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UNESCO World Heritage Countries

Name the countries with the most UNESCO World Heritage sites.
According to Wikipedia as of 8 June 2023
Quiz by Bosna
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Last updated: June 8, 2023
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First submittedJanuary 15, 2013
Times taken89,761
Average score84.0%
Rating4.98
3:30
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#
Country
58
Italy
56
China
51
Germany
49
France
49
Spain
40
India
35
Mexico
#
Country
33
United Kingdom
30
Russia
26
Iran
25
Japan
24
United States
23
Brazil
#
Country
20
Australia
20
Canada
19
Turkey
18
Greece
17
Portugal
17
Poland
#
Country
16
Czech Republic
15
Belgium
15
South Korea
15
Sweden
13
Peru
13
Switzerland
+33
Level 82
May 27, 2014
Good quiz. Only missed Peru. Baffling that Egypt, Israel and Jordan don't make the list but Australia does.
+28
Level 34
May 27, 2014
World Heritage Sites includes both cultural and natural - Australia has a far greater range of environments and more biodiversity than those countries.
+9
Level 82
May 27, 2014
oh, well, okay. I didn't actually know that. Still, I can name 30 sites in Jerusalem alone that are priceless archaeological treasures that ought to be considered part of the heritage of the world, just off the top of my head. Australia may have more interesting nature and biodiversity going for it than Israel does but it's also got about 13,000 fewer years of civilization.
+48
Level 58
May 28, 2014
Most of those '30 sites in Jerusalem' are undoubtedly part of the single World Heritage Site "The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls"
+30
Level 39
Jan 3, 2015
Australia has had civilisation for about 30-50,000 years. But agree Australia does not have as rich built history as elsewhere (another one is Canada and arguably USA and Brazil). But the real problem is that there is a pretty strong Eurocentric bias in UNESCO it seems, otherwise you'd see many more Asian and African countries on this list eg Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Morocco, Syria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe etc. It's not just about missing Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
+21
Level 52
May 6, 2015
World Heritage Sites have to be presented to the UNESCO by the member states. The richer, well educated states have the time and the resources to open a procedure. Poorer countries will have more pressing concerns than preserving cultural sites.
+4
Level 82
Jul 8, 2015
gandalf: what are you talking about? I don't know what you are implying. That Israel doesn't protect it's historical sites? They go to absurd lengths to preserve their history, it's a cornerstone of their national identity. Are you implying that Israeli sites have not been adequately researched?? Archaeology, as a discipline, was INVENTED in Israel. The first archaeologists in history were Christians looking for religious artifacts in the holy land to validate their faith. No place has been researched more. And presentation? What's that mean? That they haven't properly developed their tourism sector? Or at least not as much as Iran has?

ponnuki: that actually makes sense. Though there are dozens if not thousands of places outside of the Old City in Jerusalem, and then outside Jerusalem you've got Bethlehem, Nazareth, Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, Jericho, Samaria, the Dead Sea, Ceasarea, Jaffa, Acre... everywhere you go there is something.

+4
Level 88
Jul 8, 2015
ponnuki is correct. Number of "sites" on the list is not a good metric since similar heritage sites are grouped. In Belgium the whole city centre of Bruges is one heritage site, the beguinages of Flanders are sprawled across different cities but are grouped into one and the belfries of France and Belgium (55 in total) similarly are counted as one. I presume the same goes for e.g. the Egyptian pyramids and Nubian monuments.
+13
Level 82
May 26, 2017
wageslave: Australia has not had civilization for 50,000 years. The first humans arrived in Australia about 50,000 years ago. But having people is not the same thing as having civilization. Invent agriculture, writing, trade, currency, pottery, animal husbandry, and start organizing into cities.... then you've got a civilization.
+11
Level 74
Nov 28, 2019
Aboriginal existence doesn't count as civilisation? Wow pretty gross opinion honestly.
+14
Level 82
Nov 28, 2019
Pretty ignorant objection, honestly. Civilization involves settling in to permanent villages or cities, developing agriculture and other common technological advancements such as writing, pottery, and animal husbandry. This is not an opinion. It's an anthropological definition that gives meaning to the word.
+3
Level 74
Nov 29, 2019
Did you even read the article you cited. "Hotly contested" lol. So, no, not ignorant.
+1
Level 33
Nov 29, 2019
Ahhh. Reminds me of good ol' Civilization V... *Sigh*
+8
Level 82
Nov 30, 2019
I did read it. You obviously didn't make it past the first paragraph.
+10
Level 82
Dec 1, 2019
For those who are too lazy to click through (or read the whole thing) but are still interested: yes, there is some debate as to what technological innovations are prerequisites for the term civilization to be used to describe groupings of humans. Not up for debate, though, is that nomadic hunter-gatherers do not count.

