If I were to sit here and write in minute detail everything there is to do and see in the Thuringian spa town of Bad Frankenhausen (Kyffhäuser) I’d be busy until my next birthday. And as much as I like you all, I don’t want to spend the days leading up to a milestone birthday behind the computer so I’ll sum it up the best I can. ;-)
Many of you might remember from History class learning about the Feudal system that was the norm in medieval Europe. Well, in the early 16th century all that changed in Germany thanks to the German Peasants’ War. So, what’s that got to do with the town of Bad Frankenhausen?
A lot, actually. One of this revolt’s largest battles, known as the Battle of Frankenhausen, took place here in May 1525. Over at the Panorama Museum you’ll find the world’s largest oil painting depicting this epic battle and pretty much ending feudal rule.
Another one of the world’s largest is the Barbarossa Cave. OK, it’s not actually the planet’s largest cave, but it is one of the biggest. And to keep with the feudal theme, there’s the Schloss Frankenhausen. Built on the foundations of its 14th century original, this Renaissance castle is now the Heimatmuseum, or Local History Museum in English.
As much as you’d think the castle or the leaning tower (caused by sinkholes; it’s one of the world’s most lop-sided towers) of the 14th century Our Dear Lady Church would be Bad Frankenhausen’s landmark, it isn’t. That’s an honor reserved for the 13th century Hausmannsturm located near the castle.
You’re still not done the historical sightseeing of Bad Frankenhausen. There are quite a few half-timbered houses here in town (one of them houses the local tourist office), a Jewish Cemetery, and the fantastic smelling Rosariumthat’s filled with the most beautiful flowers in the world: roses.
Yikes, I’m tired after seeing all that, but there’s no rest for the weary. You still got swimming, sailing, camping, hiking, bowling, bicycling, and guided night tours to do. OK, take a short rest with a carriage ride.
This doesn’t even cover all the festivals that Bad Frankenhausen has. A new queen is crowned at the Fliederfest (Lilac Festival) in mid-May (which coincides with the Museum Festival), and you get a new king at the Lindenblossomfest in June. Early April is when the Apfelschnappermarkt is held, a month later everyone celebrates May Day (May 1st), the Lantern Festival is in August, and the popular Bauernmarkt or Farmer’s Market is held in September.
Now, I’m totally exhausted… I’m heading over to the Kyffhäuser Theme for a day of soaking my tired muscles in a brine pool, relaxing in the sauna, and lounging on a bubble mat where thousands of tiny bubbles make me forget I’m getting older. Dare to bring me a beer? I don’t think I can get up… ;-)