Quedlinburg, located on the northern boundary of the Harz Mountains National Park, it was once at the centre of the German Empire. Today it is one of Europe's best preserved medieval renaissance towns. It features a rare combination of ancient and modern historical treasures. In 1992 it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Almost all of the buildings in the town centre are timber framed, some dating back to the 16th Century. It is a sight not to be missed, walking through the narrow alleys and streets around the town square and seeing all the colourful painted old houses. In the innermost parts of the town a wide selection of timber framed buildings from at least five different centuries are to be found, including a 14th century structure, one of Germany's oldest. Fortunately Quedlinburg did not suffer too much damage during WW2 and preservation orders were put on a large number of these properties. If you wish to learn more about the timber framed buildings of the region, a trip to the Fachwerkmuseum Standebau in one of Germanys oldest half timbered houses (1310) is a must.
A highlight of Quedlinburg is the castle (schlossberg) perched above the city, of which the centre piece is the recently restored baroque Blue Hall (blue Halle).
The nearest main airport is Hanover International Airport (HAJ) (57 km). Alternatively you could Berlin International Airport (BER) (216 km) and make your way to Quedlinburg by car or train.
Quedlinburg can best be accessed by regional trains from Hanover or Berlin. From Hanover the train will go via Halberstadt, taking approximately 3 hr 20 mins. From Berlin you will go via Madgeburg, taking approximately 4 hrs. There are other routes with differing changes, but these are the simplest.
Quedlinburg is located on the B6n dual carriageway that runs along the northern edge of the Harz from west to east. The B6n branches off the A7 motorway near Goslar and the A395 motorway (branches off the A2) from Braunschweig to Vienenburg.
The local bus services offer various routes around the local area.
Surrounding Area - Quedlingburg is an ideal point of departure to reach the nearby Harz, with dramatic gorges and mountainous landscapes waiting to be explored in a hiker's paradise. The 'Romanesque Road' recounts dynasties and events from German and European history up to a thousand years ago. Numerous Romanesque edifices in the immediate vicinty of Quedlinburg bear witness to this history.
The Harz Narrow Gauge Railway - More than a million passengers a year and not only for the railway enthusiasts, enjoy this steam railway. Anyone who likes train travel, beautiful scenery and history will love the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways. It takes you through the beautiful picturesque scenery of the Harz: it's hills and mountains, forests and meadows. A trip on a steam train is a delightful experience. The railway connects the principal cities of Wernigerode, Nordhausen and Quedlinburg and several smaller towns in the area. Although opened in 1898, it has only been accessible to Quedliburg since 2006. There are three services:
The Trans-Harz Railway Line: Crosses the Harz Mountains from north to south. On the 60km track passengers are treated to a kaleidoscopic journey through nature.
The Selke Valley Railway Line: Is the most romantic track of the whole narrow gauge network and has long been an open secret among nature lovers.
The Brocken Railway Line: In July 1992 public rail service was resumed to the legendary Brocken. Climbing up there is a hard work for the 700 HP steam powered locomotives. (Tip: it is worth buying the HarzCard if you plan to do the Brocken trip combined with other activities).
The Brocken trip uses carriages that have a feel of times gone by. There are wooden platforms between the carriages, which enable you to admire the views which are breathtaking, steep slopes, and twists and turns. The climb from Schierke, 685 meters above sea level, to the Brocken, 1142 meters above sea level, is hard and you can listen to the train puffing its way up. Once near the top, the fir trees gave way to the Brocken plateau. it can be very windy on top so do make sure you pack approriate clothing . The summit has the Brocken House, the Brocken Hotel and the TV tower as well as the Brocken-plateau, a great place to get your picture taken. There is a free viewing point on the 8th floor of the Brocken Hotel, which is all glassed in and commands excellent views. There is a restaurant on the 7th floor. The museum is in the Brocken House with exhibitions on four floors that cover witches, the use of the Brocken as a former military base and border post. There is a cafe on the 2nd floor and another viewing platform on the 3rd floor. Entrance is 4 euros for adults and 2 euros for kids (6-16). If you have the time, than the walk down is possible and well sign posted. For further information go to www.hsb-wr.de
Relatively untouched by World War Two, the old town and the castle mount and collegiate church in Quedlinburg are listed on UNESCO's register of World Heritage Sites, and the town itself is one of Germany's best-preserved medieval and Renaissance towns. The town's medieval buildings are worth a visit: its half-timbered buildings represent at least five different centuries (including one of Germany's oldest, from the 14th century). Around the edges of the old town are late 19th and 20th century examples of Jugendstil buildings.
