Can You Name All of These World Heritage Sites?


By: Jonnathan Chadwick

7 Min Quiz

Image: MathieuRivrin / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Back in 300 B.C., an exiled ruler wanted to create a central location for all of the world's knowledge. The goal was to have one copy of every book ever written in the world, and more than 100 scholars were housed in a building to collect, copy, translate and publish manuscripts and conduct research. 

The building became a museum and a library and went on to hold some of the most important philosophy, math and science of ancient times. Works from Socrates, Homer and others were in the building, and the library held 500,000 papyrus scrolls at its height. It was known as the Great Library of Alexandria, but then it burnt down, and we lost a priceless amount of history and knowledge. 

Some say Julius Caesar burned it down. Some say its popularity simply dwindled and it was replaced. Some say it didn't exist at all. Nevertheless, the thought of losing all that ancient knowledge produces the same agreement within everyone: We must preserve Earth's most important sites. 

People of every background around the globe agree on the importance of saving Earth's history, and in 1975, 193 countries agreed to create a list of Earth's most significant sites. A dozen historical sites were added in 1978, and the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites was born. Some of the world's most endangered animals, oldest cities and rarest land formations are protected on the list, and today there are more than 1,000 sites listed across 167 countries. How many World Heritage Sites do you know?

Can you name this railway that runs between Italy and Switzerland and offers one of the most beautiful train rides in the world?

In 2008, a five-stop span running from Thusis, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy on the Rhaetian Railway became a UNESCO World Heritage site. The four-hour ride winds through tunnels and over valleys in the Alps and is one of the world's best.


More than 2 million wild animals pass through this Tanzanian National Park every year. What is it?

Tanzania's Serengeti is one of the most famous and oldest ecosystems in the world, and today it's home to thousands of lions and millions of wildebeest. The word "Serengeti" means "endless plains" in the Maasai language.


This site is widely regarded as the oldest city in the world. Do you know it?

It's nearly impossible to comprehend the list of occupants that lived in Damascus, but at different points, the city was home to the Canaanites, Babylonians, the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, the current Syrian Arab Republic and more.


What's the name of these caves in New Mexico that are full of limestone columns?

This national park sits in New Mexico and consists of 119 limestone caves formed by rainwater millions of years ago. There are dozens of popular rooms within the caves, like the Hall of Giants and King's Palace., and the longest cave in the park is Lechuguilla Cave, which runs more than 140 miles.


Tourists have to pay a fee if they want to visit this "Floating City." Do you know its name?

Tourists can expect to pay anywhere between €2 and €5 to enter Venice, and entry prices can rise as high as €10 during peak seasons. The fees help raise money for the city but also help curb overcrowding in the city of more than 250,000 residents.


These islands near the equator have equal days and nights all year round and are home to some of the most diverse wildlife on Earth. What are they called?

The Galapagos Islands are famous for being the place where Charles Darwin carried out a lot of his studies to help him form his theory of evolution, and the area is home to an abundance of wildlife. You'll find everything from birds and lizards to penguins and turtles on the islands.


This city in Mali has become a synonym for the middle of nowhere but was once home to the richest person in the history of the world. What is it?

Timbuktu is a real place, and it's in the middle of Mali, which is in Africa. In the 13th century, it's said that Mali was the largest producer of gold in the world, so the emperor at that time, Mansa Musa, was the wealthiest person in the world, but there is no way to confirm that definitively.


Do you know the name of this German cathedral that withstood dozens of bombs during WWII?

More than 20,000 people visit this German landmark every day, and it became a protected site in 1996. Construction began in the 13th century, but the building wasn't finished until 1880. It was bombed close to 100 times in WWII but is still standing.


Can you name this jungle consisting of 400 billion trees that function as the Earth's lungs?

The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest of its kind and is home to an unknown amount of wildlife. Almost 400 billion trees in the forest inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen to balance the atmosphere. The Amazon produces more than 20% of Earth's oxygen.


These hand paintings were created in 7300 B.C. In what cave were they painted?

Cueva de las Manos sits in Argentina and holds some of the oldest works of art ever discovered on Earth. Probably the most famous artwork in the cave is the stenciled hands on the cave walls, and the last people to occupy the site left in the first century.


