Finsterwalde — A Grimm Fairy Tale In The Dark Forest?

With Finsterwalde’s literal translation of Dark Forest, you might expect some dark and foreboding place.

You’ll find it quite the contrary — a cheerfully delightful place with years of history blended with a modern day feel.

Finsterwalde prides itself on a tradition of singing and is quite famous for its Singer von Finsterwalde. With all that singing, it would be hard to imagine that the Dark Forest, isn’t anything but! In fact, the Singers Monument stands for the town’s ideal that singing unites all classes of people.

Finsterwalde is a picture perfect, medieval town, about 2 hours south of Berlin, with some 19,000 residents.

One sight that proves te medievalism is the market square built in the Middle Ages. The Baroque-style Town Hall built in 1739, some 60 years after the original Town Hall built in 1492 was destroyed by fire. That same fire in 1675 also destroyed the town’s archives.

Don’t forget to visit the Trinitatiskirche, a true Reformation style church that dates back to the 1594.

The town itself, by the way, dates back to at least 1282, although some accounts (maybe forged) date it back to at least 1199.

The Schloss Finsterwalde dates back to the 1280’s and was overtaken and partially destroyed by the invading Swedes in the Thirty Years’ War. Those invading Swedes pillaged the town of Finsterwalde in 1643 and 1645, taking decades for the town to recover. In 1958, the Local History Musuem opened at the Schloss and some repair work was needed to it in the 1990s.

For sure there’s plenty else to see in Finsterwalde. Definitely be sure to visit the Fairy Tale House, built in 1928, this building shows scenes from Grimm’s fairy tales built into the brick. There’s also the Watertower, rising some 54 meters (over a hundred feet) above the Dark Forest fairy tale city.

 

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