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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

How did UNESCO decide?

UNESCO has put twelve of the best Vauban sites together to form a World Heritage Site. These are:-

  1. Arras
  2. Longwy
  3. Neuf Brisach
  4. Besancon
  5. Briancon
  6. Mont Dauphin
  7. Villfranche de Conflent
  8. Mont Louis
  9. Blaye, Cussac Fort Medoc
  10. Saint Martin de Re
  11. Camaret sur Mer
  12. Saint Vaast la Hougue

The twelve sites, copied from Wikipedia

How did UNESCO decide on these twelve? They had three criteria:-

Criterion 1. The work is the peak of classic bastioned fortification

Criterion 2. "Vauban played a major role in the history of fortification". He was widely copied and credited by his contemporaries and later generations, his books were translated into languages such as Russian which reflects his influence.

Criterion 3. "Vauban's work illustrates a significant period of human history." His work covers a wide breadth of human interaction, including civil engineering, military strategy, economics and society.

(The above two quotes are from the UNESCO website)

This does not tell me why these twelve and not, for example Lille or Gravelines. I know Lille is still a working  site used by French Army so did that figure in the decision? Yet Gravelines is an open site, I was there in 2009 and wondered all over it. I don't understand how UNESCO decided on those twelve sites. More questions than answers.

Attached to the criteria is a "Historical Description" in French, which includes 14 sites, the extra two being Vauban's chateau at Bazoches and Le Palais. The last I do not know. So I have some translating to do and some more research.

I'll get back to you.

Meanwhile - England were beaten very convincingly at the Oval - thrashed from a very great height, beaten by a much better South Africa. So come on lads - off to Headingley - you'd better play much better - I am going I've got tickets for Saturday.

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