World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural monuments which, from a global perspective, are irreplaceable, unique and so important to the global community that they must be passed on safely to future generations.

Well-known World Heritage Sites are the pyramids of Gizeh in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Serengeti Park in Tanzania, Machu Picchu in Peru or the Grand Canyon in the United States.

World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands include the Canal Ring in Amsterdam and the windmills in Kinderdijk.

edited February 9th 2018

Significance of place on World Heritage List

Inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage List means an international sign of appreciation, a kind of Michelin star for natural and cultural heritage. It is something a country can be proud of. It is good for tourism and the economy.

However it also implies obligations. If a monument or area is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, countries are obliged to preserve this heritage for the future. For example, a country must inform the UNESCO World Heritage Committee every six years about what it has done to ensure proper implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

Information must be provided for each heritage site

  • regarding its state of repair
  • and what the country has done to preserve its unique, universal value.

The World Heritage List currently features 962 monuments.

Dutch World Heritage Sites

Dutch World Heritage Sites are a reflection of the Netherlands and its position in the world. The Dutch World Heritage Sites can be classified into three themes:

  • The Netherlands as a land of water.
  • The Netherlands as a civil society.
  • The Netherlands as a land of design.

edited February 9th 2018

Responsible for policy

The State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science is responsible for the cultural world heritage sites in the Netherlands. The natural world heritage sites are the responsibility of the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. Together they determine Dutch world heritage policy.

Parties involved in Dutch world heritage

  • The custodians of the monuments;
  • Stichting;
  • The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation;
  • The Cultural Heritage Agency;
  • National UNESCO Committee.

Cultural Heritage Agency

The Cultural Heritage Agency implements the world heritage policy by:

  • compiling preparatory dossiers and coordinating management plans;
  • working with the custodians;
  • informing the public, in collaboration with Stichting;
  • liaising with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris.

edited February 9th 2018