More UNESCO World Heritage Sites strengthen Germany’s position as a leading cultural destination in Europe

Germany’s international esteem as the number one cultural destination in Europe is receiving further impetus from the current decisions of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The Mathildenhöhe artists’ colony in Darmstadt is now a UNESCO World Heritage site; the spa towns of Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen have also been awarded the World Heritage title along with eight other sites as “Great European Spas.” The decisions were announced by the UNESCO body at its 44th session in the Chinese city of Fuzhou at the weekend.

Quote from the foreign representative: “With this year’s new additions, 48 natural and cultural heritage sites in Germany now bear the ‘UNESCO World Heritage’ quality seal. Together with our partners, the UNESCO Commission Germany, and the Association of UNESCO World Heritage Sites Germany e.V., we are using the international attention for these important testimonies to human and natural history to continuously strengthen brand awareness for Germany as a travel destination. As a result, UNESCO World Heritage Sites are an integral part of the GNTB’s global marketing as a basic theme.”

Artists’ Colony Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

The artists’ colony Mathildenhöhe, founded in 1899 by the then Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, was one of the most important centres of modern art and architecture in Europe and the world from the turn of the century until the beginning of the First World War. Young architects and artists were able to realize their ideas on this experimental field and build the bridge from Art Nouveau to New Objectivity, which eventually became a major impetus for the Bauhaus movement.

The overall ensemble includes the Wedding Tower designed by architect Peter Olbrich – today a landmark of the city of Darmstadt and an excellent vantage point over the entire Rhine-Main plain, the central studio house, where works by the former 23 members of the artists’ colony are presented in a permanent exhibition. Other eye-catchers in the extensive park with its sycamore grove and numerous sculptures are the Russian Chapel and the Lily Basin. In the surrounding residential area, the artists’ villas convey an impression of the spirit of optimism at the beginning of the 20th century.

Germany’s historic castles, palaces and gardens are perfect for romantic trips, legendary tours and magical moments.” Romit Theophilus, Director for India, German National Tourist Office commented every visit to a UNESCO World Heritage site is a journey back in time to a shared cultural history. Germany is an absolute wonderland for impressive architectural monuments, historical towns and significant industrial sites

Major spa cities in Europe

Spas around medicinal springs have much more than a medical significance in Europe: the spa culture experienced its heyday between 1700 and the 1930s. At that time, urban ensembles were created that provided the architectural framework for recreation, culture and social life. Eleven European sites in seven countries make up the transnational project ‘Major Spa Towns of Europe’, which has now been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to the German spa towns of Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen, Spa, Vichy, Bath, Baden near Vienna, Montecatini as well as Franzensbad, Karlsbad and Marienbad have also been honoured.

The GNTB’s current German.Spa.Tradition. the campaign puts the spotlight on Germany’s more than 350 certified spas and health resorts, their cultural tradition and their top-class medical and therapeutic treatments and wellness offerings. Even in the pre-Corona period of 2019, Germany recorded 7.2 million international overnight stays in spas and health resorts – eight per cent of the total incoming volume. The pandemic has significantly increased interest in wellness and health vacations.


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