Concentration camp KZ Mittelbau Dora.

© Stephan Kuhn/Getty Images/iStock

KZ-Gedenkstätte Mittelbau Dora

Top choice in Harz Mountains

A deeply sobering place: at least 20,000 people were worked to death here building the tunnels beneath Mittelbau Dora, and the rockets now decaying within them, as part of Hitler's plans to wage war from underground. Visitors are free to roam the grounds, crematorium and museum, but you can only enter the massive tunnels by joining a free 90-minute guided tour: check the website for details. Allow enough time to get to the site, best reached by private vehicle.

The nearest station (tram 10 and Harzquerbahn from Nordhausen) is Nordhausen-Krimderode, from where it's a 20-minute walk.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Harz Mountains attractions

1. Barbarossahöhle

16.55 MILES

Accidentally uncovered by copper-shale miners in 1865, this anhydrite cave is one of the largest of its type in Europe. Fifty-minute tours through the 13…

2. Harz National Park

17.02 MILES

Covering a total land mass of 24,700 hectares, Harz National Park is the first national park in Germany to occupy land in two states: Lower Saxony to the…

3. Kyffhäuser Denkmal

17.6 MILES

The Kyffhäuser mountains were once home to one of Germany’s largest castles, the Reichsburg, built in the 12th century by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa …

4. Hexentanzplatz

18.35 MILES

Of the two rocky bluffs flanking the Bode Valley, Hexentanzplatz is the most developed and popular. Take the cable car to the top for spectacular views…

5. Rosstrappe

18.39 MILES

Lovely views await at the top of Rosstrappe peak, which takes its name from what is supposedly a horse’s hoof print, visible in stone on the cliff, left…

6. DDR Museum

19.19 MILES

Step back into a time and a country gone forever in this interesting little museum remembering the not-so-good ol' days (depending on who you talk to) of…

7. Panorama Museum

19.2 MILES

This museum of visual arts sits just above Bad Frankenhausen, on the site where thousands died during the 1525 Peasants’ War. One literally unmissable…

8. Brockenhaus

19.23 MILES

The Brockenhaus, at the summit of the Brocken, has a cafe, interactive displays and a viewing platform. From May to October, rangers conduct one-hour…