To the south of the Thuringia state is the Ilm-Kreis on the river Ilm. Wedged between the city of Suhl to the south and the state capital of Erfurt to the north, this region has both low agricultural land and high mountains where it enters the Thuringian Forest.
Towns & Villages in the Ilm-Kreis
- Amt Wachsenburg
- Neustadt am Rennst.
Arnstadt is one of the oldest towns in the whole state, and is locally known as Das Tor zum Thüringer Wald (The Gate to the Thuringian Forest). It really is the gate to the great forests and mountains of this extensive range.
This ancient town has links to Johann Sebastian Bach and its pedestrianized center is a mecca for shoppers and tourists admiring the architecture. It is also a center for manufacturing, with glass, metal and wood works being completed locally.
Ilmenau is the biggest town in the Ilm-Kreis, and is surrounded by thick forests. This university town is engulfed by steep hills, but the location is a little gem — so much so that Goethe would frequently vacation here, amongst the beautiful buildings and within such peaceful surroundings.