Vast forests with beautiful villages and hills
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The Harz Mountains is a rugged forest area of more than 247 km full of beech and spruce. It has many small traditional villages and cities. At 1,142 meters, Brocken Mountain is the highest point in northern Germany.
The Harz, as this area is often affectionately called, has something magical about it. You can discover the countless hills, streams and picturesque villages for yourself. The Harz is perfect for getting out and about; on foot or by car. It's also a good area for cycling. These are the main attractions of the Harz Mountains. With some nice excursions to do as well.
The Titan RT suspension bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Germany. It is located in the middle of the Harz Mountains. The Titan RT hangs parallel to the large Rappbo Valley dam. This attraction is located south of the towns of Hüttenrode and Wernigerode.
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If you really want to experience the Harz, you have to go hiking. The Harz Witches' Trail is a famous hike in the region and even throughout Germany. It starts on the outskirts of the town of Osterode in the Harz. You walk through countless hills to Thale, the end point. Where you can see the famous Devil's Wall, among other things. And you will hike to the top of the Brocken mountain. You can get more information at the local tourist offices.
Brocken is the highest mountain in the Harz at 1141.1 meters. And the Brocksberg, as it is sometimes called, is also the highest point in Northern Germany. What is special is that the top is above the tree line and has an alpine climate. This is due to the extreme weather such as storms. In winter there is snow for months, which makes the mountain very popular. You can climb the Brocken, there are various hiking trails to the top.
You can also go up by train. The so-called Brockenbahn is the only steam train in Germany. It is a very special excursion, especially in winter. Then the train chases up the mountain in the snow. But the landscape is also impressive in summer. The starting point is Wernigerode and the total route is 19 kilometers.
The wildest part of the Harz Mountains are protected. The Harz National Park had several visitor centres. You can obtain a lot of information about walking routes and places of interest. You will find one on the Brocken, but also at the Sankt Andreasberg if you want to know a lot about geology. The visitor center Torfhaus you learn a lot about the animals that live in these forests.
Much of the Harz is a protected nature reserve. Some special animals live in the Harz National Park. In addition to red deer, roe deer and wild boar, you can also glimpse the lynx, wild cat, capercaillie, boreal owl, Eurasian pygmy owl, nutcracker, peregrine falcon, ring ouzel and black stork.
The town of Quedlinburg is about 1,000 years old. But it is best known for the almost 2,000 half-timbered houses that you can see in all shapes and sizes. The historic center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also visit the beautiful St. Servaas Church with countless church treasures. This town can get very busy, so preferably avoid weekends and school holidays.
Goslar is a well-known half-timbered town in Germany. You can walk easily go for a stroll and explore the town yourself. The historic town of Goslar is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A striking number of half-timbered houses can be found in town. You can also see many sculptures by artists.
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For years, mines were used to search for silver, gold, copper, tin and iron. You can visit a few of them. Including the famous Rammelsberg near Goslar, which has been used for more than 1,000 years. The Grube Samson in St. Andreasberg and the Kupferhütte Mansfeld also offer guided tours and other excursions.
Halle is a pleasant town located just outside the national park. The beautiful Marktplatz with the 84-meter-high Roter Turm and the special Marktkerk Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe is a must-see.
The Josephs Cross is a special viewpoint on the Grote Auerberg near Stolberg. This imposing structure stands at a height of 759 and is built of steel. It was built between 1832 and 1834. The tower is 38 meters high. From the lookout tower you have a wonderful view over the Harz, including the Brocken.
The town of Wernigerode is particularly beautiful because of the many half-timbered houses. Werningerode Castle is certainly well worth a visit. You can stroll through the town, although it can get busy with tourists. Early in the day is the best time if you want to avoid most people.
The Harz lies between the major cities of Hanover and Leipzig. You can reach various cities on the outskirts of the area by train, such as Wernigerode for example. From there you can travel further with local buses.