World Heritage List
The World Heritage List includes cultural heritage sites, natural heritage sites and mixed properties. There are approximately one thousand sites in the world, of which cultural sites account for almost 80% and natural sites for about 20%. There are a few dozen mixed properties.
Attempts are made to balance the list so that more sites are obtained from under-represented geographical areas.
If a World Heritage Site is threatened due to an armed conflict, natural disaster, uncontrollable tourism or construction taking place in its immediate vicinity, it may be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger. If a site loses some of its key characteristics, on the basis of which it was chosen for the Word Heritage List, it may be removed from the list.
Masterpieces and evidences of an extinct culture
It is required from the cultural sites in the World Heritage List that a site is a masterpiece of human creativity or otherwise bears exceptionally significant evidence of an existing or extinct culture. The site can be a building representing a significant historical period or represent typical dwellings of a certain culture. The site may also have to do with events, living traditions, ideas, religions and beliefs or artistic and literary works.
Beautiful scenery or haven of endangered species
Natural heritage sites may speak of an important development stage in the history of the Earth, or may be an example of an on-going ecological or biological change. It can also be a haven of endangered species or represent exceptionally beautiful scenery.
The Great Wall of China, Grand Canyon and Suomenlinna
Cultural heritage sites include, for example, the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Athens and Tallinn’s Old Town. Natural heritage sites include, for example, the Grand Canyon and the Galápagos Islands.
Finland has six cultural heritage sites, one of which is Suomenlinna, and one natural heritage site.