Can’t-miss festivals around the world this winter
By Lorna Heatley
6 December 2018
It may be the season for Christmas festivities, but winter as a whole is full of absolutely incredible festivals all around the world.Read more
Stretching across northern Germany for a distance of a 110 kilometres, the spectacular Harz mountain range is a destination that is as renowned for its breath-taking natural beauty as it is for the ecological diversity of its landscapes. Now a protected national park, the Harz Mountains offer an unforgettable experience for all who visit, but the popularity of the Brocken, the highest peak in the range, has attained almost legendary status.
Located almost centrally within the range, the Brocken lies a
little over seven mile southwest of the charming town of
Wernigerode. Although only 1,141 metres high the Brocken possesses
a cold Alpine microclimate more typically associated with mountains
twice as high. Nevertheless this has not undermined the Brocken's
continual popularity with visitors since the first documented
ascent was made in the sixteenth century.
Naturally, the Brocken remains a popular destination for hikers, climbers and outdoors sports enthusiasts but for the less physically fit a scenic narrow-gauge steam railway ferries many of the mountains' visitors from Wernigerode in order to admire its majestic beauty and enjoy the numerous visitor attractions that have been established since the Brocken's first hotel opened in 1862.
Today, ascending the Brocken is an experience both unmissable and unforgettable. A 1.5 kilometre walking path circles the summit to provide awe-inspiring panoramic views of the Harz Mountains and national park.
Established in 1890, the botanical garden at the summit of the Brocken provides a protected environment for around 1,800 species of high-altitude-dwelling plants and flowers from around the world and is open for visitors daily between May and October.
Germany's highest hotel is situated within an old television transmission tower which was built between 1936 and 1937, and was replaced by a newer tower in 1973. The hotel features two restaurants and also has an observation deck which can be reached via a lift.
Set over three floors this remarkable museum explores every aspect of the history of the Brocken and of the Harz mountain range, covering topics such as the flora and fauna of the region, the weather and climate change, the Brocken in popular culture, the effects of two world wars and the establishment of the mountains television and radio transmitters.