The quiet town of Gerbstedt in Saxony-Anhalt today is a far cry from the village you would have seen nine hundred years ago. And I’m not just talking about the whole modern day convenience thing.
On February 11, 1115 troops converged on Gerbstedt (actually it was the village of Welfesholz) with the Holy Roman Empire facing off against a band of Saxons. Henry V was in charge of the HRE troops, while Lothar was the leader of the Saxons.
Who won the Battle of Welfesholz? Lothar did, and his win was a statement to the Holy Roman Empire that they weren’t welcome in Saxony.
In a weird turn of events, Lothar became Holy Roman Emperor 10 years later.
Before you go asking “what’s with the history lesson,” I thought it’d be nice to mention while you’re out and about sightseeing at places like the St. Andreas (St. Andrew) Church located at the corner of Augsdorfer Straße and Schulstraße in Siersleben. It might not look like it, but it was a Romanesque Church built in 1230.
In the village of Gerbstedt proper, it isn’t the prehistoric grave mounds, or the Renaissance style Town Hall that’s really cool looking. Nope, it’s the miniature model of Quedlinburg Cathedral, And so are the underground passages under the castle grounds and park. Too bad you can’t travel your way around them any more.
So, I guess it’s off to see the St. John Church and the bell tower of the former Gerbstedt Monastery (believe it or not, there are some 18 churches spread out over Gerbstedt’s nine districts).
Heiligenthal has its own prehistoric grave, but it can boast that it’s a Prince’s grave (a Fürstengrab) from around 1800 B.C.
Where to go next? How ’bout Evil Castle? Not an Evil Castle, but the village of Bösenburg, that translates to evil castle. You’ll love the views from atop the Castle Hill. Just watch out for the holes that plague the hill.
I wonder if Renaissance composer Valentin Haussmann was inspired by the view? Maybe he used the ruins of Lodderstedt as inspiration instead.
Lodderstedt isn’t a castle or church, BTW, it’s a deserted village.
Nah, couldn’t have — the Renaissance was a time of enlightenment, a far cry from the dark days of Lothar’s medieval battle.