Kemberg Should Be Seen On Its Own Terms

Thanks to some geographical restructuring, my time today is spent in Kemberg. I didn’t do the restructuring, that was some politician’s job — I just got to enjoy almost all 235 square kilometers of it.

Usually I like to start my historical town tours at the furthest point back in history. Not this time, let’s start in the 20th century and work our way backwards. Shall we?

Kemberg was the hometown of Graf von der Schulenburg, a diplomat executed (one of many, BTW) for the famous July 20, 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.

Von der Schulenburg’s memorial plaque isn’t the only one. You’ll find one for a number of resistance fighters at the cemetery, and one for the Italian forced laborers who died here during the war years.

Further back in Kemberg’s history is the 18th century Distance Column. Hey, it wasn’t always so easy to get around — like it is now, ya know. ;-)

How much further back in Kemberg’s history can we go? Well, Schloss Wartenburg (in the village of Wartenburg) was built in 1663 (it’s now a children’s home).

In the village of Radis they’re quite proud of their Pabsthaus (Pope House), hidden within the forest. But, they’re also proud of their hometown hero, Johann Gottfried Galle, who had a hand in the discovery of the planet Neptune.

One of the oldest sites in Kemberg is its church. Construction started in 1400, taking some 60 years to complete. Its altar was done by Lucas Cranach the Younger — a contemporary of Martin Luther. Who, by the way, was quite famous around here — since Lutherstadt Wittenberg is a neighboring town, and Coswig (Anhalt) is just one more village over.

You don’t want to go there, not yet anyway. You’ll want to be here for the annual Easter festivities, the Turmfest in August, or the Lantern Parade every Autumn. Even better: the Rose Festival on the third weekend of July.

I’m glad I didn’t do my usual “routine” in Kemberg — this charming city deserves to be seen on its town terms.

 

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