"a very German mountain".
The Brocken,at 1142m (3747ft), is the highest part of Northern Germany and lies
Place of pilgrimage.We made our first visit to Brocken one June day in 1990, along with thousands of Germans most of whom were also on their first visit. Streams of people converged from our starting point at Ehrenfriedhof near Oderbrück and others from Torfhaus, Braunlage, Schierke and Ilsenburg. We walked just inside the lower fence on the
Heinrich Heinein his 1824 "Travels to the Harz" described the Brocken thus: "The mountain somehow appears to be Germanically stoical, so understanding, so tolerant, just because it affords a view so high and wide and clear." Heine's visit must have been on one of the rare fine and clear days! On such days there are magnificent views encompassing countless
2 million visitors
a year reach the Brocken it is claimed, and certainly there are now over 20,00 on some fine days. Many come by the Brockenbahn but others walk by the traditional routes. An atmospheric route is the one followed by Goethe from Torfhaus, now known as Goetheweg. A few others travel in horse drawn carriages or by bicycle!
Natural Brocken again.The Brocken Wall was removed by October 1991 and gradually most of the Cold War buildings and other debris have been cleared in an effort to restore the summit plateau to a more natural condition. Great efforts are being made to care for the trees, wild life and plants which had developed unhindered during the protected years. The Brocken Garden, first begun in 1890 as an experimental garden, was neglected from 1961 to early 1990. Now it is being re-developed with alpine plants from many parts of the world.
The Telekom Towerstands at the summit, the late 20 th century
Follow Goethe's trail to Brocken on this excellent Nationalpark Harz page, in English.