is only about 170 m above sea level, Vejle is known for the forested hills that rise to the north and south of the town and fjord.
The valleys of the two rivers that converge at Vejle are both unique in Denmark: Vejle River Valley is the longest tunnel valley in Denmark, the Grejs Valley is the largest ravine in Denmark. Both empty into Vejle Fjord, which connects Vejle by water through the Little Belt strait to the Baltic Sea, through the Kattegat and Skagerrak straits to the Atlantic Ocean. Many of Vejle's neighbourhoods began as separate towns or villages that merged with the city as it grew. Søndermarken, Nørremarken, Grejsdalen, were all founded as extensions of the city onto the surrounding hillsides. Vejle's neighbourhoods include: Vejle centre Bredballe - east of north of Vejle Fjord. Speaking, industry has been important for the city's development, while today more weight is placed on business and service, as well as high-tech firms. During the Industrial Revolution, Vejle was known as the "Manchester of Denmark" due to its extensive textile mills; the local rivers provided water power to mills, including the extensive facilities of De Danske Bomuldsspinderier.
In the first half of the 20th century, Vejle was something of a behemoth within the Danish textile industry, with some 25% of the city's workers employed in the industry. Despite the decline in the industry in Denmark, the last cotton mill in Vejle remained open until 1993. Today, many of the old mill buildings are used for art studios, office space, more apartments. On, newer industries took root in Vejle; the city is home to one of the largest chewing gum factories in the world, producing Stimorol brand chewing gum. The Tulip slaughterhouses were an important employer in the city. Today, Tulip has closed its factory at the harbour, but still maintains production in northern Vejle. Today, Vejle's economy is shifting out of the industrial sector and into the high-tech sector, with a number of software companies operating out of the city. Vejle is known regionally as a vibrant shopping town with a wide and varied offering of both chain and specialty shops located along the city's central pedestrian mall.
In an effort to maintain its position as a premiere shopping destination, the town has invested in several public works projects to improve the city's appearance, including lengthening the pedestrian mall, developing new public art and architecture, uncovering and beautifying Grejs River, which until ran in a culvert underneath downtown. Two new shopping centres and Mary's, have recently opened, offering more shopping and rest
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list