Kultur & Traditionen entdecken
Sehenswertes in der Welterberegion
Mühlhausen’s impressive Church of St. Mary with the highest church tower in Thuringia is widely visible beyond the city limits. In its function as Müntzer memorial, museum and meeting place with religion and culture, the Church of St. Mary is closely linked to the fortunes of the city and its citizens.
The exhibition areas in the building, which was secularised in 1975 and has since been used as a museum, offer a wide range of topics. For example, a separate area in the chapel is dedicated to the radical reformer and former preacher of St. Mary’s Church, Thomas Müntzer.
Friedenstein Castle in Gotha was surrounded by one of the strongest baroque fortifications in Central Germany - the casemates. The fortifications, which today lie beneath the castle park, have remained unchanged for more than 350 years and are in a very well preserved condition, thus further enhancing the architectural historical significance of the imposing castle complex.
The casemates can be visited on an approximately 300-metre-long underground tour. There are embrasure chambers, gun galleries, rear weirs, connecting passages, lift shafts and much more to discover.
Duke Ernst the Pious had the castle built from 1643 to 1654 on the foundation walls of the former Grimmenstein. In 1655, the foundation stone was laid for the fortification. This never had to prove its effectiveness. From 1772 onwards, the fortifications were removed above ground, ramparts and ditches were levelled in order to complete the castle park.
In the casemates there are constant temperatures of 8 degrees all year round. There are daily public guided tours with advance reservation.
The 2.2 kilometres of preserved city wall illustrate the defensibility and importance of the former Free Imperial City. Mühlhausen thus has an almost completely preserved defence system. It can be explored over a length of 370 metres. Some of the numerous fortified towers and rondels were later converted into pavilions. They house themed rooms on the historical use of the facilities and on protective measures in the urban settings. The viewing platform of the Rabenturm (Raven Tower, 34.2 metres) offers an impressive panoramic view over Mühlhausen and the surrounding area.
LIFE, MUSIC AND STORIES AROUND BACH'S BAPTISMAL FONT
The town church of St. Georgen stands in the middle of the town. Founded around 1188 by Landgrave Ludwig III, the church has been rebuilt time and again. It was not until 1900 that it was given its distinctive tower. A space to be still, to look and marvel, to pray and listen - this is how St. George's Church welcomes its visitors. Works of art let the eyes wander.
In the tower crypt, the state coffins of the Eisenach dukes and their family members can be viewed. Eisenach's largest and, as the church where Johann Sebastian Bach was baptized , probably best-known church is full of history: in 1221 Elisabeth of Thuringia was married here. Martin Luther sang here in the young people's choir (Kurrende) during his school years and later also preached in this church several times - including shortly before his "abduction" to Wartburg Castle on May 2, 1521. In 1989, it was a starting point for the peaceful revolution in Eisenach.
For over 100 years, members of the Bach family served as organists in St. George's Church. And on March 23, 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach was baptized here. The baptismal font also attracts many musicians to this day. The acoustics of the church interior are a special treat for the ears. And so the church resounds in the Sunday services and in more than 100 concerts annually.
Since 2017, the Evangelical Lutheran Church congregation has always invited visitors to the Bach Festival Eisenach around Reformation Day.
Between 1914 and 1918 1,313 citizens of Mühlhäusen were killed on the battlefields of the First World War. To their memory the citizens erected a war memorial at the city hill. Construction works commenced on 27 October 1926, and the inauguration took place on 5 June 1928. The keystone contains a ‘Book of Heroes’ with the names of the fallen. The monument has changed its meaning due to experiences from the more recent history. In the present day, Volkstrauertag (the German version of Veterans Day or Armistice Day) is a day when citizens gather to commemorate all victims of war and violence.
From the upper platform, at the top of which stands a stone lion, the visitor has a beautiful view of the medieval imperial city of Mühlhausen and the surrounding countryside.
The impressive Romanesque basilica inspires with its unique architectural style, which is still impressively recognizable despite reconstruction work. The building, which was constructed in 1180, very clearly shows artistic analogies to the Wartburg. The church was rebuilt - and (not always historically accurate) restored - several times over the centuries. In the 17th century, for example, gothic forms were added, which were again removed in 1886/87 in favour of a Romanesque historicism. A proper interior renovation did not take place until 1968-71.
The three-nave Romanesque basilica served as a parish church and monastery church. Together with the Nikolaitor, it dominates the image of Eisenach's Karlsplatz.
The altar, carved around 1500, comes from Thuringia. The golden-yellow glass windows were designed by the Thuringian glass artist Wolfgang Nickel. A visit to the church is highly recommended.
Built between 1270 and 1290, the church at the lower market (Untermarkt) is one of the earliest Gothic churches in central Germany. Its valuable furnishings include stained glass windows from the late thirteenth century, the window rosette of the northern transept, and the late Gothic carved altar. Still ringing beautifully are the well-preserved bells from the years 1281, 1345 and 1448.
In the wake of the Reformation the attribute of the church’s patron saint was changed from “Sanctus” (Saint) to “Divius” (Divine), hence its current name Divi-Blasii-Kirche. Johann Sebastian Bach was organist at the church from 1707 to 1708.
The 33 m high monument, created by the architect Wilhelm Kreis, was ceremoniously inaugurated on 20 May 1902. The powerful columns, which symbolize the close union of the German tribes, are held together by a high tambour and surmounted by a mighty helmet. The motto Ehre, Freiheit, Vaterland (Honour, Freedom, Fatherland) carved into the architrave stands for the guiding principle of the academic youth during the anti-Napoleonic wars and the war of 1870/71. The memorial is dedicated to all those who stood up for the unity and freedom of Germany in the 19th century, especially to the Burschenschaf members who fell during this period. A permanent exhibition inside the monument gives an overview of the free and democratic will of the urburschenschaft movement, the history of the Burschenschaft and the Burschenschaftsdenkmal.
