Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1990, the Berchtesgadener National Park can be found in the south of Germany and is defined by the borders with Austria. These alpine foothills are blessed with fantastic scenery, especially the area around Mount Watzmann, Germany’s highest peak. The biosphere reserve is home to two of the country’s five glaciers and features the calm waters of Königssee at its centre. Activities here include various hiking trails and staging your own pilgrimage to St. Bartholomew’s Church. Outside of the park, the town of Berchtesgaden is well worth exploring.
The UNESCO biosphere reserve Berchtesgadener Land with its diverse habitats, unique small-structured landscapes as well as cultural features is a significant example of ecosystem service provision in the Alps.
The test region with the total area of 840 km2 is located in the southeastern part of Upper Bavaria, directly on the border with Austria. The Berchtesgaden Alps belong geographically to the Northern Limestone Alps with high relief energy between 420 and 2713 meters encompassing submontane, montane and subalpine forests and alpine meadows. The Berchtesgaden National Park comprises the protected core and buffer area of the reserve, providing habitats for rare species and also serving as a hotspot all year round for several recreational activities, such as hiking, biking, skiing, climbing or nature observation. The biosphere reserve is also popular because of its raw materials such as the Berchtesgadener salt, dolomite, and timber (and non-timber) products. Long-lasting traditional land use forms as well as the interaction between humans and nature has shaped the face of the landscape here.