List of World Heritage Sites in Northern and Central Asia

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The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated 19 World Heritage Sites in six countries (also called "state parties") of Central and North Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Asian part of Russia.[1] The European part of Russia is included in Eastern Europe.[2]

Russia is home to the most inscribed sites with 7 sites, one of which is a transborder property shared with Mongolia in Eastern Asia.[3] The first site from the region was the Itchan Kala in Uzbekistan inscribed in 1990.[4] Each year, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee may inscribe new sites on the list, or delist sites that that no longer meet the criteria. Selection is based on ten criteria: six for cultural heritage (i–vi) and four for natural heritage (vii–x).[5] Some sites, designated "mixed sites," represent both cultural and natural heritage. In Northern and Central Asia, there are 11 cultural, 8 natural, and no mixed sites. All of the Russian sites (7) are natural and with the exception of Sayarka, all of the sites in Central Asia are cultural.[3]

The World Heritage Committee may also specify that a site is endangered, citing "conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List." None of the sites in this region has ever been listed as endangered, but possible danger listing has been considered by UNESCO in a number of cases.[6]


The table is sortable by column by clicking on the Sort both.gif at the top of the appropriate column; alphanumerically for the Site, Area, and Year columns; by state party for the Location column; and by criteria type for the Criteria column. Transborder sites sort at the bottom.

Site; named after the World Heritage Committee's official designation[3]
Location; at city, regional, or provincial level and geocoordinates
Criteria; as defined by the World Heritage Committee[5]
Area; in hectares and acres. If available, the size of the buffer zone has been noted as well. A value of zero implies that no data has been published by UNESCO
Year; during which the site was inscribed to the World Heritage List
Description; brief information about the site, including reasons for qualifying as an endangered site, if applicable

Inscribed sites[edit]

