Changing landscapes –

from nature to man-made landscape

In the UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz, »culture« and »nature« form a symbiosis. Embedded in mountain forests and upland moors, which in the Harz National Park have developed into a wilderness, historic engineering constructions are often perceived as »nature« rather than »culture«.

Because of the great diversity of evidence of mining history from more than a millennium on its premises and in the surrounding landscape, the Rammelsberg Mine and the heavily mining-influenced Historic Town of Goslar were awarded World Heritage status in 1992 as the first German industrial monument.

From the late Middle Ages onward around 150 water storage ponds were constructed in the Harz, of which 107 remain today. Like the contour lines on a map, a meticulously planned network of water transport ditches follows the contours of the landscape. Over a large area, they collect the »relief rainfall« that is abundant in the Harz and transport it to the storage ponds. In order to protect the historic cultural landscape from Goslar to Walkenried in its uniqueness, it needs to be preserved and filled with life.

The short video above introduces the theme "Changing Landscapes" in some illustrative scenes.

The effects of the mining industry on the landscape can still easily be seen today – for example on  a guided tour through the Upper Harz Water Management System.

© Harzwasserwerke GmbH

© Harzwasserwerke GmbH

© Oberharzer Bergwerksmuseum

© Stefan Sobotta

© Stefan Sobotta

© Sammlung Weltkulturerbe Rammelsberg


World Heritage in the Harz

A diverse World Heritage Site with numerous museum locations awaits your visit. And the Information Centre offers you the perfect introduction to the World Heritage Site Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System. Read more…

On the Move

Hiking, cycling, motorized tours or guided visits – there are many ways to explore the UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz.

On our website you will find numerous suggestions for your tour of discovery – be inspired by the cultural diversity and the breathtaking landscapes of this unique mining region…


An overview of what the World Heritage has to offer

This information brochure will take you on your first journey of discovery through the UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz. Have fun browsing.