Brooksbrücke mit Hammonia und Germania um das Jahr Neunzehnhundert
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How the World Heritage title was awarded

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Extract from the documentation for the nomination process, "UNESCO World Heritage – the Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus district with Chilehaus"

Hamburg World Heritage title


Urkunde Speicherstadt und Kontorhausviertel

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee agreed at its 39th session on 5 July 2015 in Bonn to include the Hamburg ensemble "Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus" in the UNESCO World Heritage list. All 21 members entitled to vote on the World Heritage Committee voted for the inclusion. A long formal inscription process that lasted a total of 17 years from 1998 until 2015 thus had a successful conclusion much to our delight. We would like to take this opportunity to expressly thank all people and institutions involved in compiling the nomination documents as well as all proprietors who have supported this work for the entirety of its process.

The Chilehaus was included in the German tentative list at number 22 for the 2014 nomination year by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in 1998. This tentative list was officially submitted to UNESCO on 20 September 1999. In February 2007, the Hamburg site on the German tentative list at UNESCO was expanded to include the Speicherstadt and the Kontorhaus district. Spring 2010 then saw the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg commission the Hamburg Ministry of Culture to compile the necessary nomination documents for World Heritage Site nomination in 2014 and undertake any associated but necessary preparations.


Hamburg vor der Entscheidung zum ersten Weltkulturerbe der Hansestadt Head of World Heritage Committee State Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Dr. Maria Böhmer (centre), 1st Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz und Senator Prof. Barbara Kisseler The
The chair of the World Heritage Committee and Federal Minister in the Foreign Office, Prof. Dr Maria Böhmer (centre) with Hamburg's First Mayor Olaf Scholz and Senator for Cultural Affairs Prof. Barbara Kisseler (image: Elisa Schweitzer, Senate Press Office). On 15 August 2013, these documents were sent for the first time to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre for the complementary check. Mid-November 2013 saw the documents which had been checked for completeness returning from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Hamburgs Department for Heritage Preservation only had just under 4 weeks to incorporate the changes deemed appropriate by UNESCO before the complete documentation had to be submitted on 20 December 2013 via the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder, the Federal Foreign Office and the German UNESCO delegation to arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris, in time for the 1 February 2014 deadline.

The large package that was sent in December 2013 consisted of a 300-page nomination dossier, a 100-page Management Plan, a 100-page development concept for the Speicherstadt Hamburg, documents, maps, extensive photo documentation and the publication for the international conference "Urban Development towards Modernism – The Birth of the Metropolitan Harbour and Commercial Districts" held in Hamburg in autumn 2012.

The nomination documents submitted by the Federal Republic of Germany were then forwarded by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites), who then passed these to the international ICOMOS experts with the request to evaluate the nomination documents.

As part of the evaluation, the core zone for the nominated site was extended marginally along with the surrounding buffer zone. After the extensive evaluation process was completed, the Expert Panel of ICOMOS International compiled an assessment for UNESCO. This appraisal, the basis for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's decision, deviates in its findings in several points from the argumentation of the Hamburg nomination documents. While it does not value the criteria (i), (ii) and (iii) proposed by Hamburg as justification for the Outstanding Universal Value, it did recommend the inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage list on the basis of criterion (iv). The World Heritage Committee followed the argumentation from ICOMOS International and, as can be read in chapter "Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus" was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the basis of criterion (iv).

The process reached its conclusion on 27 June 2016 when the Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the UNESCO World Heritage Certificate to the President of the Senate for the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Hamburg's First Mayor Olaf Scholz.



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