Quedlinburg has a long and illustrious history, so there’s little wonder why this town facing the Harz Mountains was selected as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Walking around, you may feel you have stepped right into the pages of a history book.
The architecture you see in the center of town represents a millenium of community. The Old Town Hall features murals showing nine centuries of local events, while the Grünhagen-Haus across the street contains the current tourist office. Both buildings were constructed in the 14th century and are among Germany’s oldest half-timbered houses.
Even older than these, however, is Quedlinburg Castle, originally constructed in 936. It resides on the sandstone hill that overlooks the town. You will want to stop by the castle’s museum for an introduction to local history in its entirety.
Several landmark churches are also worth visiting here. They include Wiperti Church and its 10th-century crypt, the Collegiate Church of St. Servatius with its grave of King Henry I the Fowler (876-936), and the ancient St. Blasii Church, which doubles as a concert hall with superb acoustic qualities.
A fascinating place to stay in town is the so-called “Tower of Terror” inside Ägidii Church, which once housed the local dungeon. The upper portion has been renovated as a duplex for rental to tourists. Mind you, there is no elevator, so you may find getting to your room after a long day a bit torturous!
Other sights to take in are the old Shoemakers’ Guildhouse just off Market Square, the 17th-century Carpenters’ Guild Hall, and the Theophano Hotel, which was once home to the Tanner’s Guild. Also, look for the Ratsapotheke, the town’s original dispensary, where a cannon ball, still stuck in the wall, marks an uprising that forced Quedlinburg out of the Hanseatic League.
Finally, if your feet are not too tired and you still have some film in your camera, head over to the beautiful baroque Salfeld Palace on Kornmarkt. Erected in 1737, it is now where UNESCO’s World Heritage Association of German has its headquarters, overseeing all thirty of the nation’s World Heritage Sites.