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World Heritage / Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)

Criteria: (vi) | Date of Inscription: 1996 | Location: Hiroshima Prefecture | Justification for Inscription

UNESCO

Description

A prayer for peace is emerging from a tragic memory and with the effort of the citizens of Hiroshima and Japan, Genbaku Dome's" Negative World Heritage," image is changing to a symbol of peace.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)
Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)
Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition (Genbaku Dome)
Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition (Genbaku Dome)
Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The tragedy brought about by the world's first atomic bomb
Genbaku Dome originally opened as Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition HMI in 1915. From 1944, it was used as an office of local government and regulators in the area.
On August 6th in 1945, an atomic bomb exploded directly above the building with the pressure created by the bomb being 35 tons per square meter and the blast speed emitted reaching 440 meters per second. The building was, of course, destroyed and only a few walls and the steel framework were left standing. After the war it was given the name of "Genbaku Dome" (Atomic Bomb Dome) by locals and in 1966 Hiroshima City Government decided to preserve the Genbaku Dome permanently, restoring the building regularly thereafter. In 1996 to symbolize the tragedy brought about by the world's first atomic bomb, Genbaku Dome was inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Why was the Genbaku Dome not completely destroyed?
One reason was simply that it had many windows through which pressure could escape but the main reason was that the explosion occurred immediately overhead so the effects were slightly reduced for this reason as well.
Genbaku Dome - Design
Genbaku Dome was designed by Czech architect, Jan Letzel. Its original style was a mixture of Secession and Neo-baroque.
Genbaku Dome in film
Genbaku Dome appears impressively in Kazuo Kuroki's film, "Chichi to Kuraseba." (The film's English title is "The Face of Jizo").
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