As a symbol of urban unity, the first town hall building was erected around 1270/80 exactly on the border between the old and new towns. After a fire around 1330, the upper floor was renewed and considerably extended to the west. This Gothic core building and its post-medieval extensions form a town hall complex of different building and furnishing styles. With the Town Hall, the Council Chamber and the Rice Town Archive, representative and functional rooms from the imperial town era of Mühlhaus have been preserved here.
Guided tours through the rooms of the historic town hall are available on request at the Tourist Information Mühlhausen, Tel. 03601 404770 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seebach, first mentioned in 859, is a district of the town of Mühlhausen. The village is located between the Unstrut and the Hainich National Park and is only 5 km away from Mühlhausen. This offers numerous opportunities for excursions to the historic old town of Mühlhausen and the Hainich National Park. The oldest German bird sanctuary - the Seebach State Bird Sanctuary, which is also a branch of the Thuringian State Institute for the Environment and Geology - is located in the moated castle built around 1200 and is of supraregional importance.
The ornithological station will remain closed until the end of 2023 due to renovation work.
The church of St. Trinitatis in today's Arboretum was built between 1734 and 1739 with travertine stones from St. Mary's Church, which was destroyed in the 30 Years' War.
The cartouche above the eastern main portal commemorates the patronage of Duke Christian of Saxony- Weissenfels over the construction of the church. The pointed arch portal on the west side forms the entrance to the restored crypts. In contrast to the strict, symmetrically structured exterior, the rich baroque interior of the hall church with the two-story wooden emporiums and the pulpit altar from 1734 is surprising. The ceiling vault was especially elaborately decorated with baroque paintings in oval medallions and stucco. The furnishings also include a relief of a Madonna from St. Mary's Church, two Baroque epitaphs and an organ by Friedrich Erdmann Petersilie (1869). Extensive renovation and restoration work from 2008-2009 leaves the cemetery church, which was converted into a concert church, in new splendor. The diverse musical events promise a listening pleasure in a unique acoustic.
The town hall in the center of the historic old town was rebuilt from local travertine bricks in the period from 1742 to 1751 after the great town fire in 1711.
From the medieval predecessor buildings of the town hall, the cross-vaulted stair tower and massive barrel vaults made of travertine have been preserved. Bricked-up doors can be seen on the four sides of the tower, which led to the tower's circumferential gallery before 1711. A bell from 1712 is still in the tower. The main entrance on the east side is a portal decorated with gilded ornaments. Above it there is a balcony and an inscription cartouche, crowned with allegories of Fama and Justitia.
The carillon with 32 bells can play 14 different melodies and sounds daily at 12 and 18 o'clock. Five figures, about 80 cm high, appear in the triangular gable on a rigid circular segment, representing personalities from Bad Langensalza. The stucco ceiling with heraldic cartouches and niches, massive groined vaults on the first floor and coffered doors in the building have been preserved from the period furnishings. Today, the town hall houses the town administration and the municipal gallery with changing art exhibitions.
Next to the medieval deserted village of Popperode, whose inhabitants had moved to the nearby town, the Popperode spring was created, presumably in the year 1199, by a sinkhole. The water-rich stream powered several mills, filled fishponds and supplied the old town with water.
In Mühlhausen’s downtown the stream goes under the somewhat inscrutable name of Schwemmnotte/Swelmena. Grateful for the precious water it provides, the citizens of Mühlhausen regularly visit the spring and every June school children celebrate the Fountain Festival by decorating the pond with flowers and performing songs and dances. To beautify the place mayor Gregor Fleischhauer had the well house built in 1614 and the spring enclosed by descending stone steps imitating an ancient amphitheatre. It has been suggested that he thereby wanted to demonstrate his dedication to the town after having been in conflict with the city council for several years.
The massive ground floor of the well house features three arcades, resembling a stage to the semi-circular spring amphitheatre. The half-timbered upper story, decorated with St. Andrew’s crosses, is crowned with little corner turrets, a dwarf gable and a ridge turret. A balcony offers the possibility to address the celebrating audience. As one of the most scenic springs in the state of Thuringia Mühlhausen’s citizens like to take their guests to Popperode spring, proudly showing off the picturesque ensemble.
To better reach the popular tourist destination as well as a nearby restaurant a tram stop was established. However, the tram stopped operating in 1969. The restaurant had to be closed in 1963 because the lack of a sewage system in a drinking water protection zone.
The market church of St. Bonifacii is the largest Protestant parish church in Bad Langensalza and decisively shapes the city skyline of Bad Langensalza.
The church, first mentioned in a document in 1272, was built with interruptions until 1592 from ashlars of local travertine. The 72.49 meter high tower with its Renaissance upper storey is the second highest church tower in Thuringia. Two of the original four bells in the tower still ring for church services and tell the time every quarter of an hour. With its remarkable diameter of 1.88 meters, the bell by Eckard Kuchen from 1564 is one of the largest in Thuringia. The restored and stone clock face of the single-hand clock from 1612 is a special historical component on the tower. In the interior of the nave, late medieval altars, a Romanesque baptismal font, the wooden coffered ceiling above the choir (1561), the pulpit from 1734, panel paintings and gravestones have been preserved in addition to the neo-Gothic wall-mounted furnishings.