Hawaii Marine Park Added To World Heritage Site List PHOTOS

Hawaii Marine Park Added To World Heritage Site List (PHOTOS)
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Hawaii's Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument has been named a U.N. World Heritage site, according to USA Today.

The monument is the only U.S. location to make the list for natural and cultural reasons, according to Dan Dennison, a monument spokesman. It is the first U.S. site to be added in 15 years, joining the Grand Canyon and Statue of Liberty 20 others. There are 890 sites in total.

Papahanaumokuakea lies northwest of the main Hawaiian islands and consists of uninhabited atolls and 69% of the coral reefs in the U.S. The area also boats 7,000 marine species. The area also has Mokumanamana, which has a string of 34 ancient shrines.

Papahanaumokuakea is the 100 times larger than Yosemite and is the nation's largest conservation area.

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New UNESCO SitesUnesco, Unesco World Heritage, Unesco World Heritage Sites,

Want to see other sites that were recently acknowledged? See our slideshow below.

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Here are the 12 new UNESCO World Heritage Sites. What SHOULD be a site but isn't? Send us your pictures!

Above, people walk past the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, an Australian convict-era site. It is one of a selection of 11 penitentiaries distinguished as cultural heritage sites among the thousands established by the British Empire. They are located on the fertile coastal strip mainly around Sydney and in Tasmania, as well as on Norfolk Island and in Fremantle. They housed tens of thousands of men, women and children with each sites intended for a specific purpose, in terms both of punitive imprisonment and of rehabilitation through forced labor to help build the colony. 

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Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands

The United States' nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be included on the World Heritage List. The nuclear tests carried out in the wake of World War II included the detonation of the first Hydrogen Bomb. The tests demonstrated the power and devastation of nuclear experimentation on the environment and geology of the islands as well as the health of those exposed to radiation. The nuclear activity and destruction contrasts sharply with the beauty of the natural surroundings, adding to the cultural significance of the site

Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, Mexico
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail is a part of the United States National Historic Trail system. Known as the Royal Inland Road, or the Silver Route, the site extends north from Mexico City to Texas and New Mexico. Although it was primarily used as a trade route for transporting silver from the mid-16th to the 19th centuries, it also fostered a great deal of social, cultural and religious relationships between Spanish and Amerindian cultures. 

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The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hanoi, Vietnam
The Hanui Citadel, located in the Thăng Long Imperial City was built in the 11th during the Ly Viet Dynasty. The royal palaces and most of the structures in Thang Long were destroyed in the late 19th century, and today the ruins of the Thang Long Imperial City is still being excavated. The constant reconstruction and excavation of the Citadel buildings and the remains illustrate the influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south

Episcopal City of Albi, France
Situated on the banks of the Tarn river in south-west France, the Episcopal city's superb houses built during the Renaissance bear witness to the vast fortunes amassed through trade and commercial exchanges, as well as tolls charged for using the Pont Vieux. Albi has conserved its rich architectural heritage which encapsulates the various brilliant periods of its history. A great deal of improvement and restoration work has been done, to embellish the old quarters and to give them a new look, in which brick from the surrounding area reigns supreme.

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Historic Monuments of Dengfeng, China
Located at the food of Mount Song, one of the most sacred mountains in China, the spiritual "center of heaven and earth" includes various clusters of buildings, temples and religious edifices. Constructed over the course of nine dynasties, the buildings at this historic site demonstrate the transcendental religious and cultural devotion imbued in the monuments even in the midst of political changes.

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Historic Villages of Hahoe and Yangdong, Korea
The Yangdong and Hahoe Folk Village of Korea are traditional villages built during the Josean Dynasty. The size, degree of preservation, numerous cultural assets, traditionalism, and beautiful natural setting all contribute to the importance of the villages. The pavilions, study halls Confucian academies for learning are just some of the fine examples of the yangban (Korean aristocracy) lifestyle and Neo-Confucian traditions.

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Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico

Yagul and Mitla are two of the most important archaeological sites associated with the Zapotec civilization of pre-Colombian Mesoamerica. Both sites are very well-preserved in the Oaxaca Valley, where the dry climate has conserved some sites as old as 10,000 years. This valley was settled by the Zapotecs who over the centuries developed a hierarchical society governed by kings and nobles. The sites importance derives from the preserved emblems of pre-Hispanic Mexican culture. 

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Proto-urban site of Sarazm, Tajikistan 
The archaeological site at Sarazm holds the famous Mausoleum of Seikh Safi. The Mausoleum consists of many sections that have served a variety of functions over the past centuries. Most importantly, the site confirms the development of settlements in Central Asia as early as the 4th millennium BCE.

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Canal Ring, Amsterdam
The canals that make up the "Venice of the North" span for over one hundred kilometers of canals, forming concentric belts around the city. The canal area inside a section of the city known as the Singelgracht holds the canals dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age. 

Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex, Iran
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Strategically situated at the junction of the Quir and Aji Rivers, Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity and its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centers on the Silk Road. The present structure of bazaar dates back to the closing years of the Zand Dynasty (A.D. 1750-1779). The complex has high brick domes and arches. It includes several small bazaars, or bazaarcheh, each for a specific guild and craft.

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The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of the five facilities that were developed under his rule. The set of 20 instruments demonstrate the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts used to observe astronomical positions with the naked eye.

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