Responsible for the content: Lena Johansson, Karlskrona kommun. Photo: Lena Johansson unless otherwise stated 

Cultural and natural heritage


The World Heritage List includes 890 natural and cultural heritage properties which are considered to have outstanding universal value. These include 689 cultural, 176 natural and 25 mixed cultural and natural heritage properties.

Cultural heritage
Article 1 of the Convention defines Cultural Heritage Sites as follows:
  • Monuments: architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science. Example: the Pyramids of Egypt.

  • Groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science. Example: The Naval City of Karlskrona.

  • Sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological point or anthropological of view. Example: the terraced rice-fields of the Philippines cordillera.

Natural Heritage
Article 2 stipulates similar conditions in regard to Natural Heritage Sites:
  • Natural features consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view.

  • Geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation;

  • Natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty.

Intangible Cultural Heritage
In 2003 UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural
Heritage, which Sweden is now (2010) planning to ratify.
The Convention concerns the living practice of intangible cultural heritage, and it aims
mainly at the knowledge of practising and performing intangible cultural heritage:
  1. The “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. For the purposes of this Convention, consideration will be given solely to such intangible cultural heritage as is compatible with existing international human rights instruments, as well as with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development. 

  2. The “intangible cultural heritage”, as defined in paragraph 1 above, is manifested inter alia in the following domains: 
    (a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; 
    (b) performing arts; 
    (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; 
    (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; 
    (e) traditional craftsmanship.