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Inscription of the town on the UNESCO World Heritage List

updated 30.11.2011 

Český Krumlov as World Heritage

The inclusion on the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage List on 4 December 1992 was, without a doubt, a turning point in the town's modern history. This town's complex of uninterrupted historic architecture resulted in it becoming one of the first three towns in the Czech Republic to come under this organization's protective wing in 1992. The act of inclusion onto the UNESCO List itself was a significant signal to the entire cultural world that there is a monument of great beauty to be found in South Bohemia.

Justification for the inclusion onto the UNESCO List

In 1991, the Czechoslovak Republic proposed that the historic core of the municipal historic reserve of Český Krumlov be included on the World Heritage List. The opinion was held that the historic core fulfils criteria (i), (ii), (iv), and (v) indicated in §24 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention from 1991.

The contracting state added this information to the criteria in the initial documentation:

ad i.) The historic center of Český Krumlov represents a uniquely preserved and developmentally closed urban ensemble which was not, nor will it perceivably be, significantly influenced by modern progress.

ad ii.) The architectural compilation of Český Krumlov, in an unrepeatable landscape structure of a complex European terrain, represents a unique historic urban ensemble.

ad iv.) The historic center of Český Krumlov illustrates a high level of architectural and artistic activities of the 15th and 16th centuries. Not only has it retained its original urban structure (tracts, material composition, roof shapes, facades, etc.), but it also excels in its richness of original dispositions, vaulted spaces, and interiors. The amount of historic detail - carpentry, framing, blacksmithing, locksmithing, and stonework - is quite exceptional. All these values, together with the dramatic configuration of the terrain and natural setting, create a very effective unique whole.

ad v.) The collection of Český Krumlov burgher homes is a unique testimony to traditional dwellings from the Gothic, Renaissance, and subsequent ages with the respective disposition, construction, and architectural details still preserved.

ICOMOS, in the evaluation that it prepared for the World Heritage Committee in 1992 stated that the historic core of Český Krumlov fulfils criterion (iv):

"Český Krumlov is an outstanding example of a central European small town dating from the Middle Ages that owes the structure and buildings of its historic core to its economic importance and relatively undisturbed organic development over some five centuries. The town grew up within a meander of the Vltava River, which provides a natural setting of great beauty. Its evolution over time is evident with startling clarity from its buildings and its urban infrastructure." Český Krumlov is indisputably the best preserved and most representative living example of a Medieval Central European small town.

In July of 1992, the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee discussed the proposal to include the Historic Centre of Český Krumlov on the UNESCO List. Český Krumlov was recommended for inscription, but the Committee recommended the Czech Republic to take all necessary measures to deal with the great pressure of tourism that could threaten this property. In September of 1992, the Czech Republic was officially informed of the approval of the nomination of Český Krumlov for inscription on the UNESCO List (together with Prague and Telč).

Based on the ICOMOS evaluation, which was agreed by the World Heritage Committee at its 16th meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1992, on December 4, 1992, the historic centre of Český Krumlov (nomination No. 617) was inscribed on the World Heritage List (document WHC-92/CONF.002/12).  

Complete documentation on the inscription of the historic centre of Český Krumlov on the UNESCO World Heritage List on the UNESCO website can be found here.

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