The Harz Mountains are the highest mountains in northern Germany. It extends over parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The name Harz is derived from the Middle High German form Hardt or Hart (mountain forest), which was Latinized as Hercynia. The Brocken, at about 1,142 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in the Harz. The Wurmberg, at 971 meters, is the highest elevation located entirely in Lower Saxony.
5:42 - Sunrise on the Brocken...
The following districts fall wholly or partly within the Harz: Goslar and Göttingen in the west, Harz and Mansfeld-Südharz in the north and east, and Nordhausen in the south. The districts of the Upper Harz are Goslar and Göttingen (both in Lower Saxony), whilst the Lower Harz is on the territory of Harz and Mansfeld-Südharz districts (both in Saxony-Anhalt). The Upper Harz is generally higher and features fir forests, whilst the Lower Harz gradually descends into the surrounding area and has deciduous forests interspersed with meadows.
The Harz Mountains contain the Harz National Park, three nature parks and the Karst Landscape South Harz Biosphere Reserve. The low mountain range is located in the southern part of the Geopark Harz - Braunschweiger Land - Ostfalen.
The Harz and its immediate surroundings are home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Goslar, Quedlinburg, Lutherstadt Eisleben and Rammelsberg, as well as the Oberharzer Wasserregal.
Photo: © fotoweberei