MADRID (AP) – Madrid’s tree-lined Paseo del Prado boulevard and the adjacent Retiro Park have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which held an online meeting from Fuzhou, China, backed the candidacy on Sunday, which highlighted the green space’s introduction of nature to the Spanish capital. The committee members also welcomed the influence that the properties had on the design of other cities in Latin America.
“Together they illustrate the pursuit of a utopian society during the heyday of the Spanish Empire,” said UNESCO.
Retiro Park covers 1.2 square kilometers (1.3 square miles) in the center of Madrid. Next to it runs the Paseo del Prado with a promenade for pedestrians. The boulevard connects the heart of the Spanish art world and unites the Prado Museum with the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofía Art Center.
The boulevard dates back to the 16th century, while the park was originally used for royal purposes in the 17th century before it was fully opened to the public in 1848.
“Today, in these times of the pandemic, in a city that has suffered tremendously in the last 15 months, we have a reason to celebrate with the Spanish capital’s first World Heritage Site,” said Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida.
The site is number 49 for Spain on the UNESCO list.
Also on Sunday, the committee added China’s World Trade Center in Song Yuan, India’s Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple and the Trans-Iranian Railway to its World Heritage List.
World Heritage Sites can be examples of outstanding natural beauty or man-made buildings. The sites can be geologically or ecologically significant, or they can be of vital importance to human culture and tradition.
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