World Cultural Heritage
“Valuable for the whole mankind”
In December 2001, the Lake Neusiedl region was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee at the same time as Vienna’s Old Town. UNESCO thus attaches to the World Heritage Site of Lake Neusiedl an “exceptional value for all mankind”.
This solemn act was preceded by years of preparation by experts from the province of Burgenland in Austria and also by experts from Hungary, which finally resulted in a proposal. The World Heritage Committee explicitly referred to the cultural criterion in the justification of its decision: The Lake Neusiedl region has been a place where different cultures have met for thousands of years, obviously due to the great diversity of the landscape, which is the result of an evolutionary and symbiotic process of interaction of people with their physical environment.
A crucial factor for Lake Neusiedl and its border areas being entered into the list of World Cultural Heritage sites was the existence of a unique area and landscape of unspoiled natural beauty, which is located at the gateway to numerous cultural and language areas, temperate zones and natural environments. Lake Neusiedl – Seewinkel National Park, the border area of Lake Neusiedl and the historic old town of Rust are situated in the Austrian part of the UNESCO cultural heritage site. Rust was therefore of great significance in the decision to make the region of Lake Neusiedl a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Our town is also the only municipality to be located completely within the World Cultural Heritage site. Rust is therefore the heart of the UNESCO world cultural heritage region of Fertö-Lake Neusiedl.
The Fertö-Hanság National Park, village of Fertörakos, Széchenyi Castle in Nagycenk and Esterházy Palace in Fertöd are cultural highlights in the Hungarian part of the UNESCO cultural heritage site.
The diversity of flora and fauna habitats is also accounted for with this recognition as World Cultural Heritage site. The international significance of the region is furthermore increased by its function as a “stepping stone” for bird migration between Africa and Northern Europe.