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Proposed and World Heritage Sites in Hamburg

Warehouse District (Speicherstadt) and Kontorhaus District with Chile House – Jewish Cemetery Altona Königstraße – Hamburg Observatory

The nomination application for inclusion among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites must follow a required procedure:

  • Official applicant is the Federal Republic of Germany (not the Free/Hanseatic City of Hamburg).
  • A potential World Heritage site must first be included in the national “tentative list”.
  • A distinction is made between individual applications from a single country and transnational serial applications from several countries.
  • In Germany, inclusion in the tentative list is through the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Federal States (KMK), as based on the federally organized authority for cultural matters. The Standing Conference(KMK) determines the sequence as to when a federal state can apply, and with which proposed object as a Heritage site. But that applies solely in the case of individual applications in Germany, and does not hold for transnational serial applications. If another country assumes responsibility, the application can occur independently from the order of precedence as specified in the German tentative list.
  • The current tentative list registered with UNESCO comprises three vacant positions with a chance for possible nomination until 2015.
  • The KMK has decided in June 2014 on the new tentative list after an appointed international committee of experts has first evaluated the existing application proposals from the federal states.

In January 2014 the application for formal nomination of the Warehouse District and Kontorhaus District with the Chile House for the UNESCO World Heritage was proposed. Already since 1998, the Chile House has been in the German tentative list, and since 2006 the entire complex. On Juli 5th the World Heritage Committee approved the inscription of the the Warehouse District and Kontorhaus District on the World Heritage List.

The text for the Jewish Cemetery Altona Königstraße to be included in the new tentative list was likewise submitted to the KMK on 1 August 2012. In June 2014 the KMK has decided to include the Jewish Cemetery Altona Königstraße on the tentative list with a chance for possible nomination in 2017. Hamburg is considering to apply for a World Heritage site in the framework of a transnational serial application together with other possible partner countries (the Netherlands, Barbados, Surinam).

The Jewish cemetery on Königstraße in Altona actually consists of two individual cemeteries that when still being used were in close propinquity but separate one from then other. The Sefardic cemetery (‘Sefardim’ are Jewish immigrants from the Iberian peninsula) was established in 1611, while the Ashkenazic cemetery (‘Ashkenazim’ are German Jews and immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia) was set up in 1616. The cemetery has not been further used since 1869.It is a religious site owned by the Jewish Community, preserved as an eternal resting place for the dead. The “good place” on Königstraße is considered to be one of the most important Jewish burial sites worldwide, not only because of its size (nearly two hectares) and its age, but also because of the cultural-historical importance of numerous gravestones there.

The cemetery was reopened in 2007 after extensive work in archiving and restoration. That same year, the Hamburg Monument Foundation constructed the Eduard Duckesz House, opening it as a visitors’ centre and venue for seminars. The Hamburg Monument Foundation administers the cemetery, ensuring regular opening hours for the public and high-quality guided tours.

Short version of the text for the tentative list (Tentative list submission format)

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Tentative list submission format

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Hamburg zieht Welterbeantrag zurück um Chancen für eine transnationale Bewerbung zu wahren

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A transnational serial application is planned for the Hamburg Observatory togehter with the La Plata Astronomical Observatory in Argentina.

*  Source: Denkmalschutzamt Hamburg (as of Jan. 2013)



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