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Herrnhut

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August-Bebel-Straße, Herrnhut. The Moravian Church is at the end of the street, with a bell tower atop its roof.

Herrnhut [1] is a small town in the Upper Lusatia (Oberlausitz) region of Saxony (Sachsen), in Germany. In the 18th century, Herrnhut gave birth to the Moravian spiritual renewal and prayer/missions movement under Count Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf (1700-1760). It remains a haven for Christian pilgrims as well as being the world headquarters of the Moravian Church (Evangelische Brüdergemeine).

Contents

Understand[edit]

Herrnhut was born as a result of people fleeing religious intolerance: Protestant refugees fled Catholic persecution in Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic, and were given permission by the devoutly Christian German nobleman Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf to settle on his lands. Count Zinzendorf's manor house is located in the nearby town of Berthelsdorf, and he allowed the Moravian refugees to settle on a piece of land in his estate, which grew to become the town of Herrnhut. The name 'Herrnhut' translates as 'the Lord's watchful care' and was chosen by the Moravians because they saw themselves as being under God's protection. The Count soon took on a direct leadership role with the refugees, helping to mould them into a strong Christian community, one dedicated to genuinely living out what the Bible says in terms of not merely respecting one another but also actively helping to bear one another’s burdens.

From this tiny village hamlet, a vibrant prayer and missions movement began.

In the annals of church history, Herrnhut is famous for a continuous prayer chain -- where people from the Moravian church throughout the town were rostered to pray continuously, one after the other -- which started in the early 1700's and continued 24/7 for 100 years. Some accounts say the 24/7 prayer chain lasted 120 years. For this reason, Herrnhut today remains a tourist attraction to Christians around the world that have a similar interest in prayer and worship, particularly in 24/7 prayer.

Herrnhut sent out 100 missionaries to the far-flung corners of the world in the 25 years after 1727, more than all Protestant efforts at missions in the previous 200 years, since the birth of Protestantism in the wake of the Reformation. (Another 1900 have gone out in the years since and to put that in context, the town's current population is just a shade under 5000.) Such efforts led to many positive social benefits for numerous indigenous communities on all continents, in areas like health, education, improvement in the status of women, respect for the weak and sick replacing pagan disdain, and so on.

It is this egalitarian spirit that runs through the veins of the town today. While it may be socially conservative, even too much so for some people’s tastes, the genuine community values of the town’s founders and their descendants, which have seen them prize freedom and gentle persuasion over coercion, makes Herrnhut a very welcoming place for everyone, regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof.

The local economy has fared well despite being in the 'poor former East Germany', running, as it does, on a mix of church administration, light manufacturing and services, and tourism largely driven by the area's Moravian heritage. In addition to the actual town site, the municipality of Herrnhut oversees local government services for the villages of Euldorf, Friedensthal, Großhennersdorf, Heuscheune, Neundorf auf dem Eigen, Ninive, Ruppersdorf, Schwan, Schönbrunn and Strahwalde.

Talk[edit]

Most locals under 50 speak some English. As with the rest of Germany, generally the younger the person, the better the English. As many English-speaking tourists come here to soak up the town's religious history, those involved in the local tourism industry usually have excellent English skills. Also, those aged over 30 may have some ability in Russian, which was a compulsory second language in GDR schools.

Get in[edit]

Herrnhut is approximately 90km east of Dresden, the capital of Saxony.

By plane[edit]

International airports nearest to Herrnhut are Dresden, Berlin and Leipzig (in Germany) and Prague (in the Czech Republic). For inexpensive flights with discount carriers from within Europe, Prague, Berlin-Schönefeld and Leipzig-Altenburg are the best airports. For flights from the USA, the best airport is Dresden, which is also the closest airport to Herrnhut, followed by Prague and Berlin-Tegel.

By train[edit]

The nearest train station to Herrnhut is Löbau (Sachs). On online train timetables, it is referred to as "Lobau (Sachs)" i.e. do not search for Lobau (Sachsen), as that will call up a different train station.

To travel from Dresden airport to Löbau: head to the airport's S-Bahn (streetcar/tram) stop which is found on the lower level of the airport. Buy a ticket at the automat directly by the S-Bahn. Enter Löbau as your destination; the ticket should cost €13.70 total. You can check out train/bus schedules or buy your ticket ahead of time here[2]. The English version of this site may be selected in the upper right-hand corner. Enter “Dresden Airport” as your origin and “Löbau (Sachs)” as your destination. Take the S-Bahn #2 (in the direction of Pirna) for 5 minutes and exit at the Dresden-Klotzsche stop. Alternatively, you can take Bus #80 or Bus #77 + #72 (transfer at Klotzsche Rathuas) to the train station at Dresden-Klotzsche. The bus platforms are located directly out the front door of the airport. From Dresden-Klotzsche you will take a regional train in the direction of Görlitz to the Löbau stop. This takes about 1 hour.

To travel from Berlin to Löbau: Berlin has two main airports, Tegel and Schönefeld. Berlin-Schönefeld is a center for discount flights from other European cities. Berlin-Tegel is the larger airport and has many direct international flights, including from the United States. You have two basic options with public transport: long-distance coach and railway.

