Do you know the World Heritage Sites of Andalusia? If you have considered visiting Andalusia, in this article we show you all the sites that have been mentioned as World Heritage Sites.
The list of World Heritage Sites extends around the world in an attempt to protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage. Being part of the list implies maximum protection for their exceptional value, whether historical, cultural, ethnographic, etc. They are designated by UNESCO, the international governmental organisation that oversees the protection of heritage.
Andalusia has been accumulating titles for more than 3 decades. It is a special land of cultural and natural contrasts, so it is not surprising that 8 places in Andalusia are included in the UNESCO list. Below, in chronological order, are all the sites.
What you will find here
Alhambra, Generalife and Albaicín (Granada)
Two hills full of history in the capital of a Kingdom.
Yes, Granada is very special, that’s why it was the first next to Córdoba. The hill of the Sabika with the Alhambra and in front of it the Albaicín. From either hill you can contemplate history. Granada was capital of the Nasrid Kingdom, the last of the Muslim dominions that was in force for two and a half centuries.
Mezquita-Cathedral of Cordoba (Cordoba)
Forest of millenary columns, a space of coexistence.
Regardless of religion, in Andalusia some say it is a mosque and others say it is a cathedral. We will never all agree, but even the least believer will feel something special when walking among its more than 1,000 columns. While most of the aljama mosques gave way to the current cathedrals, in Cordoba there was a situation in which the two buildings coexist architecturally.
Cathedral, Alcazar and Archive of the Indies (Seville)
Temple with the largest surface area in Europe, film palaces and archives of the interiors.
This monumental complex is truly spectacular. It is not only the dimensions, but also the singularity of the spaces that move between the Andalusian and the Christian. The beauty of the Alcázares not only dazzles its visitors, but also the film producers who have shot several films there. The Archive of the Indies houses all the documentation on the maritime trade between Spain and the Americas.
Doñana National Park (Huelva)
One of the last strongholds of the lynx, nature in its purest form.
This National Park has a privileged location. It is at the transit point between Africa and Europe, so in winter it welcomes thousands of migratory birds. We are used to seeing deer in the forest, here the beach is part of their habitat. It is also the home of the Iberian Lynx, one of the last predators of the Peninsula and an endangered species. Although Doñana is mainly located in the territory of Huelva, part of the protected area also extends over the provinces of Seville and Cadiz.
The Rock Art of the Mediterranean Arc of the Iberian Peninsula (Almeria and Granada)
First Art of Humanity.
From Catalonia to Eastern Andalusia, the entire Mediterranean arc was populated by the authors of the first art of humanity. In rock shelters, schematic paintings were drawn that alluded to the spiritual life of humans. 12,000 years later it is the largest collection of rock art in Europe.
Úbeda and Baeza (Jaén)
Great Monumental Ensemble of the Andalusian Renaissance.
These two towns, only 10 km apart, are the Renaissance jewel of Andalusia. Part of the historic centre of these towns is preserved as it was in the 16th century. Almost all the buildings belong to the same historical period, so it is not difficult to go back in time. Here you can admire palaces and churches from the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as traces of the Islamic period and remnants of the Hebrew culture. The gastronomy in these two cities is of particular importance.
Dolmenes of Antequera (Málaga)
Early human ceremonial monuments
Approximately 6,500 years ago megalithic monuments began on the Iberian Peninsula. The dolmens of Menga, Viera and El Romeral are some of the best examples of this in Europe. It is awe-inspiring to see a monumental construction built with immense blocks of stone and preserved in such good condition. As an observation, these structures are not contemporary to the pyramids of Egypt, but earlier.
Medina Azahara (Córdoba)
Ciudad aúlica sede del califato Cordobés.
Finally in 2018 the Palatine city of Madinat al-Zahara has been included in the list of World Heritage Sites. From here the Cordoban caliphs ruled a caliphate that extended over most of the Iberian Peninsula. With a small percentage excavated and studied, the heritage and landscape value is extraordinary. But Madinat al-Zahara goes beyond this, in its natural surroundings there are ruins of munias, bridges and water-related infrastructures. It is well worth a visit both to Medina Azahara and its surroundings.