UNESCO World Heritage sites in Romantic Germany
Seven World Heritage Sites and one UNESCO Global Geopark
Rhineland-Palatinate is extraordinary, but also unique, with its seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Vulkaneifel Nature Park and Geopark, which is recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark. These sites all enjoy international renown and special conservation measures. With the Vulkaneifel UNESCO Global Geopark, the ShUM cities, the historic spa district in Bad Ems, the Lower German Limes, the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, the Roman buildings in Trier, the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes and Speyer Cathedral, Rhineland-Palatinate can count a total of eight UNESCO awards.
Bad Ems Historic Spa District — UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thanks to its magnificent baroque buildings, masterpieces of spa architecture and classicism, and 15 mineral springs, the Rhineland-Palatinate spa town of Bad Ems has been recognized as a World Heritage Site following a UNESCO decision on 24 July 2021. Together with ten leading spas throughout Europe that collectively form the ‘Great Spa Towns of Europe’, the holiday resort on the Lahn has been granted the highest international accolade that can be awarded to a cultural site. UNESCO’s decision acknowledges the outstanding cultural heritage of the town on the Lahn, heritage that is very much in evidence in the historic spa district.
ShUM Sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz — UNESCO World Heritage Site
In the Middle Ages, the Jewish communities in the cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz along the Middle Rhine formed an alliance that still shapes the architecture, culture, religion and legislation of the Jewish diaspora throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Monuments, synagogues, women’s schools, houses of learning and the unique Jewish cemeteries in Worms and Mainz are all testament to the immense significance and innovation of the ShUM cities.
The Lower German Limes – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Two thousand years ago, a 385 kilometre stretch of the outer frontier of the Roman Empire ran through the Netherlands, North Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. The UNESCO award comes as good news to the towns of Remagen and Bad Breisig, the Rhineland-Palatinate partners for the Lower German Limes from the Roman era. The far frontier of the Roman Empires covered what was then the course of the Rhine, which explains the alternative name of ‘Nasser Limes’ or ‘wet Limes’. As many as 30,000 soldiers were stationed along the Rhine to defend the Roman Empire.
One of the most impressive churches in the Western world is Speyer Cathedral, built as the burial place for the Salian Emperors. It is considered to be a major work of Roman architecture on German soil and never ceases to amaze visitors with its almost thousand-year-old, impressive grandeur. The crypt has remained unaltered to this day. It is the burial place of eight German emperors and kings, four queens and a number of bishops.
Roman buildings in Trier, Germany's oldest city
In Trier, the former Roman city of "Augusta Treverorum" – also known as "the second Rome" – many buildings and monuments still provide evidence today of the former importance of the city on the Moselle. The Porta Nigra, the amphitheatre and the Imperial Baths are unique relics of the Roman Empire and form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which also includes the cathedral and the Liebfrauenkirche or Church of Our Lady.
Upper Middle Rhine Valley
The entire Upper Middle Rhine Valley is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a captivating combination of beautiful natural countryside and important cultural landscape. The landscape with its cliffs, the River Rhine, steep vineyards, castles and historic towns and villages has a distinctly dramatic feel to it. The romantic Middle Rhine Valley between Bingen and Koblenz is steeped in myths and is a fabulously beautiful part of Rhineland-Palatinate!
Limes, Frontiers of the Roman Empire
The Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes is regarded as an exceptional monument, testimony to the Roman era and its culture. Built some 2000 years ago, the Limes separated the Roman Empire from the rest of the world along a length of 550 kilometres, between Regensburg and Koblenz. Today the German Limes Road runs where the Roman border wall once crossed the countryside, passing reconstructed towers and forts, museums and Roman monuments.
Global Geopark Vulkaneifel
In November 2015, UNESCO recognised Vulkaneifel nature park and geopark (Natur- und Geopark Vulkaneifel) as a UNESCO Global Geopark. UNESCO Geoparks place a special emphasis on the geological, natural and cultural heritage of a region. They offer opportunities for environmental education and contribute to sustainable regional development with the active involvement of many stakeholders. Vulkaneifel nature park and geopark offers active discovery tours, including guided tours, all year round.