The Berlin Linien Express Bus travels from both Berlin airports directly to the main train station in Dresden. It will take a total of at least 4 hours to get from Berlin to Herrnhut, not counting extra time needed if your connections do not work out favourably. Tickets must be reserved ahead of time. Bus schedules and booking: Berlin Linien Express [3]. (This website is also available in English.) Select either Tegel or Schönefeld as your departure (as applicable) and choose Dresden Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) as your destination. The normal ticket price is €16 (one way). There are also occasionally special offers for lower fares. The Express Bus departs from the main bus platforms at each airport and takes 2 - (nearly) 3 hours to Dresden. Once you have arrived at the Dresden Hauptbahnhof (main station), buy a train ticket to Löbau. It will cost approximately €15.

By train, you will first have to take the TXL bus toward Berlin Hauptbahnhof (main station). This ticket must be purchased separately but there are convenient ticket machines next to the bus pick-up spot outside the terminal. They usually take both cash and card. From the main station, you will take the Regional Express operated by Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn, a private carrier, to Cottbus. The layover time in Cottbus is just 5 minutes but the next train will wait for you at the same platform opposite. This second train is operated and owned by Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn (it looks yellow/white/green instead of red). You will take this train to Görlitz. There, you will have to take another Regional Express to Löbau whose price is also not included in the regular fare of about €43. There is a layover of about 30 minutes there which you can use to purchase the ticket, or you may be able to buy it on the train (which is not allowed normally!). To get travel information and book the main ticket online, see the Deutsche Bahn website.

To travel from Leipzig-Altenburg to Löbau: Ryanair has a very economical connection from London-Stanstead to Leipzig-Altenburg. Once arriving in Altenburg, however, it can be rather expensive to actually get to Herrnhut. The total journey is 3.5 - 4 hours. From the airport, take the #250 bus 15 minutes to the first stop, Altenburg. The bus waits for the flight from Stanstead to arrive before it leaves the airport. A single ticket costs €3.50. From Altenburg you will need a train ticket to Löbau. You will change trains in Leipzig and then Dresden before arriving in Löbau, with a total travel time (with connections) of 3 - 3.5 hours. The normal price for this ticket is €48. If you buy your ticket at least 3 days ahead of time at www.bahn.de (enter “Altenburg” as your origin and “Löbau (Sachs)” as your destination), you can possibly get a discount ticket for as little as €19. However, this ticket is non-refundable and non-transferable, applicable only to the specific train for which you purchase it. If your flight should be delayed and you miss your train, you will not be able to use this discount ticket any longer and will have to buy a new one at full price.

By bus[edit]

The train station in Herrnhut is not operational. It is possible to reach Herrnhut via Löbau using bus No. 27 that runs between the larger towns of Zittau and Löbau (known on train timetables as "Löbau (Sachs)" to distinguish it from other locations in Germany of the same name). On this bus route, get off at the bus stop named Zinzendorfplatz.

Here are links to the bus company timetables [4]. For getting into Herrnhut, here is the bus timetables from Löbau to Herrnhut [5]. For departing Herrnhut to Löbau, here is the timetable [6].

If you take the option of flying into Prague (see above), to travel from Prague to Herrnhut: Travelling from the Czech capital to Herrnhut is very cheap but takes at least 3 hours and involves several connections. You will also need to have cash in Czech Koruna (czk) to pay for some of your fares throughout this journey. The approximate exchange rate is 25 Koruna (crowns) to €1. There are two Czech cities near Herrnhut which can be reached from the airport or the centre of Prague: Varnsdorf and Liberec.

From Prague to Varnsdorf: The closest Czech city to Herrnhut is Varnsdorf, directly on the Czech/German border. At the kiosk in the Prague airport arrival hall, buy a 75-minute public transport (26czk each, plus an extra half-ticket for each large piece of luggage.) These are valid for 1 1/4 hours on bus, tram and metro within Prague. From the airport, take Bus #119 to Dejvicka. At Dejvicka, take the Metro A (green, direction of Depo Hostivar) to Muzeum. Take the Metro C (red, direction of Ladvi) to Nadrazi Holesovice. Go outside to the bus station to find the bus to Varnsdorf (platform 2, 3 or 7). Tickets cost about 100czk, plus about 10czk for each piece of luggage. Bus schedule is here[7]. Varnsdorf is approximately 25 minutes by car from Herrnhut. Taxis are usually available for this portion of the journey.

From Prague to Liberec: Liberec is located approximately 30km south of Herrnhut. At the kiosk in the Prague airport arrival hall, buy a 75-minute public transport ticket (see above). From the airport, take Bus #100 to Zlicin. From the bus terminus at Zlicin, walk to the nearby metro station, and take the Metro B (yellow) to Cerny Most. At Cerny Most, take the Student Agency bus (platform 3 or 7) to Liberec. The Student Agency ticket office is on the same level as the train line, while the buses depart from one level below. The buses are usually full at least an hour ahead of time, so it is best to book in advance online. You can do this with a credit card. Tickets cost 90czk for adults. Online booking can be done here[8]. Choose Praha-Cerny Most as your point of departure and Liberec AN as your point of arrival. The bus may stop at two different places in Liberec - the final stop is the main bus depot. Exit the bus at this last terminal station, which is the main bus depot. Liberec is approximately 45 minutes by car from Herrnhut. Alternatively, the Liberec train station is a short 5 minute walk up the hill from the main bus depot. From Liberec train station, take a train across the German border to Zittau, and from Zittau take the bus 27 to Herrnhut. For getting into Herrnhut from Zittau, here is the bus timetable [9]. For departing Herrnhut for Zittau, here is the bus timetables from Herrnhut to Zittau [10].

