The 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
The 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
In the old town of Quedlinburg
there are about 1200 half-timbered houses from 6 centuries as well
as monuments of the Romanesque and Renaissance periods.
The Collegiate Church St. Servatius (consecrated
in 1129), the Castle (built up by Otto I the Great in 936) and the
old town of Quedlinburg belong to the UNESCO World Heritage