Selection criteria

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.

(i) To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.

(ii) To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.

(iii) To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.

(iv) To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.

(v) To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.

(vi) To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria).

(vii) To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.

(viii) To be an outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features.

(ix) To be an outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.

(x) To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

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Archaeological area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia

The peculiarity of Aquileia, according to Ausonio the fourth city of the Roma Empire (after Rome, Capua and Milan) in the fourth century A.D., consists not only of its renowned historical-archaeological importance, but also in the conservation of its monuments: the forum, the river port, the sepulchral ways, are all already visible and apt to be visited. Moreover the great christian basilica, in which Europe’s widest intact mosaic flooring of the fourth century A.D. is conserved, represents up to and including today a particular religious meeting point for the central European countries, carrying out an important evangelization work, which was the main aim also of the ancient “Patriarcato”.


Date of Inscription: 1998

Criteria:

(iii): Aquileia was one of the largest and most wealthy cities of the Early Roman Empire. (iv): by virtue of the fact that most of ancient Aquileia survives intact and unexcavated, it is the most complete example of an Early Roman city in the Mediterranean world.
(vi): the Patriarchal Basilican complex in Aquileia played a decisive role in the spread of Christianity into central Europe in the early Middle Ages.

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Aquileia – Archaeological area

Much of ancient Aquileia was robbed of stone for new buildings. Some important areas have been reconstructed and much is also displayed in its museums. The lines of the old roads are still in use, with the porticoed forum at the main crossroads. The excavated Basilica Civile and baths can be visited, as well as the large and magnificent river port, the city walls, private buildings and the mausoleum.
Patriarchal Basilica
Most of the basilica complex, outside Roman Aquileia, dates back to the 4th century AD, with a later baptistery and magnificent floor mosaics. It is in the shape of a Latin cross, with a nave and two aisles divided by a colonnade, three apses with Byzantine frescoes, and a frescoed crypt. The 73-metre campanile was reputedly built in 1031 as a watchtower and holds the remains of a mosaic from an early Christian building. There are also two major museums of religious remains in the city.

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Aquileia – History, art and nature

The city of Aquileia was founded by the Romans in 181 BC, in a strategic position on the River Natissa as a garrison of about 3000 soldiers/coloni. It grew and became a regional capital, with the buildings, port, trade and crafts that this required. It was also an important Christian centre. Razed by Attila in 452 AD, the population fled, thus founding Venice. The city lost some of its status, but the resident Christian patriarch was again a significant force in the region in the 7th century and later under Charlemagne, when the Patriarch acquired the power of a feudal lord. The growing power of the Republic of Venice put an end to patriarchal rule in 1420. Aquileia then slipped into a slow decline, even losing its diocesan status in 1751.

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Agrigento – Archaeological area

The archaeological area bears witness to the classical Greek culture of ancient times and is home to temples dedicated to the gods and goddesses, as well as the necropolis and the sanctuaries outside the town.
The Temple of Juno was erected in the 5th century BC in the highest point in the valley and dedicated to Hera Lacinia. It was set on fire by the Carthaginians in 406 BC. The Greeks celebrated marriages after a ritual of appeasement in this temple, dedicated to the goddess of marriage and childbirth.
The Temple of Concordia is along Via Sacra and was also built around the 5th century. It is the only one to remain relatively intact, possibly thanks to its conversion into a Christian church in the 6th century AD. The temple got its name from a Latin inscription found near the temple.
The Temple of Heracles (Hercules) was the first temple built and it was dedicated to Hercules, hero of Sicily and Agrigento in particular. Inside the temple there was a bronze statue of this character. The temple was destroyed by an earthquake and now only 8 of its original 38 columns remain.
The Temple of Zeus (Jupiter) was built to thank Zeus for their victory against the Carthaginians at Himera in 480 BC. The temple is distinguished by its telamons, giant human figures, used between each column to support the building.
The Temple of Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri) is dedicated to Leda (the queen of the Spartans) and Zeus’s twins. This temple is now the symbol of Agrigento and has only four remaining columns.
The Temple of Vulcan Very little is left of this temple built in the 5th century BC, but it must have been a very impressive sight. Traces of an earlier temple have been found beneath its foundations.
The Temple of Asclepius (Esculapius) was built far from the city walls and was a place visited by sick pilgrims hoping to be cured. The temple walls were covered with messages from those who had been cured.
The Tomb of Theron was built near the Porta Aurea and is a significant monument built with local volcanic tuff. The tomb is pyramid shaped and was built to honour the dead from the 2nd Punic war.

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