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UNESCO: Germany

Germany is a country of contrasts from fairytale castles to industrial concrete jungles

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With its wealth of scenic and cultural interests, Germany is a land of contrasts. From the flatlands of the north to the mountains in the south, with forests in the east and west, regional characteristics are a strong feature of German life and present a rich variety of folklore and customs. As of 2022, there are 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany; 48 cultural and three natural. 

Visit our UNESCO Hub page for other European regions.

Aachen Cathedral (cultural, 1978)
Aachen [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Aachen, Germany: Aachen Cathedral with Palatine Chapel

Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch (cultural, 1991)
Lorsch [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The Königshalle (Kingshall) of Lorsch Abbey

⭐️ Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau (cultural, 1996)
Dessau, Weimar and Bernau bei Berlin [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Bauhaus was a German art school that operated from 1919 to 1933, but the name has since become synonymous with the art style for which it is famous. The movement attempted to unify the principles of mass production with artistic individuality, aesthetics and functionality. The style is characterised by simple geometric shapes without elaborate decoration, straight lines softened by rounded corners, and, in architecture, large banks of windows and white-clad walls. It is often seen as the epitome of early modernism.

UNESCO designated Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau as World Heritage Sites in 1996, protecting the main campus buildings and associated buildings designed by its students.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (cultural, 2013)
Kassel [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Berlin Moderist Housing Estates (cultural, 2008)
Berlin [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Aerial view of the 'Horseshoe Block' in Berlin

Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey (cultural, 2014)
Höxter [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Princely Abbey of Corvey

Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl (cultural, 1984)
Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The western facade of Schloss Augustusburg

Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura (cultural, 2017)
Baden-Württemberg [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]


Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen (cultural, 2004)
Bremen [Town Hall - Wikipedia] [Roland - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Townhall in Bremen

Classical Weimar (cultural, 1998)
Thuringia [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Residenzschloss Weimar

Collegiate Church, Castle, and Old Town of Quedlinburg (cultural, 1994)
Harz [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Market Square in the Old Town in Quedlinburg

Cologne Cathedral (cultural, 1996)
Cologne [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Cologne cathedral from the south

⭐️ Fagus Factory in Alfeld (cultural, 2011)
Alfeld [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Despite its similarities to Bauhaus, the Fagus Factory building's exterior isn't of that style. However, its interior was designed in collaboration with Bauhaus students. The factory manufactures shoe lasts - a mechanical form shaped like a human foot used in the production and repair of shoes by other manufacturers and cobblers. Construction of the modernist building started in 1911.

Fagus Factory at dusk

Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz (cultural, 2000)
Saxony-Anhalt [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Wörlitz Lake and Church St.Petri in Wörlitz

Hanseatic City of Lübeck (cultural, 1987)
Schleswig-Holstein [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]


Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar (cultural, 2002)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [Stralsund - Wikipedia] [Wismar - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

St. Nicholas Church, Stralsund

Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg (cultural, 1996)
Saxony-Anhalt [Eisleben - Wikipedia] [Wittenberg - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Cranachhof, one of many courtyards in Wittenberg

Margravial Opera House Bayreuth (cultural, 2012)
Bayreuth, Bavaria [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Margravial Opera House (2010)

Maulbronn Monastery Complex (cultural, 1993)
Maulbronn [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Courtyard facade of the Maulbronn Monastery

Messel Pit Fossil Site (natural, 1995)
Messel [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Messel pit, Darmstadt-Dieburg, Hesse

Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System (cultural, 1992)
Goslar, Upper Harz [Rammelsberg - Wikipedia] [Goslar - Wikipedia] [Upper Harz Water Regale - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Rammelsberg mine, Goslar

Monastic Island of Reichenau (cultural, 2000)
Baden-Wüttemberg [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

St. Georg, Reichenau-Oberzell

⭐️ Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin (cultural, 1999)
Berlin [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The Museum Island in Berlin is the central museum complex, located on the northern part of the Spree Island. The island was constructed over 100 years between 1830 and 1930, having originally been a residential area. The complex consists of the following buildings:

  • Altes Museum (Old Museum)
  • Neues Museum (New Museum)
  • Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)
  • Bode Museum
  • Pergamon Museum
  • Humboldt Forum
  • Berlin Cathedral
  • Lustgarten
  • Berlin Palace - the reconstructed palace stood here from 1443 until it was bombed by Allied bombs in 1945. It was subsequently demolished and the Palace of the Republic was built in its place before it was reconstructed in its original form in the 2010s.
Berlin Museum Island with Fernsehturm