  * Trans-border site
Site Image Location Criteria Area
ha (acre)
Year Description Refs
Central Sikhote-Alin Primorsky Krai,  Russia
45°20′N 136°10′E / 45.333°N 136.167°E / 45.333; 136.167 (Central Sikhote-Alin)
70061553928000000001,553,928 (3,839,840); buffer zone 65,250 (161,200) 2001 The Sikhote-Alin mountain range contains one of the richest and most unusual temperate forests of the world. In this mixed zone between taiga and subtropics, southern species such as the tiger and Himalayan bear cohabit with northern species such as the brown bear and lynx. The site stretches from the peaks of Sikhote-Alin to the Sea of Japan and is important for the survival of many endangered species such as the Amur tiger. [7]
Golden Mountains of Altai Altai Republic,  Russia
50°28′N 86°0′E / 50.467°N 86.000°E / 50.467; 86.000 (Golden Mountains of Altai)
70061611457000000001,611,457 (3,982,000) 1998 The Altai mountains in southern Siberia form the major mountain range in the western Siberia biogeographic region and provide the source of its greatest rivers – the Ob and the Irtysh. Three separate areas are inscribed: Altaisky Zapovednik and a buffer zone around Lake Teletskoye; Katunsky Zapovednik and a buffer zone around Mount Belukha; and the Ukok Quiet Zone on the Ukok plateau. The region represents the most complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones in central Siberia, from steppe, forest-steppe, mixed forest, subalpine vegetation to alpine vegetation. The site is also an important habitat for endangered animal species such as the snow leopard. [8]
Historic Centre of Bukhara Bukhara Province,  Uzbekistan
39°46′29″N 64°25′43″E / 39.77472°N 64.42861°E / 39.77472; 64.42861 (Historic Centre of Bukhara)
(ii), (iv), (vi)
1993 [9]
Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz Qashqadaryo Province,  Uzbekistan
39°3′0″N 66°50′0″E / 39.05000°N 66.83333°E / 39.05000; 66.83333 (Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz)
(iii), (iv)
7002240000000000000240 (590); buffer zone 82 (200) 2000 [10]
Itchan Kala Khiva, Xorazm Province,  Uzbekistan
41°22′42″N 60°21′50″E / 41.37833°N 60.36389°E / 41.37833; 60.36389 (Itchan Kala)
(iii), (iv), (v)
700126000000000000026 (64) 1990 [11]
Kunya-Urgench Daşoguz Province,  Turkmenistan
42°10′59″N 59°5′6″E / 42.18306°N 59.08500°E / 42.18306; 59.08500 (Kunya-Urgench)
(ii), (iii)
2005 [12]
Lake Baikal Irkutsk Oblast and Republic of Buryatia,  Russia
53°10′25″N 107°39′45″E / 53.17361°N 107.66250°E / 53.17361; 107.66250 (Lake Baikal)
(vii), (viii), (ix), (x)
70068800000000000008,800,000 (22,000,000) 1996 Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve. Known as the 'Galapagos of Russia', its age and isolation have produced one of the world's richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science. [13]
Lena Pillars Nature Park Sakha Republic,  Russia
60°40′0″N 127°0′0″E / 60.66667°N 127.00000°E / 60.66667; 127.00000 (Lena Pillars Nature Park)
70061272150000000001,272,150 (3,143,600) 2012 [14]
Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi Turkestan, South Kazakhstan Province,  Kazakhstan
43°17′35″N 68°16′28″E / 43.29306°N 68.27444°E / 43.29306; 68.27444 (Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi)
(i), (iii), (iv)
69995500000000000000.55 (1.4); buffer zone 88 (220) 2003 [15]
Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve Chukotka Autonomous Okrug,  Russia
71°11′20″N 179°42′55″E / 71.18889°N 179.71528°E / 71.18889; 179.71528 (Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve)
(ix), (x)
7005916300000000000916,300 (2,264,000); buffer zone 3,745,300 (9,255,000) 2004 Located well above the Arctic Circle, the site includes the mountainous Wrangel Island (7,608 km2), Herald Island (11 km2) and surrounding waters. Wrangel was not glaciated during the Quaternary Ice Age, resulting in exceptionally high levels of biodiversity for this region. The island boasts the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus and the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens. It is a major feeding ground for the grey whale migrating from Mexico and the northernmost nesting ground for 100 migratory bird species, many endangered. Currently, 417 species and subspecies of vascular plants have been identified on the island, double that of any other Arctic tundra territory of comparable size and more than any other Arctic island. Some species are derivative of widespread continental forms, others are the result of recent hybridization, and 23 are endemic. [16]
Parthian Fortresses of Nisa Bagyr settlement, Ruhabat District, Ahal Province,  Turkmenistan
37°59′59″N 58°11′55″E / 37.99972°N 58.19861°E / 37.99972; 58.19861 (Parthian Fortresses of Nisa)
(ii), (iii)
700178000000000000078 (190); buffer zone 400 (990) 2007 [17]
Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly Almaty Province,  Kazakhstan
43°48′12″N 75°32′6″E / 43.80333°N 75.53500°E / 43.80333; 75.53500 (Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly)
7002900000000000000900 (2,200); buffer zone 2,900 (7,200) 2004 [18]
Proto-urban site of Sarazm
Panjakent,  Tajikistan
39°30′28″N 67°27′37″E / 39.50778°N 67.46028°E / 39.50778; 67.46028 (Proto-urban site of Sarazm)
(ii), (iii)
700116000000000000016 (40); buffer zone 142 (350) 2010 [19]
Putorana Plateau Krasnoyarsk Krai,  Russia
69°2′49″N 94°9′29″E / 69.04694°N 94.15806°E / 69.04694; 94.15806 (Putorana Plateau)
(vii), (ix)
70061887251000000001,887,251 (4,663,500); buffer zone 1,773,300 (4,382,000) 2010 This site coincides with the area of the Putoransky State Nature Reserve, and is located in the central part of the Putorana Plateau in northern Central Siberia. It is situated about 100 km north of the Arctic Circle. The part of the plateau inscribed on the World Heritage List harbours a complete set of subarctic and arctic ecosystems in an isolated mountain range, including pristine taiga, forest tundra, tundra and arctic desert systems, as well as untouched cold-water lake and river systems. A major reindeer migration route crosses the property, which represents an exceptional, large-scale and increasingly rare natural phenomenon. [20]
Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures Samarqand Province,  Uzbekistan
39°40′7″N 67°0′0″E / 39.66861°N 67.00000°E / 39.66861; 67.00000 (Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures)
(i), (ii), (iv)
7002965000000000000965 (2,380) 2001 [21]
Saryarka — Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan Akmola and Kostanay Provinces,  Kazakhstan
50°26′N 69°11′E / 50.433°N 69.183°E / 50.433; 69.183 (Saryarka — Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan)
(ix), (x)
7005450344000000000450,344 (1,112,820); buffer zone 211,148 (521,760) 2008 [22]
Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor Dayanta Gisela-Brantl 01.JPG 22 sites in  China: Luoyang, Lingbao and Xin'an of Henan Province; Xi'an, Bin County and Chenggu of Shaanxi Province; Tianshui, Yongjing, Dunhuang and Anxi of Gansu Province; Turpan, Jimsar and Kuqa of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 8 sites in  Kazakhstan: Almaty Province and Jambyl Province. 3 sites in  Kyrgyzstan: Chuy Province Cultural:
700442668160000000042,668.16 (105,435.3); buffer zone 7005189963130000000189,963.13 (469,409.1) 2014 [23]
State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv” Mary Province,  Turkmenistan
37°42′3″N 62°10′39″E / 37.70083°N 62.17750°E / 37.70083; 62.17750 (State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv”)
(ii), (iii)
7002353000000000000353 (870); buffer zone 883 (2,180) 1999 [24]
Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain Osh,  Kyrgyzstan
40°31′52″N 72°46′58″E / 40.53111°N 72.78278°E / 40.53111; 72.78278 (Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain)
(iii), (vi)
7002112000000000000112 (280); buffer zone 4,788 (11,830) 2009 [25]
Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs)
38°45′54″N 72°18′19″E / 38.76500°N 72.30528°E / 38.76500; 72.30528 (Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs))
(vii), (viii)
70062611674000000002,611,674 (6,453,590) 2013 [26]
Uvs Nuur Basin Uvs, Zavkhan and Khövsgöl Provinces  Mongolia*; Mongun-Tayginsky, Ovyursky, Tes-Khemsky and Erzinsky Districts, Tuva Republic,  Russia*
50°16′30″N 92°43′1″E / 50.27500°N 92.71694°E / 50.27500; 92.71694 (Uvs Nuur Basin))
(ix), (x)
7005898064000000000898,064 (2,219,160); buffer zone 170,790 (422,000) 2003 The Uvs Nuur Basin is the northernmost of the enclosed basins of Central Asia. It takes its name from Uvs Nuur Lake, a large, shallow and very saline lake, important for migrating birds, waterfowl and seabirds. The site is made up of twelve protected areas representing the major biomes of eastern Eurasia. The steppe ecosystem supports a rich diversity of birds and the desert is home to a number of rare gerbil, jerboas and the marbled polecat. The mountains are an important refuge for the globally endangered snow leopard, mountain sheep (argali) and the Asiatic ibex. [27]
Volcanoes of Kamchatka Kamchatka Krai,  Russia
56°20′N 158°30′E / 56.333°N 158.500°E / 56.333; 158.500 (Volcanoes of Kamchatka)
(vii), (viii), (ix), (x)
70063830200000000003,830,200 (9,465,000) 1996[nb 1] This is one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, with a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related features. The six sites included in the serial designation group together the majority of volcanic features of the Kamchatka peninsula. The interplay of active volcanoes and glaciers forms a dynamic landscape of great beauty. The sites contain great species diversity, including the world's largest known variety of salmonoid fish and exceptional concentrations of sea otter, brown bear and Stellar's sea eagle. [28][29]


  1. ^ Extended in 2001 to include Kluchevskoy Nature Park.


  1. ^ "Number of World Heritage Properties by region". UNESCO. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings". Geographical region and composition of each region. United Nations Statistics Division. 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "World Heritage List". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Number of World Heritage properties inscribed each Year". UNESCO. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "The Criteria for Selection". UNESCO. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "World Heritage in Danger". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Central Sikhote-Alin". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Golden Mountains of Altai". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Historic Centre of Bukhara". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Itchan Kala". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Kunya-Urgench". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Lake Baikal". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Lena Pillars Nature Park". UNESCO. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Parthian Fortresses of Nisa". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Proto-urban site of Sarazm". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "Putorana Plateau". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Saryarka — Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "Silk Road". UNESCO. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "State Historical and Cultural Park "Ancient Merv"". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  26. ^ "Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs)". UNESCO. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "Uvs Nuur Basin". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  28. ^ "Volcanoes of Kamchatka". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  29. ^ "Decision - 25COM X.B - Volcanoes of Kamchatka [Extension to include Kluchevskoy Nature Park] (Russian Federation)". UNESCO. Retrieved 20 October 2011.