For the purposes of this quiz, that's pretty relevant, as hunter-gatherer tribes do not build monuments or leave behind great ruined cities for people in later generations to come visit. What exactly are you going to designate as a UNESCO site in the Australian outback that relates to the aboriginal people who lived there 50,000 years ago? "well... this patch of dirt here may have once been home to some people, though there's no evidence that it was and we can't know for certain, and that patch of dirt over there may have similarly been home to some people for a few months or so. Who knows. Please visit our gift shop."

+1
Level 49
Apr 5, 2020
jordan and israel are just too small, thats the only reason they are not on the list. As for Egypt, i have no idea...
+8
Level 82
May 12, 2020
Israel isn't too much smaller or less populous than Belgium, which makes the cut, but it's got a heck of a lot more history that could be considered part of the world's shared cultural heritage. And Jordan is substantially larger.
+6
Level 67
May 30, 2021
I’ve seen that you have adopted a very colonial view as to the societal structures that the Indigenous Australians put in place.

They are able to claim native title in Australia which requires demonstrating an ongoing link to a place (i.e. not just a bit of dirt from a gift shop).

You may also want to further your knowledge by reading “Dark Emu” by Bruce Pascoe which sets out that the Indigenous Australians actually were engaging in agriculture etc but that it suited the “Terra Nullius” position of the colonial settlers to downplay that.

+9
Level 82
May 30, 2021
for 50,000 years? So Australia was the first place to ever have civilization in the world by some 30 or 40,000 years? It's all just some evil conspiracy by the colonizers to cover it up? Wow that's amazing. Let us know when you get your Huxley Medal.
+2
Level 42
Sep 27, 2023
kalbahamut: If you really don't think that was a civilisation, care to explain the existence of places like Kakadu, Murujuga, Brewarrina or Budj Bim?

It's widely acclaimed that Indigenous Australians formed the oldest civilisations. Full stop.

+2
Level 50
Nov 30, 2023
the've got you here, I'm afraid, Kal. I do agree places like Jordan and Iraq should be here over the US.
+2
Level 76
Feb 29, 2024
SHB2000 No, it is not widely acclaimed, that is a flat out falsehood.

You people arguing against Kal seem to be confusing culture with civilization. The term comes form the latin for "city", and denotes a complex human society with a central goverment, the State.

As for the eurocentrism accusation, none of the widely accepted first civilizations are european; they were located in the Near East, India, South America and China. Archaeology started as a colonialist tool, but it isn't anymore and hasn't been for a long time.

It is *not* a bigoted opinion to say the australian aboriginal culture wasn't civilization, but a factual statement according to the scientific definition of the term. Unless you wanna argue that the archaeological community as a whole is racist.

Also, saying that a certain culture wasn't "civilized" does not mean they were "savages", which seems to be the underlying notion people critizising here have. The dualism "civilization-barbarism" is a very outdated concept.

+1
Level 57
Oct 21, 2021
"may have" lol
+1
Level 44
Apr 6, 2022
Embarassed I got everything other than Greece :\
+3
Level 46
Aug 15, 2017
Honestly, I tried Egypt and Israel as some of the first guesses.
+2
Level 52
Nov 29, 2019
Re: Aboriginal civilisation, that's currently the centre of a good old-fashioned Australian culture war. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/media/2019/11/30/bolt-pascoe-and-the-culture-wars/15750324009163
+5
Level 82
Mar 21, 2021
Culture warriors are never taken seriously by proper scientists or historians. That's a whole separate debate. (though often the influence of culture can bleed into scientific research, usually leading to errors and misunderstandings, so they do impact the field in some ways indirectly)
+4
Level 78
May 19, 2021
How about CNN, The Guardian newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, The BBC, and several other similar publishers who run articles stating that indigenous Australians are affirmed as the oldest civilisation on Earth?

Just google "are indigenous Australians civilised?' for evidence.

Whether or not they are the oldest is a moot point. But it does confirm that it was and is a civilisation, does it not?

+1
Level 73
Dec 7, 2023
Depends on your definition of "Civilisation" I suppose. I tend to agree with Kalba that to be "civilised", a culture should have developed permanent settlements, trade, agricultural practise and some form of political structures. Indigenous Australians are very similar to other hunter-gatherer cultures across the globe.

