UNESCO World Heritage Committee awarded “The Augsburg Water Management System” with the World Heritage title
• Mayor Dr. Kurt Gribl: The award honors an incomparable treasure. We are very happy!
• Augsburg is Bavaria’s eighth world heritage site
• Unique water management system can be fully experienced in Augsburg, Germany for more than eight centuries
At its 43rd session held recently in Baku, Azerbaijan, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, granted the Augsburg Application of the ‘Augsburg Water Management System’ with the exclusive UNESCO World Heritage title. At this meeting, 36 proposals were identified from around the world – three of them with German participation. The city’s delight is huge and a major water festival was launched in the city center.
Mayor Dr. Gribl: “An incomparable treasure in the city”
Mayor Dr. Kurt Gribl says in a first reaction: “With the recognition of the Augsburg Water Management System as a World Heritage Site, UNESCO honors an incomparable treasure that the city has retained since its founding. The location of Augsburg at the confluence of ‘Lech’ and ‘Wertach’ is no coincidence, but strategically well considered. Augsburg enjoys the full economic and cultural development of both river waters and the abundance of drinking water in the Forest City. For centuries, Lech’s hydropower was used in an innovative way to drive wheel mills and pumping stations. Augsburg’s craftsmanship flourished and made the city rich – also because, thanks to an ingenious canal system, good hygienic conditions prevailed and the best drinking water was available to the citizens. The interaction between human ingenuity, pioneering engineering science and the art of the Great Fountain is the winning concept of the unique water management system that can be tested in Augsburg for more than eight centuries. To this day, we can truly take pride in this world heritage as a city and be happy with all our hearts.”
Cultural Officer Thomas Weitzel (in Baku/Azerbaijan)
“The system of the Augsburg water management located like a connecting bracket around the city, which is rich in cultural monuments, from the oldest water towers in Europe and the art-historically important fountains to outstanding monuments of industrial culture or the canoe route in the former Olympic site. The 22 objects of the Augsburg World Heritage Application represent a unique special case in a combination of historical and artistic significance: They are all closely linked to the technological achievements of hydraulic engineering, the sustainable use of hydropower and the resource-saving separation of drinking and service water. The title of UNESCO requires us to preserve the excellent monuments. At the same time we realize that with the world title, we accept mediation order through the exchange of tradition and knowledge of the sustainable use of water as a vital resource and communication with the international community.”
World Heritage Coordinator Ulrich Müllegger (in Baku/Azerbaijan)
“I’m sure many people of Augsburg are happy with the World Heritage title and are proud of it. Water is the genetic code of our city, which formed the life between ‘Lech’ and ‘Wertach’ for more than two millennia. Water is a topic that everyone can use, regardless of gender, age or origin. The World Heritage title again gives Augsburg a special touch, which will be clearly noticeable from the inside, in the city itself, but also from the outside. But we, too, have entered into the obligation, in a certain way, to cultivate and preserve our cultural heritage with care for all humanity. ”
Public managing director Alfred Müllner
The Municipal Utility of Augsburg also plays an important role when it comes to drinking water supply in Augsburg. CEO Alfred Müllner sees in the positive decision also an award for 800 years of sustainable drinking water supply for the citizens of Augsburg,
through the centuries using the most modern methods and techniques. He commented: “At a time when millions of people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water, sustainable use of drinking water, from extraction to tap, can be exemplary. The award is also an invitation from UNESCO to have the drinking water available for all and not have it linked with commercial interests of global companies. The Municipal Utility Augsburg realizes its responsibility for sustainability even for future generations to secure drinking water supplies.”
Regional Tourism CEO Götz Beck
“UNESCO World Heritage Sites are tourist heavyweights. The Augsburg Water Management System Award is a great opportunity to provide exciting incentives for the development of tourism in Augsburg and the region at the national and international levels.”
Testimonies of human and natural history
The World Heritage Sites of UNESCO are outstanding examples of human history and natural history. In 1978, the World Heritage List was opened with 12 sites. Over time, it has been added magnificent monuments such as ‘Angkor Wat’ in Cambodia or the ‘Great Wall of China’ to the list; as well as unique ‘teams’ such as the ‘old city of Bamberg’ or picturesque cathedrals such as the ‘Cathedral of Aachen’ and ‘Cologne Cathedral’. Even important industrial facilities such as the ‘Zollverein mine’ in Essen are part of the family of exclusive World Heritage sites. This last time included (as of May 2019) 1092 facilities worldwide in 167 countries around the world – of which 44 are in Germany or partially in Germany. With the Augsburg water management system, the number of World Heritage Sites in Bavaria has risen to eight.