Bavarian Forest
National Park

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Situation of the Bavarian Forest National Park

Lage des Nationalparks Bayerischer Wald

The Bavarian Forest National Park is in eastern Bavaria directly on the border with the Czech Republic. The first national park in Germany, it was founded on 7th October 1970. Since its enlargement on 1st August 1997 it has a territory of 24,250 hectares. Together with the adjacent Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic the Bavarian Forest forms the largest continuous forested area in central Europe.

The highest peaks in the national park are the Große Falkenstein (1,305 m), the Lusen (1,373 m) and the Große Rachel (1,453 m). In addition to the high forests there are also ecologically valuable raised bogs with lakes, such as the Latschensee, and the so-called Schachten, former high pastures.

Protected above all are the spruce rich high forests, mixed mountain forests of fir, beech and spruce, as well as the alluvial spruce forests in the valleys.

As nature has been left to its own devices, there is no longer any human intervention even when there are disastrous events such as the widespread bark beetle infestation. This led in the 1990s to part of the high forest dying. In turn this generated heated discussions among people living in and around the national park, during which differing views on wilderness became apparent.

With more than 700,000 visitors annually the national park is an important economic actor in the structurally weak region of the Bavarian Forest.