Wiki Loves Monuments

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Wiki Loves Monuments
Official logo of Wiki Loves Monuments
All countries that participated at least once in a Wiki Loves Monuments competition in 2010-2022
Begins1 September [1]
Ends30 September [2]
Years active11
Most recent2022
Organised byWikipedia community members
Wiki Loves Monuments Q&A during Wiki Indaba 2023 in Agadir, Morocco.

Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) is an annual international photographic competition held during the month of September, organised worldwide by Wikipedia community members with the help of local Wikimedia affiliates across the globe. Participants take pictures of local historical monuments and heritage sites in their region, and upload them to Wikimedia Commons. The aim of event is to highlight the heritage sites of the participating countries with the goal to encourage people to capture pictures of these monuments, and to put them under a free licence which can then be re-used not only in Wikipedia but everywhere by everyone.

The first Wiki Loves Monuments competition was held in 2010 in the Netherlands as a pilot project. The next year it spread to other countries in Europe and according to the Guinness Book of Records, the 2011 edition of the Wiki Loves Monuments broke the world record for the largest photography competition.[3] In 2012, the competition was extended beyond Europe, with a total of 35 participating countries.[4] During Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, more than 350,000 photographs of historic monuments were uploaded by more than 15,000 participants. In 2013, the Wiki Loves Monuments competition was held across six continents including Antarctica and had official participation from more than fifty countries around the world. The 2016 edition of WLM was supported by UNESCO and saw 10,700 contestants from 43 countries who submitted 277,000 photos.[5][6]


Infographic showing the actual behind-the-scenes workflow

Wiki Loves Monuments is the successor to Wiki Loves Art, which was held in the Netherlands in 2009. The original WLM contest for "Rijksmonuments" (Dutch for "national monuments") encouraged photographers to seek out Dutch National Heritage Sites. The Rijkmonuments include architecture and objects of general interest recognized for their beauty, scientific, and/or cultural importance. Such locations as the Drenthe archeological sites, the Noordeinde Royal Palace in The Hague, and the houses along the canals of Amsterdam were part of the more than 12,500 photographs submitted during the first event.[7]

This success generated interest in other Europe countries, and through a collaboration with the European Heritage Days, 18 states with the help of local Wikimedia chapters participated in the 2011 competition,[8][9] uploading nearly 170,000 images by its conclusion. The Guinness Book of Records recognizes the 2011 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments as the largest photography competition in the world with 168,208 pictures uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by more than 5,000 participants.[3] In total, some 171,000 photographs were contributed from 18 participants countries of Europe. Germany, France and Spain contributed the highest number of photographs. Photo from Romania won the first international prize, whereas Estonia secured second and Germany third position in WLM 2011.

In 2012, the Wiki Loves Monuments competition had official participation of more than thirty countries and regions around the world: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Catalonia, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States. In total 363,000 photos were contributed from 35 participants countries. Germany, Spain, and Poland contributed the highest number of photographs.[4] A picture of Tomb of Safdarjung from Delhi, India, won the contest which saw more than 350,000 contributions.[10][11] Spain secured second and Philippines third position in 2012 edition of annual WLM photo contest.

In 2013, the Wiki Loves Monuments competition had the official participation of more than fifty countries from all six continents including Antarctica. Among the new participant nations were Algeria, Chine, Azerbaijan, Hong Kong, Jordan, Venezuela, Thailand, Taiwan, Nepal, Tunisia, Egypt, the United Kingdom, war-torn Syria and many others. In total, some 370,000 photos were contributed from more than 52 participating countries. Germany, Ukraine, and Poland contributed the highest number of photographs. Switzerland won the first international prize, whereas Taiwan secured second and Hungary third position in the 2013 edition of WLM.

The 2014 version of the contest saw more than 8,750 contestants in 41 countries across the globe, who submitted more than 308,000 photographs. Pakistan, Macedonia, Ireland, Republic of Kosovo, Albania, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq made their debut in 2014. In Pakistan, more than 700 contestants from across the country submitted over 12,000 photographs.[12]

The 2015 edition saw more than 6,200 contestants participating from 33 countries, with over 220,000 photo submissions throughout the month of September.[13]

The 2016 edition of WLM was supported by UNESCO and saw 10,700 contestants from 43 countries who submitted 277,000 photos.[14]

In the 2017 edition, 52 countries participated and nearly 245 000 photographs were obtained. The following year, 2018, the number of participating countries rose to 56 countries that donated more than 257 000 photographs. In the 2019 edition, the list of participating countries dropped to 48 and almost 213,000 images were collected.

