The idea of monument protection first appeared in Germany in the 19th century during the epoch of Romanticism. At that time, the protective measures mainly related to medieval buildings, a period that was particularly close to the heart of romanticism. Monument protection was operated until the 70s of the 20th century rather inconsistent and remained a matter of individual state governments. A pioneering role took z. B. the country Saxony. It was not until the massive destruction caused by building speculation and modern housing from the 1960s onwards that counterparts were demanded that demanded more commitment to monument protection across Europe. The time in which entire half-timbered areas were demolished with impunity, or Wilhelminian style villas spoiled by box-shaped extensions, is fortunately over. Today, a strict set of rules and a network of authorities and preservationists watch over the preservation of monuments in their beauty and historical value.
Depending on the federal state, there are basically two systems according to which the protection of historic monuments becomes legally effective. In the so-called memorandum system, it is precisely defined which criteria an object must meet in order to fall under the protection of historical monuments, with the effect that by fulfilling these criteria an object automatically falls under the protection of historical monuments. In the constitutive system admission criteria are also defined, with the difference that only an administrative act of the competent authority makes the building a monument upon proof of all conditions. Both systems lead monumentalists, but only in the constitutive is the monument list entry for a building legally binding. Responsible for the inventory and all decisions around the monument real estate are the monument protection authorities of the countries. Most of these offices are assigned to the State Ministry for Science, Research and Culture and are divided into the higher-ranking Upper Monument Protection Authority and the lower conservation authority at the local level. In addition, there is as a specialist authority nor the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments with the Landeskonversator. Here is the list of monuments.