Großenhain And The Rise Of The Red Baron

Not by any stretch of the imagination could Großenhain in Saxony be considered just any ordinary city.

Großenhain is a city of contraction, a place of style and grace, yet knows how to let it’s hair down. It’s a city that’s steeped in history yet embraces the modern. It’s a city that runs the gamut from airplanes and motorcycles to the more genteel pursuits of hiking and gardening.

Frankly, it’s a city that’s worth getting to know. :-)

Großenhain has officially been around since the days of the Middle Ages. A few of the buildings of that time still remain in a place that was once an important stop on the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostella in Spain.

Its medieval monastery may be in ruins, but St. Mary’s Church still stands. The medieval church has undergone a few facelifts over the centuries and truly is the Grand Dame of the town that overlooks the market square.

Right behind St. Mary’s is the Old Latin School. It’s now a local history museum detailing the bygone times and culture of the city to as far back as the days of the Bronze Age.

The castle here in Großenhain, built in 1289, was a military stronghold for a few hundred years. By the 1960′s, the castle had fallen into disrepair and was saved by the local community and is now known as the Community Center Castle, or Kulturschloss. Once a place only a few could enjoy, today the castle is a splendid community center for book readings, concerts, and dances.

The castle wasn’t Großenhain’s only claim to fame for military action. The city, once a strategic military garrisson town, is home to one of the first airfields ever. Probably the most famous pilot of all time, Manfred von Richthofen, was trained here around 1914. You may know him simply as the Red Baron and World War I flying Ace.

It’s hard to imagine motorcycles when thinking of an airfield, but thousands of bikers come for the annual Moto Race held here on the Großenhain Airfield. That’s not the only time and reason for you to go visit that place, though. It’s an ancient airfield that was built in 1914 and used as a military base that time!

For a pursuit a bit on the quieter side, Großenhain has the Garden Culture Path, a serene tour of the loveliest gardens and parks in the city. The Kleinraschützer Heide is a nature reserve that’s now popular for hiking, biking, and jogging — a far cry from the days where the land was used for growing grapes for wine.

No matter your reason for coming to Großenhain, you most certainly won’t be disappointed. This marvelous city will have you absolutely enchanted!

 

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