Oberharz am Brocken — Disputed Name, Great Place

I’m not sure why the town of Oberarz am Brocken’s name has been disputed. Hell, I’m not even sure where I even heard such a thing. What I do know is this 271 square kilometer town in western Saxony-Anhalt didn’t even exist before January 1, 2010.

In respect to its individual villages and towns, the oldest of which from the 10th century (Egger√∂der Brunnen), I’ll tell you about most of them.

Trautenstein is the fun-loving village of the bunch. Every year they hold a 3-day shooting event, an Oktoberfest, a Fair in August, a St. Martin Parade in November, and that’s not evening counting all the winter sleigh & carriage rides, Nordic Walking trails, and winter hiking activities.

Whewwww… that’s a lot, isn’t it?

It’s a bit quieter in Sorge, where you can visit the Local History Museum (with archaeology exhibits) and a Border Museum, since this area was once along the border of a divided Germany.

Long before the Cold War, Tanne was a spa town. It still is, as a matter of fact. Not only can you treat yourself to a spa service (or two), but hiking along the 7.5 km circular trail is good for the brain — you’ll learn all sorts of stuff on the info boards.

Time to head to Hasselfelde, home to the annual Kohler Festival on the first weekend of August. It also has an Easter bonfire, and an old Sawmill and the Church of St. Anthony to visit.

One of the most interesting churches is the small wooden one in the village of Elend. This village also lies close to a nature reserve area, and has a memorial to what was once the “inner” German border.

One of my favorite shires in Oberharz am Brocken is Benneckenstein. Why? Well, because not only does it have an East German Car Museum, a Railway Museum, miniature golfing, and a 19th century church (St. Laurentius) — but because it’s got a HUGE Pentecost Festival that kicks off at 6 AM on Whit Monday. There’s a big bonfire, lots of food, plenty of drinking.

As if that’s not enough, Benneckenstein has a large festival known as the Laurentiade on the first Sunday in September, but also a “Border Run” on the third weekend of February.

The funny part is who the heck has time to argue over a name? There’s way too much to see and do here in Oberharz am Brocken — or whatever else anyone wants to call it.

 

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