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The biosphere reserve Rhön

The UNESCO biosphere reserve Rhön is a cultural landscape in the centre of Germany in the border region between the three federal states of Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia. The peculiar “land of endless horizons” with its grasslands on mountain tops is a result of century-long crazing.  The cultural landscape is home to emblematic endangered species such as the black grouse.

Despite more than 40 years of German division across the Rhön, there is a strong sense of community in the region. The three administrations, one per federal state, have jointly worked towards excellent results. The Rhön apple and the mascot Rhön sheep are commercial products with great importance for both nature conservation and income generation. Therefore locals verifiably very much identify with the biosphere reserve.

The Rhön sheep  (Photo by the BR)  The cultural landscape of Rhön (Photo by the BR)  The Rhön apple (Photo by the BR)

The Rhön offers diversified landscapes: the High Rhön is a high plateau that was maintained through traditional use. The Hessian Rhön is distinguished by its numerous conical hills and the Thuringian Rhön by its short grass on calcareous soil and large farms. The Bavarian Rhön is characterized by small farms - the vegetation is rich in flowers.

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