The Bavarian Forest National Park was established in 1970 and is the first national park in Germany. With an area of about 240 square kilometers, the Bavarian Forest, together with the Czech National Park Šumava, forms the largest contiguous forest area in Central Europe.
The Berchtesgaden National Park is one of the oldest protected areas in the Alps. It is part of the alpine territory near the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden in the southeast of Germany. The park was established in 1978 by a decree from the Bavarian government. It is a lush expanse of 218 square kilometers, with altitudes ranging from 540 meter at lowland Königssee to the towering Watzmann Mountain (2670 m).
In several European countries, Nature Parks are established as large-scale nature reserves. Nature Parks make an important contribution to save biological diversity in cultural landscapes. Since 1963 the non-profit Organisation Association of German Nature Parks has been the umbrella organisation for Germany’s Nature Parks.