By car[edit]

From Dresden, take the A4 in the direction of Görlitz to the Bautzen-Ost exit. Turn left on the B156 in the direction of Bautzen. In Bautzen, turn left on the B6 in the direction of Löbau at the second traffic light. After approximately 20km you will approach the town of Löbau. Turn left on the B178 in the direction of Zittau. From here there are signs to Herrnhut. The drive from Dresden to Herrnhut takes about 1.5 hours.

Get around[edit]

Walking[edit]

The best way of getting around is on foot. The town is small and one can easily walk between the museums and landmarks in a short space of time.

See[edit][add listing]

Lookout Tower, Hutberg.
Nicaraguan wood carving, Museum of Ethnology.
  • Berthelsdorf Church (Evangelisch Lutherische Kirchgemeinde Berthelsdorf und Herrnhut), Schulstraße 27 (in the adjoining village of Berthelsdorf, about 1.3km from the centre of Herrnhut, and next to Count Zinzendorf's Manor House - see below), +49 (0)35873-2536 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-33745), [11]. The church may be of interest to religious pilgrims as it is the location where the Moravians gathered for a communion service in 1727 and experienced an intense spiritual awakening. Out of this episode emerged a religious revival that featured a 24/7 prayer meeting which lasted over 100 years - or 120 years according to some accounts - and was also the impetus for the first Protestant missionary movement, launched with an initial effort to the West Indies in 1732.  edit
  • Count Zinzendorf's Grave, Gottesackerallee (in the cemetery known as Gottesacker, or 'God's Acre', situated on the western slope of Hutberg Hill, between the villages of Herrnhut and Berthelsdorf). In the cemetery, towards the higher end up the slope, there is a row of eight large stone graves located in the middle of the pathway in which Count Zinzendorf and close family members are interred. Count Zinzendorf's grave is the fourth one from the left, going up the slope. The grave of Zinzendorf's wife, Erdmuth Dorothea (1700-1756), is next to his as the fifth from the left. Reflecting Moravian asceticism and strong belief in equality, the graves of the Count and his family are simple plain slab stones-- they were initially ground level like all the other graves and were only lifted on pedestals later on. On the pathway on which Zinzendorf's grave is located, at the lowest end of that same pathway is located the gravestone of Christian David, who was the leader of the Moravian Refugees, and who was the one who approached Zinzendorf to request refuge for the Moravian refugees. The Moravian graveyard also features the lookout tower (Altan) on the hill's summit. The lookout tower is often open but if the door to the stairwell that leads to the lookout area is locked, it may be possible to gain access by borrowing the key at the tourist bureau. If you appreciate spectacular views of rolling green hills and country vistas, it is definitely worth heading to the loookout area armed with a camera.  edit
  • Count Zinzendorf's Manor House (Zinzendorfschloss), Schulstraße 27 (in the adjoining village of Berthelsdorf, about 1.3km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49 (0)35873-2536 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-33745), [12]. Originally a plain framework building, it was rebuilt in in the late 18th century in a new architectural style eventually dubbed Moravian Baroque (Herrnhuter Barocks), which is characterised by clarity and simplicity. The Nazi government forced the Moravians to sell the property to the state on unfavourable terms just prior to the Second World War but it was returned to the church by the Soviet army soon after the conflict. However, it was again appropriated within a few years, this time by the new communist regime, and left to languish for decades, during which time it fell into a state of disrepair. The property was acquired by a non-profit heritage group after reunification, which launched a reconstruction effort that began to see the property's restoration. The project is ongoing. It is open for a (free) visit every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 2-5pm.  edit
  • Moravian Church Archives (Unitätsarchiv), Zittauer Straße 24, +49 (0)35873-48731 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-48766), [13]. Mon-Fri 9AM-4:30PM. The Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine operates the archives for the worldwide Moravian movement. Housed in the oldest archive house in Saxony, founded in 1764, it features a library of all publications of the Moravian Church and of Moravian authors, including letters, mission reports, memoirs, and congregation diaries. The archive also features a music collection, paintings and family archives of the Zinzendorf family. Archive collections are available for research.  edit
