As a kid growing up I only knew of an East and West Germany, a divided Germany. Hidden within the Easter Bloc of East Germany was the federal state of Thuringia, and towns like Kölleda, were closed off to those of us in the West.
Now there’s one Germany, giving us the opportunity to see wonderful towns like this.
Wow, who knew what treasure awaited beyond the Inner German border.
The five districts of Kölleda are really special, each with their own village church and history.
I think my favorite is the Dorfkirche in the hamlet of Backleben, whose new-looking spiked steeple contrasts nicely with the crumbly stone of the tower itself. The church in the village of Burgwenden has these awesome stone reliefs — they just don’t build ’em like that anymore, do they?
Dermsdorf’s Village Church of St. John the Baptist looks more like a quaint cottage than a house of worship, but that’s part of its charm. It’s really old, by the way, built in 1266. That’s much older than the St. Wippertikirche, that didn’t come along until 1404.
You didn’t come all this way to spend it indoors, so take in the terrific Thuringian air at the Burg Rabenswalde. Don’t expect a whopping intact castle, this medieval fortress (that once had walls 1.5 meters thick) has been a ruin for more than 600 years.
Although the camera hasn’t been around that long, you can see a lot the old Kölleda at the Backleber Tor — a local history museum with hundreds of pictures depicting the town over the years. There isn’t anything in Kölleda as old as the prehistoric grave mound, believed to go back to 3,000 B.C., in what is now the village of Battgendorf.
The Market Fountain from 1584 (found at the Marktplatz) doesn’t seem all that old compared to that. Nonetheless, it is, and you might as well see the St. Wigbert Monument while you’re there, too.
Thanks to a reunified Germany, everyone can now see the delightful treats of places like Kölleda — imagine what else there’s left to discover… ;-)