UNESCO World Natural Heritage German Beech Forests

Biotopes full of secrets

Cathedral with a sea view: Stubnitz is the name of the large beech forest in Jasmund National Park, directly on the Baltic coast of Rügen, © TMV/Tiemann

UNESCO World Natural Heritage German Beech Forests

Biotopes full of secrets

The Stubnitz beech forest in the Jasmund National Park on the island of Rügen and the Serrahn beech forests in the Müritz National Park have been part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site "Ancient Beech Forests of Germany" since 2011.

The Stubnitz beech forest in the Jasmund National Park on the island of Rügen and the Serrahn beech forests in the Müritz National Park have been part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site "Ancient Beech Forests of Germany" since 2011.

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention places outstanding, unique natural and cultural assets under worldwide protection. As a natural world heritage site, unique natural phenomena with exceptional significance for all of humanity are to be preserved for future generations.

Experience World Heritage

In 2011, the beech forests in the Müritz and Jasmund National Parks on the island of Rügen were declared a World Heritage Site. Some of the beech trees in the Serrahn beech forests in Müritz National Park are more than 200 years old. Due to the hunting passion of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz Grand Dukes, the forests remained almost untouched for a long time, as timber exploitation played a subordinate role. Together with the lakes, moors and meadows, the beech forests provide a valuable habitat for animals and plants, e.g. cranes , sea eagles and ospreys.

The beech forest in the Jasmund National Park on the island of Rügen is the largest contiguous beech forest on the Baltic Sea coast. Due to its inaccessible location on the steep slopes, it has never been used for forestry and is the habitat for e.g. the peregrine falcon and sea eagle, but also for rare wild plants such as the lady's slipper and the giant horsetail.

 

On Jasmund you should look for beeches

Light falls obliquely through narrow openings, painting dancing spots on columns that grow straight up into the air. Then distant hissing begins, like the roar of an organ. A Gothic cathedral could hardly be more impressive than the Stubnitz, the beech forest in Jasmund National Park.

Beech forests are stately cathedrals of nature. For beech trees tolerate no competition next to them. In the battle for light, they are the strongest trees, explains Dr. Ingolf Stodian during a hike through the Stubnitz. He is head of the Jasmund National Park in the Western Pomerania National Park Authority and knows the Stubnitz like the back of his hand.

Habitat deadwood

Because the Stubnitz is a national park, humans are not allowed to intervene. Stodian shows an uprooted giant tree. He knows exactly how important deadwood is for the forest: fungi decompose it, then moss and grass grow on it, beetles take up residence. Deadwood also develops because the beech trees sometimes don't find enough support on the drier soils. The good thing about this is that it creates space for new forest communities.

Beech trees have been on Jasmund for 800 years. Beech forests were once the European primeval forest. But today they are rare. With over 650,000 trees, Jasmund has the largest contiguous beech forest in the entire Baltic Sea region. But the other protected areas in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania - the Ivenack oaks, the Darß forest or the primeval forest on the Peene River - are also grandiose cathedrals of nature.

Exploring the beech forests

The best way to explore the World Natural Heritage sites is through extended hikes on the numerous signposted hiking trails . The sun shines down on you through the dense foliage, absolute silence surrounds you and breathtaking sights await you. The rangers of the national parks also invite you to guided hikes in the beech forests. Learn about the history of the forest, the typical animal and plant species and enjoy the beauty of this unique natural area.

Top cycling and hiking tours through the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Trips to the UNESCO beech forests

Adventure centers, lookout and information points

To the map

3 Ergebnisse

© TMV/Bodieschek

Visitor information centre of the National Park “Serrahn“

  • Open today
  • Serrah Waldstraße, 17237 Serrahn

In the little village named Serrahn, which is located in the depths of the woods, visitors have the opportunity to have a look at the exhibition “Buchenurwälder der Karpaten und Alte Buchenwälder Deutschlands“ concerning the UNESCO world natural heritage.

Read more: "Visitor information centre of the National Park “Serrahn“"
© NZK | T. Allrich

National Park Centre Königsstuhl

  • Open today
  • Stubbenkammer, 18546 Sassnitz

Right next to the famous chalk cliff Königsstuhl and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ancient Beech Forests, the National Park Center KÖNIGSSTUHL offers a special nature experience for the whole family. A world full of secrets is waiting to be discovered by you on 2,000 square meters of exhibition space and 28,000 square meters of outdoor area.

Read more: "National Park Centre Königsstuhl"
© Gesine Häfner / Nationalpark-Zentrum KÖNIGSSTUHL

UNESCO World Heritage Forum

  • Open today
  • Waldhalle, 18546 Sassnitz

The hiking base near the port town of Sassnitz on the island of Rügen is dedicated to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage idea. Nature lovers can learn about the phenomenon of ancient beech forests here or simply linger in the greenery, fortify themselves and unwind.

Read more: "UNESCO World Heritage Forum"
© TMV/Bodieschek

Visitor information centre of the National Park “Serrahn“

  • Open today
  • Serrah Waldstraße, 17237 Serrahn

In the little village named Serrahn, which is located in the depths of the woods, visitors have the opportunity to have a look at the exhibition “Buchenurwälder der Karpaten und Alte Buchenwälder Deutschlands“ concerning the UNESCO world natural heritage.

Read more: "Visitor information centre of the National Park “Serrahn“"
© NZK | T. Allrich

National Park Centre Königsstuhl

  • Open today
  • Stubbenkammer, 18546 Sassnitz

Right next to the famous chalk cliff Königsstuhl and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ancient Beech Forests, the National Park Center KÖNIGSSTUHL offers a special nature experience for the whole family. A world full of secrets is waiting to be discovered by you on 2,000 square meters of exhibition space and 28,000 square meters of outdoor area.

Read more: "National Park Centre Königsstuhl"
© Gesine Häfner / Nationalpark-Zentrum KÖNIGSSTUHL

UNESCO World Heritage Forum

  • Open today
  • Waldhalle, 18546 Sassnitz

The hiking base near the port town of Sassnitz on the island of Rügen is dedicated to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage idea. Nature lovers can learn about the phenomenon of ancient beech forests here or simply linger in the greenery, fortify themselves and unwind.

Read more: "UNESCO World Heritage Forum"
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