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UNESCO Global Geopark Muskauer Faltenbogen/ Łuk Mużakowa

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UNESCO Global Geopark Muskauer Faltenbogen/ Łuk Mużakowa Glaciers and mining shaped this charming land

UNESCO Global Geopark Muskauer Faltenbogen/ Łuk Mużakowa

Glaciers and mining shaped this charming land

Afryka with observation tower II Old Babina mine © Axel Heimken

Hundreds of lakes in all colors

An ice-age glacier has left a footprint in the Brandenburg-Saxony-Poland triangle: the Muskau Arch. Gigantic masses of ice deformed the ground 350,000 years ago and piled up masses of earth like a large horseshoe to form a so-called compressive moraine. This brought deep-lying rocks and minerals to the surface, such as lignite, glass sands and high-quality clays. The Muskau Arch was therefore an important mining area for a long time. Today, nature has reclaimed its original spaces: the Faltenbogen is a green paradise full of small lakes and forests, which UNESCO has listed as a Global Geopark since 2015.

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The perfect circle

It rises in a steep curve above the Rakotzsee lake, and when it is reflected in the water, it forms a perfect circle: Satan's work? At least the Rakotz Bridge, built in the 19th century, is also known as the Devil's Bridge because of its appearance. And the extraordinary structure is surrounded by pure beauty, as it lies in the middle of the 200-hectare Kromlau Rhododendron Park. It is one of the largest parks in Saxony. Thousands of rhododendrons bloom here in May. But the park is also impressive outside the flowering season, with its 150-year-old tulip trees, hanging beeches and summer lime trees, as well as many sculptures by the park's creator Friedrich Hermann Rötschke.

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Borderline experience on the bike

Thanks to a well-developed network of paths, the Geopark is a wonderful place to explore by bike and on hikes. It is located directly on the Oder-Neisse cycle path leading from Zittau to Usedom. It is therefore worth getting off the beaten track here and exploring the folded arc and all its facets from a bike on a 40-kilometre circular tour .

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What you must have seen in the Faltenbogen

The Muskau Arch has been listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark since 2015. What makes it so special is the interplay between the natural forces of the Ice Age and the human influence of mining. The German-Polish Muskauer Faltenbogen/ Łuk Mużakowa Geopark is the cradle of lignite mining in Lusatia. At times, over 60 mines were active at the same time. It was only with the emergence of large open-cast mines that the Muskauer Faltenbogen lost its importance and man withdrew, leaving the mines to nature. Today, relics of these times are omnipresent: natural valleys, hundreds of narrow mining lakes that shimmer in all colors. Particularly worth seeing: the Babina mine on the Polish side of the Folded Arch, the Devil's Stone, the largest boulder in the Folded Arch, with clearly visible notches from the devil's claws. Also worth seeing are the yellow brick houses, which can only be found in the Folded Arch because their bricks were fired from the local bottle clay. From the observation tower at Felixsee you have a great view of the unique landscape.


Would you like an insight into the Muskau Arch Geopark?
Click here for a 360° view

Ambassador of Lusatia

The beauty of Lusatia lies not only above but also below ground - this becomes clear when you talk to Nancy Sauer. In any case, what happens underground has an influence on the appearance and shape above ground.

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Großes Erbe Faltkarte

Wie kaum eine andere Region Deutschlands steht die Lausitz für gewaltige Gegensätze auf engstem Raum. Gegensätze als Ergebnis eines ständigen Wandels. So prägen noch immer Wunden die Landschaft der Lausitz, allerdings im Kontrast zur Lieblichkeit der englischen Gartenkunst historischer Parkanlagen. Und die Landschaft heilt nach und nach.

Aus Bräuchen und Gegensätzen wird hier Welterbe geschaffen. Von der UNESCO ausgezeichnete Kultur- und Naturerbestätten, Kulturlandschaften, vom Tagebau geprägte Gegenden oder Städte wie Görlitz und Bautzen sind Leuchttürme der Region. Sie erzählen Geschichten, die teils Jahrhunderte überspannen. All das nennen wir unser großes Erbe, welchem wir uns verpflichtet fühlen.

Ausgezeichnet! Großes Erbe im Lausitzer Land

Lassen Sie sich inspirieren von dieser Broschüre, tauchen Sie ein in die Geschichte der Lausitz, ihre Landschaften und Gegensätze, 
ihre Architektur und Traditionen. Und gehen Sie selbst auf Entdeckungsreise, bevor es alle tun – das große Erbe wartet auf Sie!

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the members of the Saxon state parliament.

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Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH

With partnership support from the districts of Bautzen and Görlitz
and regional savings banks.