Can you name the largest coral-reef system in the world?

Close to 3,000 reefs span more than 1,400 miles in the Coral Sea near Australia. Ocean life ranging from fungi to whales depend on the reef, and it's home to thousands of different species of animals. It's been a protected site since 1981, and preservation efforts have recently ramped up.


About 100,000 statues were carved in these caves between the 5th and 12th centuries. Do you know what they're called?

These limestone Buddhist structures can be found in China and range in size from one inch to almost 60 feet tall. The most popular cave rooms feature art from the 5th century, and hundreds of thousands of laborers worked on the sculptures.


What's the name of this building where the Declaration of Independence was approved?

This is the site where America's founding fathers debated and approved both the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence and where they held congressional sessions between 1775 and 1783. It was originally the Pennsylvania State House.


Can you name this place that is the least-populous country in the world?

Vatican City is the smallest and least-populous country in the world but is home to the Pope and Catholic Church, making it one of the most powerful countries in the world. It's also home to some of the world's most iconic landmarks, which makes it one of the most visited countries in the world.


This quaint Austrian palace has 1,441 rooms. What is its name?

This palace located in Vienna was finished in the mid-1700s and was given to the last ruler of House of Habsburg, Empress Maria Theresa, as a wedding gift. One of the first parties she threw at the palace was to celebrate the first children in the country who received smallpox immunization.


Where can you find more than 30% of the world's population of these giant black-and-white bears?

This series of reserves and parks became a protected site in 2006 and is home to some of the world's most endangered mammals and thousands of plant species. You'll have to travel all the way to the middle of China if you want to visit.


What is the name of this Indonesian refuge that is home to the biggest lizards in the world?

On the islands of Indonesia, you can find this park that is home to the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world. It can grow 10 feet long, weigh up to 200 pounds and run up to 12 mph. They hunt and eat mammals and might even have a venomous bite.


Do you know the name of this French island that features a monastery and is home to about 50 people?

This French island features a monastery at the top, stores at the bottom and fishing and farming homes outside the city walls. Religious structures were built in the eighth century, and the island's location allowed it to survive through decades of wars.


This vast expanse of tropics is one America's greatest natural treasures. What is it called?

The Everglades is home to a diverse array of wildlife ranging from manatees to panthers and is an incredibly unique ecosystem. It's the only tropical jungle on the contiguous U.S., and more than one million tourists visit the area each year.


Can you name this series of caves that sit on Indian islands just outside of Mumbai?

This complex consists of five main caves as well as a few smaller locations that feature dozens or artworks dedicated to Hindu deities. The historic site dates back to the 2nd century B.C. and is said to have been completed in the mid-6th century.


Do you know the name of this house that is the residence of the Swedish royal family?

This palace became a designated site in 1991 and was built for the queen of Sweden in 1580. It burnt down the next century, was rebuilt in 1681 and has been a royal residence ever since. Today it's also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.


You can find fossils dating back 185 million years along this 95-mile stretch of coast known as what?

This coast on the English Channel gets its name from rock formations in the area that date back to the Jurassic era. The coast consists of fishing villages, cliffs, arches, bays and more, and became a designated site in 2001.


What is the name of this 12th-century temple complex located in Cambodia?

This temple in Siem Reap is one of the most popular attractions in Southeast Asia and appears on Cambodia's national flag. It was dedicated to the Hindu god of truth and later became a Buddhist temple.


Can you name this medieval European city surrounded by emerald waters on three sides?

The Old City of Bern is home to quite a few interesting and historic sites, including the Bern Minster, which is the country's tallest cathedral, and the Zytglogge, which houses one of Europe's most famous astronomical clocks. There are dozens of historic monuments within the city, and the entire old town is a heritage site itself.


Kentucky is home to the longest cave system in the world. Do you know its name?

This cave system crawls around Kentucky for more than 400 miles and is more than double the length of the next-longest cave system. You'll find plenty of limestone structures and a multitude of famous rooms, like the rotunda room and the bottomless pit, when exploring the system.


If you can't visit Antarctica, you should try to visit this park in South America. What is it called?