In addition to the castle and collegiate church, Quedlinburg also has a cathedral, or Dom, which is an excellent example of the German Romanesque style. The Domschatz, the treasury containing ancient artefacts and books, is displayed here.
The Harzer Schmalspurbahnen Selketal branch of the historic steam narrow gauge railway was extended into Quedlinburg from Gernrode in 2006, giving access to Alexisbad and the high Harz plateau.
Blasii Church, Blasiistrasse. As well as normal visitations, you can also see theatrical and musical performances here. These events are run from Apr - Oct and include jazz, Classical, Cabaret, Dance, Organ Concerts etc.
Schloss Museum, Schlossberg 1, ☎ 03946 905681. Open: Apr - Oct (Tue - Sun 1000 - 1800hrs) Nov - Mar (Tue - Sun 1000 - 1600hrs) Closed: 24, 25, 31 Dec & 1 Jan
Klopstock Museum, Schlossberg 12, ☎ 03946 2610. Open: All year round (Wed - Mon 1000 - 1700hrs) Closed: 25, 25, 31 Dec & 1 Jan
Fachwerk Museum Standerbau (Half Timbered Architecture Museum), Wordgasse 3, ☎ 03946 3828. Open: Apr - Oct (Fri - Wed 1000 - 1700hrs) Nov - Mar (Fri - Wed 1000 - 1600hrs) Closed: 24, 25, 31 Dec & 1 Jan
Museum fur Glasmalerei und Kunsthandwerk (Museum of Glass Painting and Handcraft), Word 28, ☎ 03946 810653. Open: All year round (Tue - Fri 1000 - 1800hrs) (Sat & Sun 1100 - 1600hrs) Closed: Mon
Mitteldeutsches Eisenbahn-und Spielzeug-Museum (Central German Model-Train and Toy Museum), Blasiistrasse 22, ☎ 03946 3751. Open: Apr - Oct & Dec (Daily 1000 - 1700hrs) Nov, Jan - Mar (Mon - Sat 1000 - 1600hrs) (Sun & holidays 1100 - 1600hrs)
Munzenberg Museum (The Mariencloister), Munzenberg 16. Open: Mon - Wed & Fri 1000 - 1200hrs 1400 - 1700hrs Sat, Sun & Holidays 0900 - 1200hrs 1400 - 1700hrs Closed: Thu
Stiftskirche St Servatii und Domschatz (The Collegiate Church and its Treasure), Schlossberg 1, ☎ 03946 709000, . Open: Apr - Oct (Tue - Sat 1000 - 1730hrs) (Sun & Holidays 1200 - 1730hrs) Nov - Mar (Tue - Sat 1000 - 1530hrs) (Sun & Holidays 1200 - 1530hrs) Closed: 24, 25 Dec & 1 Jan
Lyonel-Feininger Galerie, Finkenherd 5a, ☎ 03946 6895930, . A trip to the Lyonel-Feininger Galerie is recommended where the works of this important Bauhaus artist who was born in Germany but became an American citizen are displayed. Most of the works were hidden from the Nazis by a resident of Quedlinburg. Open: Apr - Oct (Tue - Sun 1000 - 1800 hrs) Nov - Mar (Tue - Sun 1000 - 1700 hrs)
Guided Tours of the City. Tours in German: All year round tours at 1400hrs (Apr - Oct additional tours at 1000hrs) Tours in English: Available upon request in advance to Quedlinburg Information Center. Individual City Guides: Audio guides available in English and Japanese from the Quedlinburg information Center
Gaestehaus Toepke, Weststrasse 13, ☎ 03946 708166, . Located right in the town centre.
