Today the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has included Risco Caído and the cultural landscape of the sacred mountains of Gran Canaria on the World Heritage List, a recognition of the ancient Canarian society, which has its roots in the population of North Africa and managed to develop a culture of its own in complete isolation for 1,500 years.

Just knowing the news, the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Guirao, congratulated all the Canaries "for having managed to preserve over the centuries this enormous wealth of archaeological sites in the heart of a breathtaking landscape."

The Minister has extended these congratulations to all citizens "because our country is the world leader in World Heritage declarations, with this number we are already 48, we are the third country in the world, after China and Italy, in number of declarations but we are the first country in the world in diversity of that heritage ".

José Guirao took the opportunity to point out that the Government will "continue working to conserve, disseminate and maintain this rich heritage for future generations" and has invited everyone to "visit Risco Caído and all the goods recognized in Spain throughout the last decades. "

The satisfaction for this new recognition has been transmitted to the Minister by the Spanish delegation that has come to Baku to defend the candidacy, and which has been formed by the Permanent Delegate Ambassador to UNESCO, Juan Andrés Perelló; the general director of Fine Arts, Román Fernández-Baca; the general deputy director of Protection of Historical Heritage, Elisa de Cabo; the general director of Cultural Heritage of the Government of the Canary Islands, Miguel Ángel Clavijo; and the president of the Cabildo, Antonio Morales.

The exceptional universal value of the ancient populations of the Canary Islands

The archaeological sites grouped in the cultural landscape of Risco Caído show the culture of the ancient island populations, a unique process of evolution of Amaziges peoples from North Africa, who lived in isolation until their conquest by the Crown of Castile in the 15th century . The volcanic crater of Caldera de Tejeda presides over this space, which extends through the municipalities of Artenara, Tejeda, Agaete and Galdar.

UNESCO recognizes the exceptional universal value of the candidacy and highlights the survival of traditional uses of primitive communities, such as transhumance, cultivation in terraces or water management, as well as its close connection with the steep terrain and the particularities of the landscape , to which they conferred a sacred character very united to the sky and to the observation of astronomical phenomena. It is the first good linked to the North African Amazige culture that is inscribed in the list.

The Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria are a cultural landscape – defined by UNESCO as a joint work of humanity and nature – consisting of 1,500 caves, a thousand cave rock triangles – the world's greatest concentration – and vestiges that allow speak of a relict landscape and alive at the same time full of temples, sanctuaries, fortified barns, necropolises, vertical troglodyte settlements and cave dwellings occupied at times uninterrupted for centuries to the present.

The cave of Risco Caído is the best example of this landscape, a paraboidal dome that shows 180 days a year a striking story of images thanks to the intervention of the Sun, the Moon and the altarpiece of 37 pubic triangles, orifices and niches.

Nearly 1,100 assets make up the World Heritage List

The List includes 1,092 sites of "exceptional universal value" located in 167 countries. This year a total of 37 applications have been submitted for possible inclusion in the World Heritage List. Of these, 6 correspond to natural-type goods, 30 are of a cultural nature and 2 of a mixed nature (with natural and cultural values ​​simultaneously). In addition to Fallen Risco, among the already inscribed goods are Babylon (Iraq), the territories and southern seas of France, the National Park of Vatnajökull (Iceland), the sites of the ancient iron metallurgy of Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso), Bagan (Myanmar), the petroglyphs and pictograms of the Siksikáítsitapi village (Canada) and the water management system of Augsburg (Germany).

Upcoming Spanish candidatures

In 2020, Spain hopes to take the candidature to the Committee 'Paseo del Prado and El Retiro. Landscape of Arts and Sciences', of Madrid. And, in 2021, it is expected that it will go to the World Committee with the proposal of the cultural landscape of the Ribeira Sacra (Ourense and Lugo), decision adopted in the Historical Heritage Council held last April.

A website to spread the heritage:

To disseminate all the goods declared World Heritage, especially among the young public, the Ministry of Culture and Sport has created the website SomosPatrimonio ( highlights the variety and richness of Spanish cultural heritage, which includes monuments, landscapes and cities and includes artistic manifestations from prehistory to the twentieth century.

To the web will be incorporated in the coming days Risco Caído and the sacred mountains of Gran Canaria.

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