Antarctica is one of the places on Earth everyone should visit, but it's not the easiest place to travel to. You can get a glimpse of what it might be like by traveling to the tip of Argentina and taking in the mammoth glaciers and crystal lakes at Los Glaciers National Park.


What is the name of this cliffside giant?

You will find giant Buddha structures all over Asia, and one of the coolest depictions is this 8th-century, 233-foot-tall cliff-face carving sitting on the Dadu River in China. You won't find a taller rock Buddha anywhere in the world, and it's the tallest ancient statue by far.


The cobble-stoned center of this city has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. Do you know it?

Prague's nickname is "City of a Hundred Spires," and the city one of the most picturesque in the world. Its old town is home to the oldest operational astronomical clock in the world, and the existence of the town dates back to the 9th century.


City squares are some of the most recognizable places on Earth. Can you name this one?

Moscow's Red Square is Russia's largest and most popular square and is home to famous landmarks like the fortified Kremlin complex, Saint Basil's Cathedral and Lenin's Mausoleum. It became a designated site in 1990 and is one of the world's most famous city squares.


In the Sicilian town of Agrigento sits the largest archaeological site in the world. What is it?

The Valle dei Templi spans more than 3,000 acres and is home to several Ancient Greek temples dating back to the 6th century B.C. It is one of the most significant sites in the world, and it sits in a country that is home to more heritage sites than anywhere else.


Do you know this French cave known for its more than 600 prehistoric paintings?

More than 600 drawings and thousands of engravings dating back 17,000 years cover the walls of the Lascaux Cave in France. Many of the paintings were painted in color from yellow and black minerals found within rocks, and there are no landscape drawings on the wall.


What's the name of these mangrove forests that are home to the endangered Bengal tiger?

This system of forests, rivers and flats sits in the Bay of Bengal on the southern coast of Bangladesh and covers more than 2,300 square miles. The mangrove forests are the largest of their type in the world, and the area is home to a wide range of endangered animals.


One of the most popular ancient sites on Earth overlooks the city of Athens. What is it called?

You can't create a list of important world sites without including Greece, and alongside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Acropolis is the most famous ancient site in the world. It is home to many historic structures, including the Parthenon.


Can you name the name of this British cave that was one of the last known homes to the Neanderthals?

These caves are located in Gibraltar and were first occupied 55,000 years ago. No fossil proof of Neanderthals has been unearthed at the location, but artifacts, tools and art have been found and carbon dated to the relevant times.


What's the name of this system of lakes and waterfalls located in Croatia?

These lakes, waterfalls, canyons and valleys make up one of Croatia's largest and most popular national parks. More than a million tourists visit the site each year, and the park's 16 lakes vary in color from green to blue to grey, depending on different factors.


Zeus trapped a deadly monster under this mountain, and today it is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. What is it called?

Mount Etna is located on the island of Sicily and is the biggest active volcano in Italy. Its first recorded eruptions occurred thousands of years ago, and it may have been active for more than two and a half million years. It has erupted once a year since 2001, making it one of the world's most active.


Do you know this forest area in China known for thousands of sandstone pillars that took hundreds of millions of years to form?

Wulingyuan gained fame when it inspired the scenery for the multi-million dollar blockbuster "Avatar," and its mini-forests sitting atop sandstone pillars are some of the most unique land formations on the planet. The area consists of four national parks, including Zhangjiajie Park.


The world would be a different place without pizza. Where was it invented?

The old center of Naples has been a heritage site since 1995, and the city has close to 3,000 years of history. The ruins of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast are just minutes away, but the city's greatest contribution to Earth is pizza Margherita, which was invented in the city.


The Finsteraarhorn is the tallest peak in the protected area of what mountain range?

The protected area of the Swiss Alps is called the Jungfrau-Aletsch and has been a UNESCO site since 2001. It's home to several mountains that rise more than 13,000 feet, and much of the land in the area is untouched.


The largest and oldest confirmed impact crater on the planet sits in South Africa. What is it called?

It's estimated that more than 2 billion years ago an asteroid more than nine miles in diameter struck Earth, leaving a 190-mile-wide crater in what is today the country of South Africa. The Chixulub crater in Mexico was created from the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.


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