„Havet er ikke et landskab, det er oplevelsen af evigheden“, har forfatteren og nobelprismodtageren Thomas Mann engang sagt – UNESCO-ruten „Naturvidundere og stolte stæder“ bekræfter denne udtalelse. Ruten skifter fra naturmindesmærker som Vadehavet og de ældgamle bøgeskove til historiske hansestæder som Bremen, Lübeck, Wismar og Stralsund.
Der er tale om vel nok et af de smukkeste rådhuse i Tyskland. Den pragtfulde facade på Bremens rådhus er et skoleeksempel på den nordtyske Weserrenæssance. Sammen med Roland, Bremen-borgernes „frihedsstatue“, står rådhuset dengang som nu for Bremen-borgernes stolthed over deres by, deres frihed og deres suverænitet.
Det afvekslende landskab gør Vadehavet ved Nordsøens kyst til et enestående levested for utallige dyre- og plantearter. UNESCO-verdensnaturarven dækker et areal på cirka 11.000 kvadratkilometer og omfatter de Vadehavs-nationalparker i Slesvig-Holsten , Niedersachsen , Hamburg og Danmark samt det fredede vadehavsområde i Holland.
The Border Complex in Schleswig-Holstein is regarded as a unique archeological testimonial of the Viking Age. From the 9th until the 11th century, early Medieval Hedeby was one of the most important maritime trading hubs and also one of the first cities in Northern Europe. A semi-circular wall protected the city from attackers. This was connected to the defensive system of Danevirke.
This is where the roots of the modern European city of Hamburg lie: the historical Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus district with the famous Chilehaus are synonymous with Hamburg's rise as a global trading power – and are today a vibrant cultural quarter. Having survived the years without damage or alteration, this historical ensemble has now been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.
Lübeck, the undisputed Queen of the Hanseatic League, was founded in 1143 as 'the first western town on the Baltic coast' and provided a shining example for all the Hanseatic towns and cities along the Baltic. The medieval old town is one of the foremost examples of brick Gothic architecture and reflects Lübeck's illustrious past as an early centre of international trade.
The grandeur and riches of the Hanseatic League in the 14th century could hardly be more vividly illustrated than in the historic centres of Stralsund and Wismar. Both towns boast virtually unchanged medieval layouts and extensively preserved architectural heritage from the brick Gothic period.
The harbour is the heart of the maritime city of Rostock. Although there may be fewer sailors on the quayside these days, the harbour still shapes the character of the city. It is also the venue for major events, such as the Hanse Sail in August, which attracts hundreds of sailing ships and a million visitors each year.
They are really the original inhabitants of Europe: without human intervention, beech trees would still cover large areas of continental Europe. Today, unspoilt lowland beech forests are found nowhere else in the world but in Germany. The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany UNESCO World Natural Heritage site therefore offers a fascinating, romantic and incredibly diverse picture of the original European landscapes. They are an extension to the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians, an existing cross-border World Heritage property.
The unique collection of galleries and museums on Berlin Museum Island, with its five temple-like buildings, houses treasures from 6,000 years of human history. Elevated to UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999, and located in Berlin's historical centre, the complex is the centrepiece of the city's museum network and is Europe's largest cultural investment project.