written on 18/09/2020
by Friedhelm Schulz

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The highest point in Northern Germany – to find a similar altitude level in east direction people have to go more than 3080 km till URAL, in direction to North approx.

800 km to Norway Mountains and Southwards there are 475 km to find same altitude and higher. West-side after 4500 km there is the next concurrent at Quebec.

The Bode Gorge is one of the oldest Nature reserves. The unique region of Harz attracted the people since thousands of years. It is a source of numerous legends, and the names of old places like “Sorge” and “Elend” illustrate the hard life of the woodlanders in the past.

But the Harz is even colourful – the visitor may gaze to thousands of timber-framed houses, discover forgotten fortresses and visit fairytale-castles.

The Tourist is invited to lionize the fantastic figures inside the caves or to try the various body-challenging attractions. And who wants to climb the Brocken by hiking, may meet the original Brocken-Benno: He walked more than 8.888 times from Wernigerode to the summit.

For the foot-lazy crowd the Brocken-Narrow-Gauge-Railways offers a romantic journey to the highest trainstation in Germany for simple binary trains.

Travel – at a glance

Best period: April - October | more information:

What can the author recommend?

Wernigerode – the colourful town

  • Of course the centre is the architectonic jewel
  • many points grant a free view to the Wernigerode Castle – maybe you think Rosebud is still sleeping at the tower when you visit the place
  • The “Bürgerpark” offers relaxation and “Little Harz”
  • Children will enjoy the Christianental game park
  • And who wants to know where Rapunzel grew up: Walk to the Kaisertower.
  • And last but not least: in the midst of the city departs the narrow-gauge-railway with the historic steam-locomotives. You may reach not only the Brocken summit, you can go by this train even to the biggest city in the region:

Nordhausen – the gate to the Harz region

  • destroyed by WWII, the city today offers culture, various festivals, sport of all kind and the biggest distillery… The natural resource for the 38% “Korn” grows since hundreds of years in the “Golden Meadow” below the Harz mountains this side.
  • Not to forget: a visit at “Mittelbau Dora” Memorial
  • the bright side of the underworld is even not far away: the Heimkehle caves

On the way back to the other side of the Harz a stop at Sorge shows original border relicts of the cold war and how the East-German leaders fenced their population. The pathway “ring of remembrance” illustrates the history.

Blankenburg (Harz) seems to be one of the forgotten places. But the place has a lot of attractions:

Who wants more action and less culture, must not drive far away: At the Rappbode Dam (the highest in Germany) the name is program:

Harzdrenalin offers:

  • Titan-RT – the longest suspension bridge of the world: 450 m to walk in the air…
  • Don´t want o walk? Then fly 120 m over the abyss: The Mega-Zipline offers this kick.
  • Or you may run down the wall, jump with the Gigaswing, … or take a Segway for the next kilometers.

Too much action? Too high? Visit the Rübeland-Caves nearby, watch theatre in the ambient there or enjoy a concert underground.

Quedlinburg is a “must see” in the region:

  • the whole town is World-heritage: more than 2.000 timber-framed houses tell about 800 years of history.
  • The abbey was founded by request of the mother of the Italian king and Roman-German imperator Otto I.
  • More than 200 artists are living and working in the city, their workshops are open for visitors.

Back to nature: Thale is the gate for active holidays and unforgettable moments.

  • A chairlift brings visitors to the “Rosstrappe” plateau. Very good pathways grant a relaxed hiking with panoramic views above the Bode Gorge.
  • Another rope-way goes in direction to the mystical “whitches dance floor” (Hexentanzplatz). Normally a very touristic fun- and event-area, this place changes in Walpurgis-night into something, what humans could interprete as preliminary stage of hell. At least the leftover tons of waste (and the criminal statistic) next morning give an illustration. 
  • An unforgettable event would be: to see the theatre performance at the mountains theatre (Harzer Bergtheater) opposite of the rope-way station.
  • But of course everybody may do what is the most natural thing in the mountains: hiking. 10 km along the Bode to reach Treseburg. And you cannot forget the time there: a clock-museum is the highlight here.

There is much more than the few selected places. The author can refer only in a short way to 

.. and so many pathways, forests, creeks, meadows, monuments, relicts, etc, etc, etc...