With constant threats from climate change, war, development, and tourism, some of the most world’s important historic sites are at risk of irreversible damage or complete destruction. Some are closed to the public or difficult to travel to. But thanks to a new partnership between Google Arts & Culture and digital preservation specialist CyArk, you can now check these wonders off your bucket list—at least digitally. The new Open Heritage project, which was unveiled yesterday, includes a 3-D library of over 25 cultural sites across 18 countries. The library includes 3-D models—created with drone footage, laser scans, VR footage, and other technologies—as well as detailed information on the locations and the date on which they were captured. Open Heritage will also help with preservation and restoration efforts by creating a lasting record of these treasures. Discover the cultural sites featured in the project.
The Monastery of Geghard in Armenia is known for its medieval churches and tombs, which are built into the cliffs.
The cloister of Saint-Trophime in France houses important examples of Romanesque sculpture, Christian iconography, and marble work.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is one of the German city’s most famous landmarks and was transformed from a symbol of division to one of unity.
The Greek city of Corinth has existed in several iterations following earthquakes in 365, 375, and 856 A.D. Excavations of the ancient city began in 1856 (after yet another earthquake) and continue today.
Located near Pompeii, the ancient city of Stabiae was once a playground for the Italian elite. Like Pompeii, it was buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Italy, is made up of the cathedral, the baptistry, the cemetery, and it’s best known monument, the campanile, otherwise known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The city of Pompeii faces danger from Mount Vesuvius as well as potential damage from the large number of tourists that visit each year.
Lebanon’s Temple of Eshmun has frequently been pillaged throughout history and many of its sculptures and architectural elements have been smuggled out of the country.
Located outside of Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, the cave and rock shelters of Laas Geel, Dhagah Nabi Galay, and Dhagah Kureh display Neolithic rock art and cave paintings.
Syria’s Al Azem palace in Damascus is an impressive Ottoman-era courtyard home.
Cidade Velha is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde and once served as its capital.
Set in Guatemala’s El Petén rainforest, the Mayan city of Tikal contains 3,000 structures, but it has been damaged by tourism.
Templo Mayor , a 14th-century Aztec temple in Mexico City, was rediscovered in the 1970s after being covered by urban sprawl for centuries.
Chichén Itzá in Mexico was one of the most important city-states in the pre-Columbian Americans. The Mayan ruins are located on the Yucatán Peninsula.
A World Monuments Fund location, Teotihuacán is the largest and most visited cultural site in Mexico.
Panama’s Fort San Lorenzo was built in the 16th century and remains an excellent example of Spanish Colonial Military architecture.
Chavín de Huántar , a Pre-Incan religious center, is home to massive temples with subterranean galleries, courts, and sunken plazas.
An Inca city on the Peruvian coast, Tambo Colorado was damaged by an earthquake in 2007 and is also threatened by weather and tourism.
An iconic site in Washington, D.C., the Lincoln Memorial opened in 1922 and was designed by architect Henry Bacon.
The San Antonio Missions are located along the San Antonio River. The four 18th-century Spanish Colonial missions are part of a National Park.
Taos Pueblo , in New Mexico, is the largest multistoried adobe structure in the United States and has been continuously inhabited since 1,000 A.D.
Mesa Verde National Park is located in southern Colorado and is home to Native American cliff dwellings.
Located in Myanmar, the ancient city of Bagan once housed over 10,000 structures and was the center of the Pagan Empire.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds was the site of the meeting between Māori and European representatives in 1840 that resulted in New Zealand’s founding document.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand and was founded in 1350 A.D.