Abstract Photoelectron spectroscopy, low-energy electron diffraction, and scanning probe microscopy were used to investigate the electronic and structural properties of graphite layers grown by solid state graphitization of SiC(0 0 0 1) surfaces. The process leads to well-ordered graphite layers which are rotated against the substrate lattice by 30°. On on-axis 6H-SiC(0 0 0 1) substrates we observe graphitic layers with up to several 100 nm wide terraces. ARUPS spectra of the graphite layers grown on on-axis 6H-SiC(0 0 0 1) surfaces are indicative of a well-developed band structure. For the graphite/n-type 6H-SiC(0 0 0 1) layer system we observe a Schottky barrier height of ϕ B, n = 0.3 ± 0.1 eV. ARUPS spectra of graphite layers grown on 8° off-axis oriented 4H-SiC(0 0 0 1) show unique replicas which are explained by a carpet-like growth mode combined with a step bunching of the substrate.