The World Heritage list compiled by UNESCO of places that are considered part of the world's heritage, which should be protected, includes eight remarkable attractions in Sri Lanka. These are the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, which flourished from the 5th century BC until the 10th century; the ruins of the successor kingdom, Polonnaruwa (9th to 14th century) and the incredible Sigiriya Rock, which became a fortress in the 5th century.
The entire city of Kandy (the seat of kings from the 16th to the 19th century) with its revered temple is a World Heritage site, as is the Dambulla caves and temple dating from the 1st century BC. Galle Fort begun by the Portuguese in 1588, is number 200 on UNESCO's list. There are two natural landmarks on the list: the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the Central Highlands (Peak Wilderness, Horton Plains, and the Knuckles Conservation Forest.)