UNESCO elevates cultural or natural monuments to the status of World Heritage Site if they demonstrate “outstanding universal value”. As part of the World Heritage List for Humanity, they enjoy special protection. This status has been awarded to a little over 1,000 sites in 167 countries in the world. You will discover eight of them during your stay in Bavaria.
A trip to Bavaria’s UNESCO World Heritage sites is also an expedition into the past. It begins around 5,500 years ago in the Neolithic Period, when people in the alpine region lived in prehistoric pile dwellings. Explore the remains of these settlements in Pestenacker, Unfriedshausen and on Rose Island in Lake Starnberg.
World Heritage Bavaria: a journey through time
The Upper-Germanic Roman Limes, the erstwhile frontier of the Roman Empire, takes you back to the days of ancient Rome. As a cross-border archaeological monument, it is on the UNESCO protected monuments list. The old towns of Bamberg and Regensburg are recognised as World Heritage sites in Bavaria. You will find yourself back in the Middle Ages as you explore the buildings and narrow lanes of both cities. Bamberg has been on the World Heritage List for 25 years, and in 2018 is celebrating this anniversary with a wide-ranging programme of events.
The full splendour of the Baroque period is revealed in the Würzburg Residence with its magnificent palace gardens. The best artists of the time created this architectural jewel. The Rococo pilgrimage church “Zum gegeißelten Heiland auf der Wies”, known in short as the Wieskirche im Pfaffenwinkel, is equally magnificent. Since 2012 the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth has featured in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bavaria. It is one of the last original Baroque theatres in the world and was reopened in April 2018 following a five-year renovation period.
Bavaria’s latest world heritage site:
In July 2019 the Water Management System of Augsburg with its unique system of canals, power plants, monuments and fountains from over eight centuries was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status and is thus the eighth World Heritage site in Bavaria.
Bavaria’s UNESCO World Heritage sites continue to inspire and enchant today
Each of the eight World Heritage sites in Bavaria represents an extraordinary, sometimes unique, community effort made by the people of a particular epoch. Let yourself be inspired by their talent and drawn into the history of times long past.