Harz is located in central Germany and is the highest mountain range in
the northern part of the country. Large portions of it (24,700 hectares)
belong to a nature reserve, the Harz National Park. 95 % of the area is
covered with forests, mainly with spruce and beech woods, including several
bogs, granite rocks and creeks. The park is part of the Natura 2000 network
of the EU.
Also some rivers have their sources in the Harz and large reservoirs
can be found, best known is the Rappbode Dam, the highest in Germany. The
highest point and a very popular as well as legendary place is the "Brocken"
with a height of 1142 m. The legend tells, that in the "Walpurgis night"
(the night before May 1st) many witches on their brooms ride to the Brocken.
Thus every year a great spectacle
takes place for which people from all over the country come in high spirits
to have fun on this mysterious place that night.
A very special feature and tourist attraction of this region is the
Harz Narrow Gauge Railways (1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3?8 in), which connects the
most interesting cities and towns with about 140 kilometres of track. The
most popular destination however is the Brocken. It is quite romantic when
the train leisurely winds on scenic roads offering picturesque views and
after all puffing and panting climbs the mountain up to its top, . The
small railway stations still have offices to sell the tickets and the guard
whistling raises the signalling disk to give green light.
The city of Quedlinburg
Harz is a scenic region for excursions and holidays. Beyond this it hosts
a multitude of historic places and charming old towns with interesting
and beautiful cultural historical monuments. Most famous are the mediaeval
cities Wernigerode and Quedlinburg
with thousands of half-timbered houses from the 16th and 17th century as
well as monuments of the Romanesque and Renaissance.
Collegiate Church St. Servatius, the Castle and the old town of Quedlinburg
belong to the world heritage and we were happy to see the amazing
progress in the reconstruction, due to the UNESCO's help since we visited
the place for the last time more than 14 years ago. Also Goslar with its
royal palace and the charming downtown is a fascinating city.