World Heritage in Germany
Weimar, home to artists, musicians and writers such as Goethe and Schiller; the preserved fossils of the Eocene Epoch in the Messel Pit Fossil Site; the spectacular natural scenery of the Ancient Beech Forests, which exemplifies the spread of beech across Central Europe and is home to more than 10,000 species – Germany's cultural and natural landscape is diverse and rich.
It includes cultural landscapes and parks, unique natural areas, built testimonies to social and technological development and masterpieces of human creative genius. While all these sites have special meaning for German society, their recognition as UNESCO World Heritage also illustrates their exceptional value for humanity. Since the ratification of the World Heritage convention, a variety of German sites have entered the World Heritage List and can be explored on the online Interactive Map of the World Heritage Centre.
All these sites are under special protection due to their outstanding value for humanity. Thus, recognition as World Heritage is not an end in itself, but entails the responsibility and obligation to ensure the site's long-term preservation and sustainable management, and its presentation to the public. These manifold activities fall under the responsibility of a variety of stakeholders at the national level. In Germany, a variety of actors are involved in the process of identifying, nominating, protecting, conserving and monitoring the inscribed sites.
In 2015, the World Heritage Centre collaborated with the German Commission for UNESCO to publish an issue on World Heritage in Germany, as part of the UNESCO publication series World Heritage. This issue encompasses a variety of insights into the work of German World Heritage sites and domestic activities.
World Heritage Actors in Germany
Though the protection and preservation of World Heritage sites is the responsibility of the entire international community, each State Party to the World Heritage convention is responsible for the identification, protection and conservation of World Heritage in its respective country.