The easy part of Artern (Unstrut) is getting here — connected by train to cities like Erfurt. The hard part? Figuring out what to see or do first.
Artern is a fun little town along the Unstrut & Helme Rivers, full of cultural events and historical sites — so, see, it ain’t so easy to choose, is it?
First, how about some history? Artern was the hometown of John Lonicer (excuse me, this is Germany, Johannes Lonicer), a friend of Martin Luther.
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Not too much from Johannes’ day still remains in Artern, but the 13th century St. Vitus Church was. Today this Romanesque/Gothic church is part local museum/part cultural event venue.
Definitely the St. Mary Church was here during his time, this architectural beauty is even older than Vitus, built back in the 1100s. You can’t miss it, it’s got this super-imposing grey-stone tower.
FYI, not to feel left out, over in the village of Schönfeld is a very charming Dorfkirche (Village Church).
Artern is also where Borlach Johann Fried set up a whole salt mining operation — and the Borachwanderweg (a nice trail that highlights 13 sites through town) is named in his honor. What was here during his time? Let me think… the 17th century half-timbered Courthouse was here.
After Lonicer and Fried’s time, Artern saw the building of the 190-meter Rapunzel’s Tower; and after that — the early 20th century neo-Baroque Town Hall (known for its stained glass ballroom).
Some of the other things this town is known for are its Zwiebelmarkt (Onion Market) in October, its St. Nicholas Market in December, the Fun Fair in September, the Fountain Festival in August, and its Carnival celebrations.
Don’t look at me like that because I mentioned them out of order — it happens like that sometimes. I got sidetracked by the whole Feng Shui nature & herb garden that’s open from May to October. The warmer weather is also perfect for enjoying the salt water pool, complete with water slide and lazy river. The pool is cultivated by the Solequelle (Brine Fountain) that you can find in the Parkfriedhof (Cemetery).
So, you see, it isn’t so easy to pick which thing to choose first when you get here — be it as the start or end point of the Bier- und Burgenstraße (Beer and Castle Route) scenic route. But what I do know, is it’s easy to see why you’d want to be here in the first place.