Ilmenau is where you should be if you’re looking to enjoy quality time with your family or intend to catch up with yourself in picturesque surroundings.
Here’s your chance to re-acquaint yourself with Goethe if you’re a literary inclined. If its history that drives you, immerse yourself in a tour of monuments of various periods and genre that will keep your excitement running high.
Ilmenau has this fabulous association with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that makes it an ideal destination for die-hard Goethe fans. Visit the Gabelbach hunting lodge where he is reputed to have spend quite some time and the tiny museum in the Thuringian Forest that house small mementoes.
For more on the great man, visit the Amtshaus at the Marktplatz where you’ll find the Goethe-Gedenkstätte with rooms that he occupied. Near at hand is also the Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum) that will enthrall you with its collection of porcelain, copper and silver ware of incredible beauty.
If you’ve still not had enough, take the Goethe Trail that leads from Ilmenau to Stutzerbach signposted with the letter “G” and lined with interesting tidbits that make the trek interesting.
Ilmenau’s attractions also include the quaint little Goethe House up at the Kichelhahn mountain where he wrote his famous poem. The view from here is awesome (see webcams!) and was most probably what inspired his creativity. In the vicinity is another source of his inspiration in the form of a cave known as the Großer Hermannstein.
There’s definitely more to Ilmenau than the great poet and philosopher. A long list of historic monuments awaits you. You may begin with the Paulinzella which used to be the house of Benedictines dating back to the 12th century. It is impressive even in its state of ruin, leaving you to wonder how it would’ve been in its days of glory.
The local parish church is another wonder that you shouldn’t miss. This Renaissance edifice is styled without an aisle, and yes, you need to figure that out.
The Ilmenau Marktplatz has more to visit such as the Town Hall which,again, is another Renaissance wonder. You can’t miss the Hennenbrunnen fountain dating back to the 18th century and still working fine. This is also where cultural events and fairs are held with a gusto that will simply sweep you off your feet.
All in all, I like Ilmenau very much and am sure you will, too.