Germany now has a total of 30 World Heritage Sites. In its recent, July 2004 meeting, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee declared three more sites in Germany of outstanding value to humanity, worthy of preservation for posterity.

The new sites, including some criteria for their designation:

– Dresden Elbe Valley – “The Dresden Elbe Valley is an outstanding cultural
landscape, an ensemble that integrates the celebrated Baroque setting and
suburban garden city into an artistic whole within the river valley.”

– Muskauer Park/Park Muzakowski (a cross-border site with Poland) –
“…blending seamlessly with the surrounding farmed landscape, the park …
influenced the development of landscape architecture in Europe and America.
Designed as a ‘painting with plants’, it did not seek to evoke classical
landscapes, paradise, or some lost perfection, instead it used local plants
to enhance the inherent qualities of the existing landscape.”

– Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen – “The Bremen Town Hall
and [statue of] Roland bear an exceptional testimony to civic autonomy and
sovereignty, as they developed in the Holy Roman Empire. … paladin of
Charlemagne, [Roland] became the source for the French ‘chanson de geste’
and other medieval and Renaissance epic poetry.”

Visit www.UNESCO-welterbe.de to find more information on Germany’s World
Heritage Sites. Details include route suggestions for travel between sites
and specific accommodation offers as well as photographs, location maps and
information about prominent local festivals and events. (Soon the Web site
will include the three new locations).

Route suggestions
The Web site’s suggested Route 7, for instance, takes visitors to Bavaria
and the Rococo pilgrimage church, called Wieskirche (church in the meadows),
and on to Lake Constance and the island of Reichenau, with her monastic
Romanesque architecture of the 9th and 11th centuries. Also recommended is a
detour along Germany’s Alpine Road for a visit to Mad King Ludwig’s castle
of Neuschwanstein.

Route 5 starts just south of Frankfurt in the small town of Messel. Here a
fossil site, some 60 metres below the surface, documents the first stage of
the evolution of mammals, animals and plants, having been preserved for
almost 50 million years. Next, the World Heritage Site city of Würzburg has
a Baroque castle, a former prince-bishop residence complete with Tiepolo
frescoes. Finally, heading farther east along the Main River, visitors to
the medieval World Heritage Site town of Bamberg, in December through
January 6, can walk Bamberg’s ‘Manger Trail” and see 30 different kinds of
Nativity scenes.

Each World Heritage Site town’s Web page links to local accommodation pages
on the Internet, listing, for example, the four-star hotel Bamberger Hof
Bellevue, in Bamberg’s Old Town, which charges approximately $76 per person,
per night, double occupancy, including breakfast and all taxes. Most town
sites also list smaller inns, B & B’s, self-catering flats and youth

For more information on Germany, please contact the German National Tourist
Office’s toll-free number, 1-877-315-6237, send an e-mail to
gntonyc@d-z-t.com, or visit GNTO’s Web site www.cometogermany.com

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