  • Moravian Church Hall (Kirchensaal der Brüdergemeine), Comeniusstraße 3, +49 (0)35873-33604 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-33606), [14]. The original building was constructed in 1756. In May 1945, the first church was burnt down by Red Army soldiers in a wave of looting and destruction that destroyed much of the old Herrnhut, but the community was able to rally together and build the current church in the 1950s (the walls survived the war carnage with the rest of the structure needing to be replaced/reconstructed). The building's architecture is typical for Herrnhuter prayer halls all around the world: The ground plan is a transverse rectangle and the building itself is plain - there is no steeple but, instead, a small bell tower in the middle of the roof. The interior is even plainer, all painted in white. There is neither pulpit nor altar, only a seat and a table for the preacher. There is a small museum on the second floor featuring various items connected to Count Zinzendorf (e.g. his prayer book, correspondence with the famous English revivalist John Wesley, etc), although the text for the displays is in German only. The back entrance to the church is supposed to be open in the daytime. In case it is not and you are there during office hours, ask nicely at the office of the chairman (Vorsteher), which is in the yellow house on the other side of the street, and you will be admitted. Outside the church is a small garden featuring a bust of Count Zinzendorf and a wall with a bell atop it. The original church featured three bells which were confiscated by Nazi authorities in the war when metal was scarce. Two of the bells were melted down but the third survived and was returned to the Moravians. As such, it is the only surviving element of the original church building (along with the church walls).  edit
  • Moravian Star Factory Showroom (Schauwerkstatt der Herrnhuter Sterne GmbH), Oderwitzer Straße 8, +49 (0)35873-36432 (), [15]. Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM, Sat 10AM-5PM (in Advent, Sat 10AM-6PM, Christmas Eve/New Year's Eve 8AM-Noon), Sun/Public Holidays Closed. The Moravian (Advent) Star (Herrnhuter Adventsstern), was created at a school in Niesky, Saxony, in the 1830s, probably as a project for a geometry lesson. Eventually, it was adopted by the Moravians as a symbol of Advent. In the late 19th century, Peter Verbeek, an alumnus of the school in Niesky, began selling the stars through his bookstore - his son Harry went on to found the Moravian Star Company in Herrnhut and ultimately it became part of the Moravian-run Abraham Dürninger company. Visit the factory showroom and see how the stars are made. You can purchase stars at the company store (see below). The showroom also contains a café so you can quench your thirst or satisfy your appetite after checking out the workers plying their trade.  edit
  • Museum of Ethnology (Völkerkundemuseum), Goethestraße 1, +49 (0)35873-2403 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-2403), [16]. Tues-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat/Sun/holidays 9AM-12PM and 1:30PM-5PM. Perhaps the most interesting museum, although the one that has the least to do with the actual town’s local history, it features a variety of artifacts brought back to the town by Moravian missionaries over the past 200 years from such diverse locations as Australia, Africa and Canada. The museum is currently closed for extensive renovation but is due to re-open mid-October 2011. Adults €2, children 16 or under €1.  edit
  • Museum of Local History (Heimatmuseum), Comeniusstraße 6, +49 (0)35873-30733 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-30734), [17]. Tues-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat/Sun/Holidays 10AM-12PM and 1PM-5PM. Located in a large baroque house that once belonged to a local wealthy family. The museum features rooms containing original antique furnishings (e.g. Biedermeier furniture, handmade tapestries, handcrafts) that show the lifestyle of a well-off Saxon family in the 18th/19th centuries. Additionally, other items/displays, such as antique toys and musical instruments, relate further aspects of the town's rich history. There is also a nice baroque garden at the rear of the museum.  edit
  • Water Castle (Wasserschloss), Untere Dorfstraße 56 (in the adjoining village of Ruppersdorf, about 2.5km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49 (0)35873-36166 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-36165). Mon-Fri 9:30AM-4PM. Large country manor that, like Medieval castles of old, was once surrounded by a moat – hence the manor’s name. The current building was built over the ruins of an earlier one that burnt down in 1687. It was owned by a noble family before being sold to the state in 1930. After the war, it was used by the German Red Cross as a children’s home. In 2005, it was purchased by Youth With a Mission (Jugend mit Einer Mission), a missions organisation, and is now their community/training base. Part of the reason the group chose to locate in the area was specifically to continue in the tradition established by the Moravians. Visitors are welcome and tours of the building can be arranged.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Herrnhut Viaduct.
