International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property


N.B.: General country data and external links have been provided by the Member State. * Uploaded: 06/2020

General Country data

The main cultural assets of Germany

About one million archaeological sites, settlements, churches, farmhouses and workers' dwellings, castles and palaces, cultural landscapes like parks and gardens, industrial and administrative buildings are listed as cultural properties in Germany. They are impressive witnesses to the past as well as unique elements of the present. Their protection and care are a task for the whole of society.

The legal framework on cultural heritage conservation

In ensuring the protection and conservation of cultural properties in Germany, the principle of compliance with international law applies: On the basis of Article 20 (3) of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, laws should not conflict with international legal obligations in their interpretation and application. The most important international conventions are:

  • Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention and Protocol I, The Hague, 1954. Ratified by Germany in 1967.
  • Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage – World Heritage Convention, Paris, 1972. Ratified by Germany in 1976.
  • European Convention for the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage, Valletta, 1992. Ratified by Germany in 2002.
  • Protocol II to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 1999. Ratified by Germany in 2009.
  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Paris, 2003. Ratified by Germany in 2013.

As important as the international conventions are the international recommendations for the development and implementation of strategies concerning the protection and preservation of monuments, sites and cultural landscapes:

  • Recommendation Concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and National Heritage, Paris, 1972.
  • Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, Paris, 2011.
  • Warsaw Recommendation on Recovery and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage, Warsaw, 2018.

International charters complement the development and implementation of concepts for heritage preservation.

  • International Charter for the Conservation of Monuments and Sites (Venice Charter), 1964.
  • International Charter for the Conservation of Historic Towns (The Washington Charter), 1987.
  • The Nara Document on Authenticity, 1994.
  • Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance (The Burra Charter), 1996.

Laws for monuments protection
In the Federal Republic of Germany, monument protection is the responsibility of the individual federal states (länder). Each federal state has its own law governing the protection, maintenance, conservation and study of cultural monuments. The federal state monument protection laws contain provisions stating the objectives, principles, institutional structures and responsibilities of monument conservation authorities and other entities entrusted with protection as well as the general instruments and procedures for protection and preservation. In addition, they set out the rights and duties of monument owners as well as possibilities of financial support and funding of monument conservation measures, also stipulating consequences in penal law in the event of any violation of legally regulated monument protection.

The Federal Building Code (BauGB), the Federal Regional Planning Act (ROG) and the Federal Land Use Ordinance (BauNVO) combine to form the spatial planning and urban planning law of the Federal Republic of Germany. This incorporates the major provisions on urban development and construction projects, defines parameters for urban land-use planning, conservation and design statutes, among other things, and designates the responsibilities of the permit granting authorities. Both legislative systems form the main basis for the protection of cultural properties.

State Laws
The Regional Planning Laws of the German Federal States set out the legal principles on the organization, tasks, procedures and instruments of regional planning policy. The state development plans of the respective federal states constitute an overall strategy on their regional planning and development. They form the basis for planning controls over diverse land-use claims and are concretized through regional and local plans. The conservation of cultural landscapes and historic sites with multiple cultural monuments is an important pillar in the development plans, which is adopted and refined in the regional development plans. The objectives are made more specific in the urban development planning. Building ordinances regulate the construction, alteration and demolition of built structures and the procedures in building law (including building permit procedures).

Municipal Planning and Statutes
Apart from the protection measures defined by the monument protection laws, individual, locally applicable protection regulations could be drawn up. Conservation and design statutes as well as conservation area statutes could additionally regulate the preservation of buildings and the implementation of structural measures in the surrounding and setting of monuments. They are regularly drafted and ratified by the local authorities in consultation with the monument protection authorities of the federal states.

The cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List

Germany is very well represented on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Forty six properties, including six serial transboundary sites. The World Heritage sites document the natural and cultural assets of Germany as well as the close relationship with its neighbors and far beyond. Sites like the caves and ice age art in the Swabian Jura, the pile-dwelling around the Alps, Classical Weimar, the Bauhaus and the two houses of Le Corbusier in the Weißenhof settlement attest to the development of art and culture from the ice age to the present.

Adhesion to ICCROM

Germany is a Member State of ICCROM since 30/10/1964


Mandates in ICCROM Council since 1958:

  • 1967-1977: Johannes Taubert
  • 1977-1986: Agnes G. Ballestrem
  • 1986-1997: Helmut Bansa
  • 1998-2005: Erwin Emmerling
  • 2006-2013: Stefan Simon
  • 2014-2021: Birgitta Ringbeck

ICCROM Staff since 1959: 2

Involvement of German Nationals

Activities in/with Germany since 2002

Activities details

Activities details

  • 2002 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2003 - 5 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2004 - 7 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2005 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2006 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2007 - 8 Mission(s), 2 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2008 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2009 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2010 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2011 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2012 - 4 Mission(s)
  • 2013 - 1 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2014 - 7 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2015 - 5 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2016 - 14 Mission(s), 2 Partnership(s)
  • 2017 - 6 Mission(s)
  • 2018 - 8 Mission(s)
  • 2019 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2022 - 1 Course(s), 3 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2023 - 1 Course(s), 6 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2024 - 4 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)

External links

Governmental Cultural Institutions

Cultural Heritage Institutions

* ICCROM reserves the right to moderate the content provided by Member States for country profiles to ensure that they remain within the scope of ICCROM’s mission and pertinent to cultural heritage. However, ICCROM does not take responsibility for the accuracy and validity of the content supplied. The ideas and opinions expressed are those of the Member States.