UNESCO World Heritage Sites

 

LAVAUX: SWITZERLAND'S

NEWEST UNESCO WORLD

HERITAGE SITE

Meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, the UNESCO Committee recognized the exceptional beauty and universal importance of Switzerland's Lavaux region.  It will thus become part of the list of registered World Heritage assets, and promises to reward visitors to the Lake Geneva region with it's beauty.

The riches and beauty of Lavaux have matched the demanding criteria of the international organization. The region, called the “Three Suns” – those of the sky, the lake and the walls – finds itself honoured with a worldwide distinction under the title of “cultural landscape”. Fashioned through the ages by human activity, this territory has become a “constructed” countryside, typical of a winegrowing culture. Vineyards, terraces and villages facing Lake Geneva and the Alps have enabled Lavaux to be considered as a site of universal, exceptional and authentic value. Recognition of these qualities on a worldwide level is a magnificent tribute to the Lake Geneva region.

Lavaux is a site full of character, tradition and history, a literary cradle of great artists, and also has a strong orientation towards tourism. Its culinary diversity, rich in tones and flavours, and its conviviality linked to its wines, the fruit of its hillsides, attract many visitors each year. Instructive walks and other outings encourage the discovery of picturesque villages and the wine cellars of local producers. A wide collection of wines and vintages from the eight “appellations d'origine contrôlées (AOCs)” (officially controlled classifications of origins) also contribute to Lavaux’s reputation. The “entry gateways”, Lausanne and Montreux/Vevey, without forgetting the other destinations within the Lake Geneva Region, offer a good choice of hotels, suitable for visitors from all over the world. The accommodation infrastructures, although mostly situated outside the site area, provide plenty of tours and excursions to Lavaux.

In September, Switzerland Tourism will be launching an international campaign with the theme of “Gastronomy and wine”. With this in mind and in order to meet a growing demand, the Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office has produced a new brochure on that theme, which features the specialties of the Lake Geneva Region unusual products, AOC labels, activities, events, useful addresses and portraits will be featured. This publication, in three languages (French, German and English), is due for release in August and will be aimed at both a national and international audience.

In order to mark the event and to thank the population for its support, the AILU (Association for the registration of Lavaux as a UNESCO World Heritage site) is organizing a public festival on 22 September, “The Lavaux Festival”, in the villages throughout Lavaux. Events and tastings on the theme of “5 senses, 5 appellations” will take place all over the winegrowing area (www.lavauxenfete.ch). There will be music, wine and food tastings and everyone is guaranteed to have loads of enjoyment.