Bergstrasse-Odenwald Geopark – GERMANY

Websitewww.geo-naturpark.de

The Geopark
The European and Global Geopark Bergstrasse-Odenwald is situated in the southwest of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Geopark territory takes in approximately 3500 km², 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 natural heritage Messel pit.

The Geological base
The Geopark territory includes a unique sequence of more than 500 million years of eventful Global history in the centre of Europe. This is already indicated in the motto of the Geopark: “Between Granite and Sandstone – Continents on the move“. Solely in central Europe, the region between Rhine, Main and Neckar exposes not just a great variety of magmatic and sedimentary rocks, but also the tracks of two global tectonic events: to mention first the magmatic arc of the Variscan Orogen – a former trench of a continental collision – secondly, the “Oberrheingraben“ (Rhine Graben) is representing an initial phase of a breaking Europe during Alpidic orogenesis. Thus, this region provides an unique window into Earth‘s history, that gives insight in the dynamic processes of our planet. These will become compre¬hensible on the one hand through the hereby grown typical rock formations, on the other hand by the characteristic surface morphology.

Geotourism
Based on the unique geological background, the Geopark has developed a networking of experience-oriented geotourism. This includes facilities as well as geotouristic products. The region supports the conception of sustainable and attractive geotourism activities, which are regarded as a long-term joint task of the Geopark network. The Geoparks visitors information system spans the range “between granite and sandstone” and by means “discovery areas” develops individual profiles of partial landscapes, each of which present the characteristic mutual relationships and developments in the geological cultural landscape.

Geopark offers
The Geopark-rangers, 45 well trained bio- and geoscientists offer guided landscape adventure tours, environmental and adventure based  educational activities. Additionally, in highly frequented hiking areas, they put up information stands with maps and helpful information for visitors.

Program selection:

  • Experience the landscape
  • Geopark enjoyment walks
  • Fascinating wood
  • Time train
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Between granite and sandstone
  • Fascinating plants and herbs
  • Between day and night

Geopark information and products (selection)

  • Geopark entrance gates and information centres
  • Geopark adventure paths with several topics
  • Geopark event program (homepage-based)
  • Geopark tours
  • Geokids program (homepage-based)
  • Individual environmental educational program
  • Geopark News (2 times a year, actual projects, events and news)
  • Geopark flyers (several topics around Earth history, nature and culture)
  • Geopark wine and champagne
  • Geopark hiking maps (1:20.000, collection of 20 single maps) and books

Contact
Bergstrasse-Odenwald Geopark

NibelungenstrafJe 41,
D-64653 Lorsh,
GERMANY
Phone: ++49-6251-7079920
Fax: ++49-6251-7079925
Mail: Jutta Weber  j.weber@geo-naturpark.de
Claudia Eckhardt c.eckhardt@geo-naturpark.de
Homepage: www.geo-naturpark.de

Chairman: Matthias Wilkes
Business manager: Reinhard Diehl
Geopark office:
Claudia Eckhardt, geographer MS (project management, visitor service)
Dr. Jutta Weber, geologist MS (geoscientific coordination, public relations management)