UNESCO-World-Heritage-Site in Lower Saxony

Since 1972, UNESCO has been promoting special testimonies to the history of mankind. At that time, the UNESCO-World-Heritage list was established to refer to extraordinary sites of humanity around the world. The preamble of the World Heritage Convention of 1972 states as an objective that "parts of the cultural and natural heritage are of exceptional importance and must therefore be preserved as part of the world heritage for humanity as a whole."

UNIQUE NATURAL AND CULTURAL SITES

To date, Germany has recorded 46 natural and cultural sites. Four of these one-of-a-kind World Heritage Sites are located in Lower Saxony: the Wadden Sea World Natural Heritage Site in the north by the sea, and the Fagus Factory World Heritage Cultural Site in Alfeld in the southern part of Lower Saxony, which is the only living World Heritage Site in Germany. Also included in UNESCO-World-Heritage of Humanity are the Hildesheim Cathedral with its cathedral treasury and St. Michael’s in Hildesheim as well as the old town of Goslar, the Rammelsberg mine and the Upper Harz water management system

Impressions

  • World Heritage Site Hildesheim St. Mary’s Cathedral (1)

    A visit to the Hildesheim Cathedral means stepping into the origin of Hildesheim and the diocese. You’ll discover traces of 1,200 years of history here as well as legends that are literally interwoven around the site on which the cathedral was built.

  • World Heritage Site Hildesheim St. Mary’s Cathedral (2)

    For it is said that it was a rosebush that prompted Emperor Louis the Pious to build the first chapel on this site around 815. Legend has it that the St. Mary’s reliquary that Louis the Pious hung up in the branches could no longer be removed from the bush - a divine sign for him to establish his new diocese here. To this very day, the rosebush blooms every spring and adorns the cathedral’s apse with its delicate pink floral splendor.

  • Word Heritage Site Hildesheim Cathedral Treasury (1)

    The Hildesheim cathedral treasury is one of the largest and most important church treasure troves in Europe. The treasures collected here over more than a thousand years are testimonies of lived faith. Together with St. Michael’s Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral, the cathedral treasury was declared a UNESCO-World-Heritage-Site in 1985.

  • Word Heritage Site Hildesheim Cathedral Treasury (2)

    As works of art and historical documents, the Hildesheim Cathedral treasury is of inestimable value. The collection especially owes its outstanding importance to the wide array of magnificent items donated by Bishop Bernward, and Bishop Eduard Jakob Wedekin’s passion for collecting (1796-1870) in the 19th century. That’s why today, we can look back on complete documentation of liturgical instruments and manuscripts right up to the early Middle Ages.

  • World Heritage Site St. Michael’s Church (1)

    In 2010, St. Michael’s Church celebrated its 1,000th anniversary. In the period between 2005 and 2012, St. Michael’s Church was extensively renovated and the outdoor area was redesigned. St. Michael’s hill and church are special gems in the center of what is now a largely redesigned Weststadt district of Hildesheim. In 1985, St. Michael’s, together with St. Mary’s Cathedral, was included in the list of UNESCO-World-Heritage-Sites as a testimony to unique pre-Romanesque architecture and art.

  • World Heritage Site St. Michael’s Church (2)

    When large parts of Hildesheim were destroyed by bombs on March 22, 1945, St. Michael’s was also reduced to ash and rubble. But already on October 4, 1945, Michaelis Pastor Kurt Degener called for reconstruction. The nave was consecrated again in 1950. Reconstruction of the entire church according to the Ottonian model was completed with the consecration of the place of worship in 1960.

  • World Heritage Site Fagus Factory (1)

    The Fagus Factory was constructed in 1911 by Walter Gropius, the architect and founder of Bauhaus, as the original building of modern industrial architecture. In 1911, the forward-looking entrepreneur Carl Benscheidt (1858-1947) commissioned Walter Gropius to construct a factory building for his shoe last factory that should comply with cutting-edge aspects.