Quedlinburgerhof Hotel, Harzweg 1, ☎ 03946 77870, . This family run hotel offers 31 rooms with 3-star comfort, a conference and banqueting room for 60 people, an elevator plus wireless internet access in the whole house3 Star.
Schlosshotel Zum Markgrafen, Wallstrasse 96 / Weingarten 30, ☎ 03946 81140, . This traditional 250 year old family-style hotel is picturesquely integrated into the old Market Square with an attention to detail, and an unique charm blend with clever new ideas and developments.4 Star.
Hotel Schlossmuehle, Kaiser Otto Strasse 28, ☎ 03946 7870, . This hotel offers stylish in a quiet location near the center of the historic city of Quedlinburg in the Harz Mountains.4 Star.
Hotel Dorothea Christiane Erxleben, Steinweg 51, ☎ 03946 770214, . A small cosy and very nice hotel in the centre of the old town. The historic ambience and the modern furnished rooms make a great combination and give this 300 year old building a beautiful atmosphere, where you can relax and feel comfortable.4 Star.
Hotel Zum Bar, Markt 8/9, ☎ 03946 7770, . Set in a peaceful location in historic and picturesque Quedlinburg, this romantic castle hotel offers elegant 4-star superior accommodation just a short stroll from the old town centre.4 Star.
Quedlinburg is ideally situated on the edge of the Harz Mountains, with its dramatic gorges and mountainous landscapes, waiting to be explored by hikers and bikers alike. The 'Romanesque Road' http://www.sachsen-anhalt-tourismus.de/xxl/en/Romanesque_Road/index.html recounts dynasties and events from German and European history going back over a thousand years. Many Romanesque edificies can be found in the immediate vicinity of Quedlinburg, which bear witness to this history.
Harzer Schmalspurbahn A narrow gauge railway runs from Quedlinburg through the Selke Valley (parallel with the River Selke), to the top of the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains.
Thale Hexentanzplatz (Witches Dance Floor)is reputedly an Old Saxon cult site, at which, celebrations were held in honour of the so-called Hagedisen (forest and mountain goddesses), particularly on the night of 1 May. The place did not become known as the Hexentanzplatz until the cult was banned by the invading Christian Franks. According to tradition the site was guarded by Frankish soldiers in order to enforce the ban and they were chased off by Saxons dressed as witches and riding on broomsticks.
On this plateau is the Thale Mountain Theatre (Bergtheater Thale), one of the oldest open-air theatres in Germany with 1,350 seats, which was founded in 1903 by Ernst Wachler.
A gondola lift runs from Thale up to the Hexentanzplatz, where today, the plateau resembles a small Theme Park aimed at families. It includes various rides, small gift and craft shops and a Wildlife Park, illustrating the wide variety of different species of animal who can be found in the Harz region. While there are relatively unspoiled forests nearby with plenty of hiking trails, the immediate area of the Hexentanzplatz has become fairly commercialized.
Bode Valley lies below the Hexentanplatz. This trail follows the Bode River deep into the Bode Valley gorge. Take in the spectacular scenery and rich flora as the stream tumbles over granite boulders. The walk starts next to Thale gondola station, where the path follows the river, taking you through dense forest and then into open meadows filled with wildflowers, ending in the village of Treseburg near a ruined castle. The walk along the Bode Valley takes about three hours (covering about 10km), and is mostly gentle, with one short, somewhat steep climb that takes you to a great vantage point above the river. You can take the bus from Treseburg back to Thale.
From the same starting point, you can also branch off this trail and hike up to the Hexentanzplatz or the Rosstrappe, the two rocky outcrops that surround the opening of the Bode Valley (shorter but much steeper routes).