Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Capacity Building
Credibility of the World Heritage ...
Inscriptions on the World Heritage ...
International Assistance
List of World Heritage in Danger
Operational Guidelines
Outstanding Universal Value
Periodic Reporting
Reinforced Monitoring
Tentative Lists
Working methods and tools
World Heritage Convention

2029 27 GA
2027 26 GA
2025 25 GA
2025 47 COM
2024 46 COM
2023 24 GA
2023 45 COM
2023 18 EXT.COM
2022 17 EXT.COM
2021 16 EXT.COM
2021 23 GA
2021 44 COM
2021 15 EXT.COM
2020 14 EXT.COM
2019 13 EXT.COM
2019 22 GA
2019 43 COM
2018 42 COM
2017 12 EXT.COM
2017 21 GA
2017 41 COM
2016 40 COM
2015 11 EXT.COM
2015 20 GA
2015 39 COM
2014 1 EXT.GA
2014 38 COM
2013 19 GA
2013 37 COM
2012 36 COM
2011 10 EXT.COM
2011 18 GA
2011 35 COM
2010 34 COM
2010 9 EXT.COM
2009 17 GA
2009 33 COM
2008 32 COM
2007 16 GA
2007 8 EXT.COM
2007 31 COM
2006 30 COM
2005 15 GA
2005 29 COM
2005 29 BUR
2004 7 EXT.COM
2004 7 EXT.BUR
2004 28 COM
2004 28 BUR
2003 14 GA
2003 27 COM
2003 27 BUR
2003 6 EXT.COM
2002 26 COM
2002 26 BUR
2001 25 COM
2001 25 EXT.BUR
2001 5 EXT.COM
2001 13 GA
2001 25 BUR
2000 24 COM
2000 24 EXT.BUR
2000 24 BUR(SPE)
2000 24 BUR
1999 23 COM
1999 23 EXT.BUR
1999 4 EXT.COM
1999 12 GA
1999 3 EXT.COM
1999 23 BUR
1998 22 COM
1998 22 EXT.BUR
1998 22 BUR
1997 21 COM
1997 21 EXT.BUR
1997 2 EXT.COM
1997 11 GA
1997 21 BUR
1996 20 COM
1996 20 EXT.BUR
1996 20 BUR
1995 19 COM
1995 19 EXT.BUR
1995 10 GA
1995 19 BUR
1994 18 COM
1994 18 EXT.BUR
1994 18 BUR
1993 17 COM
1993 17 EXT.BUR
1993 9 GA
1993 17 BUR
1992 16 COM
1992 16 BUR
1991 15 COM
1991 8 GA
1991 15 BUR
1990 14 COM
1990 14 BUR
1989 13 COM
1989 7 GA
1989 13 BUR
1988 12 COM
1988 12 BUR
1987 11 COM
1987 6 GA
1987 11 BUR
1986 10 COM
1986 10 BUR
1985 9 COM
1985 5 GA
1985 9 BUR
1984 8 COM
1984 8 BUR
1983 7 COM
1983 4 GA
1983 7 BUR
1982 6 COM
1982 6 BUR
1981 5 COM
1981 1 EXT.COM
1981 5 BUR
1980 3 GA
1980 4 COM
1980 4 BUR
1979 3 COM
1979 3 BUR
1979 2 BUR
1978 2 GA
1978 2 COM
1978 1 BUR
1977 1 COM
1976 1 GA

Decision 34 COM 8B.33
Cultural Properties - Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System (Germany)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8B and WHC-10/34.COM/INF.8B1,

2. Approves the extension of the Mines of Rammelsberg and Historic Town of Goslar to include the Upper Harz Water Management System, on the basis of criteria (i), (ii), and (iv), to become Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System, Germany;

3. Adopts the following statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

Brief synthesis

The copper, lead and tin mines of Rammelsberg mountain, in the Harz region, were worked continuously from the 11th century until the 1980s. They bear outstanding testimony to mining installations and practices in Europe, both in terms of surface and underground remains, particularly from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.

The remains of the Cistercian monastery of Walkenried and the mines of the Upper Harz bear testimony to the first attempts to systematically extract non-ferrous metal ores (including silver, lead, tin and copper) in Europe, and to develop water-management systems for this purpose.

