German proposal no 1

  • We want to suggest two (connected) buildings as UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES:

    Our first proposal is our "Weserstraßenkreuz" (Canal Bridge)

    The Canal Bridge in Minden (Wasserstraßenkreuz) is an acquaduct near our hometown in Minden our hometown in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany).

    It actually consists of two parallel water bridges. An old own one and a new one. Both were built to lead the Mittelland Canal over the Weser (river). Yet the older of the two bridges is no longer used for shipping. The old bridge was built in 1914 and is 370 m long. The new bridge opened in 1998.

    Old bridge:


    New bridge (as seen from the north):

    Picture: WSV.De

    Our second proposal is the our "Schachtschleuse" (shaft lock)

    In Minden there is an important junction for inland waterways. It is the crossing of the navigable Weser and the Mittellandkanal (middle land canal). A lock connects the river with the canal.

    Here we also have an old one:

    By Richard Harvey - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

    And a new one that was opened last year (2017), by Aeggi, 09.12.2017

    A special stamp was published in 2004

    Copyright: Deutsche Post AG


    Presented by Leon, Dennis and Mostafa (Germany)

    Do you have any questions:

    Questions and comments of other pupils:

    Question: Is it the longest aqueduct in Europe?

    No. The Magedeburg Water Bridge is bigger.

    What is a lock?

    A lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats and ships between rivers and canals and waterways Our lock serves to overcome a difference in height of 13 m.

     Is there a bigger lock in the World?

    Since 2016, the largest lock worldwide is the Kieldrecht Lock in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium.

    Why do you propose these buildings as UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

    Have a look at the criteria for UNESCO world heritage sites:

    The lock and the water bridge have been  (i) "masterpieces of human creative genius". They show (ii) "development in arquitecture". Both are a (iii) "testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living", as we Europeans try to find new ways and make try to overcome nature and make it useful for us. They (iv) "illustrate (a) significant stage(s) in human history". It is true that in ancient times people also tried to transport goods and travel by rivers. And so both constructions show the "technical achievements of the past and present" (side by side).  The old buildings are of an "exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance". The Middle land canal itself, the lock and the waterbridge show the (viii) "on-going geological processes in the development of landforms". Last but not least they exemplify the (ix) " processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals".

    And – in our modern times of globalization -  ecologically-friendly shipment of goods becomes more and more important. So we need waterways that work efficiently. Our lock and our water bridge are a good example.

    Your arguments are very convincing. But the aspects "unique" and "exceptional" are missing !  :) : ) :) :)  :)