UNESCO Geopark Bergstrasse – Odenwald

Ranger in the Forest

The "Geo-Naturpark Bergstrasse – Odenwald" extends over three German Federal States (Hesse, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria), between the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site Grube Messel – Messel Pit near Darmstadt in the North, the Rhine Valley in the West across the Odenwald to Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley in the South. Under the slogan "Between Granite and Sandstone – Continents on the move", the Geo-Naturpark – Geo-Naturepark offers a scenic landscape, where more than 500 million years of eventful Global history can be experienced.The plain Oberrheingraben – Upper Rhine Graben is situated in the West of the territory. The towering "Kristalline Odenwald" – "Crystalline Odenwald" forms an accentuated contrast thereto. It has formed from intrusive igneous rock of the Palaeozoic, which developed approximately 340 million years ago, when two super continents collided. When this happened, molten rock evolved in the underground and went up into the Earth’s crust. These dramatic occurrences of geological times can, today, still be witnessed, for example at the well-known "Felsenmeer" – "Sea of Rocks" located in Lautertal. However, as far as the landscape is concerned, the Crystalline Odenwald presents itself as an undulating and open cultural landscape. Towards the East it turns into a plateau with large woodland areas as well as deeply indented valleys composed of sandstone from the Early Triassic epoch, which generated as a result of stream sediments, approximately 250 million years ago, in the interior of the of the super continent of Pangaea. Special attractions are, aside from the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site "Messel Pit" and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Lorsch Abbey, the Tropfsteinhöhle Buchen-Eberstadt –Stalactite Cave in Buchen-Eberstadt as well as the Felsenmeer – "Sea of Rocks" located in Lautertal.A manifold infrastructure is available to the visitors. It offers 10 information centres and 8 “gateways”, rest areas, refuges and marked hiking trails. Furthermore, numerous Geo-Erlebnispfade – Geo Adventure Trails point out the special features of landscape and nature. Visitors who wish to explore the region accompanied by an expert guide may, of course, take advantage of various educational programmes and guided tours offered by our Geopark-Rangers.

Please obtain further information here: www.unesco.de/bergstrasse-odenwald.html

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Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße - Odenwald
Nibelungenstraße 41
64653 Lorsch
Tel.: 06251-707990
mail: info@geo-naturpark.de