On 30th November 2000 the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO approved the registration of the “Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boi” to the World Heritage List.
To joint the World Heritage List, propertis cultural or natural, must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one of the following ten criteria:
I. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.
II. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.
III. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.
IV. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.
V. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.
VI. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.
VII. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.
VIII. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features.
IX. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.
X. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí were included at the list of World Heritage Site were selected on the basis of two criteria:
Criterion (ii): The significant developments in Romanesque art and architecture in the churches of the Vall de Boí testify to profound cultural interchange across medieval Europe, and in particular across the mountain barrier of the Pyrenees
Criterion (iv): The Churches of the Vall de Boí are an especially pure and consistent example of Romanesque art in a virtually untouched rural setting.
The first institutional recognition of the historical and artistic value of the churches of the Vall de Boí was given to the churches of Sant Climent and Santa Maria in Taüll in 1931 with the declaration of Historical and Artistic Monument. In 1962 the declaration was extended to Sant Joan in Boí and Santa Eulàlia in Erill la Vall.
In 1992 the Generalitat de Catalunya declared the entire group of Romanesque churches in the Vall de Boí an Asset of Cultural Interest and in 2000, UNESCO included them on the World Heritage List.