Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Asmara, Eritrea Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, has become the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. Its modernist architecture, built mostly between 1935-1941 under an Italian colonial government, gave it its nickname “La Piccola Roma.” The Fiat Tagliero, a disused car service station, is probably the city’s most famous building.

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Asmara, Eritrea Asmara’s architecture was influenced by an Italian movement known as Futurism. Prisons, cafes and cinemas, like The Impero Cinema, drew from the modernist ideas creating a unique architectural landscape. Eritreans are proud of this heritage. In 2001 the Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project started to document the city’s buildings.

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Khomani Cultural LandscapeLocated in northern South Africa, on the border with Botswana and Namibia, is a large terrain which has evidence of human occupation from the Stone Age to the present day. The area is home to the Khomani San people who are known for their unique cultural practices arisen from the geography of the region.

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Mbanza Kongo, Angola Mbanza Kongo is a town in northern Angola. It was also the capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo, which — between the 14th and 19th centuries — was a kingdom that stretched over much of Southern Africa.

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Mbanza Kongo, Angola The town sits on plateau at an altitude of 1,870 feet. It was the political as well as spiritual center for the Kingdom of Kongo, heavily influenced by the introduction of Christianity by the Portuguese in the 15th century.

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Mbanza Kongo, AngolaAn Nzo is a typical house of Mbanza Kongo. The Portuguese also built stone buildings. The town is known for its ruins of a 16th century cathedral.

Exploring Africa’s new UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Valongo Wharf Archaeological SiteNot strictly African, but the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the country of Brazil, have inextricable ties to the continent due to the history of slavery. The Valongo Wharf is one of the most significant physical traces of this legacy, being the arrival point for 900,000 enslaved Africans in the early 19th century.

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