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34th EGN Coordination Committee Meeting

Wernigerode (Germany), 2nd-5th September 2014

 

 

     

 

 PHOTO CHRONICLE  

 

   

 


 

Tuesday 02.09.2014

The 34th EGN Coordination Committee will be held in the old town of Wernigerode (Saxony) in the Geopark Harz. Braunschweiger Land. Ostfalen. From Hanover Airport, the about two hours drive transfer takes place under a gray sky; The higher mountains of the Geopark (Harz Mountain) are masked by a thick blanket of clouds; in the foreground wind turbines that are massively present in this area of German plain.

 


 

Tuesday 02.09.2014

 

Still a cloudy sky on arrival at Wernigerode, dominated by the castle: an ancient medieval fortress that was rebuilt and restored in 1700-1800 after the almost total destruction occurred during the 30 Years War (1618-1648).

 


 

Tuesday 02.09.2014

On arrival, it is immediately evident the typical architecture of the town of Wernigerode that characterizes both civilian and religious buildings (in the background the church tower), built in their current form since 1700.

 

 


 

Wednesday 03.09.2014

The 34th EGN Coordination Committee was held in the Town Hall of Wernigerode in the typical market square.

 


 

Wednesday 03.09.2014

To welcome in the conference room, the representatives of the 60 Geoparks members of the EGN were the children of the town with popular songs of the Harz region.

 


 

Wednesday 03.09.2014

At the table of the 34th EGN Coordination Committee, from left: Kristin Rangnes, Nickolas Zouros, the mayor of Wernigerode Gaffert Peter and Patrick McKeever.

 


 

Wednesday 03.09.2014

In the late afternoon, the delegates of Geoparks, divided into two groups, were accompanied by local guides along a city route to the discovery of the architecture and the use of local geomaterials for construction.

 


 

Wednesday 03.09.2014

Along the way, the favorable light and the blue sky made it possible to appreciate the beauty of the Wernigerode castle.

 


 

Wednesday 03.09.2014

At the end of the itinerary, in the great hall of the Fürstlicher Marstall, was presented a movie about the main emergencies of geodiversity in the Geopark Harz. Braunschweiger Land. Ostfalen. After the welcome address by the President of the Geopark, Tamara Zieschang, State Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Economics of Saxony-Anhalt and Lutz Moller, from the German UNESCO Commission, have intervened.

 


 

Thursday 04.09.2014

Isabel Reuter and George Klaus, on behalf of the organizers, closed meeting in the Town Hall of Wernigerode. The meeting continued on the field with visits to other representative sites of the Geopark Harz-Braunschweiger Land-Ostfalen.

 


 

Thursday 04.09.2014

In the afternoon, the Coordination Committee visited the Paläon, a futuristic structure built near the archaeological site of Schöningen, north of Wernigerode, a place famous throughout the world for the discovery of wooden spears dating back to about 300,000 years ago, then the oldest hunting tools discovered so far. The Paläon is not only a museum but also a centre of archaeological research and teaching.

 


 

Thursday 04.09.2014

When "geology" can become "art": in the great hall of the Paläon, visitors are greeted by large panels with natural sections of Quaternary soils and rocks where remains of Neanderthal man and its artifacts, and skeletons of many other animals that lived in the Lower Paleolithic interglacial periods were found.

 

 


 

Thursday 04.09.2014

One of the modern exhibits of the Paläon is dedicated to the findings of skull, tusk and other bones attributed to a mammoth.

 

 


 

Thursday 04.09.2014

The excursion continued in the town of Koenigslutter where, near the church dedicated to St. Sebastian, has established an information centre of the Geopark Harz-Braunschweiger Land-Ostfalen. In the building of the church is evident the use of rocks that characterize the geology of the surrounding area: this is the limestone layers rich in fossils of bivalves, brachiopods, crinoids, ammonites, belonging to the formation known as Muschelkalk attributed to the Triassic (240-230 million years).

