They are on a par with the Taj Mahal and the pyramids of Egypt: the caves and Ice Age art of the Swabian Alb are the latest cultural sites in Baden-Württemberg to be ennobled with a World Heritage title by UNESCO on behalf of the community of nations.
This globally respected award is associated with an obligation: the special protection and preservation of these unique legacies of mankind. The Swabian Alb has a total of five UNESCO certificates. In addition to the prehistoric cultural treasures and their sites (1), the Limes border wall (2) and the prehistoric pile dwellings of the Stone Age village in Ehrenstein (3) bear the World Heritage title. The Swabian Alb Geopark (4) with its fossil sites and the ancient cultural landscapes of the biosphere region (5) have also been designated by UNESCO. Such a high diversity of landscapes cannot be found in any other biosphere reserve in Germany, judged the commission about the Trauf forests, scattered orchards and juniper heaths.
UNESCO World Heritage Caves and Ice Age Art of the Swabian Alb
Six caves in the Swabian Alb, where the oldest artifacts of human artistry have been found, have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the Hohle Fels, Geißenklösterle and Sirgenstein caves in the Achtal and the Hohlenstein, Vogelherd and Bockstein caves in the Lonetal. The caves bear witness to the earliest figurative art in the world and provide important insights into the development of art. Also the oldest worldwide known musical instruments, flutes made of animal bones, were found here.
More information can be found at Iceageart.
UNESCO World Heritage Limes
After the Great Wall of China, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Limes is the longest archaeological monument in the world.
Over a total length of 550 kilometers, the Limes was the border between the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes. Numerous watchtowers, forts and museums still bear witness to the life of the Romans on the Alb and provide an exciting insight into their history and culture.
You can find more information about the World Heritage Site Limes here.
Stone Age Village in Blaustein-Ehrenstein
The "Stone Age Village Ehrenstein" is a Neolithic settlement on a former branch of the Blau River near Blaustein.
It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps". The Blaustein Stone Age Park is being built around the settlement, which will make the time 6000 years ago visible and tangible.
More information can be found here
UNESCO Global Geopark
UNESCO Global Geopark - what is it?
Geoparks are landscapes that contain a special geological, cultural-historical, archaeological as well as ecological heritage. There are 3 seals of approval: National, European and Global Geopark of UNESCO. All three awards were given to the Swabian Alb. Currently there are 177 UNESCO Global Geoparks, eight of them in Germany.
More information about the UNESCO Global Geopark Schwäbische Alb can be found here
Swabian Alb Biosphere Reserve
Orchard meadows, juniper heaths and beech forests characterize the Swabian Alb and its foothills.
An evolved cultural landscape that is unique in the world and which must be preserved for future generations. For this reason, UNESCO designated the region as a biosphere reserve in 2009. Ideas on how man and nature can coexist on an equal footing are to be developed and tested here as a model.
More information about the Swabian Alb Biosphere Reserve can be found here