Naumburg Cathedral (cultural, 2018)
Naumburg [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Naumburg Cathedral from above

Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof (cultural, 2006)
Regensburg [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Old Town of Regensburg

Palaces and Parks of Postdam and Berlin (cultural, 1990)
Berlin; Postdam [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Schloss Sanssouci - Potsdam

Pilgrimage Church of Wies (cultural, 1983)
Steingaden [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Rococo interior of Wieskirche

Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier (cultural, 1986)
Trier [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Trier Cathedral

⭐️ Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District (cultural, 2015)
Hamburg [Speicherstadt - Wikipedia] [Kontorhaus District - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Perhaps the best known of these two areas is Speicherstadt in the Port of Hamburg. It is the largest warehouse district in the world. Originally built as a free zone to transfer goods without the need to pay customs tax, the site opened in 1888, having displaced over 20,000 people who lived in the area prior to construction beginning. 

The area was heavily bombed during World War Two and the area was rebuilt in the years afterwards. Whilst some of the units are still used as warehouses, the buildings also contain museums, commercial and residential space.

Speicherstadt in Hamburg

Speyer Cathedral (cultural, 1981)
Speyer [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Speyer Cathedral

St Mary's Cathedral and St Michael's Church at Hildesheim (cultural, 1985)
Hildesheim [St Mary's Cathedral - Wikipedia] [St Michael's Church - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

St Mary's Cathedral, Hildesheim

Town of Bamberg (cultural, 1993)
Bamberg [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Town of Bamberg

Upper Middle Rhine Valley (cultural, 2002)
Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse

⭐️ Völklingen Ironworks (cultural, 1994)
Völklingen [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

A site of heavy industrial activity, the Völklingen Ironworks opened in 1883. Although the plant closed in the 1980s, it is the only historic blast furnace complex that demonstrates the entire production process from raw materials to delivery. The factory is exactly as it was when it closed in 1986 and now houses a museum and extensive exhibition space. 

Wartburg Castle (cultural, 1999)
Eisenach [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Close view of Wartburg Castle in Eisenach

Water Management System of Augsburg (cultural, 2019)
Augsburg [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The Water Management System of Augsburg (UNESCO)

Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square (cultural, 1981)
Würzburg [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Würzburg Residenz

Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (cultural, 2001)
Essen [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex

Archaeological Border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke (cultural, 2018)
Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein [Hedeby - Wikipedia] [Danevirke - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Two reconstructed houses at Hedeby

ShUM cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz (cultural, 2021)
Speyer Jewry-Court; Jewish Cemetery Holy Sand; Worms Synagogue Compound; Old Jewish Cemetery Mainz [Speyer - Wikipedia] [Worms - Wikipedia] [Mainz - Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Jewish Courtyard in Speyer

⭐️ Darmstadt Artists’ Colony Mathildenhöhe (cultural, 2021)
Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The Darmstadt Artists' Colony was founded in 1899 by Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, the last Grand Duke reigning from 1892 to 1918. It refers to both the Jugendstil art movement and the buildings in which the movement influenced. The Jugendstil movement (Young Style) was an influential German art style, similar in many ways to Art Nouveau. It reacted against histroicism and neo-classicism, in favour of more artistic, modern styles. 

The colony hosted four exhibitions showcasing their designs; First Exhibition in 1901, Second in 1904, Third in 1908 and Fourth in 1914. UNESCO listed the movement and all associated works as World Heritage Sites in 2021. 

Exhibition Building, Darmstadt Artists' Colony

Common Site(s) - sites in multiple locations and countries

Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region (cultural, 2019)
Saxony, Germany; Czech Republic [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Frontiers of the Roman Empire (cultural, 1987)
Central Lowlands of Scotland; Northern England; Southern Germany [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski (cultural, 2004)
Upper Lusatia, Germany; Poland [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps (cultural, 2011)
Austria; France; Germany; Italy; Slovenia; Switzerland [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (natural, 2007)
Albania; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Italy; North Macedonia; Poland; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Ukraine [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (cultural, 2016)
Stuttgart, Germany; Argentina; Belgium; France; India; Japan; Switzerland [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The Wadden Sea (natural, 2009)
Denmark; Germany; Netherlands [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

Frontiers of the Roman Empire in Bavaria (cultural, 2021)
Danubian Limes, Bavaria [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

The Great Spa Towns of Europe (cultural, 2021)
Germany; France; Austria; Belgium; Czech Republic; Italy; UK [Wikipedia] [UNESCO]

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