Slow Death (Langsamer Tod).
  • Arthouse Cinema (Kunstbauerkino), Am Sportplatz 3 (in the adjoining village of Großhennersdorf, about 4.5km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49 (0)35873-36132 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-30921), [18]. Regional alternative culture centre featuring arthouse cinema as well as concerts by non-mainstream musicians and bands, cabaret, art exhibitions, and public readings. Also has an alternative-style pub (see below).  edit
  • Forest Swimming Pool (Waldbad Herrnhut), Zittauer Straße, +49 (0)35873-2280. Seasonal - summer, from 1PM. Good for a dip on hot summer days. Nestled between tall shady trees, this is the oldest brick pool in Upper Lusatia, dating to 1907. The Zinzendorf Oak Trees (Zinzendorfeichen) are located near the pool bathroom - Count Zinzendorf is said to have planted an oak tree upon the birth of each of his 12 children. Today, only 5 such trees survive.  edit
  • Historic Tour, +49 (0)35873-2288 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-30734), [19]. Staff at the Tourist Information office, located on Comeniusstraße, can organise tours of the town taking in all the historic landmarks as well as day trips in the region and beyond. Opening hours: Mon 9AM-2:30PM, Tue-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat/Sun/Holidays 10AM-Noon, 1PM-5PM.  edit
  • Moravian Forest (Unitätswald). Herrnhut sits on higher ground than the surrounding countryside and this comprises two hills, the Hengtsberg and Heinrichsberg, as well as a forest which is owned by the Moravian church. Walkers will find several things of interest in the forest. The Sculpture Trail (see below) runs through part of the forest, as does the 3km long Zinzendorf Nature Trail (Zinzendorf-Lehrpfad). Travellers will also find an example of a bandengrubens on the Hengtsberg, a stone circle that was used by Bible study/discipleship groups of the early Moravian church for their meetings. Several of these bandengrubens were made although only one has been excavated. The Gedenkstein memorial is also located on the Hengtsberg, near the main road . This is the spot where the first tree was felled back in 1722 to establish the town. A ceremony is held every year to commemorate this (see below). And, there is an old well located in the wood on the Heinrichsberg. Finally, there is an old stone viaduct bridge on the western outskirts of the town near the village of Schwan. The viaduct dates to 1848 and initially lasted until 1945, when two sections of it were blown up in a bid to slow down the Red Army's advance. It was repaired by the following year and the two sections that were rebuilt can still be seen.  edit
  • Sculpture Trail (Skulpturenpfad). A walking trail running between Herrnhut and nearby Großhennersdorf. It is 5km long and was developed by a group of artists from Löbau in 2000 (the 300th anniversary of Count Zinzendorf's birth). The trail features several sculptures, or stations as the creators call them, which depict events in biblical and church history, with particular reference to the Moravian Church. Locals recommend only walking half the trail - after 2km, travellers will come to the Petersbach stream. Cross this and then turn right instead of left. Walk to the main road, cross it and enjoy some refreshments at the Eulkretscham Hotel restaurant (see below). Afterwards, walk behind the hotel and head down to the forest. Adventurers can use a rope to climb across the river. Continue along this path, which heads back to Herrnhut. On the way, you will come to an Estonian Swing, which can accommodate up to ten people simultaneously and is a lot of fun.  edit
  • Slow Death (Langsamer Tod). For those looking for some impromptu aerobic exercise, walk down Löbauer Straße, in the direction of Zittau and turn right at the entrance that leads to the town kindergarten. Walk past the kindergarten and down the path (which, if followed through the woods at the base of the hill, leads to the neighbouring village of Rupperdorf). Then, turn around and enjoy what Ruppersdorf villagers in past times experienced: a walk up Slow Death, albeit minus the horses laden with agricultural wares destined for sale in the old Herrnhut market. You can also arrive at the base of Slow Death if you take the return path to the town that runs from behind the Eulkretscham Hotel (see above).  edit
  • Zinzendorf Garden (Herrschaftsgarten), (behind Zinzendorfhaus, located on Zinzendorfplatz). Take a spazieren gehen - leisurely stroll - through the the beautiful baroque garden behind Zinzendorfhaus, a building which houses the Moravian-run Herrnhuter Diakonie that oversees healthcare to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Contemplate life, the universe and everything on a bench, interrupted only by the sound of mooing cows in a paddock next to the garden.  edit

