NEW YORK -- Unesco has named five additional European historic
attractions in Germany, Italy and Hungary to its list of protected
World Heritage Sites.
More than 300 of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization's 730 designated heritage sites are located
in European countries.
Germany's Baltic Sea ports of Wismar and Stralsund -- cited as
the best-preserved member cities of the medieval Hanseatic trading
league -- as well as a 40-mile stretch of the Rhine Valley join 25
other such sites in the country.
The Upper Middle Rhine Valley was chosen for its collection of
60 towns, two-millennia of history, and proliferation of monuments,
including castles, abbeys, terraced vineyards and the famed Lorelei
Rock, according to Unesco.
Meanwhile, the Tokaji Wine Region Cultural Landscape in Hungary
was nominated thanks to its 800-year-old wine industry, and the
Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto in Sicily join some 35 other
heritage sites protected in Italy.
The eight Sicilian towns of Caltagirone, Militello Val Di
Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli were
rebuilt after a 1693 earthquake that killed 93,000 people;
reconstruction was guided by some of the world's first
earthquake-proof building codes.