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World Heritage in the Harz: A Guide to Culture, Nature and History

quedlinburg, goslar, harz, germany, world heritage, unesco, travel
We have explored the Harzen UNESCO World Heritage Site and collected the best experiences in culture, nature and history.
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World Heritage in the Harz: A Guide to UNESCO, Culture, Nature and History is written by Circle line Lemas. The editors were invited to the Harzen by Harzer Tourismusverband. All opinions are, as usual, those of the editors.

Quedlingburg, Germany, travel to the Harz, summer 2024, unesco, cultural heritage

UNESCO World Heritage in the Harzen region

The Harz is a region in the center Germany only four hours from the border. The region has several areas where you will find culture, nature and history, which are a part of UNESCO World Heritage List. These areas are preserved for the benefit of tourists who want to visit places that are well-preserved and steeped in history.

Although the Harz is known for welcoming many older visitors, the area also has a lot to offer younger generations. I have put together a guide for the different ones activities and attractions in the Harz, which is part of UNESCO's world heritage list - and here there is something for both young and old.

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©Stefan Schiefer

Goslar – the cozy and historic old town

Goslar, also known as the Rome of the North, is a historic town with old buildings in a romantic style, a charming square and Germany's oldest town hall. The old town in Goslar takes you back to the Middle Ages and offers experiences for all ages.

On the square, a carillon is performed 4-6 times a day from under the gable of Kæmnerhuset. Here, figures come out and spin around while they tell the story of mining at Rammelsberg from the discovery by knight Ramm to the operation today.

In addition to the carillon in the square, you can also explore the Imperial Palace, which houses a 750 square meter painting exhibition. The town also has a monastery where musical events and concerts are held on special occasions.

In the middle of the square stands a large well, which was cast from material from the Rammelsberg mine. Around Goslar you will also find small monuments made of ore. There are nine of them, and they tell about the miners' hard work and great importance to the town.

You can also go exploring in the city's many small side streets and see the unique and beautiful half-timbered buildings, which date all the way back to the Middle Ages.

  • rammelsberg, mine, harzen, malmbjerg, goslar, travel, germany, unesco
  • rammelsberg, mine, harzen, malmbjerg, goslar, travel, germany, unesco
  • rammelsberg, mine, harzen, malmbjerg, goslar, travel, germany, unesco
  • rammelsberg, mine, harzen, malmbjerg, goslar, travel, germany, unesco
  • rammelsberg, mine, harzen, malmbjerg, goslar, travel, germany, unesco

World Heritage in the Harz: The mines in Rammelsberg

A short drive from the old town in Goslar you will find the first industrial UNESCO monument in the world; the mines in Rammelsberg, which in 1992 were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the town of Goslar itself.

It is worth setting aside a few hours for a visit Rammelsberg, as the museum offers a wide selection of guided tours both above and below ground. You also have the opportunity to experience various exhibitions, which give an insight into what working life was once like for the miners in the Harz mountains.

You can get a guided tour in Danish, but to be sure that there is space on the tour, it is best to send an inquiry by email to: info@rammelsberg.de.

The mines are no longer in operation, but you can take a guided tour underground to see how the workings once were. We Danes can also boast that HC Andersen himself visited the mines in Rammelsberg in his time.

If you want to stay longer at the museum and the visitor mine, you can enjoy both food and drink in their café, let the children try a ride on the mine train or take a walk in the nearby area, which also offers beautiful nature and water.

If you plan to visit the Harz at Christmas time, you can go to the Christmas market at Rammelsberg, where there are stalls both above ground and underground in the mines. But remember to book tickets for the Christmas market no later than October, as they sell out quickly.

You can also read more about Christmas in the Harz here

  • clausthal-zellerfeld, harz, germany, unesco, upper harzer, world heritage
  • clausthal-zellerfeld, harz, germany, unesco, upper harzer, world heritage

Experience the unique water system of the Oberharz

The Harzen water system has been part of since 2010 UNESCO World Heritage List. The system has played an important role as a power source for the mines in The Upper Harz.

When you visit the town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, you will quickly see how important this pond and ditch system is to the region. Tourists flock to experience this world heritage through hiking, mountain mining and historical monuments. You will find a good mix of culture, nature and history, so there is something for everyone who travels to the Harz.

