From anniversaries and reopenings to entertainment and nature, there is plenty to enjoy at Germany's World Heritage sites in 2018.
Many of the country's most impressive architectural monuments, historical towns, significant industrial sites and distinctive natural landscapes – 42 in total – have been deemed to be of international historical importance by UNESCO. Only the world's most outstanding testimonies to the history of mankind and nature are granted this honour. And some of them have a particular reason to celebrate this year.
In 1978, UNESCO granted Aachen Cathedral World Heritage status, making the more than 1,200-year-old building the first to receive this title in Germany. From 22 to 30 September 2018, the city of Aachen will mark this occasion with a grand festival that will present the cathedral from religious, cultural and musical perspectives. The Cathedral in Lights installation promises to be a particular highlight.
Beech forests and baroque buildings
Built in 1746, the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth is one of Europe's finest theatres from the baroque period. After six years of refurbishment work, the reopening of this UNESCO World Heritage site was recently celebrated in grand style. And over the coming months, there will be many appearances here by high-calibre artists.
Hainich National Park in western Thuringia recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as part of the Ancient Beech Forests World Heritage site. At 7,500 hectares, it is the largest unbroken area of deciduous forest in Germany, and its undisturbed woodlands are a great place to unwind. Discover more here.