World heritage

Published by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage

The UNESCO World Heritage List contains areas or objects which are an irreplaceable part of the world´s cultural or natural heritage. Norway has eight sites on the list.

Bryggen in Bergen was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979. The characteristic rows of parallel houses with gables facing the sea demonstrate a type of architecture that has been maintained for a period of close to 900 years. Photo: Anders Amlo, Cultural Heritage

The Rock Drawings of Alta constitute the most important piece of evidence in favour of the existence of human activity in the confines of the Great North during the prehistoric period. At the World Heritage Site there are more than 3000 rock art figures. Photo: Line Bårdseng, Directorate for Cultural Heritage

The World Heritage Site on the west coast of Norway comprises of Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord. Geologically, the area may be characterised as an extremely well-developed example of a classic fjord landscape. View of Geirangerfjord. Photo: Lene Buskoven

Røros Mining Town was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1980. An expanded area around the town was inscribed in 2010. Photo: Guri Dahl ©Directorate for Cultural Heritage

Urnes stave church is the oldest and one of the best preserved stave churches in Norway. In 2010 the church was re-opened after a two-year restoration. Photo: Leif Anker, Directorate for Cultural Heritage

Vega Archipelago on the Helgeland coast was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004. The entry on the List is also regarded as a tribute to the now unique practice of eider down harvesting. Photo: Egil Murud, Directorate for Cultural Heritage

The town of Rjukan was established around Norsk Hydro's industry. The whole town was planned by architects  Photo: © Per Berntsen

World Heritage List

An international convention, The World Heritage Convention, was adopted in 1972. The aim is to give special protection to places that because of their universal value must be regarded as part of the world heritage for future generations and for the whole of humanity.

The World Heritage List includes areas or objects protected under the World Heritage Convention. Norway ratified the convention in 1977, and has eight sites on the list. This includes four Norwegian points of measurements are part of the international site The Struve Geodetic Arc. 

Tentative list

The Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination, i.e. properties which they consider to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.

Click on a name for more information on the different world heritage sites