Tangible cultural heritage

Tangible cultural and natural heritage has an outstanding value to every nation and entire humanity as it reflects their identity. Cultural identity of different nations, their historical experience and the way of life which has been formed in the authentic living environment gives birth to the most wonderful monuments, buildings and sites.

According to the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention") the properties included into the World Heritage List have outstanding universal value. This document is aimed at preserving these properties for future generations as part of tangible heritage that belongs to all the peoples of the world. 

The goal of the Convention and the World Heritage List is to represent cultural variety and natural riches of all regions of the world. The Convention obliges States Parties to form their general policy for cultural heritage in order to define particular legal, scientific, administrative and financial means for its preservation, protection, presentation, to give special assistance to endangered world heritage sites, to enhance international cooperation in the protection of the cultural and natural heritage.

World heritage properties encompass cultural and natural variety of all regions of the world, which can be represented by architectural buildings or their groups, archaeological, urbanistic sites, cultural landscapes, natural habitat of endangered species of animals and plants, physical, biological, geological features of nature and its structures, and all this that has universal historical, scientific, artistic, aesthetical or anthropological value and had influence on the development of humanity globally.

Some of the most impressive sites of natural heritage preserve tracks of human activity that took place  many centuries ago, other sites have great importance because of their spiritual, cultural or artistic value. UNESCO urges to look upon heritage preservation keeping in view both of these aspects and realising the necessity to deepen knowledge about interrelations between biological and cultural variety, and to educate society accordingly.

Five Lithuanian tangible heritage objects are included into the UNESCO World Heritage List: Vilnius Historic Centre (1994), Curonian Spit (2000), Kernavė Archaeological Site (2004), Struve Geodetic Arc (2005) and Modernist Kaunas: Architecture of Optimism, 1919-1939 (2023).

The States Parties to the Convention may submit heritage properties which are located in their territory to the Tentative List prior to inscribing them into the World Heritage List. Lithuania has placed Trakai Historical National Park on the Tentative List.