Located close to the Rammelsberg mines, the town of Goslar played an important part in the Hanseatic League because of the richness of the Rammelsberg metal-ore veins. From the 10th to the 12th century it became one of the seats of the Holy Roman Empire. Its historic centre, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is perfectly preserved, and includes some 1,500 timber-framed houses from the 15th to 19th centuries.

The Upper Harz water-management system, through its extensive surface area, including a large number of artificial ponds and ditches, together with drains and underground shafts, bears testimony to the importance of the management and use of water for mining purposes, from the Middle Ages until the end of the 20th century. 

Criterion (i): The historic mining network of the Mines of Rammelsberg, the Historic Town of Goslar and the Upper Harz Water-Management System constitutes one of the largest mining and metallurgical complexes for non-ferrous metals in Europe. Known to have existed since ancient times, it has been in continuous use since the Middle Ages, initially under the impetus of Cistercian monks, and in later periods under the control of regional princes and of the Holy Roman Empire, of which Goslar was one of the capitals. The ensemble is an outstanding example of human creative genius in the fields of mining techniques and industrial water-management.

Criterion (ii): The historic mining network of the Mines Rammelsberg, the Historic Town of Goslar and the Upper Harz Water-Management System exhibits an important interchange of human values, in the field of mining and water management techniques, from the Middle Ages until the modern and contemporary periods in Europe. It was the inspiration for Agricola's De re metallica, the authoritative work on metallurgy and mining in the Renaissance.

Criterion (iv): The historic mining network of the Mines of Rammelsberg, the Historic Town of Goslar and the Upper Harz Water-Management System constitutes an outstanding and very comprehensive technological ensemble in the fields of mining techniques, non-ferrous metallurgy and the management of water for drainage and power. Its extent and its period of continuous operation are exceptional. It also provides a characteristic example of administrative and commercial organization in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, through the remains of the monastery of Walkenried and the town planning of the Historic Town of Goslar.

Integrity and authenticity

The integrity of the water-management system is excellent in terms of its very comprehensive embodiment in the property, its functional dimension which is still in use, and the quality of the associated landscapes in the Upper Harz mountains. It bears testimony however primarily to alterations dating from the Renaissance until the contemporary era. In some specific cases, efforts to preserve ancient and traditional water-management elements are essential.

With regard to the industrial and technical elements of the Rammelsberg mine, the authenticity of the surviving elements is unquestionable. Inevitably alterations and reconstructions have taken place at Goslar over a period of almost ten centuries, but most of the current historic centre is fully authentic. The monastery of Walkenried contains both well conserved elements and ruins. Its authenticity is unquestionable.

Protection and managementrequirements

In 1977 the Upper Harz Water Management System was classified as a technical monument by the State of Lower Saxony. The Monument Protection Act (Niedersächsischen Denkmalschutzgesetz) of 1978 protects all the architectural elements and industrial structures of the property proposed for the extension.

Individually, each of the constituent parts of the property is satisfactorily managed, and is provided with adequate structures and competent staff. An architectural restoration and conservation programme has thus been carried out in the historic town of Goslar, and the development of an interpretation centre has been undertaken at Rammelsberg. The same applies to the extension of the property to include the Upper Harz, where each part of the property has individual management structures which are generally effective: the water-management system by the technical company Harzwasserwerke, the monastery by a foundation, and the various mining, museum and tourism sites by foundations, associations or bodies linked to the municipal authorities. There is however no overall management system for the serial property, no common scientific committee for the serial property, and no overarching authority bringing together all the stakeholders involved in the conservation and management of the serial property. These shortcomings must be rapidly corrected, and a general management plan must be drawn up, with an overall vision of the conservation of the property's OUV and its future prospects, particularly in terms of the development of tourism.

4. Recommends that the State Party:

a) Take care to conserve the remains of the old modes of hydraulic operation, particularly the abandoned ditches, and the two surviving pond management systems (Teich-Striegel);

b) Develop a long-term plan for the expansion of tourism;

c) Establish a regular time interval and a standard methodology for the monitoring of the buffer zone.

Decision Code
34 COM 8B.33
Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties 1
Report of the Decisions Adopted By the world heritage committee At its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010)
Context of Decision