The claim that Australian indigenous culture is the oldest on the planet is a bit spurious too; assuming all people evolved from the same prehistoric ancestors, aren't all cultures the same age? They just developed in different directions depending on circumstances

+12
Level 82
May 30, 2021
I'm not sure why I would even need to say this, but, no, reporters for CNN or the Guardian are also neither scientists nor historians.

Easy way to settle this, though. Please direct me to where on Google Earth I can spy the Kufu's Pyramid, Ur Ziggurat, Great Wall, or Machu Picchu of the Outback, dating to at least 3,000 years ago (necessary to render my own comment incorrect), and everyone responding to my comment above won't seem like total goobers.

+1
Level 50
Oct 15, 2021
I think a big reason as to why Israel isn't on the list is because the whole territory of Israel is a bit disputed and a lot of their country consists of illegal occupation so it might make it a bit harder to apply for heritage site in Israe's name
+2
Level 82
Aug 5, 2022
^That's not it. But other commenters above have given plausible reasons, including that many different sites in Jerusalem, etc., are lumped together as a single site, and also that UNESCO world heritage sites include natural wonders, too, and Israel is a small country.
+2
Level 50
Sep 28, 2023
Australia has a lot of natural sites - should have far more than Belgium and some of the other European nations tbf. Surprised Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Israel didn’t make it though. Seems to have quite a European bias.
+7
Level 68
May 27, 2014
No, of course I wasn't desperate enough to actually try Somalia! Or Djibouti. Never.
+5
Level 82
May 27, 2014
Somalia's not a bad guess aside from maybe the difficulty of scouting or approving sites given the political turmoil.
+1
Level 50
Nov 30, 2023
Yeah, I agree, they'd have more than the US
+1
Level 55
May 27, 2014
19/24. Kicking myself for missing Peru and Turkey, but never would have guessed Belgium, Poland, or the Czech Republic.
+1
Level 27
May 27, 2014
Most of it will be world war related
+6
Level 57
Jun 2, 2014
The Czech Republic has the most castles and chateaus in the world...for example...
+10
Level 88
Jul 25, 2017
Nope. Exactly zero of the sites in Belgium are war related. It, as all the other countries named, was of huge cultural significance.
+1
Level 60
Jan 22, 2024
Perhaps the human zoos then?
+3
Level 65
Nov 29, 2019
Nope. There is only one such place in Poland.
+4
Level 45
Jun 15, 2014
YEAH Czech Republic
+2
Level 42
Feb 22, 2022
Yeah let's go
+7
Level 45
May 27, 2014
Got them all, but was surprised that Egypt didn't make the list.
+3
Level 69
May 27, 2014
23/24 can't believe I missed Germany
+1
Level 22
May 30, 2014
21/24 did i really miss japan?
+1
Level 33
Jun 1, 2014
went through the whole thing thinking i had already typed china and shrugged it off each time i thought of it lol
+6
Level 52
Aug 3, 2014
List is quite a joke with counties like Sweden and not Egypt or Israel etc.
+5
Level 75
Mar 26, 2021
If the quiz was "most visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites" then it would be very different, more along the lines of what you might expect, I expect.
+1
Level 57
Oct 21, 2021
It's just the amount of sites, not their significance. But yeah, Sweden surprised me.
+2
Level 64
Nov 28, 2022
Sites are only added to the World Heritage list if UN member states propose them to UNESCO, and the organisation then accepts them. That's why sites in Western countries are overrepresented on the list: Western countries care more about preserving cultural heritage (or at least have more faith in UNESCO as a tool to achieve that) and have done for longer than non-Western countries.
+3
Level 38
Jul 2, 2015
THIS NEEDS TO BE UPDATED:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_World_Heritage_Sites_by_country#Countries_with_major_concentrations_of_World_Heritage_Sites The diagram shows that Peru and Turkey have more sites, Portugal has only 15, Iran and Greece each have one more and one less respectively, Japan has 18 not 17, Russia and USA each have one more, India has two more, Germany and France each have another, China actually has 47, while Italy has 50. So it needs an update, BADLY.
+1
Level 38
Jul 2, 2015
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_World_Heritage_Sites_by_country#Countries_with_major_concentrations_of_World_Heritage_Sites

For some reason the posted link in my previous comment was not the whole link, so I have posted it above!

