Oh, how much do we love parks and gardens. Thuringia is home to more than 2,000 (!) of them, perfect places for walking, relaxing and simply enjoying your surroundings. In spring, when nature is reawakening they are a particular delight but frankly, we like to spend time there any time of the year. Be it rose, baroque, Japanese or botanical gardens and throw in some fabulous palaces and country houses for good measure – the region’s green spaces are real treasures and we invite you to discover some of them in our video!
Spring. It’s the best time of the year, isn’t it? As many countries are still under some kind of lockdown “arrangement”, there will unfortunately not be any trips this year to enjoy the beauty and magic of spring in different parts of the world, but we wanted to bring you some impressions and ideas from the Cultural Heart of Germany. And, in den spirit of the season, hopefully introduce you to something new that might inspire you for future travels!
Go on a virtual Leipzig tour
Spring would be just perfect for a city break to Leipzig … The city is ideal for wandering about and offers a great mix of culture, urban life and green spaces. In the absence of real travel, we have a video tour for you, guided by a local who will show you how much can be packed in and discovered in Leipzig within a 15 km radius. There’s great architecture, monuments and, yes, even a beach!
Historic mountain railway tour in Thuringia
Get on board of Thuringia’s historic mountain railway to discover the magic of spring in the wild and romantic Schwarz valley, which is known for its abundance of herbs and medicinal plants. The funicular railway has been serving the region since the 1920ies and the historical carriage with its rows of tiered seats and large windows for best panoramic views is beautifully preserved. A welcome touch of nostalgia and a wonderful ride through deep, green woodlands – see for yourself!
Natural delights in Saxon Switzerland National Park
Spring snowflake. Can there be a more promising name for flowers? The Polenz Valley in Saxony’s one of a kind Saxon Switzerland National Park is one of the last retreats of wild growing spring snowflakes in Germany. The bell-shaped, white plants show their full splendour in March and April and are just one of the many wondrous sights to be discovered in this breathtaking landscape of sandstone mountains. Its most famous rock formations, the Bastei, is 305m high and the views to be had from here are walk every aching muscle.
Of Goethe and gardens: Weimar wonders
There’s no better time than spring to remind of Germany’s great wordsmith Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who made a home in Thuringia’s Weimar. His love of nature not only resulted in a wealth of poems, he was also a prolific gardener and botanist, and Weimar’s beautiful Park an der Ilm provided many an inspiration for him. Here, he often retreated to his garden house, today a visitor attraction, and created a wonderful garden which includes a section resembling an English landscape garden, an orchard and beds for planting strawberries and asparagus. Perfect.
Spring discoveries: hidden historic highlights in Saxony
Spring is the time for making new discoveries. Cue, these three charming historic towns off the beaten track in Saxony, which offer anything discerning travellers can ask for: There’s Bautzen, with a history going back more than 1,000 years and its unique Sorbian traditions, Meissen in the region’s wine-growing region, with its beautiful historic houses and narrow streets perfect for endless wanderings and Görlitz, where 4,000 lovingly restored historic buildings span half a millennial of European architectural history. Even better, we have all of this in a film for you!
Cycling along the river Ilm in Thuringia
Get on your bikes – it’s spring! For a laid-back cycling trip, the route in the valley of the Ilm river is one of our favourites in Thuringia. Think rolling hills, idyllic villages with half-timbered houses, fruit tree orchards, rambling roses and gentle meadows. Sounds like a bit like a fairytale? Well, that’s exactly what it is. Places like tiny hamlet Tiefengruben, which forms an almost perfect circle, embody a rural idyll where nothing has changed for centuries, with cobbled streets, a pond and historic church. A wonderful break from modern life which we all need from time to time.
A very special cheese shop in Dresden
Guess where you can find some eternal spring spirit? In a cheese shop in Dresden. Pfunds Molkerei, opened in 1880 and in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Beautiful Milk Shop”, has a wonderfully sumptuous interior of floor to ceiling hand-painted-painted ceramic tiles with dancing angels, cows and woodland creatures. The motives are as uplifting as spring – and the cheese doesn’t do any harm either. As long as you can’t fully enjoy it in person, technology will take you there …
Spring awakening at Leuchtenburg Castle
Spring is the time when Leuchtenburg Castle awakes from its hibernation and the castle’s gardener gets busy on the grounds, clipping, pruning and watering. Built in the 13th century, the castle enjoys a spectactular setting on a hilltop in the Saale river valley, providing glorious views of the region with its extensive forest and lush green fields. The Leuchtenburg also hosts a comprehensive exhibition on the history of porcelain, which might sound surprising at first but makes perfect sense as Thuringia became a centre of the porcelain industry in the 19th century with over 40 manufacturers.
Musical spring greetings from Dresden
Make this spring more musical and tune into Dresden Semperopera’s “Semper:Thursday” series of inspirational, world-class performances brought to you each Thursday from 5 pm (CET) from unusual places of this world-famous opera house. You can see singers and musicians perform in the royal box, the understage area or a catwalk at a dizzying height above the stage. A great way to look behind the scenes and enjoy some beautiful music at the same time!