  • World Heritage Site Fagus Factory (2)

    The architect Walter Gropius succeeded in giving a medium-sized company a completely new look that differed from the traditional one. The Fagus Factory represents an architectural concept which, for the very first time in those days, took into account the requirements for light, air and visual clarity. Alongside its valuable architecture, the Fagus Factory stands out due to its active production operations. For over 100 years, Fagus shoe lasts have been manufactured in this important industrial building, and today, GreCon measurement and fire protection products as well as inspection systems are produced in addition, too. 

  • World Heritage Site in the Harz: Rammelsberg mine (1)

    For well over 1,000 years, ore was continuously extracted at Rammelsberg in one of the world’s largest interlinked ore deposits. The related historical, tangible coal and steel witnesses have rightly become Germany’s first UNESCO-World-Cultural-Heritage-Site of Technology. During visitor tours above and below ground, you’ll see impressive coal and steel monuments stretching over nine centuries and exciting testimonies to human labor.

  • World Heritage Site in the Harz: Rammelsberg mine (2)

    You enter the 200-year-old Roeder gallery on foot – through narrow tracks, wide wheel chambers and you pass by wooden waterwheels. In contrast, you take the mine train to get to the modern mining machines. You can feel firsthand the miners’ working conditions, whose job was always tough and dangerous despite all of the technology. During the adventure tour, you’ll immerse yourself in the richly colored 800-year-old Rathstiefste gallery.

  • World Heritage Site in the Harz: Upper Harz Water Management System (1)

    A dense, clearly signposted network of paths in a gorgeous forest and meadow landscape connects the water-bearing ditches with cascades of dammed ponds – including some of the oldest dams in Europe.
    Fascinating architectural monuments and museums like the Cistercian Museum Walkenried Monastery, the Samson mine in St. Andreasberg, the Knesebeck mine in Bad Grund, the 19-Lachter-Stollen (gallery) in Wildemann or the Upper Harz museum with the show mine, the Emperor Wilhelm II mine shafts and Ottiliae, as well as the mining landscapes Dorothea-Caroline and Rosenhof offer unforgettable experiences above or below ground.

  • World Heritage Site in the Harz: Upper Harz Water Management System (2)

    The wide variety of tours offered range from the very personal adventure tour following the trail of water, mining and the Harz landscape through to the adventurous discoverer’s tour underground. In the Upper Harz mining museum in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, individual travelers or travel groups will find the offer that’s just right for them to experience with all of their senses the sunken world of Upper Harz ore mining.

  • World Heritage Site in the Harz: Old Town of Goslar (1)

    The old town of Goslar, which is still largely surrounded by ramparts and green areas, is one of the most important, completely preserved historical towns in the world. On a medieval ground plan, 1,500 half-timbered buildings dating from the 15th to 19th centuries are preserved on just one square kilometer. The Romanesque churches’ mighty towers soar above the enchanting townscape with its narrow streets. 

  • World Heritage Site in the Harz: Old Town of Goslar (2)

    An unusually large number of medieval buildings have been handed down through generations to the present day with the imperial palace, town hall, town fortifications, infirmaries and the wide array of medieval dwellings made out of stone, the so-called bowers. The market fountain, crowned with the town’s emblem, a gilded imperial eagle, is one of the biggest and oldest preserved in Germany and is considered as one of the most important bronze casting works from the Romanesque period.

  • World Heritage Site Nationalpark Wadden Sea National Park (1)

    The Wadden Sea is an extraordinarily dynamic landscape. No other place in the world has a more diverse landscape developed under tidal influences, and it is still constantly changing today. An extensive system of large tidal flat currents and small tidal creeks runs through vast mudflats and surrounds solid, dry falling sands.

  • World Heritage Site Nationalpark Wadden Sea National Park (2)

    Mussel beds, dense seagrass meadows and soft mudflats provide food for myriads of animals. Blossoming salt marshes in the extensive embankment foreland and on islands and halligs alternate with white beaches and dunes. The landscape’s diversity makes the Wadden Sea a one-of-a-kind habitat for over 10,000 species of flora and fauna. Millions of migratory birds rely on the Wadden Sea as a stopover and resting site. The Wadden Sea is absolutely essential for global biodiversity.

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