Music and literature – alongside castles and Bauhaus

thueringen erfurtMost important multi-discipline theaters in the country are the German National Theater in Weimar, Theater Altenburg-Gera and the Staatstheater Meiningen. Traditional theaters are still operated today in Arnstadt, Nordhausen, Rudolstadt and Eisenach. New buildings from recent times include the Theater Erfurt and the Vogtlandhalle Greiz. The largest open-air stage is the Steinbach-Langenbach Nature Theater in the Thuringian Forest

The literary history of Thuringia is inextricably determined by the Weimar Classic. She led German-language literature in the 18th century with the circle of poets around Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. Johann Gottfried Herder, Karl Ludwig von Knebel and Christoph Martin Wieland can also be classified in this era. They concentrated at the Weimar court around Duke Karl August and his mother Anna Amalia. The Bach family with their most famous son, Johann Sebastian Bach, comes from Wechmar near Gotha.

In the field of fine arts, the Bauhaus in Weimar was particularly important in Thuringia. It shaped the style of the world in the 1920s and attracted painters such as Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Johannes Itten and Oskar Schlemmer as well as architects such as Walter Gropius, Henry van de Velde and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to the Free State. But painters such as Lucas Cranach the Elder or Otto Dix and the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider also worked in Thuringia.

The most famous castle in the country is the Wartburg above Eisenach, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was once the seat of the Landgraves of Thuringia and later the place where Martin Luther was hidden from the imperial authorities and translated parts of the Bible into German.

The UNESCO World Heritage includes the "Classic Weimar", the Bauhaus in Weimar, the Wartburg near Eisenach and the Hainich National Park as part of the European beech forests. The state capital Erfurt has important cultural and historical sites with the cathedral, the Krämerbrücke and the oldest preserved synagogue in Central Europe. The largest city is Erfurt, other important centers are Jena, Gera and Weimar.

Meiningen Christmas magic with ice rink

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Meiningen Christmas magic with ice rink

We were actually only supposed to go to the evening concert of the Italian band “Strange Kind Of Women” in the Volkshaus Meiningen, but then we arrived in Meiningen in time enough to at least make a short visit to the Christmas market there.

Bauhaus and Gropius - The model house from 1923

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Bauhaus and Gropius - The model house from 1923

After our visit to the “Roman House” in the park on the Ilm, Georg Muche's single-family house from Bauhaus architecture, which was hyper-modern for the time, was of course at the top of our list of interests.

Paulinenpark and church bell garden in Apolda

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Paulinenpark and bell garden in Apolda

Anyone who, like us, initially thinks that in Apolda there are only bluebells, wool cabbage and perhaps the best Thuringian bratwurst, is at least partially factually wrong, but thematically exactly right for the greenery in the city.

Roman house in the park on the Ilm in Weimar

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Roman house in the park on the Ilm in Weimar

Not that anyone thinks that the ancient Romans discovered Weimar or even founded it, but the "Roman House", a building on the edge of the park on the Ilm in Weimar, is always worth a visit.

Schleitz – racetrack, small town and Konrad Duden

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Schleitz – racetrack, small town and Konrad Duden

Now that we wanted to spend a few days in Schleiz because of the 100th anniversary of the Schleizer Dreieck in the region, it was clear that we wanted to explore Schleiz itself for at least a few hours.

Weimar – a walk using lovely alley of pedestrian zone

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Weimar – a walk using lovely alley of pedestrian zone

After our so much impressing tour through the former Buchenwald concentration camp close to the city entry of the independent city of Weimar, which had proved to be much more time-consuming than planned, we first needed to talk, so that we were able to exchange first impressions and ideas.

Roßleben-Wiehe model railway - culture with a twist

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Roßleben-Wiehe model railway - culture with a twist

It's rainy, cloudy and cold - no weather for walking or cycling, but there was still something in Wiehe.

That's right, because it's been on our schedule for a long time for upcoming visits: one of the largest model railway systems in the world!

Erfurt Christmas market - scent of mulled wine & gingerbread

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Erfurt Christmas market - scent of mulled wine and gingerbread

Without question, the Erfurt Christmas market is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany and it is the largest in Thuringia anyway, because the medieval old town of Erfurt around the cathedral square offers the ideal backdrop for an atmospheric pre-Christmas period.

To peppermint city and patron saint "St. Wippertus” to Kölleda

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To peppermint city and patron saint

Kölleda was once known as the peppermint town, even if today the area under cultivation of the aromatic mint is not very large. We had decided to take advantage of the glorious November weather to finally try the cycling and hiking trail to Kölleda.

Citizens' festival in Erfurt on the day of German unity

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Citizens' festival in Erfurt on the day of German unity

The official celebrations for the Day of German Unity 2022 recently took place in Thuringia's state capital Erfurt, along with a well-prepared and successful citizens' festival with lots of live music, plenty of attractions and, of course, many delicacies.

Mühlhausen - city centre with historic half-timbered buildings

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Mühlhausen - city centre with historic half-timbered buildings

After our tour along the fortress wall of Mühlhausen, the city centre should now be explored. It is not without reason that Mühlhausen calls itself "Muhlhusia turrita", the tower-decorated Mühlhausen with once 59 towers, the churches and the city wall.

Mühlhausen in Thuringia - worth seeing timbered old town

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Mühlhausen in Thuringia - worth seeing half-timbered old town

An important date had led us to the imperial city of Mühlhausen in Thuringia, which existed until 1802 and is world-famous for its rich historical heritage, so Mühlhausen was also the place where Johann Sebastian Bach and Thomas Müntzer worked.

Historic monastery Mildenfurth near Wünschendorf

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Historic monastery Mildenfurth near Wünschendorf

Only a few hundred meters from this year's meeting place for the bicycle caravan community at the Gasthof zum Klosterhof is the ancient Mildenfurth monastery, a former Premonstratensian monastery in the Mildenfurth district of Wünschendorf / Elster, which we also wanted to pay a short visit to for the purpose of the article.

Viaducts of the former Finnebahn near Bad Bibra

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Viaducts of the former Finnebahn near Bad Bibra

The two viaducts between Bad Bibra and Saubach were probably the most difficult part of the construction of the Laucha – Kölleda railway line, the so-called Finnebahn.

The forest swimming pool in Rastenberg

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The forest swimming pool in Rastenberg

One of our first hikes in spring took us along the Kaiserweg and then down the Eselssteig to Rastenberg. Immediately after leaving the forest path, we came across the really impressive forest swimming pool in Rastenberg, where numerous craftsmen were at work.

The Camposanto - Old Cemetery in Buttstädt

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The Camposanto - Old Cemetery in Buttstädt

It was simply the research for another destination of a bike tour in Burgenland that brought us to the old cemetery of Buttstädt, here it was above all the proper name Camposanto that had aroused our interest.

At Rennsteig long-distance hiking trail near Oberhof

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At Rennsteig long-distance hiking trail near Oberhof

We have had the Rennsteig Tunnel several times, which at 7,916 meters is the longest road tunnel in Germany and the fourth longest twin-tube road tunnel in Europe after the Gran Sasso Tunnel, the Plabutsch Tunnel and the Seelisberg Tunnel.

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