Sites bearing testimony to a certain aspect of the history of humanity and/or natural history and thus being of outstanding significance are gathered on the "List of World Heritage".
The World Heritage List is based on the "Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" (World Heritage Convention), adopted by Unesco in 1972.
It is the most successful and best-known Unesco programme, listing over 900 sites worldwide and 190 states having so far ratified the World Heritage Convention.
By being granted the World Heritage title, states enter into the commitment to protect a World Heritage site and to preserve it for future generations.
If they fail to meet this obligation, Unesco can put a site on the "List of World Heritage in Danger".
In Germany, 39 sites are adorned with the title of World Heritage. Thus Germany is one of the states with the most World Heritage Sites worldwide, with France being nip and tuck and only being outnumbered by Spain (44 sites), China (47), and Italy (50 – as of June 2014).