Primeval forests in Germany
There are hardly any real primeval forests in Central Europe. The smallest remnants of it can be found in the Bavarian Forest, in the Alps and on the Edersee in Hesse. We learned this during our visit to the forests around Lake Edersee. However, there are forests whose tree population can be traced back to the time after the ice age. They are also few and far between in densely populated Europe. But some of these forest islands have been preserved on noble land. These include the areas of the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park.
These natural forests were mostly part of hunting grounds. There humans did not intervene much in the course of nature. They are therefore considered as primeval forest. That's the case in the forests of the county Waldeck-Pyrmont. The counts surrounded even after a protest of the farmers their Wäldereien with a fence. This was to prevent the game from hitting the crops. This not only benefited the peasants, but also the beech forest. This spread out behind the fence border.
Buchenwald as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
It is this beech forest that earned the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These forest sections are therefore very special. Beech trees are very adaptable trees. They grow on all kinds of soil. They are found on limestone soils. They are also found on acid soils, in Grauwacken- or slate terrain. Beech repress other tree species over time. They create their own shadow kingdom and come out with little sunlight.
The beech forests in the national park are therefore left entirely to nature. This is what Jutta Seuring from the Kellerwald National Park tells us. We take her for a walk through the “wilderness of tomorrow”. "Nature can definitely be nature here," she says. “You no longer intervene in the processes of the beech forest. Instead, you leave it to its natural development. "
Why are the beech forests in the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park so special?
Deciduous forests are almost only found in the northern hemisphere. The European beech is only available in Europe. It determines as a tree species large parts of the European continent. From the last ice age it was displaced to the east. But then, within a few thousand years, it conquered almost the entire continent. It eventually spread from the east to the Pyrenees. Leaving the forests in these regions of nature, the beech is the dominant tree species. During a walk through the nature park Kellerwald-Edersee we can see that. This is where a beech forest wilderness emerges from cultivated forests.
The Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park is still home to tree farming today. However, you leave the beech forests of the national park to yourself. Then there are suddenly fallen tree giants on the ground. Twin trees split by lightning raise their treetops. In addition, grass and shrubs make getting through difficult. In a few decades, forest roads and tracks have completely disappeared. Then nature has taken the region again.
The fairytale home of Snow White and the Bad Wolf
No wonder, then, that the people of the region told tales of dwarfs and wolves. From here come the stories that the Brothers Grimm held in their fairy tale collection. In Waldeck it is even rumored that Snow White was the daughter of Count von Waldeck. In the first edition of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Snow White was blond. Just like the Count's daughter. But then the similarity ends. Although some people think that the seven dwarfs could mean ore miners. However, there is no conclusive evidence.
Fairytale: the treetop path on the Edersee
Most likely, our tour on the treetop way in fairytale mood has moved. It belongs to the nature park Kellerwald-Edersee. Therefore, he does not lead through the forests of the national park. There are also books here, but not only. We even discover Douglas fir. This tree species is native to North America. For this one has created an easy access to the treetops. This brings us closer to the world in the treetops. On the way there we pass a cave. That reminds me of the home of the Seven Dwarfs. On the way, we also see carved animals that once lived in these forests. Among them we discover a moose, eagle or a black stork. He looks like he's hatching his eggs in the canopy of a tree.
With us families with young children explore the world of tall trees. But hikers also stop. They want to take a closer look at life in the treetops. We really liked the treetop path. For one thing, because it explains the influences of human intervention in the forest world. On the other hand, because we experience the world in the treetops so close up.
The Waldheimat of Snow White can be found here:
National Park Center Kellerwald
Path to the wilderness 1
Phone 05635 992781
Tree canopy path on the Edersee
Phone: 0 56 23 / 9 73 79 77
We stayed in the
Hotel Seeschlösschen Edersee *
The country hotel is located on a hill in Waldeck. From there you have a view of the Edersee and the forests of the region. A tasteful restaurant and friendly service welcome us. The hotel is a good base for exploring the lake and forests in the area.
In this hotel you get the
My Card Plus
This leisure card is a gift from the participating hotels. It includes admission to all participating leisure facilities in the GrimmHeimat. In addition, the free travel with the buses and trains in the North Hessian transport network is included.
Travel Tips for Hesse
- Three tips for bon vivants in Bad Wildungen
- A culinary trip through Hessen
- Where to eat in Kassel?
- Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kassel
- Baroque water games in Kassel
Source: own research on site with the friendly support of Grimmheimat Nordhessen
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the publishers of the Trips to Savor and Slow Travel Blog TravelWorldOnline Traveler , They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline is online since 2001.
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Monika Fuchs has been working in tourism since 1990. She has been a tour guide on four continents for 17 years and has accompanied high-class trips through North and Central America, Australia, southern Africa and Europe. Since 2001 she has been a writer and photographer for TravelWorldOnline and writes as a freelance journalist for DIE ZEIT Online and travel magazines such as 360 ° Medien, TRIVAGO, Expedia, travador, etc. She also writes travel guides about destinations and enjoyment destinations all over the world. Your guide about Canada's east was released in 2020. Petar Fuchs produced the videos on this blog as well YouTube.
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