Heringen (Werra) — Salts And Storks On The East German Border

I don’t know about you all, but I find it interesting when a town’s landmark really is part of the land. Interestingly put, isn’t it? It’s not some church or castle that is Heringen’s landmark, it’s a huge mountain known as the Salzberg (translating to Salt Mountain, but called the Monte Kali).

It’s quite appropriate, as potash mining was done for eons here. What’s potash? According to the dictionary it’s a salt that contains potassium.

Ah, who knew you’d get a science lesson here at MyGermanCity.com! ;-)

Anyway, potash was huge to Heringen’s economy — so it’s only fitting that the town have a Potash Mining Museum. They even have a great way to explain the “science” of it to the kids. Cool!

Going below the surface not your cup of tea? It’s all right, you can see the Salzberg from atop the Bodesruh Memorial. While it might be memorial to Germany’s divided days, it’s also an observation tower that’ll see straight out into the wide Thuringian Forest.

Yes, the Thuringian Forest even though Heringen (Werra) is in Hesse. You see, Heringen’s right on the Thuringian border — and you’ll find former border markings from when East Germany was literally right across the street.

The forest and the Salzberg isn’t your only experience into the great outdoors. Check out the Rohrlache, a nature area great for bird watching, a nice picnic, and a chance to see some rare species of plants that depend on the land’s high salt content.

Of course, my friends, outdoor recreation isn’t all you’ll do here in Heringen, either. You can shop at the Weekly Market (on Thursdays), or you can visit the area that was once Burg Hornberg (a mid-12th century castle), and stop to see the Walterskirche ruins (a church from the 14th century) in a former settlement that was deserted by the end of the 14th century.

Yeah, sounds creepy, but it ain’t.

I guess the only thing left to do is camp out for a night under the stars and the watchful eye of the Salzberg. All that fresh air has made me tired — I sure hope one of the many white storks that live in the area doesn’t try to steal my granola bars. ;-)

 

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