World Heritage #0795 – Maritime Greenwich

Last modified 03.04.2022 | Published 18.10.1979North and Central Europe, United Kingdom, World Heritage Sites

Est. reading time:

Your clock is ticking, or rather your electronic watch is changing, according to a definition stemming from Maritime Greenwich – the GMT.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

  • Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Date of Inscription: 1997
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 795:

“The ensemble of buildings at Greenwich, an outlying district of London, and the park in which they are set, symbolize English artistic and scientific endeavour in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Queen’s House (by Inigo Jones) was the first Palladian building in England, while the complex that was until recently the Royal Naval College was designed by Christopher Wren. The park, laid out on the basis of an original design by André Le Nôtre, contains the Old Royal Observatory, the work of Wren and the scientist Robert Hooke.”


My visit

Maritime Greenwich is inscribed on the List because of its buildings but when I came there in 1979 that piece of fact was not only 18 years too early but it was also of little interest. I came there because of the site being the site of the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. I found it very peculiar to be on the defining spot of both geography and time, so to speak.

The maritime past did however not miss me. I took great pleasure in visiting the sailing ship “Cutty Sark” built in 1869.

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