The Green Belt - former Iron Curtain

For nearly 40 years, the Iron Curtain divided Europe from the Barents to the Black Sea. Especially in Germany it divided Europe and its nations into East and West, separated families and friends for decades. Meanwhile, nature conquered the frontier strip. The "Green Belt" was created, with valuable habitats full of rare animals and plants

In the Harz, the Iron Curtain left quite a mark. For more than four decades, the low mountain range and its foothills were insurmountably divided. East and West faced each other, irreconcilable. The 'Brocken' became a symbol of this, visible from afar - apparently close enough to touch, and yet out of reach for people on both sides.

The model project "Experience Green Belt" was funded by the Federal Office for Nature Conservation and it represents the successful cooperation between nature conservation and sustainable tourismFor further information:

through the northern Harz foothills

Das Grüne Band
Das Grüne Band

The northern Harz foothills between the towns of Wernigerode, Ilsenburg, Osterwieck, Bad Harzburg, Hornburg and Vienenburg is marked by rolling hills, interrupted by the 'Großer Fallstein', a rock of shell limestone that rises up, providing a special view.
Always in view of this, and usually with the Brocken in sight, topical routes of different lengths, for walkers and cyclists, wind their way along the Green Belt. They connect orchards, fields, avenues of chestnut trees and many areas of unspoilt nature, with the remains of former border installations, such as the former watchtower at Rhoden, which is being renovated and opened to the public.

Das unter Denkmalschutz stehende Wasserschloss Westerburg ist eine der ältesten und besterhaltenen Wasserburgen Deutschlands und befindet sich in der "Erlebnisregion Harz" in unmittelbarer Nähe des Grünen Bandes im Harzvorland. Die Westerburg ist ein idealer Ausgangsunkt für historische Themenrouten oder Naturbeobachtungen entlang des Grünen Bandes.


Directly north of the hotel Westerburg lies the "Großes Bruch", an extensive cultivated Swampland, which has long been part of the old East-West German border and is now a part of the "Green Belt".

Alltogether, this makes the Westerburg quite an ideal starting point for historical theme routes orwildlife viewing along the Green Belt.