+1
Level ∞
Jul 3, 2015
Thanks. The quiz has been updated!
+1
Level 68
Jul 8, 2015
Don't know, if you mean 39 or 40 for Germany, as you wrote on 2nd of July and it was updated on 3rd of July, but... this weekend, Germany got his 40th world heritage with the City of Hamburg:

http://www.unesco.de/kultur/welterbe/welterbe-deutschland/hamburger-speicherstadt.html

+1
Level 54
Jul 8, 2015
I'll be honest I have never heard of the world heritage site ranking before or whatever this quiz is about. I still got 21 right. Not bad I suppose.
+1
Level 50
Jul 8, 2015
I checked wikipedia now and it does not match your numbers.
+1
Level ∞
Jul 9, 2015
I guess they updated it in the last 5 days. Probably not going to update the quiz again for a little bit since I don't want to have to reset the stats.
+4
Level 75
Sep 27, 2017
Is there any way to update quizzes without having to reset the stats? (I'm ignorant of all things computer.)
+3
Level 66
Jul 8, 2015
Only missed Czech Republic.
+14
Level 82
Jul 13, 2015
Always czech your answers.
+4
Level 79
Nov 28, 2019
Were you china name countries from all four corners of the world, but forgot those at the centre of Europe?
+2
Level 77
Aug 27, 2015
Odličan :)
+1
Level 73
Dec 30, 2015
Italia <3
+2
Level 52
Aug 28, 2016
this is probably a really dumb thing to admit but I got 21 just by guessing countries without knowing what a UNESCO World Heritage Country is. The good news is that now I will look it up. This is why I love JetPUNK, I'm always learning new things.
+2
Level 71
May 27, 2017
There is a 700 year old race in Ponteland, Northumberland, UK. where people push loaded wheelbarrows. Jetpunk often reminds me of that race. People pushing their own wheelbarrows (agendas) and giving no leeway to other people's opinions or ideas. Stop 'nitpicking' and enjoy the quizzes.
+4
Level 75
Sep 27, 2017
That race has been running for more than 700 years. You should get your facts before posting. (Just kidding, couldn't resist nitpicking the nitpicking complaint.) :)
+2
Level 72
Jul 26, 2017
At least a record to be proud of as an Italian! <3
+2
Level 69
Sep 15, 2017
I am surprised that Egypt isn't on the list.
+1
Level 37
Sep 18, 2017
I've got an even better one for you debaters about North, Central and South America. In much of the Caribbean, when you mention

the States (as in the United States), the next comment is: "Oh, you mean New York".

+4
Level 82
Sep 27, 2017
I'm in Thailand right now and this much hasn't changed: when asked where I'm from (by any of the many Asian or African people here) and I answer "the US," "the USA," "the United States": blank stares. If I answer "America": instant recognition and "ahhh! America!"
+5
Level 56
Sep 27, 2017
You're being difficult as well. Saying you're from the US, USA, United States does not get blank stare and America is not used by everyone generally. American for people, yes (except spanish speakers and a few other exceptions), but America no.

Even here in Canada we tend to refer the US not as America but as the States , the US, or l'Etats Unis if you're french.