In 2020, the competition was convened with some changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, being held in some countries in October or November instead of its traditional September venue.10 Despite the difficulties, participants from 51 countries donated more than 230,000 photographs.[15]

In 2022 the Ukrainian organising committee of the competition withdrew from the contest in protest against the possibility to admit photos of cultural heritage monuments from Russia (they stated) "a country that is waging war against Ukraine and killing thousands of Ukrainians, as well as systematically destroying and stealing Ukrainian monuments of culture, architecture, and archeology."[16] A request of the Ukrainian team to exclude Russia from the contest was not granted.[16]

Lodewijk Gelauff


The following is a list of international first prize winners of Wiki Loves Monuments:

Year Photographer Country Description
2010 Rudolphous Netherlands Netherlands Vijzelstraat 31 in Amsterdam
2011 Mihai Petre Romania Romania Winter picture of Chiajna Monastery. The monastery is situated on the outskirts of Bucharest.
2012 Pranav Singh India India Tomb of Safdarjung, New Delhi, India
2013 David Gubler Switzerland Switzerland A RhB Ge 4/4 II with a push–pull train crosses the Wiesen Viaduct between Wiesen and Filisur, Switzerland.
2014 Konstantin Brizhnichenko Ukraine Ukraine Holy Mountains Monastery, Sviatohirsk, Ukraine.
2015 Marco Leiter Germany Germany Westerheversand Lighthouse
2016 Ansgar Koreng Germany Germany The entrance hall of the Regional court in Berlin, Germany
2017 Prashant Khatore India India The Khandoba Temple in Pune
2018 Alireza Akhaghi Iran Iran Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
2019 Marian Naworski Poland Poland Abandoned Evangelical Church in Stawiszyn
2020 Farzin Izaddoust dar Iran Iran Saint John's Church in Sohrol
2021 Donatas Dabravolskas Brazil Brazil Real Gabinete Português de Leitura [17]
2022 Kriengsak Jirasirirojanakorn Thailand Thailand A man cycling outside the wall of the Grand Palace, Bangkok


Wikipedians attending Wiki Loves Monuments in Erfurt

Several spin-offs based on Wiki Loves Monuments are organised within the Wikimedia movement locally and internationally. They generally follow the basics of Wiki Loves Monuments and mostly differentiate in their scope and changes in some of the rules.

  • In spring 2013, a photographic competition called Wiki Loves Earth (Ukrainian: Вікі любить Землю) was organised in Ukraine with a main focus on taking photographs of the natural heritage sites in Ukraine and subsequently uploading them on Wikimedia Commons.[18]
  • A few months later, Wikimedia Sweden and Europeana initiated a photographic competition with the name Wiki Loves Public Art aiming to increase the number of photographs taken from public artworks.[19] The project was organised in five countries and resulted in more than 9,250 photographs uploaded.[20]
  • In autumn 2013, the photographic competition Wiki Loves Cultural Heritage (Macedonian: Вики го сака културното наследство) was organised in North Macedonia, broadening the scope of Wiki Loves Monuments to include cultural heritage in any form, both tangible and intangible, including monuments, heritage sites, dishes, outfit, tapestries, crafts, dances and other elements of traditional culture.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ most common starting date
  2. ^ most common ending date
  3. ^ a b Guinness World Records, Largest photography competition, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Eglash, Ruth (28 August 2012). "Hundreds of cultural sites to be visually documented during "Wiki Loves Monuments event."". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  5. ^ Choudhry, Saqib Qayyum (11 October 2016). "Wiki Loves Monuments: Top 10 pictures from Pakistan". Dawn. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Wiki Loves Monuments statistics". Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  7. ^ (in French) Virginie Malbos, Le monumental concours de Wikimédia, dans Libération, 9 September 2011, consulted 22 August 2012. "The operation had taken place last year in the Netherlands, and was concluded by the arrival of 12,500 new royalty-free photos."
  8. ^ (in Italian) Bologna su 'Wiki loves monuments' La raccolta delle foto più belle, dans Il Resto del Carlino, 11 août 2012, consulté le 22 août 2012. "In 2011, the competition has also increased, with the participation of 18 European countries that helped with 170,000 images, and now has the support, among others, the Council of Europe and the European Commission."
  9. ^ Chenu, Isabelle (25 September 2011). "Le site Wikipédia aime les monuments" (in French). Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 22 August 2012. So far, there are 18 European countries participating in the contest.
  10. ^ Phadnis, Renuka (7 December 2012). "Indians win in Wiki mega photo contest". The Hindu. Bangalore, India. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Indian photo wins Wiki Loves Monuments online contest". BBC. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  12. ^ SAQIB, QAYYUM (3 June 2015). "Wiki Loves Monuments: Top 10 pictures from Pakistan". Dawn. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  13. ^ Choudhry, Saqib Qayyum (3 October 2015). "Wiki Loves Monuments 2015: Top 10 pictures from Pakistan". Dawn. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Wiki Loves Monuments: Top 10 pictures from Pakistan". DAWN.COM. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Travel the world through the lenses of Wiki Loves Monuments 2020 winners". 19 March 2021.
  16. ^ a b "The contest "Wiki Loves Monuments" allowed Russians to participate". Istorychna Pravda (in Ukrainian). 16 December 2022. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  17. ^ "And the winner of #WikiLovesMonuments 2021 is Donatas Dabravolskas with this wonderful photo of Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in #Brazil. Great shot for a spot often crowded by tourists". Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  18. ^ Нагороджено переможців конкурсу «Вікі любить Землю», Ukrainian Internet Association.
  19. ^ "Wiki Loves Public Art, an international photographic contest". Creative Heritage. 20 June 2013. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014.
  20. ^ International Winners of Wiki Loves Public Art 2013, Europeana, 31 July 2013.
  21. ^ Избор на најдобрите фотографии на натпреварот на Викимедија за Македонија, Utrinski vesnik, 26 December 2013.

External links[edit]