Events[edit]

  • Gedenkstein Ceremony. On June 17th each year, a procession begins in the garden of the Moravian Church around 5pm and makes its way to the Gedenkstein memorial (see above). There follows a ceremony to commemorate the founding of Herrnhut on this day in 1722.  edit
  • Moravian Anniversary Service. On August 13th each year a special anniversary service is held in the Berthelsdorf Church (see above) to commemorate the spiritual awakening that gave birth to the Moravian movement proper in 1727.  edit
  • Moravian Christmas Market. Every year on the Saturday before Advent (the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day). As with the nearly 1700 other Christmas markets around Germany, visitors can sample various regional foods and drink including beers and the de rigeur Glühwein (hot wine). Being the home of the Moravian Star (see below), this traditional iconic item is also widely available at stalls along with other handcrafts. At dusk, a ceremony takes place in which the large Advent wreath is lit.  edit
  • Moravian Sunrise Service. The very first Easter Sunrise Service was held in Herrnhut by the Moravian Single Brethren, the unmarried men of the community, on Easter 1732. The service is now observed in Moravian congregations around the world and has been adopted by many other churches as well. The service in Herrnhut begins before sunrise on Easter Day in the Moravian Church and moves in procession to the Graveyard on the Hutberg as the church's Brass Choir plays antiphonal hymns.  edit
  • Weekly Market (Wochenmarkt), Zinzendorfplatz. Every Thursday morning (finishing at noon). Town flea market with food, clothes, knick knacks - bargains to be had.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Moravian Advent Star.
  • Galerie Geschmack.Sache (Gildenhaus), August-Bebel-Straße 11, +49 (0)35873-42677 (, fax: +49 (0)3586-406803), [20]. Mon-Fri 10AM-6PM, Sat 9AM-Noon. Folk art gallery/store run by the local Künstlergilde (artists' guild) which features the work of artists and craftspeople from the region - painting, ceramics, glassware, textiles, etc.  edit
  • Jesus House Shop (Treffpunkt), August-Bebel-Straße 12 (opposite Jesus House), +49 (0)35873-40166, [21]. Mon 2PM-4PM, Tue & Thu 10AM-5PM, Sat 9AM-11AM. Charity wares store run by Christliches Zentrum (see below). Selling a selection of handcrafts and woollen goods brought back to Germany through the church's Mongolian missions aid/development efforts. Thursday afternoons, visitors can also enjoy complimentary refreshments/coffee as they browse and fellowship with the local church community.  edit
  • Moravian Star Shop (Ladengeschäft der Herrnhuter Sterne GmbH), Löbauer Straße 21 (across from the town hall), +49 (0)35873-3640 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-36435), [22]. Mon-Fri 7:30AM-4PM. Easily recognisable by the large red and white star hanging above the shop entrance (note: Moravian Star pictured is located elsewhere in the town). Herrnhut is renowned for being the place where the Moravian Star was popularised. Here you can buy Herrnhut Stars/Star kits (of various sizes/prices).  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Förster Café (Café Förster), August-Bebel-Straße 16, +49 (0)35873-2213 (), [23]. Tue-Sun from 11AM, Mon Closed. Family-run traditional café specialising in regional gourmet cakes and homemade ice creams that come in 35 flavours. It is a common summer sight to see families seated on the café's front steps, all enjoying ice cream bought at the café's ice cream cart, which is permanently stationed in front of the establishment.  edit
  • Hutberg Cellar (Hutbergkeller), Löbauer Straße 17, +49 (0)35873-2358, [24]. Tue-Sun and public holidays from 11AM and by appointment. Restaurant and beer garden featuring local brews and traditional items such as Saxon Pork served with stewed apple slices and the Moravian hut feast, good for vegetarians. Their cherry sauce dessert is 'sehr lecker', as the Germans say, as well. Locals consider this the best place in town for eating out, along with the restaurant at the Eulkretscham Hotel (see below). Mains, €7-€10.  edit
  • Paul Bakery (Paul Bäcker), Löbauer Straße 4, +49 (0)35873-2377 (), [25]. Bakery founded in 1735, only 13 years after the town began, and run by the Paul family since 1841, featuring unique local specialities like Moravian Sister Kisses (Herrnhuter Schmätzchen) and Zinzendorf Slices (Zinzendorfschnitte). Locals usually pop in for a coffee/snack for breakfast on their way to work.  edit
  • Restaurant at the Big Tree (Gaststätte Grüner Baum), Niedere Dorfstraße 1 (in the adjoining village of Strahwalde, about 2km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49 (0)35873-2686. Restaurant located, as it says in the name, near an iconic large tree.  edit
  • Umut Kebab House (Umut Döner), Fleischergasse (next to the Sparkasse bank, which itself is located on the corner of August-Bebel-Straße and Fleischergasse), +49 (0)35873-36161. Daily 10AM-11PM except Christmas and New Year's Eve. For the budget-conscious, sample a doner kebab or durum. Kebabs start from €3.50 while the more expensive items are large pizzas and pasta in the €5.50-€6.50 range. The establishment also features a bar area with pool table and TV tuned to either football (soccer) or else Turkish TV programs.  edit
  • The Post Cellar (Zum Postkeller), Dürningerstraße 3, +49 (0)35873-36666 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-36336), [26]. Mon, Sat 11AM-2PM, 5PM-9PM, Thu, Fri 5PM-9PM, Tue, Wed Closed. Housed in a building that used to be a post office where products manufactured by the Moravian-owned Abraham Dürninger company (see below) were stored in the cellar awaiting shipment overseas, this rustic-style restaurant specialises in regional dishes. The venue is also used for small, intimate concerts.  edit
  • Wildnis Café, Löbauer Straße 14, +49 (0)35873-649957, [27]. Mon-Fri 7:30am-8:00pm, Sat 9:00am - 8:00pm. Wildnis - or '['vɪltnɪs]' as it appears on the door - is a non-profit café operated by Youth With a Mission Herrnhut's Pick A Pocket team (which focuses on community development and using media to promote the needs of people in developing nations). Combining a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere and fresh coffee and baked goods. Patrons can learn more about community development from the cafe's baristas and a portion of all purchases goes toward ministries abroad that help communities in need.  edit

If you're staying in town a few days or longer and want to get some groceries head to the local Penny Markt or Netto, both on Löbauer Straße and both open Mon-Sat 7AM-8PM.

Alternatively, you can shop at Dürninger's, [28] (part of the Abraham Dürninger company, founded by Herr Dürninger in 1747 and at one time one of the largest trading companies in Europe). Dürninger's, located on Dürninger Straße, is a little pricier than the supermarkets but they stock many items you can't get elsewhere. Now and then you find imported goodies like Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce, which are not the easiest items to locate in Deutschland. Phone: +49 (0)35873-2466. Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7AM-6PM, Sat 7AM-11AM.

Also, Ramona Wendland Fruit & Vegetables (Ramona Wendland Obst & Gemuse), also on Dürninger Straße, is a local 'gourmet' food store which stocks fresh organic produce from the region - sun-dried tomatoes, etc. Phone: +49 (0)35873-2552. Opening Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri 8AM-6PM, Thu 8AM-7PM, Sat 8AM-Noon.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sample the regional beers of choice: Eibauer, a dark beer popular in GDR times and revived after reunification (see below), and Landskron, a Pilsner type beer similar to lager but stronger and with a more distinctive taste of hops.

