Gotha is located in central Germany in the province of Thuringia. Charlemagne mentioned its name in writings from the 8th century.
The town’s most famous landmark is the Friedenstein Castle, which was built between 1643 and 1655. It is the oldest Baroque palace in the entire country of Germany and is a three-winged building with low towers on its corners. It took more than 1000 construction workers and craftsmen to complete the structure.
The castle museum contains a large collection of artwork and other cultural artifacts. One of the most interesting pieces is a painting called Gotha Lovers, which was done in the 15th century. It is the oldest painting known to have two people in it.
The Ekhof Theater is found in the castle’s West tower. It is a functioning baroque-era theater and contains equipment that dates back to the 1680’s. It is the first theater in the country to have permanently-employed actors on staff.
The castle is surrounded by a huge park, which features many varieties of trees and plants. In one corner of the park you will find a lovely building called the Orangerie. Royalty used such structures for growing oranges and other fruits in large pots during the winter. The buildings had many south-facing windows, which made them suitable for the job. Today the Orangerie is home to a cafe and a library.
Elsewhere in Gotha, you will want to visit the Renaissance-style town hall built in 1567. Its facade on the north side is richly ornate and well worth seeing.
As far as events are concerned, in late July and early August Gotha hosts Freakstock, which is a Christian Music Festival. It is a gathering of praise and worship singers and bands that provides concerts and teaching for all visitors. All types of Christian music are represented there and concerts are usually free for everyone.