Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites
|Germany is a fascinating country to visit, offering centuries of history alongside today’s vibrant, modern culture. No wonder that the United Nations World Tourism Organization places Germany 7th on its list of international tourism destinations.
Any month and any year that you choose to visit there will be amazing things to see and do. If you travel to Germany in Winter you have the added bonus of the famous Christmas Markets with artisan handicrafts, music, Christmas Carols and fabulous food – all set against a background of picturesque medieval towns and the smell of pine, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.
If you go to Germany in 2014 there are several anniversaries with special celebrations. 25 years ago in October 1989 protesters took to the streets of Leipzig's under the banner "We are the people!”. These non-violent demonstrations were a key factor contributing to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and ultimately led to the fall of the East German regime. The re-unification of East and West Germany happened within a year, on October 3, 1990.
Many special events and exhibitions are planned across Berlin to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Visitors will have the chance to gain some insight into the history of Berlin as a divided city and the significance of the Wall for the city's residents. Events will include guided cycling tours along the Wall Trail, visits to the former watchtowers, the East Side Gallery and a tour of former East Berlin in a real East German Trabant car. During the weekend of 9 November, 2014 a special light installation will be set up along the former course of the Wall as a "symbol of hope for a world without walls".
No matter what time you visit Germany - such is the richness of Germany’s heritage that it has no less than 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites spread throughout the country for visitors to enjoy. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are chosen because they are either awe-inspiring wonders of nature or the finest of mankind's achievements. Here is just a sample of the diversity on offer – from fossil beds that are millions of years old, to buildings as old as 740 AD. And from fascinating insights into Germany’s industrial past to the unique North Sea coastal ecosystem that is a sanctuary to twelve million birds.
The former Cistercian abbey of Maulbronn is not only the most complete and best-preserved monastic complex north of the Alps, it is also a particularly representative example of medieval architecture. Construction of the monastery began in 1147.
The famous Carolingian gate hall or ‘king’s hall’ in Lorsch is one of Germany’s most important pre-Romanesque architectural relics. The original function of the building is unknown, but the magnificent decorations on its walls and on the upper floor give an idea of what other magnificent buildings that must have once stood at Lorsch Abbey, which was founded around 764 AD.
The magnificent Romanesque imperial cathedral in Speyer is the town’s best-known and most prominent landmark. Built by emperors - construction began around 1030 - the cathedral was a symbol of their power and served as their final resting place.
The Messel Pit Fossil Site holds some of the richest deposits of mammal fossils in the world. To date, geoscientists have unearthed approx. 50,000 individual finds from the former volcanic crater lake, which was formed around 47 million years ago.
Upper Rhine Valley
Upper Middle Rhine Valley is included the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage in recognition of its status as one of the world’s oldest and most magnificent cultural landscapes. The romantic river valley is lined with castles and palaces. It extends from the old Roman town of Koblenz, via the myth-enshrouded Loreley rock, to Bingen and Rüdesheim, and includes the steep vineyards that are home to the famous Rhine wines.
Building first began in Cologne in 1248 on what eventually became one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in the world and the epitome of high-Gothic cathedral architecture in its purest possible form.
The Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust Hunting Lodge, along with their gardens, are a fine example of German rococo architecture. Work on Augustusburg Palace began in 1725. It was the favourite residence of Clemens August of Bavaria, Elector and Archbishop of Cologne (1700–1761).
In its heyday, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen was one of the largest and most modern collieries and coking plants in the world. Regarded as ‘the most beautiful colliery in the world’, the complex is a testament to the modern architectural movement of the 1920s and 1930s and the rise of heavy industry.
The Wadden Sea is located on the North Sea coast covering an area of about 10,000 square kilometres. The diversity of the Wadden Sea landscape makes it a unique habitat for more than 10,000 species of plants and wildlife. Mussel beds, dense sea grass meadows and soft mudflats provide food for many animals. The area is a sanctuary for twelve million birds.
Lübeck, the Queen of the Hanseatic League, was founded in 1143 as ‘the first western city on the Baltic coast’. The Hanseatic League was a 13th to 17th-century trading group formed by cities along the coast of Northern Europe. Today Lübeck has a medieval ambience and cultural and historical attractions harking back to Lübeck’s glorious past as a free imperial and Hanseatic city.
Germany Trip Showcase
Fly Lufthansa German Airlines to Germany – they are celebrating 40 years of service to Frankfurt. And next year, Lufthansa will introduce another daily nonstop flight, this time to its second global hub – Munich. So travellers have lots of options for onward connections throughout Europe and beyond.
Low fares to Germany can always be found on the airline's website – www.lufthansa.com. You can also book your flight, reserve your seat, check-in and have your boarding pass downloaded to your mobile phone.
Families travelling with children and teens will love the fact that every seat has an individual entertainment video that offers current movies and popular TV shows, 30 international radio channels and up to 100 diverse music CDs. Teens will especially love the fact that they can access the internet onboard and stay connected with friends through the entire flight. Lufthansa even has a club for kids and teens, called JetFriends, similar to its frequent flyer program for adults, Miles & More® – the largest in Europe.
Lufthansa is spending over $1 million every day for the next three years in upgrading the business class seats of their entire longhaul fleet.
Stay in Germany with Best Western. Though a global hotel family, each hotel is locally owned. So you enjoy consistently high standards, coupled with an authentic German experience. Here are two examples of Best Western properties in Germany.
BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hotel LanzCarre
The new BEST WESTERN PREMIER Hotel LanzCarre was built in October 2009 and is just five minutes walking distance from the main railway station in Mannheim.
Hotel LanzCarre provides 76 stylish and futuristically furnished rooms with air conditioning. Room options include family rooms, anti allergic rooms and three rooms specially equipped for physically challenged people. All rooms are equipped with free WIFI, comfortable sitting area, 32 inch flat screen television, a generous bathroom with shower, and more.
BEST WESTERN Hotel Mainz
The BEST WESTERN Hotel Mainz is located in a quiet spot close to the city center and within ten minutes’ walk of the main railway station. Frankfurt airport is about 30 kilometers away. There are two bus stops situated directly at the hotel, where buses depart continuously to the old historical town. Explore the 2000 year old history of the Gutenberg-city and enjoy a glass of wine in one of the numerous wine bars.
BEST WESTERN Hotel Mainz offers 215 comfortable rooms decorated in Mediterranean style. Some of the rooms are very spacious and offer a separate living and sleeping area as well as cooking facilities. Enjoy breakfast in the hotel with a magnificent view of Mainz - and the "Da Arnaldo" restaurant is located next to the hotel offering Italian specialties.
Germany’s world class rail system is the envy of the world and an efficient and environmentally friendly way to travel around Germany. Rail Europe makes it seamless - they represent over 35 Railroad companies and package tickets and rail passes across Germany and right across Europe. Book with confidence as Rail Europe have been in business for over 75 years in the North American Market.