  • Herrnhut Liquor Store (Getränkeladen), August-Bebel-Straße 14, +49 (0)35873-40155. For all your beverage needs.  edit
  • Old Bakery Culture Café (Kulturcafe Alte Bäckerei), Am Sportplatz 3 (in the adjoining village of Großhennersdorf, about 4.5km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49 (0)35873-30888. A former bakery converted into an alternative-style pub featuring a mix of retro- and antique decor with surreal ceramic sculptures as well as eclectic music - one moment 60s American soul, the next highly experimental 21st century electronic ambient and noise soundscapes. Part of the Arthouse Cinema culture centre (see above).  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Neon sign outside Jesus-Haus, August-Bebel-Straße.
  • Eulkretscham Hotel, Am Stausee 4 (in the adjoining village of Großhennersdorf, about 2km from the centre of Herrnhut)), +49 (0)35873-440100 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-44030), [29]. Hotel situated in idyllic country setting. Has a restaurant and a conference hall. The management also organise tours of regional towns (traditional package tours as well as more adventurous ones like motorbike rides), as well as activities such as horse-riding. The daughter of the owners speaks English. Single €30, Single Twin €33, Double €26, Triple €23.  edit
  • Friedensthal Inn (Gasthof Friedensthal), Friednesthaler Straße 7 (in the adjoining village of Friedensthal, about 3.8km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49 (0)35873-2180 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-2180), [30]. Traditional Upper Lusatian inn specialising in regional cuisine/home cooking. From €10, Breakfast €5.  edit
  • Häschke Holiday Apartments (Ferienwohnung Häschke Herrnhut), Oskar-Lier-Straße 1, +49 (0)35873 40117, [31].  edit
  • Hotel Ninive, Oderwitzer Straße-Ninive 7 (in the adjoining village of Ninive, about 4.4km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49(0)35873-2695. Single €38, Double €50.  edit
  • Jesus House (Jesus-Haus / Altes Krankenhaus), August-Bebel-Strasse 13, +49 (0)35873-33667 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-33668), [32]. The Jesus House is run by a local evangelical church (Christliches Zentrum). Most of the present building dates to 1767, when it was constructed as Abraham Dürninger's (1706-1773) trading company headquarters, and later was used as the town's hospital. The Jesus House offers great facilities for Christian pilgrims - many come for spiritual retreats and/or to join in the church community life of prayer and worship. The grounds contain a large garden that is in the process of being restored to its pre-GDR baroque glory. Internet access for guests. Visitors are welcome to join in the afternoon worship times at 6 p.m. on Monday to Thursday & on Saturday. The worship style is typically contemporary worship. Sunday church services are at 10 a.m. Dorms/Standard Rooms €6/€13 per person, Apartments €30 for 2 people + €5 each additional person.  edit
  • Moravian Church Hotel & Conference Centre (Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine Tagungs- und Erholungsheim Herrnhut), Comenius Street 8 +10, +49 (0)35873-33840 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-33859), [33]. Comprises two large houses - the Meeting House (Tagungshaus), with 50 beds, dining room that seats 116 and conference hall that seats 150, and the Family Inn (Familienferienstätte) with 37 beds. Doubles from €32.  edit
  • Old Moravian House (Pension 'Alt Herrnhuter Haus' / Pension Clemens Haus), Comeniusstraße 4, +49 (0)35873-2789 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-36340), [34]. Bed & breakfast in one of the the oldest surviving houses in town, built in 1743, major reconstruction in 1991/2. Locals consider this the best place to stay in town. Singles from €32.50, Twins from €44.  edit
  • Ruppersdorf Campground (Volksbadcamp), Volksbadstrasse (in the adjoining village of Ruppersdorf, about 2.5km from the centre of Herrnhut), +49 (0)35873-40282 (, fax: +49 (0)35873-40282), [35]. Opened in 1925, this campsite is open year-round and offers various sports facilities including beach volleyball, badminton and table tennis. Use the site as a base to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside either by bicycle or else hiking/walking. Also features campfire barbecues with charcoal steak and sausages cooked fresh, and a beer garden (open Mon-Fri 4PM-late, except Thu Closed / Sat+Sun 10AM-late) so you can wash your food down with local varieties of the amber fluid. Booth fees - Caravan/Car, RV €5, Tent €3, Car €1 (also: permanent campsite on request); Per Person - Adults €5, Children €2.50 (also: pets on request), Bungalows - 4 People €10, 7 People €15 (both excluding per person fees).  edit

Stay healthy[edit]

  • If you fall ill and need medication then head over to the Hutberg Pharmacy (Apotheke zum Hutberg) [36] located opposite the Moravian Church on Zinzendorfplatz. Phone +49 (0)35873-2341. Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM, Sat 9AM-Noon.
  • If you need medical attention there is a doctors' surgery on Fleischergasse (enter the door to the right of the Döner and head up one flight of stairs). The physician, Dr Kay Herbrig, speaks good English. Phone +49 (0)35873-369858. Opening Hours: Mon-Tue 8AM-Noon and 2PM-5PM, Wed 9AM-Noon, Thu 8AM-Noon and 3PM-6PM, Fri 8AM-11AM.

