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NP Schiefergebirge

In the land of blue gold

Blue Gold

Slate is the ‟blue gold” of the nature park. Mining left behind not only deep lakes and shimmering slag heaps. The mining of slate and ores has nourished the entire region of the Schieferland Geopark for centuries. Idyllic slate villages and the famous roofing school in Lehesten still bear witness to the art of slate roofing today.

Schieferfassade in Lehesten (Foto: S. Reuter) vergrößerte Ansicht
Schieferfassade in Lehesten (Foto: S. Reuter)
Das namengebende Haus am Hausteich (© S. Umbach) vergrößerte Ansicht
Das namengebende Haus am Hausteich (© S. Umbach)

A thousand ponds

It was hundreds of years ago that monks dug fish ponds from the marshes on the plateau between Dreba, Knau and Plothen. Carp were to enrich their slender diet during Lent. Since then, an extraordinary variety of dragonflies, frogs and water birds have found their way between water and land - preserved by traditional, small-scale fishing in harmony with nature.

5 for diversity

Whether the land of a thousand ponds, vast forests with lively streams or blue slate heaps, whether the Blue Ribbon of the Saale or the Green Belt of Reunification - the nature park benefits from five incomparable natural areas. All facets between wet and dry, cold and warm as well as dark and light produce a unique diversity of habitats.

Blick auf Hohenwarte-Stausee (Foto: P. Hirth) vergrößerte Ansicht
Blick vom Bockfelsen auf den Hohenwarte Stausee / Thueringer Meer. (Foto: P. Hirth)

Thuringian Sea

Clear streams dance downhill through forests where the fire salamander has its nursery. They meet the Saale, where kingfisher and dipper hunt. Like a ribbon of blue silk, it winds through a deeply cut green valley. Over 70 kilometres it is dammed to form a cascade of reservoirs - the ‟Thuringian Sea”.

Der Fluss Sormitz mäandert durch die Wälder des Thüringer Schiefergebirges(© K, Fischer) vergrößerte Ansicht
Fluss Sormitz (© K, Fischer)
Wasseramsel (© Erni / Stock.Adobe.com) vergrößerte Ansicht
Wasseramsel (© Erni / Stock.Adobe.com)

Between water and forest

The dipper hunts for water insects in the stream ...

... and nests on the banks.

The fire salamander lives in the forest ...

... and its nursery is the stream.

The fire salamander waddles off

- on to the Saale Shale Cube!

On the road ...

... by bus, train and boat

The Nature Park is a ‟Destination Nature” and attracts visitors with colourful landscapes full of nature and cultural features. The Rennsteig, Hohenwarte Reservoir Trail and Children's Hiking Trail are exciting hiking worlds. The Saale invites you to go water hiking. The ‟Thuringian Sea” is a popular meeting place for hobby captains.

... to the Green Belt

It is colourful and full of life. Nevertheless, the Green Belt reminds us of the time when the Iron Curtain divided Europe into East and West. But it also offers a glimpse into the future with international youth camps.

Blick von der Thüringer Warte, einem Aussichtsturm auf einem Berg im Schiefergebirge. (© S. Lemnitzer) vergrößerte Ansicht
Blick von der Thüringer Warte (© S. Lemnitzer)


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