National Nature Landscapes in Thuringia
The National Nature Landscapes protect and conserve unique natural and cultural landscapes. In Thuringia, they cover almost one third of the area of the state. They are hotspots of biological diversity and invite you for both recreation and adventure.
Video: Eight National Nature Landscapes in Thuringia
The wildcat stalks through nascent wilderness with soft footfalls. Nature returns to its roots, restored to the natural cycle of growth and decay. From spring to autumn, the vast limestone beech forests are decorated with colourful scenery. It shapes a piece of UNESCO World Heritage - a heritage of humanity, unique and irreplaceable.
Taking new paths to the future. Wild mountain streams rush through ancient beech forests. Contemplative silence reigns in mystical moors. Bees and bumblebees buzz over nectar-rich mountain meadows. Here, where once kilns sent smoke into deep forests and wood was widely used as a raw material, the future is rooted in regionality and global networking.
Millions of years of geological history and traditionally-minded people have yielded landscapes full of graceful beauty. The region boasts a harmonious triad of near-natural beech forest with sinter springs and quaint yews, the Werra river with its bizarre cliffs and wide floodplains, and cultural landscapes with idyllic half-timbered villages and medieval castles in a former border region.
From the Kyffhäuser Monument, the view ranges over vast limestone beech forests, home to bats and stag beetles. White gypsum slopes on the southern edge of the mountains are home to the fantastic plants of the steppe grassland. Orchard meadows enrich the flowering splendour. Their fruits and the trumpeting of thousands of cranes announce the golden autumn.
500 million years of eventful geological history, five incomparable natural areas and hundreds of years of tradition make up the diversity of the slate mountains. The murmuring mountain streams thousands of ponds, the blue ribbon of the Saale river, wide forests in all shades of green and colourful shimmering rock formations are what make this region so unique.
Geological history determines the forms of this diverse landscape. Gentle hills morph into rugged ridge mountains with bizarre rock formations. Forested heights rise to almost 1,000 metres and alternate with deep valleys. In summer, mountain meadows provide a splash of colour in the evergreen spruce forests. In autumn, beech trees on the slopes display their colourful sides.
At the point where the steeply rising edge of the Harz Mountains meets the Zechstein belt, a fascinating landscape unfolds with bizarre rock formations, dry grasslands, stream sinks and sinkholes. The most significant gypsum karst area in Central Europe is covered by forests and meadows - the Green Karst. It is full of secrets, because its true beauties are hidden within.