Documentary series of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
produced on 35mm film
Duration: 15 mins per episode
Commissioned by SWR Südwestrundfunk

The most valuable natural and cultural sites in the world are protected since 1972 by UNESCO as the “Heritage of Mankind”. The TV series “Treasures of the World” tells the story of these sites through impressive pictures. SWR has made all films available on their website.



Die Tulou-Rundhäuser von Fujian – In Herzen der Hakka-Kultur, China

SWR Mediathek: Fujian TulouDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 27.10.2009
There is no comparable architecture on earth.  Both as monumental single structures and as components of an entire ensemble the great defensive round houses lend confidence and majesty to the landscape of south China.  The round clay-built complexes act as the heart of the Hakka culture.



Bordeaux: Es lebe die Bürgerschaft! – Frankreich

SWR Mediathek: BordeauxDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 20.01.2009
“Bordeaux” for most people in the world conjures up a good, mellow, deep red wine. The city of Bordeaux in south west France comes as an afterthought.  The success stories of both, however, are inextricably connected.



Das Bewässerungssystem des Oman – Von Sonne und Sternen dirigiert

SWR Mediathek: OmanDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 29.04.2007
Old watch towers stand on the mountains of Oman.  They serve no military purpose but guard the water system. Thousands of canals criss cross the land. Some are more than 10 km long.

Das Fort von Bahrain – Perle im Arabischen Golf

SWR Mediathek: BahreinDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 22.04.2007
A fabulous island. Treasured by conquerers, pirates and kings alike. Bahrain in the Persian/Arabian Gulf Sea.  The settlement history of this geographically strategic and culturally central isle stretches back over more than 4000 years.



Die Wüstenstädte im Negev – An der Weihrauchstrasse der Nabatäer, Israel

SWR Mediathek: NegevDirector: Frank Hertweck, TV-Premiere: 01.10.2006
Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta – resonant names of the northern incense route. Caravanserai, villages, cities. And in between the desert: craters, mountains, stone, sand, waterholes.



Masada – Eine Geschichte vom Überleben, Israel

SWR Mediathek: MasadaDirector: Frank Hertweck, TV-Premiere: 18.12.2005
Masada – a rugged crag overlooking the Dead Sea, an evelated plateau, a fortress, a legend. Developed into a bastion in the first century B.C. by the Judaean king, Herod the Great, out of fear of his own people and dread that Cleopatra might conquer his kingdom.

Akko – Hafen zum Paradies, Israel

SWR Mediathek: AkkoDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 11.12.2005
A place which demonstrates fortitude. Proud, protected, impregnable, built for eternity. A bastion of faith, definitively erected by the Crusaders in the 12th century. The gateway to the Holy Land – Acre in northern Israel.

Tel Aviv – die weiße Stadt, Israel

SWR Mediathek: Tel AvivDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 06.11.2005
Drifting sand, as far as the eye can see, and the ocean, stretching greedily towards it. Actually a beautiful of slice of unspoilt mediterranean coast, north of Jaffa, the harbour city of the land of Palastine. “It’ll never work” Winston Churchill, the then administrator of the British Mandate in the region, is reported to have grumped through the fumes of his cigar as the architects set about planning a city here – Tel Aviv.



Byblos – Vom Fischernest zur Weltstadt und zurück, Libanon

SWR Mediathek: ByblosDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 24.10.2004
Byblos. A magical place which has always offered ideal conditions for civilisation, lying as it does between the over three thousand metre high Libanon Mountains, their terrible precipices and the nearby coastline. Byblos has been continuously occupied for over seven thousand years and is one of the oldest cities in the world.

Das Katharinenkloster – Glaubensinsel auf dem Sinai, Ägypten

SWR Mediathek: Das KatharinenklosterDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 28.11.2004
For 50 days Moses led the Children of Isreal out of Egypt through the Sinai Desert to the promised land in Canaan.  They reached the foot of Mount Horeb, where Moses had previously received the order from God in the form of a burning bush to free his people, and set up camp on Mount Sinai.  So the Old Testament tells us and what follows formed the fundament of christian belief and much of law and order in the world today.  According to legend it is here that Moses received the 10 Commandments.



Baku – Im Land des Feuers, Aserbaidschan

SWR Mediathek: BakuDirector: Reinhild Dettmer-Finke, TV-Premiere: 21.02.2004
Baku, a city of two million inhabitants on the banks of the Caspian Sea is a melting pot of cultures, a settlement full of history situated where Europe and the Orient meet.

