Johanngeorgenstadt — Mining And Schwibbogen Town

I’m pretty sure the fact this Saxon town is a certified Health Resort town, and its fantastic location within the Ore Mountains, make it more than worthy to stop by. Though that’s not all you’ll find around here…

Packed within its mere 29.59 square kilometers are old churches, centuries of mining history, and a handful of museums, and more hiking trails than anyone could ever do in a few days—not to mention its special cultural events and winter activities.

One thing you should know about Johanngeorgenstadt is it’s known as the Schwibbogen Town. Yes, I didn’t understand what that meant exactly either, but turns out this unique arched candle holder was first designed here; and it’s home to the largest one anywhere in the world—constructed entirely of concrete and steel.

Johanngeorgenstadt takes its Schwibbogens quite seriously, so it seems it’s the perfect place to hold an annual Schwibbogenfest every Autumn, doesn’t it? Not being one to live by one party alone, this town is also host to its own Altstadtfest (Old Town Festival) every summer, too.

Of course being in the Ore Mountains winter also grabs hold, but it doesn’t stop anyone from enjoying the great outdoors. Winter hiking is popular, as is cross-country skiing—both take endurance, mind you.

If you want something a little more leisurely, then I suggest you take one of the shorter hiking trails. By the way, the Auerberg with its observation tower offers a splendid eagle’s eye view of the surrounding countryside. Or, you could always choose to visit its Nature Reserve, bog included of course.

If you want something longer in distance, there are a couple of bike trails that run as far as Karlov Vary in the Czech Republic. And as much as I love the Czech Republic, don’t even think about leaving Johanngeorgenstadt until you’ve seen its museums and old churches.

This is an old mining town so it seems fitting to find exhibits on its long history at places like the Heimatstube, which is its Local History Museum. There’s even a Museum of Mining Folk Art, easily written in German as Museum für bergmännische Volkskunst. You’ll even find mining exhibits at Schwarzenberg Palace.

You didn’t seriously expect not to find a castle around here, did you?

Grand as the old Hunting Lodge might be, it is Johanngeorgenstadt’s churches that steal the limelight. The City Church, of Luther denomination, is a pretty structure from the 1870s, however my heart belongs to the St. Wolfgangstraße Church with its Lucas Cranach the Elder altar.

All this sightseeing around museums and churches and surrounding countryside can be quite taxing on the muscles, so a trip to the Badegärten is a much welcome respite. You can relax in the whirlpool, the sauna, or even give the Kneipp area a chance.

There’s still lots to explore around Johanngeorgenstadt, and I hope these highlights make you want to visit.

 

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