Forest meets steppe
Orchard fruit ...
... ark of varieties
The Kyffhäuser is the largest closed orchard area in central Germany. In the newly established fruit orchard on the Frankenhäuser Schlachtberg, about 800 different fruit varieties are preserved on 2000 high-trunk fruit trees. Fruit meadows are part of cultural history and indispensable habitats for insects, birds and bats. Old regional varieties of apple, pear, cherry, plum, apricot and peach promise exceptional delights.
More than 250 million years ago, the Zechstein Sea flooded the Thuringian Basin. Gypsum, copper shale, potash and rock salt are among the legacies. The people of Frankenhausen knew early on how to extract evaporated salt from the brine in the springs. The wood for evaporation came from the surrounding forests. Trade flourished in the 16th century. Today, spa operations and tourism benefit.
... between the Mediterranean and the steppe
Fantastic life plays out on karstic soil under a warming sun. Where sheep graze and the smooth snake basks, orchids, graceful lilies, swaying feather grasses and bright Adonis florets display imaginative adaptations to warmth and dryness - a paradise for honeybees, bumblebees and butterflies.
... of the coastal habitats
Where underground salts are washed into the lowlands with water and there is little rain, beach aster and seaweed grow - plants of the seashores. In the Esperstedter Ried they characterise the salt marshes, which are rare in inland areas. Cranes, storks, ducks and geese enliven these wet and salty places.
Full of graceful beauty
An unforgettable spectacle is the resting of thousands of cranes at the Kelbra reservoir on their way south. To breed, the cranes are in the marshes of the north. Their courtship dances are spectacular. They spend the winter in the south of Spain. A crane chick is about to hatch - off to the Kyffhäuser Cube!
On the way ...
... to the feet of Barbarossa
The Kyffhäuser Trail guides hikers through fairytale forests and whimsical steppes, past vast orchard meadows. Huge underground grottos in the karst inspire the imagination: Could Barbarossa have been hiding here? The Kyffhäuser Monument crowns the mountains with a sweeping view of the Brocken mountain range.
Mehr Infos: www.naturpark-kyffhaeuser.de