Mtskheta – Das Wunder der Nino, Georgien

SWR Mediathek: MtskhetaDirector: Reinhild Dettmer-Finke, TV-Premiere: 18.05.2003
The film takes us to Mtskheta, the old capital city of Georgia.  Mtskheta is regarded as the most holy and most historically rich area in the country.  It was here the first churches were founded and from here that christianity spread in the 4th century, surrounded in typical Georgian style by wondrous legends.  A frequent character is the herbalist healer, “Nino” who is also reputed to have been involved in building the churches.

Blaenavon – Eisenhart und Kohlenschwarz, Großbritannien

sdw_bleanavon_bannerDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 22.06.2003
Fire, iron, coal and plaster: at the end of the 18th century the exploitation of the natural resources found in the rugged landscape of South Wales began.  While France was being shaken by the 1789 revolution, the Industrial Revolution was beginning in Blaenavon.  A forgotten countryside became one of the biggest industrial centres of the world.

New Lanark – Recht auf ein besseres Leben, Großbritannien

sdw_new_lanark_bannerDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 15.06.2003
The painter William Turner found one of his favourite subjects here.  And Robert Owen found the place to realise his social Utopia.   In the south of Scotland at the waterfall of Cora Lynn, is the birthplace of workers’ welfare, a model town whose values influence the working environment even today.



Edinburgh – Hauptstadt Schottlands, Großbritannien

sdw_edinburgh_banner Director: Ulrike Becker, TV-Premiere: 02.07.2001
Tartan, kilts and bagpipes are standard in Edinburgh. Nowhere is the Scottish identity so nurtured as here.  Yet Edinburgh is a capital of European culture, a city where opposites and diversity captivate.



Bosra – Bastion im Morgenland, Syrien

Director: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 22.07.2002
Bosras reputation is based on music.  1800 years after the Romans built the theatre of Bosra, it’s not only the best preserved building of its type but also is also highly regarded by musicians and orchestras from all over the world for its unique acoustics.

Damaskus – Paradies in der Wüste, Syrien

Director: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 24.03.2001
Wenn the caravans pulled into the city they were met with lush vegetation, sparkling fountains and cooling architecture.  Damascus, the name itself suggests magic and fairytales and so have poets praised the city as secret, lively, the mother of all cities and the pearl of the middle East.

Spissky Hrad – Festung am Kreuzweg der Kulturen, Slowakische Republik

Director: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 18.02.2001
In the background the snow covered summits of the High Tatras, before them the lush green downes interwoven with white rocks.  Vast meadows, unending forest and clear rivers, the landscape of the Spis.

Vlkolinec – Holzdorf im Wolfsland, Slowakische Republik

sdw_vlkolinec_bannerDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 25.02.2001
Between the earth and the sky, between the Low and High Tatras lies the village of Vlkolinec in eastern Slovakia.  At night, so the old people say, you can hear wolves howling and indeed wolves and bears do live here.  The wild hunters gave the place its name: Vlkolinec – Wolves Village.



Schloss Blenheim – Schloss und Park der Herzöge von Marlborough, Großbritannien

sdw_blenheim_bannerDirector: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 05.12.1999
A castle from a fairytale… today the eleventh Duke of Marlborough lives in Blenheim Palace on an area of around two hectares divided into 200 rooms and over 1000 hectares of parkland.  In the summer England’s largest private house is open to visitors, the rest of the year the Duke hosts society guests and nobility from all over the world.

Durham – Die Kathedrale von Durham, Großbritannien

Director: Raimund Ulbrich, TV-Premiere: 27.08.2000
Like a grey rock Durham Cathedral situated in the NW of England, near the Scottish border, rises above the roofs of the city.  Built by the Normans the Cathedral defended the border against the rebellious Scots and at the same time guarded the sacred relics of the island: the body of the holy St. Cuthbert.

Sousse – Die Festung der Aghlabiden, Tunesien

Director: Ulricke Becker, TV-Premiere: 13.11.1999
Everyone who attempted to gain power in this region courted this city: Sousse, the tunisian harbor city in Sahel.   In the course of her 3000 year history the city has belonged to everyone for a time – Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantinians, Arabs, Turks and Europeans.

Das Colosseum von El Djem, Tunesien

Director: Horst Brandenburg, TV-Premiere: 08.03.2001
The mighty arena of El Djem situated in the barren steppe land of middle Tunisia, war one of the greatest of the Roman Empire and almost as large as teh Colosseum in Rome, a gigantic monolith 150m long, 120m wide and with a height of 36m.  Built in 200 AD it is a monument to the flourishing culture of ancient Thydrus, which, after Carthage, was the second largest city of the Roman Empire in Africa.