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!
Model Bahn Wiehe - that is art, culture & history
An absolute magnet not only for railway freaks but also an attraction for young and old, because where else is there an area of over 12,000 square meters (the pure railway system area alone is around 3,000 m²) that illustrates how the railways connect the various cities and countries of these connecting earth.
The system goes back to an idea by Hans-Jörg Stiegler, who was born in Hofgeismar in Hesse and has lived in Wiehe since 1991.
He wanted to give the Unstrut region a "tourist highlight" and set up Europe's largest model railway show.
"Between the Naumburg Cathedral with its world-famous donor figures Uta and Ekkehard on the one hand and the Kyffhäuser with the Barbarossa monument on the other hand there is a tourist no man's land," Stiegler explained his project.
Railway is a cultural asset - railway connects countries and cultures!
The exciting journey around the world by train starts in Hall A directly after the entrance area with a trip to the federal state of Thuringia. On around 1,950 meters of track, the layout reflects the 1960s and 1970s with their steam, diesel and electric locomotives. The railway runs through the most important geographical points in reality with the railway junctions Erfurt, Weimar, Altenburg, Eisenach, Nordhausen, Leinefelde, Meiningen, Laucha, Roßleben and Karsdorf. On the route, it repeatedly passes Thuringian sights such as the Wartburg and the Kyffhäuser Monument. These routes are very realistically recreated and provide a deep insight into the railway network.
Brockenbahn and Harzquerbahn
Since it is of course impossible to reproduce the full length of the three Harz railways, the model is limited to essential and typical scenes: the stations of Nordhausen-Nord, Wernigerode-Westerntor, Eisfelder Talmühle, Hasselfelde, the Brockenbahn with Drei Annen Hohne, Schierke and the so-called chunk spiral. Even an old tram makes its rounds undaunted.
Tracks of the Würzburg main station
The L-shaped layout with a floor area of 280 square meters represents the Franconian and Hessian hills, the route inspires with its generous elegance with wide-spanned bridge constructions and curved track curves.
The tracks of Würzburg main station form the southern end. Fulda, Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, Göttingen, Hanover and Hamburg follow in the north.
Orient Express - carriage faithfully reproduced
In the H0 layout you embark on a journey with the Orient Express. For the first time in the history of sophisticated model railway construction, the London-Istanbul rail route and thus the route of the most famous of all trains was recreated.
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad
The LGB range includes everything a US layout needs: from the magnificent old Mogul tender locomotive of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad to the articulated units of the Uintah Railway. You can also admire the skyscraper sea of New York, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and other landmarks. The facility not only impresses with its size, but is also reminiscent of American history.
Terracotta Army of the First Chinese Emperor
The "Terracotta Army" (of the first Chinese emperor) exhibited here, which is unique in Germany, is particularly fascinating.
The excavation site shown shows over 780 warriors on a scale of 1:2.5 as well as six life-size officers and generals and life-size Emperor Quin Shi Huangdi. All figures are faithful replicas of the famous clay warriors from China.
The history of the Indians
From east to west it goes in another exhibition hall. Embark on a journey through American railroad history. It goes past the skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty of New York, the Presidents at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Indian chief Crazy Horse. The history of the Native Americans in the USA is presented in a special exhibition with over 5,000 painted pewter figures.
Hamburg-Berlin Transrapid line
If you go further through the complex you will learn interesting facts, e.g. about the myths of Easter Island. In addition, the European metropolises of Paris, London, Berlin, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna are presented from the perspective of the traveler.
You can almost feel how life pulsates in the cities in very different ways. You can also see the first German ICE route from Würzburg to Hamburg and the Transrapid route from Hamburg to Berlin.
ICE route Würzburg – Hamburg
The facility opened on November 7, 1997. At that time, railways in Thuringia and in the Harz Mountains could be shown in a former straw barn. In January 2001, the ICE route Würzburg - Hamburg, the capitals along the Orient Express line and the exhibition "USA - East to West" were presented in miniature in additional halls. In the further course of the 2000s, special exhibitions were added, above all the replica of the Terracotta Army, which has been on display since November 2008.
In the mid-2000s, the show facility drew around 200,000 visitors a year.
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