Heritage and Tourism
Central Germany has been a place of advanced civilization for far more than 3,000 years. The Nebra Sky Disc – the oldest concrete depiction of the cosmos – dates back to c. 1600 BC. And in the centuries that followed, the region continued to shape European cultural and intellectual history. It was here that Martin Luther began the global Reformation in 1517. Weimar Classicism associated with Goethe, Schiller and Herder influenced an entire epoch. In addition, Central Germany has an especially strong musical heritage, with local composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Georg Philip Telemann, Richard Wagner and Kurt Weill producing works of outstanding importance.
Nowadays, with over 30 public theatres and 800 museums, Central Germany is home to a very lively cultural sector. It includes stars of young German literature, progressive electronic music labels, and an art scene which for several years has been an international sensation.
Between the Harz Mountains, the Thuringian Forest, the Erzgebirge Mountains and Lusatia, Central Germany boasts a variety of natural landscapes. They include the romantic river valleys of the Elbe and Saale, alluvial forests unique in Europe, and vast new lakes in repurposed lignite mines. Another aspect explaining the charm of this region is the high density of architectural gems. It contains about 170,000 listed buildings, including more than 2,500 palaces and castles. One special highlight of Central Germany is its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are over half a dozen of them, and every year they welcome thousands of visitors keen to find out all about their history and cultural significance. Mention should also be made of the unique areas of fin-de-siècle architecture in Leipzig, Halle and Chemnitz, testifying to these cities’ historical pride and wealth.
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