What do you do when you stop mining after four hundred years? Well, if you’re the town of Zschorlau, you turn the old Anna am Freudenstein Mine into a Marionette Theater, that’s what.
Really, I’m not making that up; and it’s totally fantastic to see what they did with the place. The old quartz cave is now a venue to enjoy shows like Hansel & Gretel and Puss in Boots — totally unique, don’t ya think?
The top side of Zschorlau is just as wonderful as what’s below, by the way. This is a town where you’ll hear choir concerts on Christmas Eve, and a Passion Play is held every five years (on years ending with a 0 or 5).
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Zschorlau is also a resort town, dotted with charming Bed & Breakfasts, and things like an Alpaca Ranch.
Spending any amount of time outdoors here in the Ore Mountains is great. Grab an ice cream cone, and take a stroll among the half-timbered houses, and come see the Clock Tower over at the Church of St. John; and the old Schindler Factory is a proposed UNESCO site.
To see a simply charming German village, it’s Burkhardtsgrün that should be on your itinerary. Well, it’s more like a hamlet than a town, but who’s gonna split hairs? Either way, it’s got a Glass Works from the 16th century to see, and the tiniest village church.
Zschorlau is totally fun, too. Every November they hold the Bockauer Fair, while February has the Buchberglauf, and October’s when the Angelica-Cross-Lauf takes place. The best is probably the Wurzelfest, where the Wurzel Queen is chosen on the third weekend of August.
In between festivals and visits to Zschorlau’s gorgeous Baroque Church, why not try some Geocaching (a great “game” where you find stuff with a GPS), or take in a swim at the Outdoor Pool? Sounds like fun, right? I guess you gotta have something to do if you’re not mining. ;-)