UNESCO World Heritage in Thuringia

Culture. Nature. History. Tradition.

Places with special historical significance such as Wartburg Castle, the Bauhaus University or the Erfurt ensemble of synagoge, mikveh and Stone House. Natural landscapes worthy of protection such as the primeval forest in the Hainich. Valuable handicraft techniques or traditions such as blueprinting or playing skat. Thuringia is full of important natural and cultural treasures.

We show you where Luther translated part of the Bible. Where Goethe and Schiller wrote history. Where nature is wild and reclaiming its habitat. Where garden gnomes, beer or Christmas decorations are made by hand. Or where you can discover a treasure within a treasure.

Come with us on a journey through the World Heritage Land of Thuringia!

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Thuringia 

Brazen combinations

Culture and Heritage

Very briefly sorted and explained

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites refer to monuments and ensembles (World Cultural Heritage) as well as geological and physiographical manifestations of natural sites (World Natural Heritage) of outstanding universal value, whose protection and preservation by the States Parties are supported by UNESCO under the World Heritage Convention. UNESCO World Heritage sites are beacons in the German cultural landscape, which attracts millions of cultural tourists from all over the world every year with more than 6,500 museums, the densest theater and opera landscape in the world, and internationally renowned events. With 51 sites, Germany ranks third among the countries with the most World Heritage sites worldwide. Thuringia is among them, with the Wartburg in Eisenach, Classical Weimar, the Bauhaus sites in Weimar and the Hainich National Park.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

UNESCO biosphere reserves are internationally representative model regions. They realize sustainable development and preserve the natural and cultural landscape within the framework of the UNESCO program "Man and the Biosphere" (MAB). There are 18 biosphere reserves in Germany (as of 2019). They occupy about 4 percent of Germany's land area, have a core zone for process protection or the preservation of natural dynamic processes. Of the 18 biosphere reserves in Germany, 16 are recognized by UNESCO. In Thuringia, for example, there is the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Rhön or the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Thuringian Forest. In the case of the Südharz, for example, international recognition is being sought.

UNESCO Memory of the World

The directory of the UNESCO Memory of the World program serves to preserve the documentary heritage of mankind and to ensure free access to significant documents. The Thuringian World Documentary Heritage in Germany includes: Early writings of the Reformation movement (Gotha, Jena, Weimar), Goethe's literary estate (Weimar) and manuscripts of the book "Al-Masaalik Wa Al Mamaalik" (Gotha).


Intangible Cultural Heritage

In 2003, UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Germany acceded to the Convention in 2013. In addition to the confirmed cultural expressions, a list of expressions in urgent need of preservation is maintained (currently 59 entries). There are also a number with model projects in which the objectives of the Convention are being implemented in an exemplary manner. Examples of intangible cultural heritage in Germany are falconry (2016 together with 17 other countries) or organ building and organ music (2017) or the game of skat (2016). In addition to the federal inventory, there is a Thuringian state inventory. Entries in it include the kindergarten idea according to Froebel, the watercress, the garden gnomes from Gräfenroda or the Thuringian sausage culture.

European Heritage Label

The seal is awarded to heritage sites in Europe that have made a lasting contribution to the creation of today's Europe (milestones). These heritage sites cover the time span from the beginning of Europe's civilization until today and honor or symbolize European ideals and values as well as the history and integration of Europe. Since 2013, these sites have been selected for their symbolic value or role in history, for example. The sites bring the European Union and its citizens closer together. For Thuringia, this includes e.g. Network of Iron Curtain Sites (Border Museum Eichsfeld, Point Alpha) and Network of Reformation Sites (Luther House Eisenach, Protestant Augustinian Monastery Erfurt).