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New multimedia project: Wonders of World Heritage

Deutsche Welle launched the multimedia project Wonders of World Heritage on July 6. It presents all 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany through videos, photos and texts. The project will appear in 17 languages.

From the Wadden Sea to the Monastic Island of Reichenau, from the Cologne Cathedral to the Sanssouci Palace, hardly any other country boasts so many World Heritage Sites as Germany. The Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth has recently joined the list, a unique example of Baroque architecture. Since 1978, UNESCO has declared 37 sites in Germany as especially worthy of protection.

The list of these sites is diverse. It includes natural landscapes such as the Ancient Beech Forests or the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, as well as famous buildings and industrial monuments. Similarly, the German World Heritage Sites span long stretches of time: the Prehistoric Pile Dwellings in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg date back approximately to 5,000 years BC, while the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen is a living testimony to the era of mining and heavy industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In its multimedia project Wonders of World Heritage, Deutsche Welle takes in the World Heritage Sites in Germany along eight different routes. Texts and photo galleries provide vivid presentations of all of them. Each World Heritage Site is introduced with a short video. People such as the keeper of the Bremen Town Hall wine cellar or a conservationist at the Wadden Sea explain their relationship to the World Heritage Site in question and suggest what no visitor should miss.

The multimedia project includes a variety of TV reports, which appear in DW’s travel magazine Hin & Weg as well as in its English and Spanish versions, namely Discover Germany and Destino Alemania, respectively.

According to Dr. Roland Bernecker, the Secretary -General of the German Commission for UNESCO, "the UNESCO World Heritage has been the most successful global program for intercultural dialogue for 40 years. People get to know the treasures of other cultures as part of a universal heritage. Deutsche Welle's project is a unique opportunity to experience the 37 German World Heritage Sites as a multimedia picture album."

Klaus Brähmig, Chair of the Committee on Tourism of the German Parliament, also welcomed the project. "I'm pleased that Deutsche Welle, as Germany's international broadcaster, is reporting about the country as a highly diversified tourist destination and wish the project many viewers and users."

Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board, expressed similar sentiments. "We don't seek just to make the German World Heritage Sites better known but also to promote sensible and well-informed tourism in a way that is appropriate to protected areas. Moreover, in a globalized world, cultural interaction is a means to mutual understanding among peoples."

The first travel route went online on July 6. An additional route will be presented each Friday for eight weeks, so that all eight will be online on August 24. Wonders of World Heritage begins with German, English, Portuguese for Brazil and Russian editions. Plans are to add Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, French, Ukrainian, Polish, Greek, Romanian, Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian, Bengali and Urdu versions.

For more information, please contact the project manager Christian Hoffmann (T: +49.30.4646-7700, christian.hoffmann@dw.de).

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