UNESCO, the UN’s science and culture arm, has added Russia’s Assumption Cathedral and Monastery in Sviyazhsk to its list of World Heritage sites. The town was founded by Ivan the Terrible in 1551 at the confluence of the Sviyaga and Shchuka rivers, and frescoes in the cathedral exemplify Eastern Orthodox mural painting.
During the Soviet era, the town housed a labor camp, and, after the creation of the Kuybyshev reservoir on the Volga River, it effectively became an island.
UNESCO also added the Landscapes of Dauria as a natural property on the World Heritage List. The site is a cross-border territory shared by Russia and Mongolia that is a prime example of a steppe ecosystem. It serves as a habitat for many rare birds and a migration path for the Mongolian gazelle.
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