Biosphere Reserve

Unique: the Karst Landscape of the Southern Harz Mountains

Unique: the Karst Landscape of the Southern Harz Mountains

Our biosphere reserve stretches between the historic European city of Stolberg in the west and the rose city of Sangerhausen in the east. It is characterized by a unique natural and cultural landscape. Here, where more than 250 million years ago there was tropical seabed, lies today one of the most important gypsum karst landscapes in Europe. Massive deposits of Zechstein weather into gypsum and give the landscape its special appearance. Due to the special rock, water quickly seeps into the subsoil. This is how dry brooks, the "Bachschwinden", are formed. Caves, sinkholes (funnels) and sinkholes also develop everywhere - and disappear again in the course of time.

If you walk along historical paths, you will find fairy-tale castle ruins in the middle of dark forests, traces of ancient pagan customs like the "Queste" near Questenberg and everywhere the evidence of centuries of mining.
Explore the secrets of the southern Harz together with expert guides, for example on one of the popular "Sunday Hikes" or on special theme excursions. Numerous signposted hiking trails enable discovery tours on your own.

For school classes and daycare centers, the biosphere reserve team offers outdoor adventure lessons, for example 'Hunters of the Night', 'Orientation in the Field', 'Animals in the Forest' or 'Searching for Tracks in Nature'.
Permanent exhibitions on the biosphere reserve are located in Stolberg, Wettelrode and Rossla. The administration is also based here. It houses, among other things, the karst library with interesting literature about the karst.


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