Did you know that Germany is Europe’s leading cultural destination?
With 46 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Germany is the fourth most visited country in the world, just ahead of France!
Germany is actually a collection of reunited regions in the center of Europe, each with a long, rich and eventful history.
As you know, I love castles, churches, impressive architectural ensembles and translating them into images through my lenses (and in particular my ultra wide angle lens). When I was asked to cover the UNESCO sites in Germany, I jumped enthusiastically into my car to photograph them and show them to you in pictures!
Yes, Germany, when you live in France, it’s easy, you can simply go there by car whenever you want (very practical when you’re with your family like me for example). And the highways in the East and North of France are generally very fluid.
List of UNESCO sites visited in Germany
Here is the list of the 20 UNESCO sites visited in Germany:
- Aachen Cathedral
- Zollverein Coal Mine IndustrialComplex
- The Wadden Sea at Saint Peter Ording
- Hamburg: The Speicherstadt and the Kontorhaus district with the Chilehaus
- Goslar and its Rammelsberg Mine
- Wilhelmshöhe Castle
- Hainich National Park
- Wartburg Castle
- Margrave’s Opera
- Bremen City Hall
- Old Town of Lübeck
- Palace and Gardens of Sans-Souci in Potsdam
- Kingdom of Parks and Gardens in Dessau-Wörlitz
- Naumburg Cathedral
- Corvey Abbey
- Fagus Plant
- Augustusburg and Falkenlust Castles
- The Romantic Rhine
Circuit made by car
I made two photo reports of 10 UNESCO sites each over 15 days and about 3,000km each time:
- The first one in summer 2019
- The second in autumn 2020
Driving in Germany is quite easy: the freeways are free and the directions are clear. Contrary to popular belief, the speed is not unlimited everywhere, but only in sections. The limits change quite often. So you have to be careful and drive as “smooth” as possible to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption.
Presentation of the 10 UNESCO sites visited
Here are the 20 UNESCO sites in Germany that I visited and photographed! Each site has specific architectural, topological or lighting features that make each of them a real photographic challenge!
At the end of each section, I give you a few tips on how to best photograph these exceptional sites each time:
- The best time of the day and the season
- The recommended (or forbidden) material
- Remarkable points of view (spots)
Material used for this report
- Case: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon R5
- Lens: Ultra Wide-Angle 11-24mm, Standard 24-70mm, Telephoto 70-200mm
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
Trier – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Trier (or Trier in German) is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe. It was the residence of the Roman emperors for almost two centuries (in the 3rd and 4th centuries). Its exceptional historical heritage in Europe is the reason for its inscription on the UNESCO...
The Romantic Rhine – UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Romantic Rhine, or "Upper Middle Rhine Valley" is the part of the Rhine between the cities of Koblenz and Bingen. It stretches for about 60km and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. It is a bit like the "Loire Valley" of Germany with its vineyards...
Augustusburg and Falkenlust castles in Brühl
Presentation of the castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust The castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust are located in Brühl. It is a small town of 45,000 inhabitants located between Cologne and Bonn. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and was built in...
Fagus Plant – UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Fagus factory in Alfed was built in 1913. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, in particular because it is one of the first and most important buildings of modern architecture. The plant is located in the center of Germany, south of Hanover. Today, the...
Corvey Abbey in Höxter – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Corvey Abbey or Monastery is located in the center of Germany near Höxter, south of Hanover. It was founded in 822 by Louis Le Pieux, son of Emperor Charlemagne, and the Abbot of Corbie from Picardy. This Benedictine monastery is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage...
Naumbourg Cathedral – UNESCO World Heritage Site
The cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is the former cathedral of the city of Naumbourg. It dates from the 13th century, although an old cathedral was built on the same site in the 11th century. In spite of the beauty of the place, I had bad luck during my visit of...
Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz is a complex of parks and palaces near the cities of Dessau and Wörlitz, south of Berlin. This site has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000. The gardens of Dessau-Wörlitz were laid out in the 18th century by the...
Sans-Souci Castle – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Potsdam's Palace and Park Sans-Souci are located about 20 kilometers from Berlin. The Palace Sans-Souci is a bit like the German Versailles! The complex of palaces and parks, covering 500 hectares and whose 150 buildings were built between 1730 and 1916, is part of...
Bremen City Hall – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Presentation of Bremen, the City Hall of Bremen and the Roland Statue The City Hall of Bremen and the statue of Roland were classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004: The Bremen City Hall, built in 1404, is one of the most important Gothic brick buildings in...
Old town of Lübeck – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Presentation of the old town of Lübeck Lübeck is a city in northern Germany. It was the capital of the Hanseatic League, i.e. belonging to the league of northern European merchant cities (such as Hamburg and Bremen). They controlled the trade around the North Sea and...
Regensburg Old Town
Rastibonne in French or Regensburg in German, with 142,000 inhabitants is the fourth largest city in Bavaria. The city has a great cultural and architectural richness due to its location on the Danube not far from Northern Italy or Bohemia (today's Czech Republic)....
Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth
We now arrive in Bavaria, precisely in Franconia, the extreme north of the Lander. Bayreuth is a lovely town that is home to a European treasure: the Margravial Opera House, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012. Margrave's Opera The Margrave's Opera...
Castle of Wartburg
Wartburg Castle in Thuringia, central Germany, was built in 1067. This castle has the originality of being an architectural mille-feuille of several eras. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 as "an outstanding monument of the feudal period in...
Hainich National Park
The Hainich National Park in Thuringia in central Germany is home to one of the largest primeval beech forests in Europe. It is a primeval forest that has never been managed by man. Hainich National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011. For the...
Wilhelmshöhe Castle and its Bergpark in Kassel
The Wilhelmshöhe Castle and the Bergpark overlook the city of Kassel in central Germany. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. Built in 1798, it is known to have received Napoleon III in captivity, William II also stayed there. Today, the castle...
Goslar and its Rammelsberg Mine
The city of Goslar is a city in the center of Germany, whose history, beauty and architectural uniformity cannot leave one indifferent. Founded in the 10th century, this medieval city has known a very long period of prosperity thanks to its Rammelsberg mine rich in...
Hamburg: The Speicherstadt and the Chilehaus
Presentation of the Speicherstadt and the Chilehaus in Hamburg Let's now move on to Germany's second largest city: Hamburg! I have always dreamed of visiting this multifaceted city, which I was told was like a small Berlin on its cosmopolitan, alternative side, but...
The Wadden Sea at Saint Peter Ording
Presentation of the Wadden Sea The Wadden Sea is the coastal area of the German bay in the North Sea. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, this area is home to a unique biosphere and landscape. In France, we have similarly the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel or...
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex
The industrial complex of the Zollverein coal mine, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, is located in the Ruhr industrial region. Dating back to 1847, it is one of the largest and oldest coal mines in Europe. It has the reputation of being also...
Cathedral Aix-la-Chapelle – Aachen Dom
We start this trip with the magnificent Aachen Cathedral (Aachen Dom) right on the border between Germany and Belgium. It is the oldest in Northern Europe (786) and was built by Emperor Charlemagne. The Aachen Cathedral (Aachen Dom), by its architectural richness and...