Germany has plenty of delights up its sleeve to keep travellers engrossed. Not just cultural, natural and architectural visual treat to its visitors, but also Unesco World Heritage Sites to add to its charm. Home to outstanding natural views, exciting adventure trails and special slices of culture, the country boasts of a rich history with the North Rhine-Westphalia being an important region. Here are 5 Unesco World Heritage sites in North Rhine-Westphalia that should be on your bucket list:
The first ever Unesco World Heritage Site in Germany, the Aachen Cathedral received the designation in1978. This cultural monument holds immense significance in German art history and architecture. The Cathedral dates back to the Carolingian period and its foundation stone was laid by Charlemagne in 790 AD. The Aachen Cathedral was chosen to be Charlemagne’s shrine after the emperor’s death. The Aachen Church and Cathedral witnessed more than 30 German rulers throughout history. The interiors house the Gothic choir hall, the largest window of the Gothic era, Charlemagne’s shrine, a magnificent chandelier that was once donated by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The Cathedral’s gate is a stunning specimen of bronze craftsmanship and is first of its kind in the Alps.
Attracting a large number of visitors, the Cologne Cathedral is Cologne’s most visible landmark. A shrine for pilgrims, it is one of the highly popular tourist destinations of Germany and one of the most significant in Europe. The cathedral at Cologne is not only an abode for pilgrims, it’s also an amazing opportunity for art lovers to take a close look at Gothic era architecture. The Cathedral dates back to 1248 and underwent several phases of construction, getting completed in the year 1880. The cathedral has well-preserved valuable works like the Shrine of the Magi, remains of the Magi or Three Wise Men. Designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996, the Cologne cathedral has a treasury that is open to the public. There are valuable pieces of sacred art that hold immense historical and religious significance.
A living preservation of the German industrial culture, Zollverein was announced a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001. An impressive industrial site, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is now a building that stands as a symbol of the structural change and development in the Ruhr region. Once the largest coal mine in the world, the Zollverein complex now is a specimen of spectacular architecture. The twin-trestle winding tower is a popular emblem of Ruhr. Visitors can learn a lot about the rich history or the Ruhr region when visiting Zollverein. The Heritage Trail, Red Dot Design museum, the gourmet festival in summer, and the Contemporary Art Ruhr Fair, and many more enthralling activities and experiences await tourists.
The Augustusburg Palace listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, is an amalgam of Rococo architecture and German history. Bruhl attracted a lot of popular visitors. And for many years the Augustusburg castle served as a venue for hosting official receptions held by Germany’s president and federal government. Some of these famous guests were Queen Elizabeth II, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachev. This once splendid venue now stands as a museum that is open to public visitors. The summer season at Augustusburg is a witness to classical and Baroque concerts. The Haydn festival also takes place as a part of the summer events organized at the castle.
Highly esteemed as Westphalia’s first Unesco World Heritage Site, the abbey at Corvey received the designation in 2014. A Benedictine abbey, it is another fine specimen of neatly-preserved Carolingian architecture. It is also the only Carolingian westwork that has survived through all these years. The westworks are intrinsic to the history of the Corvey, and were especially used by kings and their court in the earlier times. The westwork at the Corvey is significant because of its age and its mural magnificence. There are scenes from the Odyssey depicted in the remains of Corvey's westwork. This important historical missionary centre now has a museum and a restaurant that is open to the public.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with German National Tourist Office, India.