It is quite unique to have such a high number of UNESCO sites within such a small territory. The fact that these four UNESCO sites have started a partnership is testament to the uniqueness of this region in terms of culture, history and nature conservation. In 2001 the Luther Memorial Foundations Saxony-Anhalt, the DessauWörlitz Cultural Foundation, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, and the Administration of Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve organized their first joint event entitled STILLE. Such joint events are just one component of the partnership. The events are based on a specific topic and aimed at a certain target audience. Moreover, joint projects and topics, regarding nature and cultural tourism and the strengthening the Anhalt-Wittenberg region, have been initiated.
In September 2001 four UNESCO sites, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, the Luther Memorial Foundations Saxony-Anhalt, the DessauWörlitz Cultural Foundation, and Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve organised the event entitled STILLE at the Pantheon in Wörlitz. The event was the first public demonstration of the cooperation between the four institutions. Their aim is to pool their capacities in order to improve their image, their cultural and scientific significance and their attractiveness, as well as to strengthen the Anhalt-Wittenberg region in terms of cultural business and tourism. The fulfilment of the UNESCO program MAB and the UNESCO World Heritage Convention are expressed here in this unique alliance of nature, culture and sustainable land use. The fact that the UNESCO sites do not just view silence (Stille) as an individual choice, but also link the sheltering design of nature and culture to it, can be traced back to the working subjects of the four institutions. Silence is – like its opposite – an element of landscapes, cities and buildings. It requires its own space and needs its own conditions to be experienced.
In September 2003 the four UNESCO sites held another joint event called the GENIUS LOCI colloquium. Under the slogan “People-Places-Senses”, presentations, tours, discussions and performances were held at the palace in Oraniumbaum. People have experiences of the senses at locations, thus creating an “imago mundi”, a microcosm that represents their view of the world. In a highly mobile physical and informational world in which the independence of places is increasingly being promoted, the call for maintaining manageable spheres of life and habitats is resonating ever louder. Global sameness calls forth the need for something particular, special and unique. At the same time, the significance of place is becoming ever more meaningful as a countermovement to the dynamics of globalization. The colloquium looked at the significance of the genius loci and at the qualities which we can expect from our relationship with a location.