• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Drone ban at German castles and palaces

DPA/The Local · 22 Dec 2015, 09:04

Published: 22 Dec 2015 09:04 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Apparently cameras and selfie sticks aren't enough for some visitors to Germany's most iconic spots. The truly demanding want a bird's eye view of the entire place and are using drones to get it.

“We've noticed there are ever more,” said Wilhelm Schulte, director of Nordkirchen Palace in Münsterland. At first it was mainly film and engineering students. “We've been receiving ever more requests from hobby pilots in more recent times.”

Now one of Germany's most famous landmarks, Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam - known as the Versailles of Westphalia - has banned the unmanned aircraft altogether, following in the footsteps of palaces in other parts of the country.

The Foundation for Prussian Palaces and the Gardens of Berlin & Brandenburg decided to take the measure after a drone crashed on their premises. While no one was injured, the Foundation argued in a statement that drones pose a threat to public safety.

“There are ever more unrequested drone flights on our grounds,” said a spokesperson for the Foundation, adding that the number of requests was also rising.

But the ban is not complete, the Foundation made clear, stating that permission can be given if the drone is being used to film for scientific or journalistic purposes.

Bavaria has also banned drones from flying over important cultural sites, while Saxony is planning a blanket ban.

A speaker for Saxon Palaces said that the drone flights were often for commercial purposes, explaining “most of these recording are not for private purposes but are meant to be published on the internet.”

“The concern is understandable,” said Elmar Giemulla, air law expert at the Technical University of Berlin (TU). “It's proof that the need has arisen for politicians to set out a legal framework.”

It is not altogether clear whether Sanssouci is even allowed to ban drones, the TU expert added..

“The airspace does not belong to the property owner. But when the building or people are put at risk by the drones then the property owner has the right to ban flights,” explained Giemulla.

But even this only applies to planes which fly at the height of the building. For planes flying above the roof, state flight control authorities set permissions.

But it seems that not all heritage sites find themselves threatened by a new wave of unmanned aircraft.

A spokesman for Friedenstein Palace in Gotha said “this is not an issue for us.”

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

How new German rules are holding refugee families apart
Children wait for food in Jarablus, Syria. Photo: DPA

Germany, trying to staunch the flow of Syrian refugees, has placed high hurdles for them to be reunited with their families, creating a Kafkaesque nightmare in the courts.

10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Photo: DPA

Fire up your ovens and get ready to bake - here are ten festive German cookies and pastries that'll send your senses into paroxysms of yuletide joy.

5 things we learnt reading Germany's first Charlie Hebdo
Photo: DPA.

The very first German edition of Charlie Hebdo hit the shelves across the country on Thursday. So what can Germans expect if they buy it?

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,663
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd