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Heritage House and UNESCO

Luang Prabang is World Heritage since 1995

Heritage House, situated on the point of the peninsular, has several duties in this town and was classified in the World Heritage List in 1995 by UNESCO.

Run by a team, mainly made up of Laotians, Heritage House received some specialized architects (particularly French) who were assigned the job of defining specific rules for the management of the town’s patrimony.

Its a difficult compromise to try and keep the old charm without bringing development for a harmonious town to a halt, but so far, the gamble seems to have succeeded.

A number of rules were made, for use in the protected area, and a series of actions were taken so as to make the public aware of them :

  • Heritage House brings architectural advice for construction permits;
  • Two historical buildings have been made available for the project by the authorities since 1996: Ban Xieng Mouane and the Customs and Taxes House.

These ‘on-site schools’ must find local know-how for restoring these old buildings with wooden frameworks, with workmen from companies in Louang Prabang, and so re-learn almost forgotten techniques.

  • An action has begun with the manufacturers of traditional materials (bricks, tiles…) so as to improve the manufacturing procedures ;
  • Work on basic facilities have started, especially for the repair and construction of the alleys, the renovation of a house so as to make it into a tourist centre, the construction of sanitary installations on the site of the Hmong day market, etc.

La Maison du Patrimoine representing UNESCO

Many thanks to Heritage House for supplying all the documents needed to develop the Architectural section of this web-site.