Aschersleben — Recreation Aplenty Within Historic Walls

Aschersleben lies within the Salzlandkreis district, west of the Saale River, at the edge of the Harz Mountains.

If you have already visited other medieval towns in Saxony-Anhalt, this one will surprise you with its well preserved wall. It dates all the way back to 753 and stretches on for two kilometers, punctuated by fifteen watchtowers, an impressive fortification.

History is obvious as you move along the streets here. The town center will charm you with its architecture, including the huge 16th-century town hall with its chiming clock featuring billy goats.

For an even deeper draught of history, stop by the 13th-century Holy Cross Church, formerly a Franciscan monastery, and the Grauer Hof near the marketplace, which is the oldest building, established in 1309. You will also want to see the 15th-century St. Stephani Church, with its acclaimed Cranach altar pieces and Gothic style.

When it comes to culture, Aschersleben offers events second to none. The Grauer Hof is the scene of the popular Autumn Blues Festival. Classical music concerts are performed regularly by Ascania, the local orchestra, whose name derives from an ancient castle that existed here more ten decades ago. You will also want stick around if you visit in November, when thousands gather for an annual Political Cabaret.

One of several museums in town worth visiting is the Criminal Panoptikum, housed within a former prison and dedicated to curiosities of the crime world. Besides exhibitions of life behind bars from the Middle Ages to the present, there are displays honoring criminologists and their investigative techniques.

At the Ballhaus sports and leisure facility, you can enjoy volleyball, rock climbing, swimming and a relaxing sauna. Swimming can also be enjoyed in summer at the town’s large outdoor pool, and you can go boating on the Gondelteich pond nearby.

For animal lovers, there is the local Aschersleben zoo, featuring some 500 animals and representing more than 100 species, the most famous of which are its Siberian tigers, roaming freely in an expansive outdoor enclosure. The zoo also has a planetarium with a calendar of musical events, in addition to its sky watches and astronomical presentations year-round.

 

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