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World Heritage Sites in Germany

From Palaces, and Modern Architecture, to Ancient Forests and Historic Towns


Porta Nigra Gate, Trier
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

From palaces, churches, and modern architecture, to forests, deserts, and lakes, there are more than 890 UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe. Germany is proud to be home to 36 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; their cultural and natural heritage has an "outstanding universal value" and, to quote the UNESCO, they "belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located."
Here are the German World Heritage Sites and the cities they are located in (in alphabetical order) with some travel tips:

Aachen: Cathedral, built as the chapel of Charlemagne’s imperial palace in 786, reflects 1000 years of German history

Bamberg: Old Town, today the largest old town ensemble in Germany

Bayreuth: Margravial Opera House, a unique monument of Baroque court opera in Europe

Ancient Beech Forests: Five designated conservation areas with century old trees which were part of the ancient beech forests that covered 40 % of Europe 6,500 years ago; located in the Jasmund and Müritz national parks in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Grumsin Forest in Brandenburg, Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in Hessen and Hainich National Park in Thuringia.

Berlin: Museum Island, home to five world-class museums spanning 6000 years of art history; Photos and Guide to Museum Island

Berlin: Modernism Housing Estates

Bremen: Roland Sculpture and Town Hall, which dates back to the 15th century and is one of the most important examples of Brick Gothic architecture in Europe; Guide to Bremen

Brühl: Castles of Augustburg and Falkenlust, a unique ensemble of German rococo architecture. Cologne: Cathedral; Guide to the Cathedral of Cologne

Dessau and Weimar: Bauhaus Sites, regarded as a groundbreaking example of modern architecture of the early 20th century, and Garden Kingdom (in Dessau-Wörlitz) (What is Bauhaus?)

Eisenach: Wartburg Castle; built in 1067, this is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Germany Guide to Wartburg Castle

Eisleben: Luther Memorials in the town where Martin Luther was born, including his birth house, the church, were he was baptized, and the house, were he died.

Essen: Mining Company Zollverein, a testament to the modern architectural movement and industrial design of the 1920s

Fagus Factory (in Alfeld): built in 1911 as one of the first examples of the modern "Neues Bauen" style

Goslar: Old Town and Rammelsberg Mine, Upper Harz Water Management System

Hildesheim: Cathedral and Michaelis Church, both unique examples of early-Romanesque architecture.

Lorsch: Former Benedictine Abbey and and Altenmünster Cloister

Lübeck: Historical Town with outstanding brick Gothic architecture and water surrounding all sides of the old center

Maulbronn: Monastery Complex

Messel Pit Fossil Site: close to Darmstadt and Frankfurt; offering some of the richest deposits of mammal fossils in the world.

Muskauer Park: on both sides of the river Neisse, straddling the German-Polish border.

Pfaffenwinkel: Pilgrimage Church Wieskirche, fine example of Bavarian rococo architecture (here is a photo of the church)

Prehistoric Pile Dwellings: well-preserved remains of almost 1,000 pile dwellings and moorland settlements in lakes around the Alps in the south of Germany

Potsdam and Berlin: Prussian Palaces and Parks of Potsdam Sanssouci, Glienicke and Pfaueninse; Guide to Potsdam

Quedlinburg: Old Town, one of the best preserved medieval towns in Germany

Regensburg: Old Town, which is 2000 years old and famous for its Romanesque and Gothic buildings

Reichenau: Monastic Island of Reichenau, in Lake Constance; Photo Tour of Reichenau

Roman Limes: a 550 km long ancient fortified border from Roman times

Speyer: Cathedral, one of Germany’s largest Romanesque buildings

Stralsund and Wismar: Historic center

The Wadden Sea: on the coast of the North Sea, home to more than 10,000 species of plants and wildlife.

Trier: Roman Sites, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Germany’s oldest city Guide to Trier

Upper Middle Rhine Valley: dramatic natural landscape, which stretches 40 miles from Bingen to the city of Koblenz; Guide to Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Völklingen: Ironworks, world’s only surviving smelting works from the Golden Age of the iron and steel industry.

Weimar: Classical Weimar; Guide to Weimar

Wismar: Old Town

Würzburg: Residence with Court Gardens and Residence Square, Palace of the city's former Prince-Bishops, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe Guide to Wuerzburg

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