Get out[edit]

On the doorstep[edit]

  • Eibau - Home of regional favourite Eibauer dark beer (Schwarzbier - see above). Also notable for the Kottmar Tower (Kottmarturm), a 130-year old lookout tower situated on Kottmar Mountain, standing 16m tall and offering a great panoramic view over the Upper Lusatian hills to the Zittau Mountains and the Bohemian Mountains. The Path of Legends (Sagenpfad) is also on Kottmar Mountain, a 4.5km trail with explanatory panels regarding several legends which have grown up around the mountain. Eibau is also the location of the source of the Spree River, which flows all the way to Berlin. 9km from Herrnhut.
  • Löbau - Features the King-Friedrich-August Tower (König-Friedrich-August-Turm), [37], the biggest cast-iron tower in Europe and which offers incredible views of the Upper Lusatian Mountains. 11km from Herrnhut.
  • Obercunnersdorf - Notable for its UNESCO-listed 260 timber-framed houses ("Umgebindehäuser"), [38], each lovingly-maintained by their owners and featuring striking decorations, patterns and shapes. Also visit the town's large square windmill which has a bakery with wood oven to tempt hungry visitors, and the Barber Museum (Friseurmuseum), [39], which takes you on a journey through the hairdressing of yesteryear. 6.5km from Herrnhut.
  • Oderwitz - Features a model train museum consisting of two railway circuits - a 105sqm indoor track running dozens of trains and a larger 800sqm outdoor track in the museum garden, [40], as well as the studio of renowned regional artist Max Langer (1897-1985), an innovator of glass paintings, which were popular in GDR times. 7km from Herrnhut.
  • Zittau - Border town close to the tripoint of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. To reach the tripoint, drive across the border into Poland and continue for about 1km where you will cross into the Czech Republic, stop at the petrol station on your right and then walk along the footpath into the forest for about 100m until you reach the river. It's great for photos with one foot in one nation and another foot in another nation, if you can straddle the stream that runs off the river. Zittau is also the home station for the Zittau Mountains Railroad, a steam train that travels into the mountains at a leisurely 16km/h, allowing passengers to soak in the countryside, [41]. 15km from Herrnhut.

Further afield[edit]

  • Bautzen - Cultural centre for the Slavic Sorb minority and historical capital of Upper Lusatia, Bautzen remains the unofficial regional capital. It has a well-preserved medieval old town district featuring such notable landmarks as the Reichenturm, one of the steepest leaning and still passable towers north of the Alps, and the Alte Wasserkunst, one of the oldest preserved waterworks in central Europe. Also renowned for Bautz'ner senf, its iconic mustard. 31km from Herrnhut.
  • Görlitz - The easternmost town of Germany and containing a rich architectural heritage (Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Historicist, Art Nouveau) that has largely been preserved (in contrast to the rest of the country). Restoration of the town to its pre-GDR glory is arguably more advanced than other towns in the region thanks to a mysterious benefactor who lavishes a rumoured €500,000 on redevelopment/restoration projects every year. Take a stroll across the Neisse River into Poland using the pedestrian footbridge and get a different perspective of the old town from a distance. 32km from Herrnhut. [[42]]
  • Grabstejn Castle (Hrad Grabštejn), [43] - Just over the border in the Czech Republic (between Zittau and Liberec). Originally built in the 13th century and rebuilt numerous times over the centuries, this Czech fortress is one of the oldest in northern Bohemia. It was first opened to the public in 1993. Visitors can view the Gothic cellars and the rooms in two storeys of the chateau that are furnished mostly with original pieces of furniture, decorated with paints and other items. The real jewel is the Renaissance Chapel of St. Barbara with rich frescoes and original arches from the 16th century. The tower offers views of distant surroundings. 26km from Herrnhut.
  • Kleinwelka - A subdivision of Bautzen, it is also a Moravian foundation. The edge of town features a trio of adventure parks: a dinosaur park, [44], a miniature village, [45] and a giant maze garden, [46]. 37km from Herrnhut.
  • Liberec - The third-largest city in Bohemia and fifth-largest in the Czech Republic, Liberec is dominated by Ještěd Mountain, atop of which sits a tower, built in the 1960s, that has an unusual hyperboloid shape. The tower serves as a hotel and TV transmitter and offers great views of the surrounding region. Liberec also has a zoo (the first ever opened in the country - in 1919) and a large botanical garden with nine plantation glasshouses and a large exterior terrain. 45km from Herrnhut.
  • Ostritz - Notable for St. Marienthal Abbey, [47], a Cistercian nunnery that has existed uninterrupted since 1234. The nuns prize hospitality and guests are welcome to come and stay at the abbey for a time of silence and reflection, as well as to work and pray with the sisters. Also, one curious fact about Ostritz is that, due to geography, its train station lies in Poland in the village of Krzewina. 17km from Herrnhut.
  • Oybin - German spa town (i.e. filled with health resorts) nestled in the Zittau Mountains (see below) on the Czech border, with the unusual beehive-shaped Oybin mountain looming large over the district and the almost 'mystical' ruins of a Celestine monastery (Burg und Kloster) at its summit, complete with castle museum, [48]. 24km from Herrnhut.
  • Zittau Mountains (Zittauer Gebirge) - The Zittau Mountains, [49], are the smallest, but some say most beautiful, mountain range in Germany. About 20km from Herrnhut.
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