European spa towns welcome inscription as world heritage sites by UNESCO

Source: Xinhua| 2021-07-25 05:00:07|Editor: huaxia
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Photo taken on July 29, 2021 shows a homestay in Spa, Liege Province, Belgium. The transnational site, "The Great Spa Towns of Europe," has been inscribed on the world heritage list, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced last Saturday. The decision, made during the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's 44th session held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China, was warmly welcomed by spa towns across Europe. The world heritage site comprises 11 towns located in seven European countries -- Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

ROME, July 24 (Xinhua) -- The transnational site, "The Great Spa Towns of Europe," has been inscribed on the world heritage list, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced on Saturday.

The decision, made during the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's 44th session held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China, was warmly welcomed by spa towns across Europe. The world heritage site comprises 11 towns located in seven European countries -- Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The spa buildings and facilities of this site "are all integrated into an overall urban context that includes a carefully managed recreational and therapeutic environment in a picturesque landscape" and "embody the significant interchange of human values and developments in medicine, science and balneology," said the UNESCO committee.

According to Badische Neueste Nachrichten, a German newspaper, the UNESCO decision-making process was broadcast live in Baden-Baden, perhaps that country's most famous spa town. When the decision was announced, it led to big cheers on site.

The developments also earned praise in Bad Kissingen.

"This is great news for Bad Kissingen and for the whole Bavaria as a cultural state," Bernd Sibler, minister of the arts for the federal state Bavaria, told German broadcaster ARD.

Bad Kissingen's mayor Dirk Vogel said in a video posted on the town's website that the inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List is a great opportunity for Bad Kissingen to attract business and people. "We don't want to become a museum, but we want to have a living history with aspirations here in Bad Kissingen," he said.

In France, the media said the recognition of the Vichy spas and the other European sites was "well deserved" and "historically important."

In Italy, the media praised the decision to honor Montecatini Terme, calling it a "great honor" in a country already well known for its cultural and historic riches. Lucia Borgonzoni, Italy's under-secretary for cultural heritage, called the development a "historic moment for Italy."

In Belgium, Valerie De Bue, minister of tourism for the Walloon region said: "We are delighted with the decision of the UNESCO committee...SPA by its past and its present, testifies to the richness of the European thermal tradition." The minister said this recognition will further strengthen the attractiveness of the city and Walloon tourism.

The World Heritage Committee session reviews candidates for entry to the list and examines the state of conservation of existing sites. The inscription is scheduled to continue through July 28. Enditem

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