Clausthal-Zellerfeld is particularly attractive for families with small children. Near the Oberharzer Bergwerkmuseum there is beautiful nature and forest areas where children can run and play. On walks through the green areas you will come across old ditches that were once part of the water system.

In the forest you will find the large natural playground Robinsonspielplatz Harz, designed as a waterworks with a play tower that looks like a water mill. Families with children can easily spend several hours here. In addition to the forest and the water system, the city offers glass art, beer brewing and a traditional German beer garden.

  • Monastery, cistercian museum, world heritage, harz, walkenriedm germany, travel
  • Monastery, cistercian museum, unesco, world heritage, harz, walkenriedm germany, travel
  • Monastery, cistercian museum, world heritage, harz, walkenriedm germany, travel

World Heritage in the Harz: Cistercian Museum Kloster Walkenried

Walkenried Monastery are the ruins of a former monastery and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Harz. When you visit the Cistercian Museum, you will be guided through the history of the monastery with an audio guide. Although no audio guide is offered in Danish, there is the option of guided tours in English.

After the tour through the monastery, you can visit the area's UNESCO World Heritage Information Center, which is free. The center takes you through interactive experiences where you can explore not just world heritage from the Harz, but from around the world, play a world heritage game and see how world heritage unfolds throughout the Harz via an interactive display.

The museum also has a small café where you can get something to eat and drink. You can also explore the monastery's outdoor facilities on your own.

  • Quedlinburg, Harz, Germany, World Heritage, Unesco, Travel
  • Quedlinburg, Harz, Germany, World Heritage, Unesco, Travel
  • Quedlinburg, Harz, Germany, World Heritage, , Travel

Quedlinburg's old town

The old town in Quedlinburg is part of the cultural UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz. The city is known for its history and architecture and exudes a medieval atmosphere with the old market square in the centre. Quedlinburg has over 1300 preserved half-timbered houses, which stretch back more than 800 years, and the town's inhabitants live in the houses and do everything to preserve the medieval atmosphere.

One of the biggest attractions in the old town is Stiftskirken St. Servatii. Even during the current renovation, which will last until 2026, the church is still open to visitors. Close to the church you will find one of Germany's most romantic streets filled with half-timbered houses from different centuries; they are decorated with flowers and have unique mailboxes. Several of the houses also offer accommodation, from which you can enjoy the most beautiful view that cannot be described in words.

In the center of the city you will find the old market square. In the past, the city was known for its agriculture, which was traded on the square. Today there is still a local market which is held twice a week.

UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz – a journey through the Middle Ages

The Harz has countless areas with activities that are part of the world heritage of the region. From the historic districts of Goslar and Quedlinburg to the impressive water system of the Oberharz and the fascinating mines of Rammelsberg, there really is a lot to experience. The Harz offers a good mix of culture, nature and history, making it an ideal destination for visitors of all ages.

Whether you are interested in medieval architecture, scenic hikes or interactive museum visits, the Harz has something for you. It is a place that deserves to be explored over several days, because each day brings new and exciting experiences. So pack the car and experience everything the Harz has to offer.

Really good trip to the UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz!

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quedlinburg, goslar, harz, germany, world heritage, unesco, travel

Here are the 5 places you must see in the Harz

  • Goslar – the old town
  • The mines in Rammelsberg
  • The Upper Harz water system
  • Cistercian Museum Kloster Walkenried
  • Quedlinburg – the old town

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About the author

Circle line Lemas

The suitcase is often packed and ready as soon as the winter period hits. The destination goes primarily to warm and cultural Thailand, as it has done for the past 5 years.

Her passion for experiences, travel and cultures started almost 10 years ago when she traveled to the United States as an exchange student.
Since then, the suitcase has been filled with memories such as road trips in the USA, backpacking trips in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, as well as lots of short trips to Berlin, Hamburg, London and Malmö, among others.

When she does not have the opportunity to travel, Cirkeline enjoys exploring beautiful natural areas and collecting further on her travel book collection, which is constantly growing.

After completing education in Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management, the dream is to be able to travel with the family around the Southeast Asian countries for a longer period.

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