Blick aus dem Audienzsaal Schloss Augustusburg, © André Menne, Peter Wieler

UNESCO World Heritage in NRW

The most important heritage sites in NRW

Cologne Cathedral, Aachen Cathedral, the castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust in Brühl and the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. These are NRW’s most important cultural monuments to bygone times. Since 2014, Schloss Corvey has been added to this list.

Emperors and electors, men of the church and big industrialists have all left their mark in North Rhine-Westphalia in the form of five splendid monuments that are now included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Imposing cathedrals, magnificent castles, an immense former Benedictine abbey and the most beautiful coal mine in the world all have a fascinating history waiting to be discovered.

The Aachen Cathedral, © aachen tourist service e.v.

Aachen Cathedral

Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1978, the cathedral became the first ever German cultural monument to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its history dates back to the Emperor Charlemagne.

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Unesco-Welterbe Kölner Dom korrigiert © Köln Tourismus-Udo Haake

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral: magnet for pilgrims and tourists

The cathedral serves not only as Cologne’s most visible landmark; it is also the most popular attraction in Germany. A highlight is a trip across its roofs.

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The Castle Corvey from close up, © Kulturkreis Hoexter-Corvey gGmbH


Westphalia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site

Westphalia gained its first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014: The former Benedictine abbey at Corvey with the same name as the lost monastery town is permitted to carry this title.

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Schloss Falkenlust ist elegant ausgestattet und eingerichtet, © Horst Gummersbach

The Brühl Palaces

Baroque buildings of exemplary character

The Baroque splendour in Brühl is enough to take visitors’ breath away. Anyone standing on the staircase understands why other princely courts once looked enviously upon Brühl.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein, © Jochen Tack - Stiftung Zollverein

UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein

From industrial site to UNESCO World Heritage Site

Previously the site of toils, today Zollverein offers industrial culture at its best: art, concerts, festivals and sporting opportunities set against an impressive backdrop.

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360 degree panoramas