On May 19, 2005, the State Cultural Reserve of Kernavė hosted an official ceremony on granting the World Heritage Certificate. The Certificate was presented by UNESCO World Heritage Centre Manager for Europe Dr. Mechtild Rössler. There was also opened the memento with the emblems of UNESCO and the World Heritage. The event was held on the territory of the State Cultural Reserve of Kernavė at the panoramic sightseeing ground located in the vicinity of hill-forts.
The congratulatory speeches at the gala ceremony were made by His Excellency President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, who in 2003 was awarded the title of UNESCO Good Will Ambassador, and the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Vladimiras Prudnikovas. Among the event participants there were the members of UNESCO Commission, other executive persons, representatives of local authorities as well as the Lithuanian archaeologists, historians and mass media.
In July of 2004, Kernavė archaeological site, in justice to its exclusive value to the world, was included into the UNESCO World Heritage List based on the following two criteria:
Criterion (iii): The archaeological site of Kernavė presents an exceptional testimony to the evolution of human settlements in the Baltic region over the period of some 10 millennia. The property has exceptional evidence of the contact of Pagan and Christian funeral traditions.
Criterion (iv): The settlement patterns and the impressive hill-forts represent outstanding examples of the development of such types of structures and history of their use in the pre-Christian era.
The archaeological locality of Kernavė is the third object of Lithuania on the UNESCO World Heritage List , which also includes Vilnius Old Town and the Curonian Spit.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, Director of
the Administration of the State Cultural Reserve of Kernavė Saulius
Vadišis and Ambassador Ina Marčiulionytė, Permanent Delegate of
Lithuania to Unesco
Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Vladimiras
Prudnikovas gives a speech
Archaeologist dr. prof. Aleksiejus Luchtanas and Director of the
Administration of the State Cultural Reserve of Kernavė Saulius Vadišis
hold the World Heritage Certificate.
Unesco World Heritage Centre Manager for Europe Dr. Mechtild Rösler
and Saulius Vadišis
Photos by V. Aleksiejūnas, D. Vaičiūnienė