With a very pragmatic history as an industrial city, Gera bore the brunt of World War bombings to rise like a phoenix with its indomitable character intact.
A whole new city center had to be constructed to enable the little town to rise from its own ashes. But rise it did and today you have the brightly restored version of the medieval city which used to be the capital of the former principality of Reuss.
Gera captivates with its vibrant cultural offerings and tangible tales of history. Stroll into the Gera Markt for a first hand experience of history at its most lively. Right at the center is the Samson Fountain and around it you will see splendid architecture in all directions.
The Town Hall would be a good place to begin as you embark on a tour of the finest market place in all Thuringia. This 16th century baroque creation has pride of place with its impressive tower lording it over the area.
The Stadtapotheke or the Municipal Pharmacy in the renaissance style is one for the camera!
The Museum für Geschichte is a multi-storeyed baroque building that is now the History Museum. It might interest you to learn that it used to be a prison and an orphanage before assuming its present role.
The Regierungsgebäude is another impressive piece of medieval architecture in the area.
As for religious architecture, there’s the gothic Trinity Church and the Church of St. Mary, but there’s no beating the Salvatorkirche with its flat ceiling embellished with artwork. Right next door is the Schreibersches Haus, a wonderful specimen of sumptuous baroque in three storeys doing duty as the Natural History Museum.
The ruins of the Schloss Osterstein are a noteworthy site in Gera for tourists. All that’s left is the baroque Orangery which will certainly give you an idea of the grandeur of the castle in its heyday.
The Schloss Osterburg, about 13 km from Gera is in better conditions and definitely worth visiting.