Amidst the rolling meadows and forest is not your everyday typical spa town. Bad Köstritz in Thuringia is more than just its salt springs that were founded hundreds of years ago.
This is a music town, and more famous for its stop along the Princes of Reuss Route, a scenic route detailing 800 years of one family’s history.
As famous as the Reusses were, they’re partly responsible for the (possibly) more famous Schwarzbier (Black Beer). Since 1543 the dark brew has been made here, even being written about by scholar von Humboldt and the even more famous Goethe.
Sound like your kind of place? Good, go to the Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei for a tour to see how they’re making the stuff you (and I) are drinking. Guided tours of this cute town will bring you here, as they’ll also bring you to the Church of St. Leonhard, and passing the former palace that’s now a government building.
No trip here is ever fully complete without, not a trip to the spa, but to the Heinrich-Schütz-Haus. Mister Schütz was a most magnificent composer, and the restored House is now the venue for all sorts of concerts. Every October the Heinrich Schütz Music Festival takes place.
Music to my ears. ;-)
Julius Sturm was another famous resident, known for his poetry. Look around, you’ll find monuments and memorials to both Bad Köstritz’s famous sons.
I’m thinking they were inspired by the banks of the White Elster River with the forest and hills in the distance. Trust me, after walking around the Castle Park (with a zoo no less) or over by the Rose Garden in the City Park you’ll be inspired too.
Hey, it did wonders for me.
Of course with 27km of hiking trails or a ride along the Elster Radweg, you might find some inspiration and peace of mind for yourself.
Peace and quiet aren’t on the agenda if you’re here for one of Bad Köstritz’s festivals. Things really kick off in July when the Beach Rugby Cup takes place, followed by the Köstritzer Werfertag, a sporting event in August.
September is a bit more subdued when the Dahlia Festival Queen is crowned. The dahlias are so revered here that you’ll find a whole exhibit on them.
I told you this wasn’t a typical German spa town — and so wonderful that a massage didn’t even enter my mind. ;-)