The Harz mountains, Germany’s northernmost low mountain range, span across Lower Saxony, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen. The landscape is impressive and diverse, and is known for its deeply carved valleys, endless deciduous and coniferous forests, rugged rocks, gentle hills, lush green mountain meadows and clear lakes. Numerous poets and painters have been inspired by this unique setting.
Cultural treasures in the Harz mountains
There is a wealth of history to explore in the region’s countless historic buildings, castles and palaces, as well as along the narrow alleyways and around the half-timbered houses of the charming little towns. The miners of days gone by have left behind breathtaking monuments that visitors can enjoy today, bearing witness both to their back-breaking work and to the genius of their inventions. The Rammelsberg mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only mine in the world with an uninterrupted history of ore mining dating back more than 1.000 years.
The old imperial town of Goslar Germany and the Upper Harz Water Regale - the worlds's biggest and most important pre-industrial energy supply system - are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Myths and folklore of the Harz mountains
Whereas some regions have their own unique legends, some are famous for a particular figure, such as the mountain spirit Rübezahl or Baron Münchhausen, and others are simply beautiful to look at, the Harz region has got it all. It is true to say the Harz mountains are home to plenty of myths and folklore.
Walpurgis Night is probably the most famous event, celebrated each year on the last night in April. During this night, the witches gather on the Brocken, a mountain peak also known as the Blocksberg.
The highlight of this spectacle is the dance around the fire. Even today, this tradition is continued in many places in the Harz region with a Walpurgis fire and celebration.