More than two thousand years of history have left behind a significant legacy in Germany: silent yet eloquent witnesses to magnificent cultural achievements and natural phenomena. Many of Germany's most impressive architectural monuments, historical towns, significant industrial sites and distinctive cultural landscapes and natural sites have been deemed to be of outstanding universal value by the World Heritage Committee.
Germany is one of the first signatory States to have ratified the World Heritage Convention and had Aachen Cathedral inscribed among the first World Heritage sites in 1978. Today, Germany counts 39 World Heritage sites – 3 natural and 28 cultural sites – many of which are shared with neighbouring countries.
You are invited to discover this legacy: because every visit to a UNESCO World Heritage site is a journey in time to a shared cultural history.
During and after the session of the World Heritage Commitee excursions to German World Heritage Sites will be offered at a fee.
Responsible State Institutions in Germany
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the lead ministry for Germany’s cooperation with UNESCO. Within the framework of its foreign cultural and educational policies, it coordinates the German position on UNESCO-related issues and leads the German delegation for the World Heritage Committee.
The German Commission for UNESCO cooperates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on all matters related to UNESCO, including World Heritage in Germany.
Within Germany, preserving and maintaining cultural heritage is a responsibility of the Federal States while conservation of natural sites pertains to the ultimate responsibility of the Federal Ministry of the Environment. The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) coordinates the preparation of nominations for inclusion on the World Heritage List, compiles and updates the ‘Tentative List’ and selects an official delegate to represent the federal states on the World Heritage Committee.
Other federal ministries and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM) promote Germany’s World Heritage sites as part of their varied range of programmes and projects.