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The component part comprises the Dürrenstein Wilderness Area, including the Rothwald conservation area on limestone with dolomite. It is the largest primeval beech forest of the Alps. Approximately 300 hectares are assumed to be genuine primeval forest with beech trees up to 500 years of age. Mighty European silver firs up to 700 years old characterise the forest, which is rich in dead wood. Along with sycamore, wych elm, and herbaceous perennial plants like Adenostyles glabra, they are typical of the high altitudes. The spruce colonises frosty valley slopes. The beech forest is embedded in a natural landscape with krummholz zone, alpine meadows, and rocks, which was formed by glaciers during the ice age.


  • UNESCO recognition: 2017
  • Protected area: Wilderness Area Dürrenstein
  • Beech forest region: Alpine
  • Area: 1,867.45 ha
  • Number of component parts: 1
  • Altitudinal range: montane to sub-alpine (800 – 1,800 m above sea level)
  • Fauna: Lynx, Western barbastelle, Golden eagle, Wood grouse, White-backed woodpecker, Alpine salamander, Alpine longhorn beetle
  • © Barbara Engels
  • © Barbara Engels
  • © Barbara Engels
  • © Barbara Engels

Schutzgebietsverwaltung Wildnisgebiet Dürrenstein
Kirchenplatz 5 A-3293 Lunz am See

Wilderness Dürrenstein