World Heritage Criteria

The precondition for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage site is the fulfilment of specific criteria. Besides “authenticity”, i.e. historical genuineness, the criterion of “integrity” must also be met: the potential World Heritage site must be preserved intact.

Also, the uniqueness of the site must be documented, the “outstanding universal value”, OUV for short. At least one out of a total of ten established criteria for assessing the OUV must be demonstrated for the site, see also "Convention".

"Exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition and heritage or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared”

Evidence of these criteria must be adduced even at the stage of nomination for the national Tentative List. The Schwerin Residence Ensemble meets two of the criteria for describing a potential World Heritage site:

As testimony to a cultural tradition [criterion iii] the Schwerin Residence Ensemble is an outstanding representative of the culmination and end point of courtly culture in 19th-century Europe. The Throne Apartment in Schwerin Castle is the last of that period in Europe to be preserved in its entirety.

It is also an outstanding example of a type of buildings [criterion iv], forming a vivid and uniquely cohesive visual illustration, in the very diversity of its aspects, of the epoch of the 19th century. Many and various sightlines link the individual buildings to one another and to the surrounding landscape.

In 2013 the art historian Dr Christian Ottersbach formulated the description of the application “Residence Ensemble Schwerin – Cultural Landscape of Romantic Historicism” to be included on the German Tentative List. Here you can find the application text in German and English and the associated flyers, also in German and English.

For the nomination document, which aims to have the Schwerin Residence Ensemble inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the criteria will now need to be scrutinized further and the OUV more sharply defined.