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Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System
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The following heritage site comprises of three different sites, all of them situated in the Harz low mountain range in central Germany. The first one are the Mines of Rammelsberg in which almost 30 million tonnes of ore have been continuously produced between the 16th and 19th century (The German National Tourist Board (GNTB), n.d.). The mines took an important part in the history and development of the region, its shape and especially its wealth. At this site, visitors can experience one of the most important ore mines of the world during its producing time (Harzer Tourismusverband, n.d.).
Mines of Rammelsberg (WHC, 2014a)
The second one is the historic town of Goslar, where not only elegant guildhalls represent the wealth of its former citizens, profiting from the mine (GNTB, n.d.). The remarkable architecture of the half-timbered houses, which were special for Germany during the Middle Ages, dominates the old part of the city (Harzer Tourismusverband, n.d.). Next to these, there are stunning monuments, such as an Imperial Palace, a Romanesque Church or the Town Hall (Harzer Tourismusverband, n.d.).
Historic Town of Goslar (WHC, 2014a)
The third one is the Upper Harz Water Management System which “is one of the largest pre-industrial power supply facilities in the world.” (GNTB, n.d.) and can be easily discovered during hiking tours through the beautiful nature of the Harz. The system provided water, but also power which was necessary for the mine. Today, a large number of the former water ditches and underground rivers are preserved, next to many which are even still in operation (Harzer Tourismusverband, n.d.).
Upper Harz Water Management System (Harzer Tourismusverband, n.d.)
The two former sites have been listed as World Heritage Sites in 1992, whereas the Water Management System only became part of it in 2010. As having been operated over several centuries, the mine and the water management system are outstanding examples of the expertise in these fields during that time (World Heritage Convention (WHC), 2014a). The site has further great importance to mankind, because it built the basis for future development in the industry. Moreover, in connection with the historic town of Goslar it is shown how the administrative and commercial part of the industry brought benefits to the economy of the surrounding towns (WHC, 2014a).
One of the challenges, sites like the mines of Rammelsberg have to face is to move away from the heavy producing industry to the service-oriented tourism industry (Heldt Cassel & Pashkevich, 2011). According to the UNESCO, the combined heritage site of the mines of Rammelsberg, the historic town of Goslar and the Upper Harz Water Management System for example miss a common visitor centre in order to welcome and inform tourists (WHC, 2014b). However, it is a crucial success factor for the site to recognise the importance of tourism in order to economically survive, as all heritage site face financial issues (Heldt Cassel & Pashkevich, 2011). This might further involve private parties in the management and organisation of the site; whereas it needs to be questioned to which extent their earnings will be reinvested in the property.
It also results in the need for greater cooperation and communication management if a larger amount of stakeholder is involved (Aas, Ladkin & Fletcher, 2005) and according to the UNESCO this is one of the main challenges of this serial property (WHC, 2014a). Each site is individually successfully managed by different administrative bodies. However, they fail to implement an overall management, including a leading authority that could bring together all different stakeholders (WHC, 2014a). The UNESCO states in the last periodic report that “There is coordination between the range of administrative bodies / levels involved in the management of the property but it could be improved” (WHC, 2014b). They do have a management plan, but it is only partly implemented and lacks satisfying steps to preserve and maintain the “Outstanding Universal Value” required for being a World Heritage Site (WHC, 2014b). Thus it can be summarised that the combined property of the mines of Rammelsberg, the historic town of Goslar and the Upper Harz Water Management System moves towards the right direction, however, not all challenges that arose after the listing of the latter one have been successfully dealt with.
Aas, C., Ladkin, A. & Fletcher, J. (2005) Stakeholder Collaboration and Heritage Management. Annals of Tourism Research, 32 (1), pp. 28-48.
Harzer Tourismusverband e.V. (n.d.) The mines of Rammelsberg, Goslar and the Upper Harz Water Management System. [Online] Available from: http://en.harzinfo.de/pure-culture/u...nt-system.html [Accessed 14/11/16]
Heldt Cassel S., Pashkevich A. (2011) Heritage Tourism and Inherited Institutional Structures: The Case of Falun Great Copper Mountain. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 11 (1), pp. 54-75.
The German National Tourist Board (n.d.) Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System. [Online] Available from: http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-c...nt-system.html [Accessed 14/11/16]
World Heritage Convention (2014a) Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System. [Online] Available from: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/623/ [Accessed 14/11/16].
World Heritage Convention (2014b) Periodic Report - Section II - Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System. [Online] Available from: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/period...roupa/623.pdf/ [Accessed 14/11/16].
Written by Merle Zager
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