+5
Level 82
Oct 7, 2017
Milanthro you are simply wrong. Am I lying? Dreaming? Hallucinating? Tell me what I've been doing when I thought I was traversing the world the past 20 years to create all these false experiences. Honestly anyone who makes a big deal out of this, on your side of the argument (my side is simply reacting to your side) is something I can't say if I don't want the comment to be deleted. One of the dumbest arguments I've ever had on this site.
+2
Level 82
Oct 7, 2017
The blank stares experience happens to my MULTIPLE TIMES PER DAY because virtually everyone I meet here asks me where I am from.
+4
Level 60
Nov 28, 2019
Haha this is too true. Whenever I see the word "USA" or "United States" or "The States", I immediately "translate" it into "America".
+11
Level 64
Sep 27, 2017
African nations seem woefully underrepresented.
+1
Level 44
Dec 17, 2017
Totally forgot Australia. Guess I was thinking more about cultural sites than nature.
+3
Level 62
Dec 21, 2017
It pains me to see that USA isn't #1 in something. We need to pick up our game and get to that #1 spot
+1
Level 44
Jan 21, 2018
I at one point lived closer to a unesco site in another county then any in my own, now I live near a unesco site that's basically a bunch of mud that's high in bio diversity
+1
Level 72
Dec 23, 2018
This quiz needs to be updated
+1
Level 58
May 17, 2019
It is actually less Eurocentric than it should be. The organization has a mandate to include all cultures, so monument-rich countries like France are arguably less well-represented than countries with fewer surviving ancient buildings.
+10
Level 82
Nov 28, 2019
France is in the top 5. You don't think India or China have got a lot of old stuff within their borders?
+2
Level 58
Nov 28, 2019
There are many monuments in France that are not listed, that if they were in other countries would be. As is true of many of the European countries.
+5
Level 82
Nov 28, 2019
Again, they're in the top 5. With 4 European countries and China ranked above them. I'm quite sure that there are plenty of valid sites in China and they weren't getting pity votes at the UN. You're not making a lot of sense.
+2
Level 78
Sep 3, 2021
Plus it includes natural sites as well as cultural/historical sites, and China is much larger and has more diverse landscapes than France.
+4
Level 60
Nov 28, 2019
*cough* Africa *cough*
+4
Level 82
Nov 29, 2019
that sounds like TB
+1
Level 33
Nov 29, 2019
Ouch
+6
Level 57
Jul 15, 2020
Incorrect, @CapitalAce. It is TOO Eurocentric. 14 European Countries (Including Russia and Turkey). No African Countries, even Egypt.
+1
Level 60
Jan 22, 2024
Their mandate must've forgotten about the African continent as a whole
+2
Level 52
Apr 9, 2024
African countries rarely spend money to preserve the sites and very few bother to nominate them to UNESCO.
+4
Level 64
Oct 27, 2020
Australia and Switzerland have more heritage sites than Thailand, Indonesia, Syria, and all African Countries? This list is way too eurocentric
+4
Level 72
Sep 3, 2021
Interesting comment from someone that never went to Switzerland nor Australia
+1
Level 59
Dec 6, 2020
3 seconds left. that was close
+1
Level 59
Dec 11, 2020
My hair was literally flying back in the speed in which I was typing. Realised that we could just rename the quiz to most famous or most guessed countries.. :) Missed Czech Republic.. didn’t at all regret.
+4
Level 64
Apr 4, 2021
I'm curious how belgium is on the list but not the netherlands
+2
Level 68
May 30, 2021
lmao Czechia is on here
+2
Level 71
Sep 3, 2021
and?
+2
Level 73
Sep 3, 2021
These guys really don't like traveling to Africa, Asia, or South America, do they? Canada and not Colombia? Switzerland??? For the historic banking and watchmaking sites, I guess. LOL
+2
Level 72
Sep 3, 2021
Wow, the homes of the three oldest civilizations missing from the list: Iraq (Sumer) Pakistan (Indus Valley) and Egypt (Egypt). Also none of the countries where those civilizations spread are on the list, except Turkey. But I guess maybe old civilizations didn't spread out as much as newer ones. Still seems kind of bad to see the way this list so heavily weights European countries.
+6
Level 54
Sep 5, 2021
There won't be much left over from civilizations 5000 years ago, whereas Europe has had its turn as dominant civilization most recently, thus it will have the most left over. Makes sense to me.
+2
Level 57
Oct 21, 2021
Koult45: Interesting point.
+1
Level 46
Apr 4, 2023
Except that's not actually true. The World Heritage Sites project has been criticized by pretty much every critic out there due to the under-representation of non-European countries.
+1
Level 28
Sep 3, 2021
HOW DID ANYONE GET CZECHIA?????
+1
Level 82
Sep 3, 2021
I started by assuming that Europe would be very overrepresented for a variety of reasons.
+1
Level 45
Sep 3, 2021
Wow how did I get all except for Greece ;-;
+1
Level 57
Oct 21, 2021
How did you not make Greece your FIRST guess? ;p
+1
Level 71
Sep 6, 2021
I am assuming that Belgium and the Czech Republic are on the list because their breweries have been classed as World Heritage Sites
+1
Level 82
Sep 8, 2021
There's an apostrophe after the 13
+1
Level 60
Oct 5, 2021
Letter C Scavenger Hunt Answer (see my blog)
+1
Level 60
Nov 9, 2021
I believe there is a backtick (`) next to Switzerland's 13.
+2
Level 53
Oct 23, 2022
I got 21/25 and i dont even know what unesco is
+1
Level 67
Nov 25, 2022
I scored 22 without even knowing what UNESCO World Heritage sites are lol.
+2
Level 56
Sep 27, 2023
More in Australia than in Greece??? What's going on? Or have all the Greek ones ended up in the British Museum or something?
+2
Level 95
Sep 27, 2023
The 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee ended a couple of days ago, there are some changes, this quiz needs to be updated.
+1
Level 61
Dec 18, 2023
it isnt hard to get these and not know the sites, just guess historical and/or big countries
+1
Level 45
Apr 9, 2024
Bro my mind blanked on India for so long because I thought a had already had it