Jasmund National Park

Jasmund National Park
Nationalpark Jasmund
IUCN category II (national park)

Cliffs and coastline in the national park
Location Germany Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Nearest city Sassnitz, Stralsund
Coordinates 54°33′07″N 13°37′23″E / 54.552°N 13.623°E / 54.552; 13.623Coordinates: 54°33′07″N 13°37′23″E / 54.552°N 13.623°E / 54.552; 13.623
Area 30 km2 (12 sq mi)
Established 12 September 1990
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Nature
Criteria ix
Reference 1133bis
UNESCO region Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 2007 (31st Session)
Extensions 2011

The Jasmund National Park (German: Nationalpark Jasmund) is a nature reserve on the Jasmund peninsula, in the northeast of Rügen island in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is famous for containing the largest chalk cliffs in Germany, the Königsstuhl (German = "king's chair"). These cliffs are up to 161 m (528 ft) above the Baltic Sea. The beech forests behind the cliffs are also part of the national park.

Consisting of only 30 km2 (12 sq mi), this is the smallest national park in Germany. The park was founded in 1990 by the last government of East Germany (GDR) prior to the German reunification.

On June 25, 2011 the beech forest in the park was added to UNESCO World Heritage Site as an extension of the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany.

Chalk cliffs

The chalk cliffs face constant erosion. With every storm, parts of the cliffs fall, including rocks and fossils of sponges, oysters and sea urchins.

The most majestic part of the cliffs is the Königsstuhl (English: king's chair) which stands at 118 m (387 ft). One of the most scenic and best known of the chalk outcrops, the Wissower Klinken, collapsed into the Baltic Sea on February 24, 2005, in a landslide caused by spring-thaw weather conditions.

Flora and fauna

Because of the special geological characteristics of the Jasmund National Park, it is home to many rare plants and animals.

In the woods of the Stubnitz, behind the cliffs, there are numerous water-filled dells and hollows, most of which came into existence as ice-age dead-ice holes. A wide range of plants are found in this area, for example, black alder, European crab apple, wild service tree, yew and orchids (like the Cypripedium calceolus).

A variety of birds live in the park: white-tailed eagle, kingfisher, house martin and the peregrine falcon.

Visitor management

Since its creation in 1934, the Jasmund National Park has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. One of the main tasks of the National Park Authority is to ensure that the diverse habitats of the park remain largely undisturbed, whilst still allowing visitors an insight into the nature of the region. In March 2004, the visitor centre, the Königsstuhl National Park Centre, was opened.

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