Friday, November 6, 2015

Philadelphia Named America's First World Heritage City

Independence Hall
Huge news, Philadelphia! Philadelphia is the country’s first World Heritage City — largely thanks to the global significance of UNESCO World Heritage site Independence Hall. (Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia)
Fact: There are 266 World Heritage Cities around in the world, but not one in the United States — until now.
As of today, Friday, November 6, the City of Philadelphia is the first World Heritage City in the entire United States.
The culminating step in a two-year initiative pursued by Mayor Michael Nutter and the City, the decision came down today via a vote at the 13th World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Arequipa, Peru.
In 2013, Philadelphia became the first American city to be an approved observer member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. This year, the World Heritage Philadelphia executive committee submitted an application to become a full member.
As the home of Independence Hall, an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, and the city where democracy was established to form the United States of America, Philadelphia’s qualifications to join the ranks of heritage cities needs little justification.
Today, the General Assembly of the OWHC’s World Congress agreed, naming Philadelphia the first World Heritage City in the United States.
Now, Philadelphia takes its place alongside Paris, Rome, Cairo, Tel-Aviv, Quebec and the other global World Heritage Cities — all cities that are home to sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage list and critical to world culture.
For information about the Organization of World Heritage Cities, check right here.
With today’s designation, Philadelphia earns not only an amazing celebration of its part in world history, but also an impressive addition to its list of American firsts.

As the home of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage since 1979, Philadelphia made a natural selection as America’s first World Heritage City. Part of Independence National Historical Park, the Liberty Bell Center exercises freedom from admission fees. (Photo by D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia)

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