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Ancient Treasures Become New World Heritage Sites

Tehran's Golestan Palace, the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, and a group of wooden churches in Poland and Ukraine are among the places added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites at its annual meeting on June 23. The UN cultural agency added five natural sites and 14 cultural ones to its catalogue of places of "outstanding universal value." UNESCO also bestowed World Heritage status on an ancient Greek city in modern-day Ukraine, the city of Kaesong in North Korea, and the Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe in the German city of Kassel. (13 PHOTOS)

Golestan Palace in Tehran is among the newly named UNESCO World Heritage sites. The walled palace was the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Tehran the capital.
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Golestan Palace in Tehran is among the newly named UNESCO World Heritage sites. The walled palace was the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Tehran the capital.

The lavish palace complex incorporates traditional Persian design with Western architectural influences, mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries. The oldest sections date back more than 400 years.
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The lavish palace complex incorporates traditional Persian design with Western architectural influences, mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries. The oldest sections date back more than 400 years.

Details of the Golestan Palace complex, which consists of 17 separate palaces, museums, and halls
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Details of the Golestan Palace complex, which consists of 17 separate palaces, museums, and halls

The palace was a center of arts and architecture under the Qajar dynasty, which ruled until 1925.
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The palace was a center of arts and architecture under the Qajar dynasty, which ruled until 1925.

Tajikistan National Park in the Pamir Mountains is the country's first natural World Heritage site. It covers more than 2.5 million hectares (25,000 square kilometers) in the east of the country.
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Tajikistan National Park in the Pamir Mountains is the country's first natural World Heritage site. It covers more than 2.5 million hectares (25,000 square kilometers) in the east of the country.

Some of the region's mountains reach more than 7,000 meters. Subject to frequent strong earthquakes, the park is sparsely inhabited, with little permanent human encroachment.
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Some of the region's mountains reach more than 7,000 meters. Subject to frequent strong earthquakes, the park is sparsely inhabited, with little permanent human encroachment.

UNESCO noted the "so-called 'Pamir Knot,' a meeting point of the highest mountain ranges on the Eurasian continent," as a valuable site for geological study. The park is home to more than 1,000 glaciers, 170 rivers, and 400 lakes.
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UNESCO noted the "so-called 'Pamir Knot,' a meeting point of the highest mountain ranges on the Eurasian continent," as a valuable site for geological study. The park is home to more than 1,000 glaciers, 170 rivers, and 400 lakes.

These wooden churches, called tserkvas, were built by Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic communities in the Carpathian region of eastern Poland and Ukraine between the 16th and 19th centuries.
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These wooden churches, called tserkvas, were built by Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic communities in the Carpathian region of eastern Poland and Ukraine between the 16th and 19th centuries.

According to UNESCO, "The tserkvas bear testimony to a distinct building tradition rooted in Orthodox ecclesiastic design, interwoven with elements of local tradition."
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According to UNESCO, "The tserkvas bear testimony to a distinct building tradition rooted in Orthodox ecclesiastic design, interwoven with elements of local tradition."

Elaborate interior paintings and octagonal domes and cupolas are distinctive features of the tserkvas.
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Elaborate interior paintings and octagonal domes and cupolas are distinctive features of the tserkvas.

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The ancient city of Tauric Chersonese was founded by Dorian Greeks in the fifth century BC on the Crimean Peninsula, today part of Ukraine. The city was a hub of exchange between the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine empires and populations north of the Black Sea.
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The ancient city of Tauric Chersonese was founded by Dorian Greeks in the fifth century BC on the Crimean Peninsula, today part of Ukraine. The city was a hub of exchange between the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine empires and populations north of the Black Sea.

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