I’m starting this off with a little prayer: Dear Lord, please let me find the Thuringian town of Wachsenburggemeinde. Oops, sorry, I mean the town of Amt Wachsenburg.
Maybe instead of crying out to the universe, I should buy a new map — since Amt Wachsenburg didn’t officially exist before December 31, 2012.
Technically, Amt Wachsenburg is named for the Veste Wachsenburg, a wonderful castle that dates back to the 10th century. What you see today isn’t from the Middle Ages, it’s from the 17th to 19th centuries — and is both a museum and restaurant.
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The Middle Ages, by the way, saw a building boom here in Amt Wachsenburg (I mean Wachsenburggemeinde… whatever). In the village of Bittstädt, a village of just about 600, is a lovely village church. And you’ll find another 12th century medieval church dedicated to St. Nicholas in the village of Haarhausen, yet another in Sülzenbrücken (St. Wiperti, 12th century), plus one more in Röhrensee (St. Nicholas, 12th century).
It’s funny to think these churches are old, but that’s nothing compared to the Neolithic tombs found in the town of Ichtershausen, which was first mentioned in the year 947. This hamlet was more known for its 12th century Klosterkirche Ichtershausen, which was a Cistercian Monastery until the 1530s. The monastery has been gone almost 500 years, but the church is still around — and one famous pastor was poet, Wilhelm Hey. Right next-door to the church is a monument in his honor.
Nice, Mr. Hey, but I’m more in awe of the church’s medieval paintings.
Oh, who am I kidding, I couldn’t run fast enough to the Bratwurst Museum. Yes, I’m aware that bratwurst is stereotypical of Germans, but that doesn’t mean these sausages don’t taste so gosh-darn good.
After eating (and learning) about Bratwurst, there’s no place better than hiking through some of the nature areas around Amt Wachsenburg. Every March the daffodils bloom, bringing people from all over to enjoy the early Spring flowers. The nature reserve area near the Salzquelle (Salt Spring) has more than 120 different species of beetles — so you won’t find me there. ;-)
Besides, I’d much rather be in the middle of town to enjoy such fun festivities like the Maypole Celebrations, the Summer Festival, and Christmas Market.
And I kind of like finding more historical sites, like the Preußengrab, a mass grave of Prussian soldiers who fought against Napoleon a few hundred years ago.
Thankfully my prayers to find Amt Wachsenburg were answered. Now, where did I put that new map, ’cause I’m bound to get lost again — and Heaven forbid should I stop and ask for directions. ;-)