World UNESCO DistrictTo the Acadians, it was Mirligueche. To the English, it became Lunenburg in honour of King George II, Duke of Brunschweig-Lunenburg. To the United Nations, it is a heritage treasure unlike any other. To citizens and their visitors, it remains a fascinating blend of history and real life, a living monument to what was, and what will be.
Old Town Lunenburg was first designated as a National Historic District by the Federal government in 1992, a fitting honour recognizing the rich heritage of the Town. In 1995, an even greater honour was bestowed upon Lunenburg when "Old Town" Lunenburg was added to the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List.
It is the second urban community in Continental North America to be included on this list (the other is old Quebec City). This World Heritage List, established by the World Heritage Committee, includes over 470 cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value.
On August 16, 1996, the distinctive UNESCO monument commemorating the official designation of Lunenburg as a World Heritage Site was unveiled in Lunenburg. The eight foot tall granite monument is topped with the World Heritage symbol in bronze, cast at the Lunenburg Foundry. Below the symbol is a colour representation of the Lunenburg town logo with a schooner under full sail passing in front of Lunenburg's skyline. The text of the World Heritage plaque reads as follows:
"On December 6, 1995, Old Town Lunenburg was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Inscription on this List confirms the exceptional universal value of a cultural or natural site, which deserves protection for the benefit of all humanity.
Old Town Lunenburg, founded in 1753, is an outstanding example of British colonial settlement in North America, in terms both of its conception as a model Town plan and its remarkable level of conservation. The Town's cultural evolution based on shipbuilding and the fishing industry can be seen in the buildings and spaces that exist throughout the Town."