 

 


 

Thursday 04.09.2014

Inside the information center has been set up a museum about the geological history of the region. Among the well-preserved fossil specimens, a stromatolitic limestone. Stromatolites are finely laminated carbonate bodies, accumulated for the activity of photosynthetic microorganisms (algae or bacteria) in tropical marine environments, which can develop domal or columnar morphologies. These fossils are of particular importance because the term "stromatolite" is derived from outcrops near Jerxheim in the territory of the Geopark Harz-Braunschweiger Land-Ostfalen.

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

The excursion within the hosting Geopark took place in the Harz region. The first, emblematic, stop was at a "rare" monument as it is dedicated to a geologist: Karl August Lossen (1841-1893). As an employee of the Prussian Geological Survey and professor of the Royal Mining Academy of Berlin carried out fundamental geological researches in the area.

 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

The different rocks forming the monument represent the different granitoid lithologies (biotite granites, diorites, etc.) that characterize the Harz region.
 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

From the Lossen Memorial starts a footpath in the mining area of the Thumkuhlen valley that, especially in 1600-1700, was excavated for cobalt ore for the production of blue colouring substances. Along the creek incision, Upper Devonian rocks crop out. They are limestone turbidites resulting from the erosion of coral reefs formed in marine environments with warm and shallow waters... in the Palaeozoic, the climate of the Harz mountains had to be very different from now!


 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

The partecipants of the meeting near the entrance to the Büchenberg's mine. They are easily recognizable, even from behind.
 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

Inside the mine,
the representatives of the EGN Geoparks particularly appreciated the outcrops of slates and volcanic rocks (metabasalts) of Middle Devonian with iron ore (mainly hematite, subordinately magnetite and siderite) that, folded by tectonics, form a natural tunnel. In the picture, the reference scale is provided by Erdal Gümüş coordinator of the Kula Volcanic Geopark, the first and so far only Turkish EGN Geopark.
 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

During the excursion, Tony Ramsay, catalyst of the working group about the use of waste material from legal mining/quarrying, warmly thanked the "Apuan guys" for their contribution within the group. This certificate of excellence was sealed by an embrace with Alessia Amorfini from Apuan Alps Geopark, inside the Büchenberg mine, not surprisingly in front of rocky waste from the mine processing.

 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

The workshop of the Italian Geoparks organized by the Apuan Alps has made ... school!
Even the organizers of the excursion in the Harz region have planned a train ride, using the railway line with steam locomotive and vintage wagons to reach Brochen, the highest point of the Harz mountains.

 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

An outstanding person in the European culture establishes a link between the Geopark Harz. Braunschweiger Land. Ostfalen and Italy. He is Johann Wolfgang Goethe, considered the greatest German intellectual of all time: poet, scientist, art critic, politician, philosopher. His famous journey to Italy, from Alps to Sicily, in 1786 led him to tell not only the culture but also the nature and the landscape of our country with particular words of interest and admiration towards the Apennines.
In the picture, the small monument to Goethe at the summit of the Brocken Mountain; in the background the Geopark visitor centre built in the former observation station of the German Democratic Republic.

 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

Even the geology and landscape of the Harz mountains became known after the descriptions that Goethe wrote as a result of two trips made in 1777 and in 1783 looking for personal inspiration and during which he realized the winter ascent of the Brocken Mountain, the mountain that popular tradition connects with legends of devils and witches. The experience in the Harz mountains was reversed by Goethe in Faust, his famous dramatic poem.
 

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

Inside the Geopark visitor centre, some rooms are devoted to the geological evolution of the Harz region. At the center of the picture several specimens of fossil trunks.

 


 

Friday 05.09.2014

From the geological point of view, a possible correlation between the Harz mountains and the Apuan Alps can be also considered. Both mountains are characterized by a geological structure represented by an antiform of comparable size, but exhumed at different times, Harz from the Cretaceous, while the Apuan Alps from the Miocene, some million years later. The Harz mountains are therefore greatly eroded, reaching the maximum altitude of 1114 m at the Brocken Mountain, and with a landscape much less harsh than the Apuan Alps. The rocks that form the Harz antiform belong to the Paleozoic (Devonian-Carboniferous slates, quartzites and sandstones) with the core made of Permian granites that constitute the reliefs of the Brocken Mountain (see picture).

 

   

 

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