Do you know what a UNESCO World Heritage site is? Germany Tourism wants to make sure you do. Last week, the tourism board hosted a tweet-up at Reichenbach Hall in New York City to celebrate the focus of its 2014 marketing campaign: 38 sites that have been given this special title.
For those new to this term, UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Yep, it’s a big deal. This organization encourages government officials from around the world to identify, protect and preserve sites that symbolize their country’s cultural and natural heritage. The sites are added to the UNESCO World Heritage List annually, and officials in their respective countries are advised on how to maintain them.
These UNESCO sites serve as key reminders of their past or natural/manmade wonders that would be significantly impacted by any physical damage.
To further enhance your knowledge about UNESCO, here’s an extra tidbit. Of the 981 UNESCO World Heritage sites listed around the globe, just under half of them are in Europe. Germany’s 38 sites are a collection of historical locations and natural wonders found throughout different cities and country settings.
Visiting these places is like time traveling, with sites dating as far back as the days of the Roman Empire. And one that is even much farther.
With locations ranging from Berlin to Würzburg, these UNESCO World Heritage sites include architectural marvels such as palaces, churches, monasteries, and castles. Nature sites encompass a coastal line, forests, and a fossil site, and man-made landscapes such as gardens and parks, and even an island! Historical town centers have made this list as well and industrial locations that symbolize German’s economical and cultural growth.
Here is a rundown of some of Germany’s unique places that have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list overtime:
This former volcanic crater lake was formed around 47 million years ago and holds deposits of well-preserved mammal fossils that are ancestors of today’s common creatures.
This picturesque valley is graced with castles and palaces along with vineyards that produce well-known Rhine wines. Its ties to the Rhine extend to being a channel for carrying goods from different countries and a source for multiple cultural influences.
The first industrial monument inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List, Völklingen Ironworks is a former pig iron production facility that nowadays is open for public tours.
To learn more about Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and plan your visit, visit this link. You can find maps, images and other sources there.
All photos courtesy of Germany Tourism