Italy and Spain have two new sites added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (Italy), and Caliphate City of Medina Azahara (Spain)

by Cecilia Di Marzo
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The World Heritage Committee inscribed two cultural sites in Italy and Spain, on the World Heritage List yesterday.
The new World Heritage sites, in order of inscription, are:

Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (Italy) 

Corso Jervis, in the foreground, the Officine ICO and the Social Services Centre © Guelpa Foundation, Author: Maurizio Gjivovich

The industrial city of Ivrea is located in the Piedmont region and developed as the testing ground for Olivetti, manufacturer of typewriters, mechanical calculators and office computers. It comprises a large factory and buildings designed to serve the administration and social services, as well as residential units.

Designed by leading Italian urban planners and architects, mostly between 1930 and the 1960s, this architectural ensemble reflects the ideas of the Community Movement (Movimento Comunità). A model social project, Ivrea expresses a modern vision of the relationship between industrial production and architecture.

Caliphate City of Medina Azahara (Spain)

Aerial view of the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara © Madinat al-Zahra Archaeological Site (CAMaZ), Author: M. Pijuán

The Caliphate city of Medina Azahara is an archaeological site of a city built in the mid-10th century CE by the Umayyad dynasty as the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba. After prospering for several years, it was laid to waste during the civil war that put an end to the Caliphate in 1009-10. The remains of the city were forgotten for almost 1,000 years until their rediscovery in the early 20th century.

This complete urban ensemble features infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water systems, buildings, decorative elements and everyday objects. It provides in-depth knowledge of the now vanished Western Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus, at the height of its splendour.