38 A-Bomb Dome
The Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall was constructed in 1915 as a base for promoting the sale of goods produced in Hiroshima Prefecture. The building designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel was highly regarded for its imposing, European-style design. Its name changed to Hiroshima Prefectural Products Exhibition Hall and then to Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Intensification of the war led the government to discontinue commercial uses of the Industrial Promotion Hall in March 1944. Instead, it housed the branch office of the Chugoku Shikoku Public Works Office of the Internal Affairs Agency and the offices of the Hiroshima District Lumber and Japan Lumber Control Corporation.
When the atomic bomb exploded, it ravaged the building instantly. Heat blazing from above consumed the entire building, killing everyone in it. Because the blast attacked the building from virtually straight overhead, some walls escaped total collapse. Along with the wire framework of the dome, these form the shape that has become a symbol. At some point it became known as the "A-bomb Dome."
In 1966, Hiroshima City determined to preserve the A-bomb Dome indefinitely and solicited funds from within Japan and overseas. To date, the A-bomb Dome has undergone three preservation projects.
As a historical witness that conveys the disaster of the first atomic bombing in history, and as a symbol of the vow to pursue the abolition of nuclear weapons and enduring peace, in December 1996 the A-bomb Dome was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List based on the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.


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