BERGSTRASSE ODENWALD GEOPARK (Germany)
The European and Global Geopark Bergstrasse-Odenwald is situated in the southwest of the Federal Republic of Germany between the Rhine valley in the west and the Main valley in the east. The region is bounded to the south by the Neckar valley and to the north by the UNESCO World Heritage Site Messel Pit.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
The geological base includes a unique sequence of more than 500 million years of the Earth’s history. This is represented by the Geopark’s motto, “Between granite and sandstone – continents on the move“. This region exposes not just a great variety of magmatic and sedimentary rocks, but also the traces of two global tectonic events: the Variscan Orogen, the former trench of a continental collision, and the Rhine Graben, an initial phase of the Alpine Mountain-building. Thus, this region provides an unique window into Earth‘s history, that gives insight in the dynamic processes of our planet.
The unique earth heritage and the rich cultural heritage of the territory offer a broad range of opportunities for the development of geotourism. The Geopark’s visitor system reflects the diversity of the landscape and covers the entire area. Indoor information facilities such as museums and exhibitions as well as outdoor geo-discovery trails and geosites explore the highlights as well as the secret treasures of the region. Strong cooperation with local communities and the promotion of regional products generate a sustainable development.
The Geopark has established a multi-tiered service of “ambassadors” for continuous dialogue with visitors and residents of the territory. A team of certified Geopark Rangers, 45 bio- and geoscientists trained by the Geopark, offer guided landscape adventure tours and experience-based educational activities.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States